Forgotten Hope Public Forum

Off-Topic => Off-Topic => Topic started by: Zoologic on 16-06-2018, 16:06:13

Title: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 16-06-2018, 16:06:13
It is day 2 now, and watching Portugal being carried by Ronaldo to luckily held the Spain at bay, and Messi simply choked against the plucky Iceland that beat the mighty Dutch and England, I learn one thing. You have to have some kind of attitude, be it cocky arrogant child like CR7 or a larger than life self-worshipper Zlatan Imbrahimnovic. Lionel Messi only relies on his skill and technique, which from various Youtube compilations, we can clearly see that he is far more gifted than CR7, if only he was as physically as good as CR7.

I think Ronaldo's confidence is a gift, something that is lacking with Messi. Ronaldo had nobody. Pepe and Quaresma might be enough for him to even the former champion still sporting enough stars to have a shot at the cup. But Messi? He got Agüero, Ángel Di María, Higuaín, the veteran Mascherano, Biglia, and Dybala. Messi failed to shine despite all the Argentine football team has given him. Granted, Iceland is proven to be a good team, they did park the bus, they swarm Messi with more than 2 guys when he received the ball, but then he had 3 chances to prove that he is better than Ronaldo. But still, he blown 1 penalty and 2 goal-ranged set pieces. Ronaldo missed 1 set piece and converted the rest.

I am started to be convinced now, that talent is not everything. And Ronaldo > Messi in your team, really. It is like the kid who scored the highest in test vs. the confident kid. Messi is clearly the smarter kid, but Ronaldo is the guy who gets the job done. You know, my boss is not a particularly nice guy, he is a schmoozer, a bullshitter, cocky, arrogant, talentless, almost skilless at job, yet like Ronaldo his performance said the otherwise. He raised our income, both business and personal.

It is very sad, I believed that this is his last chance to shine and bring the cup to Argentina's possession for the third time. It might be too early to tell, but France is not the good either. All those expensive talents just choked in front of the plucky socceroos. It takes Paul Pogba's reluctant ball to bring back victory for them. That being said, this year's world cup may belong to the underdogs once more.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 16-06-2018, 17:06:26
Watch the Qualifier games that Argentina played without Messi and enjoy that horrendous 0-2 defeat against Paraguay in which Aguero was absolutely SHIT, among other games that almost costed us a World Cup qualification.

This World Cup was to be intended to serve as a complete renovation of our team, departing the "stars" from the 2014 WC, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Our coach, who I think is a big asshole, promised us change but he didn't deliver.

You point out Messi lacks confidence on himself, probably, yes, Ronaldo is a fanatic of himself and he does what he does for himself. Both players had almost the very same situations in their respective games (penalties and last-minute free kicks), one did better and the other didn't. Messi had a bad day and we can't expect his teammates to be of much help, and we pay the price.

However Spain and Iceland are very different teams imo. Iceland did indeed parked the bus, but not in a "anti-football" way like, say, Greece, but in a smart way. The still played on the counter and executed them pretty well, they shown that the Argentine defence is bad and weak, but the Iceland team had great discipline and were very organized overall. Spain is different, they attack more so they are prone to letting some players through. The quality varies, of course, with more spaces Argentina would have won, it was smart from Iceland to be conservative, the moment they decide to switch to a more offensive playstyle they would have lost.


Still, Iceland wins 1-1, I can't hate the guys. I wish my team would play with that passion and discipline.


I think Argentina will struggle a lot in groups stage and we highly depend on what happens with Croatia, they have a superb midfield but are also more offensive, which would leave open spaces to Messi. We need to kick Di Maria out of the team and have Pavon play there, he did much better in 15 minutes than Di Maria in this match and the whole Qualifiers together.

Anyways, this edition is Brazilian, if they do just fine, they'll win. Germany comes in second, the rest are watching imo.

Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Stubbfan on 16-06-2018, 17:06:55
Pfft, Brazil will loose against Sweden in the 8th's  ;D
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Captain Pyjama Shark on 16-06-2018, 18:06:42

This World Cup was to be intended to serve as a complete renovation of our team, departing the "stars" from the 2014 WC, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Our coach, who I think is a big asshole, promised us change but he didn't deliver.

You point out Messi lacks confidence on himself, probably, yes, Ronaldo is a fanatic of himself and he does what he does for himself. Both players had almost the very same situations in their respective games (penalties and last-minute free kicks), one did better and the other didn't. Messi had a bad day and we can't expect his teammates to be of much help, and we pay the price.

I think Argentina will struggle a lot in groups stage and we highly depend on what happens with Croatia, they have a superb midfield but are also more offensive, which would leave open spaces to Messi. We need to kick Di Maria out of the team and have Pavon play there, he did much better in 15 minutes than Di Maria in this match and the whole Qualifiers together.

Anyways, this edition is Brazilian, if they do just fine, they'll win. Germany comes in second, the rest are watching imo.

Argentina looks a bit of a shambles. You need a decent team as a springboard for stars to shine and they do not have that, although I think Messi has done heroic work getting them to the World Cup so I think it's unfair when people say he's useless as an international player. In their pre-WC interviews, some of the Argentine players were talking about how they hope they will be "worthy of Messi" or things like that. It just seems like there is a really fatalistic attitude there.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 16-06-2018, 23:06:01

This World Cup was to be intended to serve as a complete renovation of our team, departing the "stars" from the 2014 WC, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario. Our coach, who I think is a big asshole, promised us change but he didn't deliver.

You point out Messi lacks confidence on himself, probably, yes, Ronaldo is a fanatic of himself and he does what he does for himself. Both players had almost the very same situations in their respective games (penalties and last-minute free kicks), one did better and the other didn't. Messi had a bad day and we can't expect his teammates to be of much help, and we pay the price.

I think Argentina will struggle a lot in groups stage and we highly depend on what happens with Croatia, they have a superb midfield but are also more offensive, which would leave open spaces to Messi. We need to kick Di Maria out of the team and have Pavon play there, he did much better in 15 minutes than Di Maria in this match and the whole Qualifiers together.

Anyways, this edition is Brazilian, if they do just fine, they'll win. Germany comes in second, the rest are watching imo.

Argentina looks a bit of a shambles. You need a decent team as a springboard for stars to shine and they do not have that, although I think Messi has done heroic work getting them to the World Cup so I think it's unfair when people say he's useless as an international player. In their pre-WC interviews, some of the Argentine players were talking about how they hope they will be "worthy of Messi" or things like that. It just seems like there is a really fatalistic attitude there.

Argentina is in shambles, overall. From football to economy, from society to politics. The National Team is a realistic reflection of what we are now: Sad and Desperate.

