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Simon
September 3rd, 2014, 7:24 AM
Inaccurate title because tonight's game is a friendly but whatever, Switzerland away on Monday will be tough.

Despite all the reasons not to, I'm quite looking forward to tonight's game. The last vestiges of the Fool's Golden Generation (bar Rooney) have finally gone, and the starting line up for tonight has plenty of youth - Stones, Jones, Wilshere, Henderson, Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sturridge all in the side.

I'm not getting my hopes up because regardless of whether or not they underperformed, this side is (on paper at least) unarguably weaker than when we had Gerrard, Lampard, Cole, Ferdinand, Terry etc...but at least we might be rubbish in a new and interesting way.

son_of_foley
September 3rd, 2014, 7:25 AM
Inaccurate title because tonight's game is a friendly but whatever, Switzerland away on Monday will be tough.


And also because the competition is in 2016

Simon
September 3rd, 2014, 7:34 AM
FUCK THE U

Beefy please edit :ashamed:

Bad Collin
September 3rd, 2014, 7:41 AM
Nice one Si :)

I liked this article explaining why tonight matters and why England are going to be screwed in tournaments to come: http://www.football365.com/f365-says/9454554/F365-Says

I will watch tonight, hopefully we can put in a good performance.

Bad Collin
September 3rd, 2014, 7:45 AM
Is it going to be 442 or 433. I hope the latter because Sterling would be wasted as an out and out winger. Hopefully Wilshire will sit, Hendo and the Ox should pressing high up and trying to feed the front three.

Beefy
September 3rd, 2014, 7:57 AM
FUCK THE U

Beefy please edit :ashamed:

Nah.

Simon
September 3rd, 2014, 8:00 AM
:(

Simon
September 3rd, 2014, 8:01 AM
Is it going to be 442 or 433. I hope the latter because Sterling would be wasted as an out and out winger. Hopefully Wilshire will sit, Hendo and the Ox should pressing high up and trying to feed the front three.

4-4-2 with Ox and Sterling on the wings.

Bad Collin
September 3rd, 2014, 8:19 AM
Sounds shit

Simon
September 3rd, 2014, 9:17 AM
Change the title Beefy it's stressing me out.

Andy
September 3rd, 2014, 4:09 PM
This is abysmal.

RFF Champ
September 3rd, 2014, 4:37 PM
1st half it was good but they don't take enough shots. 2nd half has been terrible.

RuneEdge
September 3rd, 2014, 4:55 PM
Some of the passing between the players is good, but I think we're still lacking that one man who can make the final ball to unlock the defence. We move the ball around quite well at times, but in the end we resort to taking it out wide and whipping the cross in.

Andy
September 3rd, 2014, 4:59 PM
Sterling is such an exciting player, he has to play in the middle.

RFF Champ
September 3rd, 2014, 5:08 PM
Some of the passing between the players is good, but I think we're still lacking that one man who can make the final ball to unlock the defence. We move the ball around quite well at times, but in the end we resort to taking it out wide and whipping the cross in.

It's Welbeck who is crucial to the team because he's the most direct forward. He's always looking for one pass or flick to put someone through on goal or angling himself for a shot. The rest of them, as good as they are, all try and overdo it.

Rooney's role and performance was a strange one tonight. He held up the ball well at times but generally he didn't get that involved in the play deeper and he wasn't running in behind or getting the ball on the edge of the area to shoot. He seemed wasted and aside from dropping him I'm not sure what the solution is.

RFF Champ
September 3rd, 2014, 5:12 PM
That Lamela finish is a fucking gem.

RuneEdge
September 3rd, 2014, 5:55 PM
It's Welbeck who is crucial to the team because he's the most direct forward. He's always looking for one pass or flick to put someone through on goal or angling himself for a shot. The rest of them, as good as they are, all try and overdo it.

Rooney's role and performance was a strange one tonight. He held up the ball well at times but generally he didn't get that involved in the play deeper and he wasn't running in behind or getting the ball on the edge of the area to shoot. He seemed wasted and aside from dropping him I'm not sure what the solution is.
Have we even had a chance to see Welbeck and Sturridge together for a good period of a match? You'd think that partnership would work. But now with Rooney as captain, we probably wont get it see it happen.

I thought Oxlade-Chamberlain was good. I'd rather play him out wide than Welbeck (like he did in the WC).



That Lamela finish is a fucking gem.
How about that Di Maria assist for the Aguero goal. :yes:

Simon
September 3rd, 2014, 6:48 PM
Sterling is too good. Interestingly he seems to be the go-to guy now for England with Rooney somewhat peripheral. Extraordinary talent.

son_of_foley
September 4th, 2014, 4:44 AM
Rooney needs to work out what the fuck he wants to do with his career. He seems like he is in freefall. If he's playing upfront he needs to be more effective. United have some very creative players now that will make chances for him but his runs on Saturday were ludicrous

RuneEdge
September 4th, 2014, 5:16 AM
He has the striker's ability, but probably not the mentality. At this stage in his career, it's probably best to work with what he has than to try and get him to be and out and out striker again.

son_of_foley
September 4th, 2014, 5:18 AM
He has the striker's ability, but probably not the mentality. At this stage in his career, it's probably best to work with what he has than to try and get him to be and out and out striker again.

So you play him as a limp and ineffective number 10?

Beefy
September 4th, 2014, 5:28 AM
He is a striker. This idea of him as a versatile forward who can play behind the striker, out wide or even in midfield isn't doing him, England or Manchester United any favours.

RuneEdge
September 4th, 2014, 5:41 AM
So what are we supposed to do? Drop Sturridge and play Rooney alone up front?

RFF Champ
September 4th, 2014, 5:47 AM
He is a striker. This idea of him as a versatile forward who can play behind the striker, out wide or even in midfield isn't doing him, England or Manchester United any favours.

He was playing on the shoulder of the defenders for long portions last night and didn't look the part. He was making no movement beyond defenders nor was he looling for a shot when in the area. If that's his position then he needs to offer a lot more attacking instinct to shit up defenders because last night it was a simple job to mark him in that role.

Beefy
September 4th, 2014, 5:56 AM
So what are we supposed to do? Drop Sturridge and play Rooney alone up front?

If we're playing two strikers then Hodgson needs to pick the best two. If we're playing one striker then Hodgson needs to pick his best striker.

If that isn't Wayne Rooney then he shouldn't be in the team.

Beefy
September 4th, 2014, 5:57 AM
He was playing on the shoulder of the defenders for long portions last night and didn't look the part. He was making no movement beyond defenders nor was he looling for a shot when in the area. If that's his position then he needs to offer a lot more attacking instinct to shit up defenders because last night it was a simple job to mark him in that role.

As I said, I don't think shunting him around to help squeeze him or other players into the side is doing anyone any favours, including him.

Simon
September 4th, 2014, 5:58 AM
Isn't the point that it DOES do him a favour by keeping him in the team when he doesn't warrant it?

Beefy
September 4th, 2014, 6:09 AM
If he was playing up front then he might warrant it. As it is he has spent two years at least now playing most games out of position.

I'd have him in the team as a striker, personally. But if Hodgson and Van Gaal are making a mistake shoe-horning him into their sides ahead of more capable alternatives then they'll both suffer the consequences of that.

RuneEdge
September 4th, 2014, 6:39 AM
To be fair, LvG is playing him as a striker. Mata now occupies the role that Rooney previously did. The issue in the past had always been that we needed that creative player behind the striker, but at the same time we needed two strikers on the field in Rooney and RVP. That's where the idea of 3-4-1-2/3-5-2 came in. I suppose with the signing of Falcao its all gone out the window, but I was actually looking forward to seeing how Rooney performs alongside another striker and also without the responsibility of having to play just off the forwards.

With England it's different. We wont be playing with 3 defenders. So if Rooney was to play as an out and out striker alongside Sturridge, you have to go 4-4-2 and all the responsibility now falls on the wingers to create chances.

I don't know if I want to see that again. I prefer us to be playing through the middle.

Simon
September 4th, 2014, 10:16 AM
Am I the only person who at least saw a few positives last night? Sterling did well, Henderson now looks like a real authority in midfield with Gerrard gone (incidentally I read yesterday that Henderson is now Liverpool's vice captain, which is huge), Hart was impressive, Stones and Jones did well...the overall performance wasn't great (though nowhere near as bad as people were making out IMO) but the fact that a few players immediately upped their game in the absence of the old guard was uplifting. Delph did well when he came on too.

MMH
September 4th, 2014, 12:15 PM
Am I the only person who at least saw a few positives last night? Sterling did well, Henderson now looks like a real authority in midfield with Gerrard gone (incidentally I read yesterday that Henderson is now Liverpool's vice captain, which is huge), Hart was impressive, Stones and Jones did well...the overall performance wasn't great (though nowhere near as bad as people were making out IMO) but the fact that a few players immediately upped their game in the absence of the old guard was uplifting. Delph did well when he came on too.

I thought they looked pretty good in the first half. Possession wise the passing was intelligent and they were not trying to force things like England have always done, ie pass, pass, pass, hollywood ball to nobody.

Sterling looked really sharp, Sturridge again showed he has a lot more ability than people give him credit for and I thought Oxlade Chamberlain looked good too. Stones did fine in a position he isnt suited for. Hes a centre back.

The Rosk
September 4th, 2014, 12:47 PM
I thought the 15 minutes when Welbeck and Delph came on were quite exciting. Quick incisive football. Nothing mind-blowing, just young fast lads having a go at people. Why not.