There are good talents that can be called instead of the burned out "stars" like Aguero, Higuain, Biglia, Mascherano, Di Maria, Banega and others...

Something is going on inside the team, sampaoli went a couple of times to watch Lautaro Martinez, a former Racing Club player now in Internazionale, it looked it he was going to receive a call-up to be the reserve CF, a young talent who did very very well for Racing and also the Argentine U-20 team. He decided not to call him for whatever reason, he did the same to another Racing Club player, Ricardo Centurion, who is quite a polemic fellow, but has that gift few players in the world have, huge balls.

Well, he did call Martinez to play against Italy and Spain this year, he didn't feature in the Italy game and he came in from the bench against Spain when we were losing 4-1 already...

We were expecting change, swapping Higuain for Icardi (as he does better in Serie A and his Juventus counterpart, plus is a fresh player), Di Maria for Acuña (Sporting player, he did REALLY WELL when Argentina was desperate against Venezuela in the Qualifiers, he plays in Di Maria's position but he has been transferred to the left back position..) he could have kept Lautaro Acosta who did just fine, Gomez from Atalanta, Garay (best Argentine defender in the 2014 WC) is nowhere to be seen...

Something's rotten inside the team, Sampaoli is here to preserve the team, the names. Acuña could have EASILY benched Di Maria but he was moved back to a position he is not naturally adapted, Centurion could have easily benched Di Maria also, he was to be called but wasn't at the very last minute, Martinez wasn't called as he would take the CF position easily.. benching Higuain.


I see a pattern here. AFA is corrupt as hell and they might want to milk the famous stars for one last WC for that sponsors money.



There are two great Argentine coaches, Pekerman leading Colombia and Gareca leading Peru. Both should be clear candidates once we kick Sampaoli out (who has a millionaire contract also), but they won't be called. Why?, because there is no clear idea on what to do, no Youth Program or any kind of project to develop new players, we leave it all to luck and "see what happens next". That's also how we run our country...

Pekerman and Gareca are hard workers, but we prefer Sampaoli for the "scientific phrases" he often says. Bullshit, I hope we reach the finals and lose 4-0 to England, that'll hurt our pride big time.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Hjaldrgud on 17-06-2018, 01:06:21
As usual, no Norwegian team in a cup. I cheer primarily on our brother from a past mother: Iceland. Of course also our brother from a slightly more distant mother: Denmark. If (when) those two fail I will cheer on our brother from a distant mother: Germany.

Sweden is uncheerable.

Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 17-06-2018, 18:06:50
Germany lost 0-1 against Mexico. It is either: attacking football is dead or Germany simply doesn't have a decent attacker or creative attacker (as Fàbregas & Shearer said).

Case for attacking football is dead: Spain who dominated the game cannot take advantage over Portugal. Argentina cannot subdue Iceland as well (they don't have decent midfielder perhaps?). Only Uruguay and France was rewarded for their persistent push against team who can't seemingly convert their counter attacking opportunities.

Case for Fàbregas and Shearer's argument: Both BBC pundits are pro players and qualified. Fàbregas, a creative playmaker himself is dying breed nowadays. Today most teams go for the false 10 or incredible wingers. Sure, Leicester City won't get that title if it wasn't for decent midfielders and attackers that can convert opportunities ruthlessly, from Mahrez, Kante, and Vardy. Germany simply doesn't have them. They could have Sané, but saying that from this hindsight perspective isn't going to help Germany.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 19-06-2018, 02:06:44
Mexico's game was excellent, relentlessly attacking a quite surprised German side. They better be careful now, as it might end in yet another Spanish 2014 WC run...

I still wanted Germany to win, despite the rivalry...

I watched most of the England game today. These guys suffer a lot, they have some very good names in their squad but somehow they struggle big time on World Cups. I wouldn't be mad if they grab the title this year, I might be the only Argentine to wish for an English win, hehe.


Also Belgium, in 2014 the team was still green, effective but green. I now noticed a more mature Belgium, calm and decisive. I like them, they're gonna be a surprise this year if they keep up their good work.

My candidates for the title are Brazil, despite going to sleep in mid game against the Swiss (Who are a really good side btw, but funny since few of them are actual people born in Switzerland), when they get their stuff together they show FANTASTIC football, a true orgasmic combination of good collective teamwork with amazing individual skills from players like Neymar, Paulinho, Willian and even Marcelo.. it looked like they were going to destroy the Swiss but they didn't. Neymar was not feeling well at all either.

Germany, just because it's Germany. We're used to seeing them late in the WC, always. True winners, it's up to Löw if he stays loyal to his playstyle, risking a defeat, or goes for a different approach.

Spain, despite the 3-3 draw, they managed the match and showed some fantastic football. When Spain starts passing the ball around it's just orgasmic. They look a bit weaker on the offense tho, Costa did very well but we will see.

Belgium as I said before looks much more mature. There was a huge Coach in Argentina, Angel Labruna, who said that in order to win a title your teams needs to have a superb backbone. Courtois, Alderwereild, Verthongen, De Bruyne, Witsel, Lukaku, and of course, Hazard. I bet they will get very far this World Cup, I will be surprised if they don't reach Semi-Finals.

France might make it far as well, but it's difficult. They have a strong side, but the Euro 2016 final is scary imo.

Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Hjaldrgud on 21-06-2018, 21:06:08
Argentina - Croatia

Wow. Entertaining match! Argentina did not impress. Croatia, however.. Very nice!
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 22-06-2018, 02:06:31
Completely expected defeat, however I did not expect a 3-0.

I have little to say about the game, we lost fair and square. We brought in Caballero who is supposedly "good" with his feet, yet he fucked up big time and gifted Croatia a goal.

Then after that the team showed little to no character, few players were going for it, among them Acuña. This is what happens when you play with no midfield against a team that relies purely on their midfield, you have Mascherano who looks like he's playing in slow motion against Modric and Rakitic, nice one Masche.

But I'll talk about Messi. I feel bad for the guy. We have been comparing him to Diego Maradona since he first kicked a ball for the national team, and that's WRONG. The media, the people, other players, have been talking NON STOP about him becoming the next Maradona, or even going even further than that. We believe that because we have the best player in the world, winning should be easy.

It angers me, he is not made for that kind of leadership, he doesn't have the personality to do that. Maradona is a big mouth fool, who doesn't give a damn about anything and he'll say anything he pleases. Messi doesn't, he comes from a different place and has been trained by Barcelona Youth System not do be like that.

We did wrong, we gave Messi a HUGE task, with little to no Infrastructure to support him and we DEMANDED titles, titles and more titles. It's "Messi + 10", and that is COMPLETELY NUTS!.