Bad Collin
September 4th, 2014, 2:05 PM
We played well when we were moving it around outside the box. We never looked like creating chances from crosses. Sterling was wasted on the wing, he needs to be on the left of a front three or as a number 10. We all know that Hodgson is a dinosaur but these quotes really worried me:


"I've learned that the players are anxious to defend more aggressively and be more compact in their play," he said.
"These young players are prepared to take the responsibility, to receive the ball under pressure.
"I also learned from these players that we are not restricted to playing one particular way."

Fucking hell, he is learning the modern game from his players?

Simon
September 5th, 2014, 11:11 AM
If he was playing up front then he might warrant it. As it is he has spent two years at least now playing most games out of position.

I'd have him in the team as a striker, personally. But if Hodgson and Van Gaal are making a mistake shoe-horning him into their sides ahead of more capable alternatives then they'll both suffer the consequences of that.

Sturridge possibly out on Monday now, allowing Sterling to play off Rooney :yes:

RuneEdge
September 5th, 2014, 1:26 PM
Assuming we actually go ahead with that idea. Seeing how it's a competitive game, would you take that risk?
We probably should've tried that in the friendly IMO.

I'm not really doubting Sterling's ability in the center or Rooney up front. Im just not sure how those changes could affect the rest of the team. Who plays where Sterling used to play?

RFF Champ
September 5th, 2014, 2:07 PM
Welbeck probably, he's performed very well for England since Woy arrived.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 12:07 PM
Trap had it right. These attempts to play out from the back by Ireland are catastrophic.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 12:25 PM
Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy would be on the bench here behind Stephen Kelly and Paul Green if Trap was still about. Defence looks awful but the midfield looks better. Great left foot finish from McGeady and nice to see a central midfielder moving forward onto the ball instead of sitting 5 yards in front of his own box.

Fuck knows what Wilson was trying a few minutes ago.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 12:27 PM
Tidy finish after a perfectly weighted pass. Nice goal.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 12:30 PM
I know it's only Georgia but it's still nice seeing Ireland players looking to pass it and keep the ball patiently rather than knock it back to the keeper for a long twat up the pitch.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 12:32 PM
Georgia were pretty hot on pressing the defence early on and it put the shits up them, not sure why they've given up on that because the midfield is probing pretty well whenever they get chance to settle on the ball.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 12:37 PM
It's hard to keep that sort of effort up, they probably just can't be arsed. They aren't a good team. Georgia have had handy teams over the years actually but this isn't one of them. That said, any team has a chance when Ward and Wilson are in the opposition defence. Not a big fan of Forde either.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 12:39 PM
That's a ridiculous strike. Not sure why Ward backed off him though. Goalkeeper should have done better too, not sure what he was supposed to be doing.

son_of_foley
September 7th, 2014, 12:42 PM
We're playing quite well just not doing it in final third

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 12:44 PM
Dickie Dunne would already have a massive graze down his leg from this running track.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 12:50 PM
Or on his face.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 1:10 PM
There's some tripe being served up now. McCarthy isn't being used properly here. The formation needs adjusting to get McCarthy on the ball deeper and get the ball to McGeady and Coleman in dangerous positions. If MON doesn't change the shape soon, Georgia are going to win.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 1:38 PM
Great goal by Norn, where did that Lafferty turn of pace come from??

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 1:43 PM
Might as well have Paul Green on with the speed this midfield is playing at.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 1:45 PM
Haha Lafferty! Shinned it!

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 1:52 PM
And that's proper from Mcgeady.

son_of_foley
September 7th, 2014, 1:53 PM
Had 3 bets on ( all singles)

Norn iron to win
Over 1.5 goals
Big lanky lafferty to score anytime

Buzzing. Kyle deserved that worked his arse off. Time to grow up now and be that player we need him to be.

At times we were excellent. Delighted for Michael.what a fucking sporting weekend for the north

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 1:54 PM
Great goal from McGeady again but fuck me that was bad to watch. I have no idea why McCarthy was so far forward the whole game, he's one of the top tacklers in the Premier League and a high quality orthodox central midfielder who can win the ball, hold the ball and pass it. He doesn't play with his back to goal. So strange when Hoolahan is in the squad and can do that job.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 2:02 PM
I'm not sure what Jon Walters offers either.

son_of_foley
September 7th, 2014, 2:05 PM
BBC sport has some comments about ni finally qualifying for a major tournament and best chance to qualify I guess world cups don't count anymore

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 2:23 PM
I'm not sure what Jon Walters offers either.

Very little. McGeady could go right and have Brady or Quinn left. Or Quinn could play out right either, he did ok tonight.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 4:09 PM
That's composure from Anya. Absolutely no chance of the keeper saving it.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 7th, 2014, 4:23 PM
Good finish indeed but then pretty calamitous defending to concede again. This really is the best time to play Germany, right after a World Cup win, a couple of big injuries and several key retirements. Scotland are giving them a game but they ought to get a point here at least with how the way the game has gone.

RFF Champ
September 7th, 2014, 4:29 PM
They looked susceptible to this kind of opposition performance in the World Cup. Both USA and Algeria had big chances to beat them.

wardy
September 7th, 2014, 8:32 PM
I am fucking delighted with that. There's no reason we can't go away and get a result against anyone in the group now.

Judas Iscariot
September 8th, 2014, 3:35 AM
ajmo vatreni

Simon
September 8th, 2014, 4:07 AM
That McGeady goal was filth.

Simon
September 8th, 2014, 4:08 AM
Henderson and Sturridge both out tonight, massive losses IMO. Henderson has only started two competitive games but he's now one of the first names on the team sheet for me.

Hopefully we'll go with Sterling in the hole behind Rooney and Welbeck on the left. I suspect we'll go with Rooney behind Welbeck and Sterling on the left.

Bad Collin
September 8th, 2014, 8:28 AM
Fuck sake. They Better not injure Sterling as well.

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 1:20 PM
Henderson starts. Along with Welbeck and Delph.

The Rosk
September 8th, 2014, 1:23 PM
Delph will be fine lads. Good job we haven;t signed him up to a new contract before he starts his first competitive international. Fucks sake.

RFF Champ
September 8th, 2014, 1:31 PM
Shortest midfield three to ever play for England?

Simon
September 8th, 2014, 1:47 PM
Delph will be fine lads. Good job we haven;t signed him up to a new contract before he starts his first competitive international. Fucks sake.

Not really the type of player you'd expect to struggle through nerves as his game is quite simple. Bigger worry is that he isn't able to make his mark, but he's well worth the start.

Simon
September 8th, 2014, 1:48 PM
Shortest midfield three to ever play for England?

Henderson is about 6' isn't he? Big lad anyway.

The Rosk
September 8th, 2014, 1:52 PM
Not really the type of player you'd expect to struggle through nerves as his game is quite simple. Bigger worry is that he isn't able to make his mark, but he's well worth the start.

What's his game, in your eyes? I worry everyone thinks he is this tough tackling lad but he's very much a glider. Sweep swoop.

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 2:56 PM
Two brilliant passes from Hart and Sterling there. Delph's gonna get sent off though isn't he?

JP
September 8th, 2014, 3:10 PM
Delph's gonna get sent off though isn't he?

Looks that way. :\

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 3:15 PM
That was fucking shite from Welbeck.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 8th, 2014, 3:16 PM
For Christ's sake that fucking band is back. At no point did I think during an England World Cup game that the spectacle would be better with the monotonous, relentless parping of those fuckwits droning on in the background.

That is why Welbeck is not worth it for a top team too. He has no composure when it comes to goalscoring situations.

RFF Champ
September 8th, 2014, 3:36 PM
Delph gets booked every game and has never been sent off.

The Rosk
September 8th, 2014, 3:38 PM
Bit of passion from an England player. Go on Fab. He's bloody fighting for you lads. Roaarrrrr.

Peter Griffin
September 8th, 2014, 3:41 PM
How can anyone at ITV still think its a good idea to Chiles front their football coverage, worthless, boring wanker.

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 3:54 PM
Stones really isn't a right back, especially in this system. If Delph is getting a game surely Clyne should be too.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 8th, 2014, 4:00 PM
Always backed Welbeck to score.

Peter Griffin
September 8th, 2014, 4:00 PM
That is why Welbeck is not worth it for a top team too. He has no composure when it comes to goalscoring situations.

:yes:

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 4:00 PM
Shinned it! Go on Danny

The Rosk
September 8th, 2014, 4:02 PM
What a ball from Sterling.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 8th, 2014, 4:05 PM
:yes:

Did well to score from a yard away with the ball served to him on a plate, I will admit.

Peter Griffin
September 8th, 2014, 4:35 PM
:yes:

Beefy
September 8th, 2014, 4:37 PM
Lovely finish from Welbeck at the end. I always believed.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 8th, 2014, 4:37 PM
That was a good finish I have to admit. I do think though that if he hadn't already had a goal to his name tonight, that chance would have ended up in the stands.

Beefy
September 8th, 2014, 4:39 PM
Decent game I thought. Fancied England at close to 2/1 too so that's nice as well.

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 4:40 PM
That was a Thierry Henry finish. Bargain at 16m.

Andy
September 8th, 2014, 4:41 PM
Quite a weird game I thought. The diamond needs work but it has potential, thought all four of them were pretty good. Definitely need the full backs to bomb on more though, it's quite baffling that Baines doesn't do it much. And Stones just isn't a right back.

JP
September 8th, 2014, 4:42 PM
That was a Thierry Henry finish. Bargain at 16m.