I don't see France saying "Pogba + 10", Germany being like "Muller + 10" or Spain being like "Iniesta + 10". Messi is instrumental to Barcelona, but he is not a god-like figure, he is Barcelona's most important weapon but it's not the only one, they got Suarez, Coutinho, Rakitic, and used to have Iniesta as well. In the National Team, it's our most important weapon... and also the only one.

It also affects the others as well, they feel small compared to him, like they can't be the protagonist. We send Messi to kick that penalty against Iceland when WE KNOW he is not a great penalty taker, but we did anyways, because he is a leader and Maradona also should have done it.


Bullshit. We wasted the biggest talent this continent has ever seen.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 22-06-2018, 04:06:28
I have only seen the first half. It looked like Messi was constantly thinking about his speech to the press if Argentina lost the game. "What should I say?" "What will the public think?" "What my friends are going to say?" as he strolls around the field, gracing the foreign stadium that he might never enjoy again, lamenting while comfortably dwell in defeat acceptance.

I thought the Sampaoli finally figure out to play Messi as "just another Argentina players", as they played the ball mostly away from him.

Yet, Argentina played as if they are the expected winner, constantly under pressure, and then caved in. Well, borrowing from the Mexican Osorio's words "Play for the love of winning, not for the fear of losing." FGS! When they got individual talents like Messi, Higuain, Di Maria, Agüero, Mascherano, they should be ruthless and play to their individual advantage. What a waste.

Well, pitying Messi aside, on the other hand we got Cristiano Ronaldo, another one-man team. But he seemed to be able to "carry" the hum-drum Portugal squad, unlike Messi who simply choked in the middle of strangers. Messi is like the hyper genius anti-social kid, while Ronaldo is a self-made rags to riches, somehow it shows in their playstyle. Ronaldo knows that sometimes luck will do, so he took all the chances he got. While the superior Morrocan side cannot really finish it properly, despite recieving a flurry of goal scoring chances and dominating the ball possession.

Then we have the England team, finally able to shake off that "we are one of the top team" vanity.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 22-06-2018, 23:06:47
It's a mixed bag. From the football perspective we can argue about Messi, Higuain, Di Maria and so on. But there are more things running in the background.

AFA is in total ruins. Grondona, while he was a big son of a bitch, managed to keep the lesser mafia bosses "together". When Don Grondona died, there was a huge power vacuum for the AFA leadership.

A guy named Segura was made president and after some months he called for elections (http://www.thebubble.com/afa-elections-hilariously-wong/). It went bad, very very bad. There was crisis afterwards even though Argentina was about to dispute a Copa America in Chile. A guy named Claudio Tapia was made president by a "Commission for Normalization". Things did not go very well as Argentina lost yet another final against Chile in 2016. Even players such as Aguero complained about how the travels were arranged. The players stopped speaking with the media as well.

Martino, coach during the 2015 and 2016 Copas Americas was not getting paid as well, he resigned and Bauza took charge. He didn't last long as he was soon replaced by Sampaoli, who won the 2015 Copa America with Chile.

A series of crisis, media lashing out against the players and the lack of "Revolution" from Sampaoli led to an Argentina barely making it to Russia, only to be thrashed hard against Croatia. We're still alive, thanks to the Nigerian win over Iceland we will face them in a true one on one definition, if we beat Nigeria we make it through. But if Iceland does the same against Croatia well.. we'll have to destroy Nigeria like 4-0 to secure a place, goal difference would come into play. If we make it through a very likely rival would be France.

The team itself is last factor to take into consideration, because the ENTIRE structure that supports it is in complete shambles.

We're expecting miracles, and guess what?, Miracles don't exist.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Hjaldrgud on 24-06-2018, 00:06:59
Germany - Sweden:

Entertaining. Sweden did not get a penalty, but got a deserved goal instead some minutes later. First half flew by. Second half a much more effective Germany attacked and got an early goal. Germany totally dominated after that, but just could not get the ball in the net. A well deserved, beautiful goal in the end. I do not know what Löw said to Die Mannschaft in the break, but it obviously worked. Are they good enough to win the cup? I don't know. We'll see vs South Korea.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Jimi Hendrix on 24-06-2018, 14:06:14
 Belgium looks unbeatable  :o
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Robbanswe48 on 24-06-2018, 19:06:24
Germany - Sweden:

Entertaining. Sweden did not get a penalty, but got a deserved goal instead some minutes later. First half flew by. Second half a much more effective Germany attacked and got an early goal. Germany totally dominated after that, but just could not get the ball in the net. A well deserved, beautiful goal in the end. I do not know what Löw said to Die Mannschaft in the break, but it obviously worked. Are they good enough to win the cup? I don't know. We'll see vs South Korea.

Sweden does not belong in World Cup when they cant even pass and hold the ball for more than 10s. Ultra-defensive football should and can not win you matches at this level in the long-run.

Sweden would be extremly embassered if they meet Brazil in Round of 16.

Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 26-06-2018, 16:06:17
Good god! France and Denmark is super boring to watch, a waste of 12 billion dollar for Denmark to park the bus and France lacking of creativity just like in Waterloo 1815 or Maginot 1940. Any soccer coach whose gameplan is copying Mourinho should shut up in front of media about the result.

France not convincing at all that they have a good team rather than super good individuals. I hope we will never see this Denmark team again, they should let team like Cape Verde or Micronesia instead of these bunch of emasculated vikings.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Jimi Hendrix on 26-06-2018, 17:06:23
Good god! France and Denmark is super boring to watch, a waste of 12 billion dollar for Denmark to park the bus and France lacking of creativity just like in Waterloo 1815 or Maginot 1940. Any soccer coach whose gameplan is copying Mourinho should shut up in front of media about the result.

France not convincing at all that they have a good team rather than super good individuals. I hope we will never see this Denmark team again, they should let team like Cape Verde or Micronesia instead of these bunch of emasculated vikings.

 :D
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 26-06-2018, 23:06:27
We made it! phew, disaster avoided!


With a very effective Messi, scoring a fantastic goal and almost making it double with a great free kick. Still, there are problems like a very inaccurate Mascherano and some defensive problems. A last minute goal by Rojo, someone I would avoid having in my team to secure our match against France.

That's gonna be a real tough one.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Captain Pyjama Shark on 27-06-2018, 02:06:33
We made it! phew, disaster avoided!


With a very effective Messi, scoring a fantastic goal and almost making it double with a great free kick. Still, there are problems like a very inaccurate Mascherano and some defensive problems. A last minute goal by Rojo, someone I would avoid having in my team to secure our match against France.