And his first was an Emile Heskey special. Can do it all, that lad.

Mik
September 8th, 2014, 4:42 PM
Meh.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 8th, 2014, 4:42 PM
It was a decent enough game, but it infuriates me how easy England's groups are. Switzerland are a crap team, I don't care what anyone says. I hear all the time from hipster pundits how useful they are but every time I see them, they're complete turd and/or churn out negative rubbish and their highly rated players are all total guff merchants. This is supposed to be England's toughest game and Switzerland rolled on to their backs and let themselves get tickled.

Beefy
September 8th, 2014, 4:49 PM
It was a decent enough game, but it infuriates me how easy England's groups are. Switzerland are a crap team, I don't care what anyone says. I hear all the time from hipster pundits how useful they are but every time I see them, they're complete turd and/or churn out negative rubbish and their highly rated players are all total guff merchants. This is supposed to be England's toughest game and Switzerland rolled on to their backs and let themselves get tickled.

They're rubbish. They made France look like World beaters in the Summer. I couldn't believe England weren't favourites.

It was England's hardest game I'd say but obviously that doesn't mean much. We really should take maximum points.

RFF Champ
September 8th, 2014, 5:08 PM
I couldn't believe England weren't favourites.



The 'shrewd' punters thinking they were clever. These games are bread and butter to Roy Hodgson, he doesn't lose them.

Simon
September 8th, 2014, 5:19 PM
What's his game, in your eyes? I worry everyone thinks he is this tough tackling lad but he's very much a glider. Sweep swoop.

He's just a pass and move lad isn't he? Wants to stay away from tough tackling based on today :D

Decent performance, think the preamble might have worked in our favour as everyone had Switzerland down as world beaters but they're pretty average. Sterling is unreal.

The Rosk
September 8th, 2014, 5:30 PM
Delph coming in and putting everything into it with occasional touches of class made me want this team to do well for the first time in ages. Actually shouted a bit for the goals. I'm so glad the old guard has gone because I can't be arsed with Hollywood balls to twats. Direct, passionate and quick incisive play will be fine for me for a few years even if we get nowhere with it.

Bad Collin
September 8th, 2014, 5:43 PM
That was the best England performance for ages. Lots of neat passing, some exciting, incisive balls, very solid at the back. I am looking forward to seeing this young team develop.

Sterling has it all, I love the fact he scraps for the ball with lads twice his size and often comes out ahead.

Mik
September 9th, 2014, 10:26 AM
They need to get Cattermole in there.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 9th, 2014, 4:26 PM
That was pretty embarrassing seeing those Wales fans going mental and invading the pitch over getting a late winner at Andorra.

RFF Champ
September 9th, 2014, 4:36 PM
The Dutch are so shit. Shit at the World Cup, shit tonight.

Simon
September 10th, 2014, 4:24 AM
Andorra are up there with Liechtenstein in terms of their ability to overcome their underdog status and be such cynical scumbags that you're still glad when they lose late on against (relatively) big-time opponents.

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 4:57 AM
The way they've spread all these ganes across the week has been an excellent idea by whoever.

Simon
September 10th, 2014, 5:01 AM
Yeah I don't get the complaints about it, a lot of people in the media are saying how managers won't be happy with it, as if the will of a handful of coaches desperate for an excuse to justify poor performances should take priority over hundreds of thousands of fans getting a wider variety of matches to watch. Not that it's a great example but under the previous setup I'd never have watched Andorra vs Wales last night, nor had the opportunity to watch Norway vs Italy, Czech Republic vs Holland etc.

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 5:09 AM
The reason international breaks have been so boring is because all the matches have been on 2 nights and the rest of the week is sparse. This has created loads more buzz.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2014, 5:24 AM
nah load of bollocks.

Having international games on Thursday and Monday nights is shit for fans who attend them.

I would value their opinion and feel over someone randomly getting to watch a game on the tv.

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 5:26 AM
nah load of bollocks.

Having international games on Thursday and Monday nights is shit for fans who attend them.

I would value their opinion and feel over someone randomly getting to watch a game on the tv.

It's no worse than the previous Friday/Tuesday setup.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2014, 6:51 AM
It's no worse than the previous Friday/Tuesday setup.

Course it is. Going to a game on Friday night is massively different to Thursdays. NO WORK THE NEXT DAY.

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 6:57 AM
9-5 Monday to Friday is dying. Anyway, there's just as much chance your game lands on a weekend or friday night anyway but this reignites interest in international football between tournaments.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2014, 7:12 AM
In what way? Because Simon watched Norway vs Italy?

There's plenty of interest in international football across Europe and has been for a while. A lot of countries still value their international team over their league

Simon
September 10th, 2014, 7:20 AM
In what way? Because Simon watched Norway vs Italy?