That's gonna be a real tough one.

Hell yeah, that was a game. A last minute goal by Rojo on his weak foot, of all things. I can't believe it but I really wanted Argentina to win  ;D The Nigerians played well but they did not deserve it, and I even think their penalty was a little soft.

Hopefully the game against France should be interesting. They have been pretty boring and their match today was absolutely dire as Zoo said. I can see Argentina keeping up the momentum. I'm not sure if Mascherano had a good game or a horrible one; at one point he gave away two passes within like five seconds but then made a great tackle to save his own ass.

Tomorrow: watching Germany beat the hell out of poor South Korean defenders (or watching South Koreans practice their Taekwondo moves on the Germans as they did on the Mexicans).  :P

Final thoughts: what do you all make of the VAR? There have been tons of penalties, nearly one a game it feels like. And some very dodgy calls using it today and yesterday. It really does not seem to have made things anymore clear, although it has made them much more dramatic.

Edit: Final final thoughts: Is Maradona ok?
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 27-06-2018, 04:06:13
VAR is not used effectively. The decision is the problem. Players can be seen protesting, even after VAR.

Players wrestled to the ground? Well, that didn't prevent Tunisia players to protest every decision, weakening the referee's resolve. This is what makes football difficult to get new fans.

I am pretty sure it was Nigerian penalty, and I am quite sure that Ronaldo did use his elbow deliberately. It makes the game fairer, but not entirely. Players from poorer countries are usually very dishonest and often use the referees' indecisiveness and reliance on VAR against them. I am glad that a few countries are less bothered about refereeing and put more attention on playing, such as the English team.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 27-06-2018, 17:06:43
Auf Wiedersehen Germany! Never seen before since 1938. Like World War 2, they were driven out of Russia, it wasn't in winter, it wasn't even in Volgograd / Stalingrad.

When they got the ball, they didn't attack well. They looked reluctant and waited until South Korean players already gathered in their position and form up the parking bus. Loew should have reiterated what Hitler told to his generals: to attack! Not to wait. You needed to win. To win, you need to score goal. To increase chance on scoring goal, you need to attack aggressively like they did through the Ardennes, before the defenders could rush in.

Das war ein BEFEHL!
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Jimi Hendrix on 27-06-2018, 18:06:35
Germany - Sweden:

Entertaining. Sweden did not get a penalty, but got a deserved goal instead some minutes later. First half flew by. Second half a much more effective Germany attacked and got an early goal. Germany totally dominated after that, but just could not get the ball in the net. A well deserved, beautiful goal in the end. I do not know what Löw said to Die Mannschaft in the break, but it obviously worked. Are they good enough to win the cup? I don't know. We'll see vs South Korea.

Sweden does not belong in World Cup when they cant even pass and hold the ball for more than 10s. Ultra-defensive football should and can not win you matches at this level in the long-run.

Sweden would be extremly embassered if they meet Brazil in Round of 16.

Well Sweden just beat S. Korea 3-0, so i guess they are not too bad.

I still like Belgium to win it.

 8)
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Slayer on 27-06-2018, 19:06:18
Sweden just beat Mexico,  not South Korea.

I'm amazed by the German failure, but also by the inability to play like they can, something other teams are suffering ftom too: Spain, France and Argentina are all struggling. The France-Denmark game was a 0-0 deal so they could both proceed.

Belgium and England haven't had any real opponents, so not sure what they can do in the knockout phase.

A WC full of surprises,  that's for sure.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 27-06-2018, 23:06:54
You can't lose a Final to Germany... if there is no Germany!

I kinda feel bad for them, I like Germany after all, Löw is such a great manager but it all ended in ruins. I dunno, we may celebrate now, but the Germans will come back... angrier.


Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 28-06-2018, 16:06:36
Brazil was classic last night. A lot of show and adequate result, not too much, not too little. They also allow an opening for the opponent to effectively push them to see their defenders' mettle. As a serious "tournament team" (according to the Germans), such play is risky, but I enjoy seeing Brazil defenders doing risky clearances by dribbling tricks past the opponent strikers or acrobatic overhead kick stunts to bring the ball into safe zones. However, that one guy Neymar Jr., despite his relatively good performance, still needs to show his theatrics and ability to perform extra moves when fouled.

My favourite so far has done pretty well, Brazil, England, and Belgium.

From "the other end": Croatia is my best hope to bring interesting game. Then, we have Portugal if they are still lucky. France if they are lucky enough to face opponents with lower individual skills. Spain, who plays better against team who doesn't park the bus.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Jimi Hendrix on 28-06-2018, 17:06:31
Sweden just beat Mexico,  not South Korea.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3a/11/68/3a116884945f870924f1ffd3f36fc015.png)
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 28-06-2018, 20:06:55
As always, England blew up the chance at easy path to Quarterfinals. They became the usual complacent English team. I am not entirely confident that they could clear out Colombia that easily. Colombia has a good chance to send them home when James Rodríguez fully recovered. They will be quite a menacing threat to the still shaky England.

The "easy path to quarterfinals" is now Belgium's, who will grease down Romelu Lukaku's chance at winning golden boot by trumping Japan. It will be a walk in the park for the much stronger Belgium
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 29-06-2018, 01:06:58
If this World Cup taught us anything is that anything can happen. Belgium can lose to Japan...

But still Belgium got the hardest matches up ahead. If they beat Japan they'll most likely face Brazil, then probably Uruguay (always a tough match in WCs), Portugal (which is kinda meh tbh), France or Argentina... while England will have to face a rather weak Colombia, Sweden or Switzerland (Two very known rivals) and then very likely Spain.

England will face their first big team at the semi finals, while Belgium would face one right after their Japan match.


I'd say England got the "easiest" one.. however, this has been a wild WC so far...
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 29-06-2018, 03:06:23
It is a possibility that Japan might win against Belgium. But, I trust my hunch, the one that predicted the unlikely Portugal winning the Euro 2016. We used to gauge a team's strength by looking up their history, their squad lineups, and recent performance. But, I think, seeing how they play in the tournament and changing your views on them are rarely done. Is Mexico defeating Germany means they are good? Well, they follow that "park the bus" routine, and got so many wasted chances (6 from Layun, none were on target) because apparently Germany only played 2 defenders. Back in Euro 2016, I saw the talent-laced French squad unconvincing and their unexplainable penchant for placing the then extremely lazy Giroud (he is quite hardworking now). They killed the individually inferior Germany by 1-on-1 dueling each of them.

Belgium is a team's team despite its celebrity star player lineups, because they have no reputation too big to handle. Everyone will play their best, and I am sure that they have all the requirements to reach the final. England, however, is a player's team: they can have the best manager in the universe, but it all are down to the player's mentality. They are a wildcard at best. How they will handle Colombia is entirely up to them and little with Southgate's plan.

Colombia was caught on hasty defense by the lucky Japanese at early minutes, and one of their defender have to commit a handball to safe the goal. He was shown a red card. Going against 10 men proved to be quite difficult for Japan, who couldn't convert their numerous chances into goals. They couldn't win against full powered big team like this. Their only scenario to win is to park the bus (their defenders and goalie are good enough to stall even Belgium I suppose), and get a plucky counter attack dash that somehow is able to defeat the still solid Courtois, which is unlikely given how Osako, Honda, and friends love to fumble chances.

Can Argentina still win? I don't know, they are definitely solid. But their guns are small and reluctant, just like a Tiger tank with the 88 mm cannon deleted, and retain only its MG34. The Tiger is solid, but it will less likely kill anyone, because the enemy know its imposing presence, yet it can only do little with the 7.92 machine gun to harm them.

The only reliable team in this tourney so far is Croatia. They are just like the 1998 Boban-Suker era Croatia, only to be stopped by a lucky French defender who scored twice. This Modric-Mandzukic Croatia could be destined to be the champion as well if we took the irrelevant team history and prestige out of the equation.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 30-06-2018, 17:06:21
It's over.


France was a team, Argentina relies on miracles and superstitions.


France had Mbappé, we had "Faith".

France had Griezmann, we had "The Spirit of 1986"

France had Pogba, we had "But we beat France two times in world cups, this should be easy"...


Our coach thought it was a great idea to face a well established team without a center forward, to ignore having someone like Dybala (who sat on the bench for most of the WC) and having the "first option" a guy named Meza, who is there for dubious reasons...


A real fucking shame for Messi, he will most likely not make it to 2022, not because he can't, but because he is probably not willing to.


The score is a lie, Argentina was really bad for most of the game.



Great fucking job France, they played incredibly well.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 30-06-2018, 18:06:22
To be honest, France was not that convincing until they faced Argentina. And I am quite surprised that Argentina showed some mettle, dominating the posession and made a threatening play several times. Their midfield was clearly outplayed by the French, their defense? Well, we saw Mbappé. No wonder Barcelona wanted him so badly.

I thought when they had the 2-1 advantage, Sampaoli would have played "park the bus" and insert Dybala in front of Messi to score a cheap counter attack goal while holding on to the lead. But it didn't go that way.

France turned super saiyan and Griezmann, Pogba, Mbappé cs wrecked havoc in front of Argentinian defense. They caused far more trouble for Argentina's defense than Sampaoli, at least I will give him that.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Slayer on 30-06-2018, 22:06:19
Anyone else think that the penalty was a bit easily given? The first foul on Mbappé was outside the box, then he continues and goes down inside the box. I was actually surprised the referee fell for it and the VAR did nothing.

But I don't read anything about it anywhere, so I guess I missed something...


Great game by Uruguay btw, but they have to work on their stamina, as from minute 80-82, they were flat out of energy, especially Suarez.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 01-07-2018, 05:07:37
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C6oOcDFmLY

Yeah I thought Rojo did foul him by pushing from outside the box. But then he continued with second push that brought him down inside the box. So I think the penalty is fine.

That game has produced 2 fantastic goals, which can easily be the best goals of this tournament. Di María's goal and Pavard's amazing volley.

Congrats to Uruguay. All the team in this last-16 matches did produce great shows. Never knew Portugal could work so hard and aggressive. The first Suárez-Cavani goal is a classic show to demonstrate how two of the world's most dangerous strikers work together to bring down opponent's defense.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 01-07-2018, 17:07:13
Spain OUT


I don't like parking the bus and winning with penalties but I guess that's good for the Russians.





Ah, Russia did better than us... we should have done the same once we were up 2-1 against France.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: pizzzaman on 01-07-2018, 21:07:46
What a boring couple of matches today. Though it's nice to see Russia got through...
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Slayer on 01-07-2018, 23:07:28
Yeah I thought Rojo did foul him by pushing from outside the box. But then he continued with second push that brought him down inside the box.
Exactly, and since the rule is that the referee should whistle for the first offense, it should be a free kick, but that is just my humble opinion of course.

Spain out, they were not in this tournament like they used to. They didn't have a good plan to bring down the walls of the defenders this time. Lots of comments on Putin and the referee helping Russia, but that is just sore losing. Spain should have won this match by playing better than they did today.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 02-07-2018, 17:07:46
Rio Ferdinand on Spain: They have more than 80% of possession and did nothing, they don't take the risk and play the ball, how could you score? The enemy certainly will be tenacious and refuse to give openings. Spain deserve to lose for dominating the possession by doing nothing with the ball.

Cesc Fabregas nodded and Alan Shearer too.

BTW, amazing attacking football from both Brazil and Mexico. Too bad we have to see Neymar Jr. wiggling like his routine. Layun could have been red carded if Neymar didn't overdo it. It makes it hard to see whether he was legitimately fouled or simply did his "selling" the mild contact.

(selling = a pro wrestling term for the wrestler to try to make the opponent's attack appears more powerful and serious)
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 02-07-2018, 21:07:17
Holy cow, Japan really gave Belgium a run for its money.

For a moment they were about to be eliminated from the World Cup, trailing the other country which flag has similar colours. Almost unexpected from the full team Belgium and the previously lethargic Japan at the group stage. Somehow the Japanese managed to summon up Samurai spirit and carved through that Belgium not-so-solid defense. They might want to patch it up before going against Brazil.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Matthew_Baker on 02-07-2018, 23:07:34
I'm not into the World Cup, but that was fun to watch. Was rooting for Japan just because they were the underdog. :D but that was awesome.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 03-07-2018, 05:07:09
I was expecting a walk in the park for Belgium. But their "open" playstyle spread their defense too thin, and somehow the tenacious Japan was able to capitalise from it first before the Belgians woke up from their slumber.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 03-07-2018, 22:07:33
What a disappointing show from Colombia.

I was expecting Rodriguez - Falcao show, but that doggone James' injury won't let it happen. Fine!

Then they resorted to dirty play, just as they did with Japan. WTF? I thought Falcao is skilled enough, but apparently after that massive injury in 2014, he is just a husk of his former glory now, resorting to cheap theatrics, debating, and provocative behaviour to win the game.

Have they learned about VAR, replays and all? Why did Sanchez keep handing out cheap penalties? First to Japan, and now to England. And why all the arguing? I thought people in that continent from Panama down to Uruguay loved to play football no? It was a clear foul, which luckily wasn't punished with a red card.