There's plenty of interest in international football across Europe and has been for a while. A lot of countries still value their international team over their league

The point is that under the old regime if you followed your national side, you couldn't watch any other games apart from early kick off Eastern European matches. Now you can watch games on three different nights if you choose to, with your pick of the best of Europe's action on the nights that your own country aren't playing. I try to keep up with Ireland's games but they have usually clashed with England games in the past, now I will often be able to watch both. I can't remember the last time I watched a Wales game prior to last night, and I quite enjoyed it.

The major complaint from fans about international weeks is that over the space of two weeks you get two (generally uninteresting) games where you would usually have a Premier League weekend and either European or cup football. The new setup doesn't solve the issue - the qualifiers are often tedious, now moreso than ever thanks to the expanded tournament - but there's now a wider variety of games and you can take your pick of the best ones.

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 7:24 AM
I disagree, international qualifiers have been dull for a while and I think these measures are a good start to inject some verve into them.

Increased coverage and viewership for each match, greater chance of qualifying should peak interest and it allows viewers to have a broader interest of teams. I agree that match going supporters are the priority but I don't believe they're getting the short end here.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2014, 8:42 AM
Having the games on Thursday has no impact on chance of qualifying though.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2014, 9:14 AM
Anyone travelling to another country for a game is taking at least two days off work anyway with the old midweek games set-up.

Friday
September 10th, 2014, 10:40 AM
Anyone travelling to another country for a game is taking at least two days off work anyway with the old midweek games set-up.

Sometimes you need more time off after a suspicious package is found at Luton airport. :mad:

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 2:59 PM
Having the games on Thursday has no impact on chance of qualifying though.

You've lost it. No one said that.

turdpower
September 10th, 2014, 3:29 PM
9-5 Monday to Friday is dying.

Is it?

RFF Champ
September 10th, 2014, 3:48 PM
It's a Victorian principle and people want flexibility which is afforded by technology and demanded by the public from retail, service industry, medical proffessionals etc.

Andy
September 10th, 2014, 4:02 PM
And some people want evenings and weekends off. It's not dying at all.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2014, 5:33 PM
You've lost it. No one said that.

So you agree that other measures could have the same impact in improving international Football? I consider the qualifying change and matchday change seperate it's you who lumped them together

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2014, 5:39 PM
And some people want evenings and weekends off. It's not dying at all.

Most jobs are shift work these days tbf.

RFF Champ
September 11th, 2014, 2:18 AM
And some people want evenings and weekends off. It's not dying at all.

Definitely they do. You worked weekends and probably hated it but you still did it? 1/3 of the workforce works outside the traditional Monday-Friday 9-5 framework and it's a trend that's only going to continue growing. Core business hours just aren't 9-5 anymore and most businesses get increased output if they remove themselves from it. It's dying.

RFF Champ
September 11th, 2014, 2:21 AM
So you agree that other measures could have the same impact in improving international Football? I consider the qualifying change and matchday change seperate it's you who lumped them together

I don't think these changes are the complete answer, no. I think they've been great in adding interest and extending the games to a wider audience in this gameweek though and I expect that to prove the case in the rest of them. The day they play on has no bearing on whether a team qualifies or not though unless you're getting onto something to do with increased injuries or something.

son_of_foley
September 11th, 2014, 4:22 AM
I don't think these changes are the complete answer, no. I think they've been great in adding interest and extending the games to a wider audience in this gameweek though and I expect that to prove the case in the rest of them. The day they play on has no bearing on whether a team qualifies or not though unless you're getting onto something to do with increased injuries or something.

I'm not arguing it does. My point was international football was in great health in Europe even if the English fans were bored of their team. I don't think it needed a shot in the arm. Of the measures put in I don't think it actually benefits the supporters of individual countries but instead further monetizes international football for the benefit of UEFA to make a power move with FIFA. I don't think international football should really be that considered about global tv audiences and I don't think there's anything wrong with it being primarily focused on partisan support rather than people who may or may not fancy dipping in and out of a random game on a thursday night. I don't see a problem with Fri/Sat then Tues/Wed for an international weekend.

Beefy
September 11th, 2014, 5:02 AM
Wasn't it done for the Clubs so that they get their players back a few days earlier? I don't think it makes any difference to most supporters.

son_of_foley
September 11th, 2014, 5:12 AM
Wasn't it done for the Clubs so that they get their players back a few days earlier? I don't think it makes any difference to most supporters.

On no level was this done to benefit clubs. It's for money and tv audience.

Beefy
September 11th, 2014, 5:17 AM
I'm pretty sure you're completely wrong on that. I remember all the stories when the change was made and they all focussed on how it was a direct result of the pressure from the big clubs who used to get their players back knackered on a Thursday ahead of a Saturday afternoon Premier League match.

I'm sure it is a happy by-product that they get to take in more TV money but it was the Clubs who pushed for the change.