England and their cool captain deserved to go through. Somebody must put an end to Sweden's lucky run.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 04-07-2018, 20:07:09
Finally England defeated their biggest enemy:


England.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Slayer on 04-07-2018, 20:07:47
Why did Sanchez keep handing out cheap penalties? First to Japan, and now to England.
Agreed, but I must say that the penalty was easily given again. Kane made the first offense, by grabbing the throat of Sanchez, who then went to do something really dumb. But Kane literally "made this penalty happen", it was very undeserved imo.

Shame to see Mina go, I totally rooted for this guy: 1.95 meters long, custom made shoes because his huge size doesn't exist and he is named Jerry, after the mouse from "Tom and Jerry"! How cool is that!
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 05-07-2018, 11:07:54
I believe that before the ball is played, anything can happen, but then you shouldn't body slam another player down so blatantly, especially in front of referee and VAR cameras.

I was actually rooting for Colombia too. My British bias vibe doesn't impede me from supporting their opponent. But Sanchez somehow thought he need to sacrifice himself in the first 5 minute. What the hell? You got superior team, let the Japanese score, and you'll have all the time in the world to get back. Then they resorted to dirty play and mobbing the referees to make up for their 1 man deficit. They rinse and repeat the same style against England, just because they can't have Rodriguez. These lot are the unluckiest team in the entire tournament, and I am very very sad for them:

In 2014, I was ecstatic to see Falcao in action for Colombia, but he got injured and cannot make it. However, they presented us with magnificent James Rodríguez. I was wowed and they become instant favourite. Brazil's win over them was dirty and unwatchable. That 1-7 loss after they undeservedly knocked Colombia out was probably karma.

In 2018, I was expecting Falcao-Rodríguez duo one a great veteran, the other an aspiring superstar in his prime demolishing the tourney's big teams. Yet what I saw is completely different: Rodríguez is recovering from his injury, and Falcao never really show something that remind us of his glorious days. Falcao becomes a cheeky sneering coward, who exchanged his now gone skills with diving theatrics, incessant referee provokings, and numerous wasted chances. The rest of the team simply gave up and decided played dirty when they can't win clean against Japan. I feel bad for James. He should have risen to the level of Forlán, Batistuta, Suárez, Kaká, and replaced Valderrama as Colombian legend, but life is very unfair towards him.

Now the only Latin American representatives left are Uruguay and Brazil. I hope Uruguay will survive the upcoming onslaught from the world's most expensive football team. I know the odds are heavily unfavourable towards them. But the French needs to be solid too, as they are
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 06-07-2018, 23:07:38
Well done Belgium, but I don't feel very very convinced yet.

The defense is not very secure, conceding goals in a WC is not a great thing to do.

However, I love how they manage the ball on the counter, beautiful!, Hazard is so fast and pushes his way through, De Bruyne was brilliant, Lukaku is a very dangerous man, Fellaini is notorious...

But I'd still vote for England.



If I say I want England to win, I'll be lynched here.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 07-07-2018, 05:07:21
Since one of my favourites are out, we are in the same book here. I do hope football really came back home.

But then, I have gut feeling that this Belgium golden generation is going to win the World Cup. Brazil has a kind of curse when going against France in World Cup tournaments. So Belgium should be up to the win. Their duel against Brazil was like the final in itself. Brazil with their fast tempo and Belgium with their equally lightning counter attack and not content with the comfortable 2-0 lead they had. Thankfully, Neymar didn't resort into too much theatrics besides taking a dive once or twice (one of which should earn him a card).

Then we have Croatia, the stronger slavic brother of Russia, their Modric, Mandzukic, Rakitic, Perisic, Lovren reminiscent of Boban-Šuker, Prosinecki, and friends era.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Khaine on 08-07-2018, 09:07:46
If I say I want England to win, I'll be lynched here.

It would make sense knowing that this english squad is a disgrace. Lots of fouls, they dive a lot. But they must be the luckiest team this year, so far they have not once beaten a strong team (Tunisia/Panama/Belgium-B/Columbia/Sweden). Columbia was the strongest team they met, and they have'd so much troubles, even with James Rodrigues injured. And now the over exhsausted Croatia. I hope they will be severly punished by Belgium or France in the final :D
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 08-07-2018, 16:07:14
Nah, England is fine, but this squad is hardly a convincing world winner. Their defense is weak, their goals are almost 80% set pieces, meaning they prey and steal on every opponent's few first seconds chaotic moments to score opportunists goal. Yet, they tried to dominate possessions. But, hey, at least it is a winning gameplan.

The other "good team" in this tournament so far are:
Brazil, they have good attacking form, they are comfortable inside the enemy's penalty box. Their very fast tempo is entertaining to watch, but they still can't connect everytime and quite wasteful.

Belgium, the best team so far. World class players and world class teamwork. Any team that commit mistakes will be swiftly, efficiently, and ruthlessly punished by de Bruyne, Hazard, and Lukaku with their superb accuracy. I don't really support them, but won't be surprised if they lift the trophy this year.

That's all. The rest of them are so-so to "meh".

France has the best team in the world, but they cannot find a rythm to make it work. Deschamps is just sitting there, because every football team needs a manager, whether they are useful or not. They are very awful to watch sometimes, but when they are at it, they could show something very briliant. If they can perform like how they beat Argentina, minus the sloppy defense, they could win the cup. However, they are really lacking in gameplan here, it could be good and bad for them, as it makes their performance wildly unpredictable.

Croatia, probably overrated after a fluke victory over Argentina. Yes, I said that this is their second golden generation after that glorious Boban-Suker era, and I thought that they could be the next champion. But, the Croatia I saw last night against Russia was disappointing, just like the one facing Denmark, the word "overrated" immediately comes to my mind. Probably I expected too much out of them. They probably would face a lot of difficulties going against weird and unusual team like England.

Uruguay, only when they have Cavani and Suarez. Without one or another, they are simply non-threatening. If only they could play in every game, Uruguay could have been a real contender.

The most disappointing award should go to
Argentina - played with their hearts, which is fine, but without any real plan.
Colombia - they loved debating more than playing, Falcao is a disappointment, and James Rodriguez couldn't play every game.

Germany, well, nothing changed about Germany since Euro 2016. They are the same toothless team. Played a good football, but with 0 attacking plan.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: pizzzaman on 10-07-2018, 21:07:14
The unstoppable Belgian team has just been stopped.  :'(
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Captain Pyjama Shark on 10-07-2018, 21:07:11
The unstoppable Belgian team has just been stopped.  :'(

Well, I do think Belgium dominated a lot of that game and were the more creative team, but France is pacey and this has certainly been the World Cup of counter-attacks, set pieces, and absolute units. I think both England and Croatia will be hard-pressed in the final.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Slayer on 10-07-2018, 22:07:18
Croatia has more chances against France than England imo.

It was a nice game, sometimes a bit boring. First half was for Belgium, but second half France took over and scored. Then they just played out the game.

Very shameful display in the extra time though: instead of trying to score a second goal they were clearly out for wasting time and lost a bunch of great opportunities that way. Mbappé, the youngster magician, showed his ugly side too here. A team with such quality as France has doesn't need shit like that. I hope the final won't give us that nonsense.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 10-07-2018, 23:07:06
Ah what a shame.


I remember when we faced Belgium in 2014, totally different from what Belgium is right now. Almost the same squad yet they are much more mature...


Today's Belgium would simply obliterate Argentina.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 11-07-2018, 06:07:44
Yeah, France was lucky. Their performance, although good, is still unconvincing. Both Belgium and France clearly shows a couple of weakness in their defense, luckily both of them have good goalkeepers, Lloris and Courtois are surely among the world's greatest goalkeepers. They will disappoint whoever gets through the semifinal, Mandzukic or Kane.

Mbappé already did that kind of nonsense when he faced Uruguay. His teammate's attitude, especially Pogba's is also awful.

Croatia is yet to prove that their top class talents will work as a team.

England is facing their hardest test yet, especially if Croatia managed to get their talents to work together.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Captain Pyjama Shark on 11-07-2018, 08:07:22
Yeah, France was lucky. Their performance, although good, is still unconvincing. Both Belgium and France clearly shows a couple of weakness in their defense, luckily both of them have good goalkeepers, Lloris and Courtois are surely among the world's greatest goalkeepers. They will disappoint whoever gets through the semifinal, Mandzukic or Kane.



Have to disagree with you there. France has an iron-clad defense which never really looked troubled in the Belgium game, I think Belgium could have had another hour and not scored. The exception was Pavard, who was being eaten alive by Hazard in the first half of the game. France is happy to play counter-attack football because with people like Mbappe they can just run down the opponent; England especially will be vulnerable to that. France is not very fun to watch but they have convinced.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 11-07-2018, 11:07:37
Still, Umtiti's header was as a result of a set piece. Throughout the game, the mighty French midfield and duo Mbappé-Giroud at the front still couldn't find a score. Which is why I consider them to be "lucky". Their performance against Argentina was great though, I believe they should play like that: losing and under pressure, extracting the best out of them. They are absolutely the world's best squad that doesn't play like a good team. I will resent any credit that Deschamps received for French success. It is his superior individual team member's quality, not his briliant strategy or tactics. It was like that too in the Euro 2016, and they lost to Portugal in the final.

Sure the weaker English defense will be greatly tested against Mbappé's speed and Griezmann's vision. But let's see how well they fare against Mandzukic, Modric, and friends first.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: |7th|Nighthawk on 11-07-2018, 11:07:30
I did not watch one game admittedly. For this game of France I was at work so I could hear some parts over radio here and there. Apparently Mbappé played very dirty to gain time; I always loathed that kind of behaviour. It angers me when the opposing team does it and it's absolutely embarassing when the own one does it.

Still, though, as a Franco-German, it's always hilarious to see all the hate France gets from Germany. It's not the French who won, it's Africa. At the same time Germany has been relying on Turkish and Polish talent for some time. After all this time, the resentment is still very deep. It also feels more hateful than the English-French rivalry that by this point seems to be more of a playful downplaying of eachother's feats.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 11-07-2018, 17:07:18
Mbappe is what, 19 years old?

That kid of shit is usually expected from a young player imo.

That kind of behaviour happens here all the time, France was all about "winning at any price" so these kinds of delays are part of that doctrine.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 11-07-2018, 21:07:33
What a win by Croatia, that is determination vs. complancency by England. But Croatia is still hardly convincing though. It is going to be a very hard pressed boring final if they played like today's first 90 minutes.

Might as well congratulate France for their second world cup. With similar playing style but inferior squad, Croatia really needs to dig out more of their strengths. I still hope they can avenge Šuker and Boban 20 years ago.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 11-07-2018, 23:07:03
England being England... What the fuck was that?
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Captain Pyjama Shark on 13-07-2018, 08:07:19
England being England... What the fuck was that?
I suppose you could say they went out against the first decent team they faced (as Colombia and Sweden were both awful) but to be honest a semi-final run is not bad at all. You can only play the teams in front of you, Croatia deserved the win and I hope they beat France on Sunday.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 14-07-2018, 04:07:21
England being England... What the fuck was that?
I suppose you could say they went out against the first decent team they faced (as Colombia and Sweden were both awful) but to be honest a semi-final run is not bad at all. You can only play the teams in front of you, Croatia deserved the win and I hope they beat France on Sunday.

True, semi finals for the England squad is not bad, considering their latest WCs... especially 2014, and their overall age. They're a very young team after all, and may reach Qatar in a ideal age.

But I fear they lack some power. Sure their set pieces are very dangerous, but that's about it. They are not very dangerous to be honest, and when Croatia finally woke up they scored twice. As you point out, they faced two weak teams, well, they faced Colombia which despite their attitude can still be very dangerous and Sweden is well, Sweden. Croatia is very very tired and England are favorites to make it to the finals. As you can see, Trippier scored early on which made an already tired Croatia to look for the equalizer and then the victory goal, you have to start from behind already at like 5 minutes. Yet they did win. I will give credit to Croatia for the huge balls displayed in that match, but also I will say that England lost a rather winnable match.

England looks very weak when you take the ball and start to attack them.


IMO, they should continue to develop their players. Still, they seem to lack a "superstar". Kane is great yes, but he is no playmaker.

Look at Argentina with Messi, Brasil with Neymar, France with Mbappé and Griezmann, Croatia with Modric, Spain with Iniesta (back when the Spanish squad was in shape), Netherlands with Robben (back in the day, again). England seem to lack that "distinctive" player that sets them apart from the others... the one you need to make the difference when the difference is needed.

I don't know, maybe Sterling or Dele Alli in the near future can develop to such point?. Sterling sure is very skilled, but the boy never seems to pass the ball.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 14-07-2018, 05:07:29
Back then they had Scholes. After that they relied on deep defensive midfielders like Lampard and Gerard, which played far too deep in the back to make an effective attacks, England was very unproductive at scoring goals. Rooney was too traditional as a striker to play as a false 10.