Simon
September 11th, 2014, 5:19 AM
Why is that a bad thing? Not the money bit obviously, but why is it bad that they are doing it to get more people watching games on TV...surely making it easier for football fans to watch more football is a good thing?

As I mentioned before, one of the major complaints about international week is that you have two weeks where the usual jam-packed schedule is replaced by two games that you probably watch mainly out of duty, and the rest of the time there's nothing on. Now you can watch your own country's games, plus the pick of the rest. I'm not convinced the argument about it putting out live supporters really stands up for the reasons already mentioned, and fans should take priority over the clubs whatever their complaints are.

Beefy
September 11th, 2014, 5:26 AM
"The clubs will be happier because it used to be two weeks for the national teams in these breaks.

"That got knocked down to 10 days. Then it was knocked down to nine days. Now it's seven or eight days, so the clubs, I would think, are rubbing their hands all the time because they get the players back quicker all the time."

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/euro-2016-week-of-football-schedule-has-roy-hodgson-worried-over-lack-of-time-with-england-squad-9148718.html

You need to look at the sub-text, sof. UEFA do nothing that isn't in the direct interests of the six or seven biggest Clubs in Europe. FFP, four teams in the Champions League, 'The Week of Football'. It's all done for the benefit of the same people.

son_of_foley
September 11th, 2014, 5:53 AM
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/euro-2016-week-of-football-schedule-has-roy-hodgson-worried-over-lack-of-time-with-england-squad-9148718.html

You need to look at the sub-text, sof. UEFA do nothing that isn't in the direct interests of the six or seven biggest Clubs in Europe. FFP, four teams in the Champions League, 'The Week of Football'. It's all done for the benefit of the same people.

I dont think there's been a change in the fifa rules about the length of preparation time a national team can call someone up for. Is there? Still 4 days before if same continent so the clubs will see little difference in return date no matter what Roy Hodgson may be suggesting.

UEFA are as self-serving as they need to be. They support the Champions League not the member clubs. They are also looking to monetize their international football hence the host change for 2020 and the idea of inviting members of other confederations in to future tournaments.

Beefy
September 11th, 2014, 6:05 AM
They support the Champions League because they're petrified of the top clubs doing a break-away. The move to three/four clubs was a reaction to AC Milan missing out twice in a row.

Friday
September 11th, 2014, 7:58 AM
In terms of watching the games on tv, it's great. International weeks tend to drag when all the games are on the same day. In terms of going to the matches, it's awful. A Scotland home game on a Saturday afternoon was a great day out. The atmosphere will be buzzing. Now I'll have to take time off work just to get to the match on time and the atmosphere won't nearly be as good.

RFF Champ
October 10th, 2014, 2:20 PM
This is the worst group of U21s we've had in forever. Croatia are miles better.

Beefy
October 11th, 2014, 12:18 PM
Gibraltar are the worst team I have ever seen.

Simon
October 11th, 2014, 1:58 PM
Yeah they would get murdered by San Marino...the defending for the Hoolahan goal and McClean's second were hilarious. Not to mention the own goal.

Beefy
October 11th, 2014, 2:31 PM
The own goal was sensational. Danny Baker will be preparing a new Own Goals & Gaffs DVD on the back of that alone.

At least they try though. They got players forward and tried to play football. Could have scored from a couple of corners too. They're absolutely hopeless but fair play to them. They have a game of football and lose 7-0. San Marino keep ten men behind the ball for 90 minutes and lose 5-0 and are no doubt delighted by it.

Fuck San Marino. They annoy me.

Bad Collin
October 11th, 2014, 3:07 PM
I still think teams like San Marino and Gibraltar should pre qualify against each other, what is the point of them getting stuffed 5,6,7 every time they play?

MikeHunt
October 11th, 2014, 3:15 PM
Another good performance. Finishing was dire though absolutely dire.

Simon
October 11th, 2014, 3:18 PM
I still think teams like San Marino and Gibraltar should pre qualify against each other, what is the point of them getting stuffed 5,6,7 every time they play?

Over time they improve. Possibly only marginally, but they do improve. It's only 20 years or so ago that Turkey got fucked 8-0 by England. I know it's slightly different in that Gibraltar and San Marino's populations make growth limited but they're as entitled to be there as anyone else. You're allowed a squad of 23 to cover a maximum of two games in any window, if the managers are so upset about these pointless games cramming the schedule why don't they play the reserves to keep the first teamers fresh?

Bad Collin
October 11th, 2014, 3:53 PM
I think they would improve more by playing competitive games. I know what you mean about Turkey but their non-competitiveness was probably more to do with inferior coaching than innate inability to compete. San Marino/Andorra etc are never going to get anywhere near qualifying.

UEFA could maybe loosen the seeding a bit to give these tiny countries a chance to play each other.