Today, they have Kieran Trippeir, I think he could be the modern day Scholes.
Dele Ali was physically limited in this tournament, he was great in England's first game, but then after contacting that thigh injury, his pace was greatly affected.
Raheem Sterling, despite his matured age, still lacks in vision, which is why despite his dangeorus and imposing presence, his contribution to goal is minimal.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another surprisingly good player. He is big, solid, can dribble, and have all the unique passing skills necessary to play English attacking style. He could be a playmaker.

For English defense, I agree with you, they are full of holes. They often play too much risk with their dangerously close passing when the enemy is still pressing. But then, they are always like that since the day I first watch football with Sol Campbell, Paul Ince, Southgate himself, and Neville days.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 15-07-2018, 04:07:22
Well, England, you have been measured, and found wanting by real contenders.

Forward? Lame.
Midfield? Awful.
Defense? Lacking.

The only good thing about this team is the goal keeper Jordan Pickford. He is excellent, although needs a bit more penalty box area control and initiative like Courtois has shown.

Don't put your expectations too high for 2022. Can EPL really produce good players? Well, only 3 out of 11 Belgian starters yesterday played outside England. All of their key players, played for the same team that the main English players played for. Vertonghen and Alderweireld played in the same club as Harry Kane, no wonder his moves are all predictable for them. Kompany and De Bruyne played in the same club as Sterling, Stones, Delph, and friends. Eden Hazard and Courtois played for Chelsea, and become the star players there. See? EPL can indeed produce great world winning players.

It is just the English team that is not only unproven, but lacking in measure. Belgium simply outclassed them alright. While they are seeking weird and one-off opportunity to broke off the quite disciplined defense. It is not a real winning game plan. When they have a chance to counter attack, they relented, scared, reluctant, and eventually got pushed back into their own half. What happened? Do they admitted that they aren't that good enough to outrun those scrambling Belgian defenses? England still have a mountain to climb if they truly want to win the world cup, even with this "young" squad.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 15-07-2018, 18:07:53
What a bad show by France, very undeserving and pretty much helped by those 2 scandalous goals. Griezmann dived, which lead to Mandzukić's own goal. Then a VAR penalty kick that is still debatable.

Thankfully, Pogba and Mbappé answered back for the illegitimacy of their win.

Also, big thank you for Croatia, without their attacking play, this final will be a boring one to watch. Maybe this will be the last world cup where the number of audience beats every other sports, given how French and Deschamps' style of play are allowed to reign supreme in soccer tournaments, in addition to all the dives and theatrics.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: |7th|Nighthawk on 15-07-2018, 18:07:26
You're delusional if you think that sports even more boring than football will get more views despite such a borefest of a final.
Also playing destructively is what allowed Germany to reach quite a few finals. It's not a beauty contest.

I for one am satisfied and take it as a revenge for the undeserved loss in 2006 against the Italian professional cheaters.

EDIT: I'm a bit sad it was against Croatia though because they showed incredible willpower despite having a technical disadvantage. If it had been against any other than France or Germany, I'd have rooted for them.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Torenico on 15-07-2018, 19:07:53
The Penalty was a Penalty, and with VAR on you just can't ignore it.


Mad respects to Croatia, but France has better individuals position by position.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Slayer on 15-07-2018, 22:07:09
... such a borefest of a final.
Last two finals were both 1-0, so I'd rather see another 4-2. Yeah, I agree on the two first goals being unjustified, or at least a bit strange, and the way the goals came for both teams it wasn't super thrilling until the last minute. But calling a game with 6 goals in total a borefest is beyond me.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Zoologic on 16-07-2018, 07:07:37
Yes, at least this is exciting, because the last 3 world cups went through extra time. Yeah the game concluded convincingly for the France. But I hate that the so-called "pragmatic" mentality. There is a reason why football rules such as golden goal and silver goals were added. The backpass rule too were made for the same reason: to discourage passive plays and sleazy game-destroying exploits.

Football is still a show to keep the populace calm. When pitting man against animals are no longer okay, football became the alternative crowd control measure. But, with the ever increasing cost and footballer's lavish lifestyle, can the show business sustain itself when all they did is exploiting the game mechanism just to win the game? I mean in the spirit of sportsmanship, that is perfectly fine. But how many revenue generating casual audience will be steered away by such boring show?

Look at Formula 1, it is struggling, it is very boring now with too much technical things going on. But then Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull will be happy to go on with their dominance. Like Deschamps and Mourinho, they don't care about the dwindling number of audience. But until it hits them, nobody will react other than the organisers.

The finals should be the likes of France vs. Argentina, Brazil vs. Belgium match. It is super entertaining. This finals clearly shows that France wants nothing to do other than winning, sometimes through dubious means. That is not encouraging.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: Nerdsturm on 16-07-2018, 20:07:45
The Penalty was a Penalty, and with VAR on you just can't ignore it.


Mad respects to Croatia, but France has better individuals position by position.

I can see how the referee would conclude contact was intentional, but it's still very frustrating to see the referee get so much power in the case of a very subjective call. Given how commonly penalty shots score, the penalty is severely disproportionate to the foul which was just a minor and quite possibly accidental redirection of the ball.
Title: Re: The World Cup 2018
Post by: |7th|Nighthawk on 17-07-2018, 09:07:10
@Slayer: I'll admit that I'm not an avid football fan and am probably spoiled by the "mad skills" football compilations on youtube where they condense the best moments out of hundred of hours of games into three minutes (oh and by that 7:1 against Brazil, certainly the most fun game I've ever watched). What I mean is that the game seemed a bit static to me and especially that first half was pretty unbearable to watch for me.

@Zoologic: Yes, some rules that would stop that "camping" would be cool but you always run into the risk of putting too much rules into the game that will confuse players, referees and audience so it's very tricky to solve that elegantly. The rules you named are very simple and effective but defining when a team is just "pushing the ball around" to save time, it gets problematic.

Yes, and that especially hurt Germany because they were very unhappy with their team and also quickly remembered how unhappy they were with the politics again. Very annoying for Merkel and co. Also notice how they wanted to pass article 13 in the EU while the world cup was going; sneaking by important stuff as always.
Well, when it hits them, they are either long gone or have amassed so much money that the sting will be rather minor, I suppose. Hah, you mean the "eco friendly" formula one with small engines and no grid girls? How could that go wrong? To be honest, talking for me only, I've never been that much into watching cars do 50 laps around a circuit; I'd rather be sitting in one of those cars competing :P

Who would not play "only" to win in a final though? Noone will ever remember how "nice" you played or how great of a fair player you were but that star on the shirt is what counts. The only thing one remembers except for that are totally wrong referee decisions and insults or brutal fouls.