MMH
October 11th, 2014, 4:04 PM
I think they would improve more by playing competitive games. I know what you mean about Turkey but their non-competitiveness was probably more to do with inferior coaching than innate inability to compete. San Marino/Andorra etc are never going to get anywhere near qualifying.

UEFA could maybe loosen the seeding a bit to give these tiny countries a chance to play each other.

Money. The games against England, germany etc etc bring a lot of money into these nations so that they can fund their football in terms of league structures and youth football. A game against a bigger nation could fund travel costs etc for their youth teams for the next few years.

Its not important that they dont qualify or get close. They are nations and they have every right to play games as much as any other nation. Football is supposed to be for everybody.

Beefy
October 11th, 2014, 4:05 PM
San Marino haven't improved. The likes of the Faroe Islands definitely have but San Marino are as negative and terrible as they ever were.

MMH
October 11th, 2014, 5:12 PM
They never will improve! They have a population of 30k and anyone who ever is good enough will probably end up playing for Italy.

They still have a right to play as much as any else though.

Beefy
October 11th, 2014, 5:35 PM
The Faroes have improved and they're no bigger.

Fuck San Marino.

MMH
October 11th, 2014, 7:54 PM
The Faroes have improved and they're no bigger.

Fuck San Marino.

Faroes won their first ever match. Only way was down from there...

wardy
October 12th, 2014, 6:18 AM
Fucksake Germany. We're going to have to win the group now.

turdpower
October 12th, 2014, 2:15 PM
I don't agree that they should pre qualify. They have as much right to play as anyone,

Bad Collin
October 12th, 2014, 2:33 PM
Why would they have a right to go straight into the main group stages? They don't have a right to qualify for the tournament. Do you think that all English teams should go into FA Cup first round?

Anyway, the new UEFA Nations League will allow the minnows to play some teams of a similar size so that will probably help them.

Bad Collin
October 12th, 2014, 2:34 PM
No talk about tonight's game, England played ok but it was pretty dull. Why were Estonia so defensive when 1-0 down?

RFF Champ
October 12th, 2014, 2:58 PM
Pointless pair of fixtures, nothing to be learned.

MMH
October 12th, 2014, 3:09 PM
Why would they have a right to go straight into the main group stages? They don't have a right to qualify for the tournament. Do you think that all English teams should go into FA Cup first round?

Anyway, the new UEFA Nations League will allow the minnows to play some teams of a similar size so that will probably help them.

Well why not? The way it is set up now is fine, each group gets a minnow, sometimes they will pull a shock off. Its not their fault their nation is tiny. Putting them into qualifiers would kill everything the nation does football wise as the money dries up. I think jibbing off the prospect of some youths from Lichtenstein getting some decent facilities so that England dont have to bother with a "meaningless" game to be a bit shit really.

Then again I have just read "Outcasts - The Lands that FIFA Forgot" so am feeling a bit touchy about it right now. Football should be for everyone regardless of status and everyone should get the same opportunity.

Beefy
October 12th, 2014, 3:39 PM
It clearly isn't fine.

RFF Champ
October 12th, 2014, 3:52 PM
The product is diluted and uncompetitive, it needs something to give it some oomph.

MMH
October 12th, 2014, 4:19 PM
It clearly isn't fine.

Why isnt it? What difference does it make to anybody?

MMH
October 12th, 2014, 4:25 PM
The product is diluted and uncompetitive, it needs something to give it some oomph.

Its qualifiers. They aint supposed to be a spectacle.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 2:20 AM
I love watching England against whoever but these past two fixtures have tested my patience. I've seen one or two people criticise England's performances which is just mental.

son_of_foley
October 13th, 2014, 3:59 AM
So Estonia would have to pre-qualify as well?

How exactly would you orgnaise it? When would the other teams play their games? What would England be doing during that period as you also think friendlies are pointless right?

Talking about the product being diluted etc thats the English FA product. A team ranked 70th in the World beat the #1 team in the world. To put that into perspective Estonia are 81st in the world.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 4:21 AM
So Estonia would have to pre-qualify as well?

How exactly would you orgnaise it? When would the other teams play their games? What would England be doing during that period as you also think friendlies are pointless right?

Talking about the product being diluted etc thats the English FA product. A team ranked 70th in the World beat the #1 team in the world. To put that into perspective Estonia are 81st in the world.

I don't know the solution and I don't claim to. The idea that elite sport is merely an excuse to highlight how socially inclusive Europe is and shouldn't be a spectacle, as MMH puts it, doesn't sit right with me. There's got to be a better way than this.

EDIT: Friendlies? pointless. It staggers me that we make time for them in the middle of the season, it does no good to anyone.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 4:25 AM
Why isnt it? What difference does it make to anybody?

The difference it makes is that if these utterly pointless games continue then the appetite will die and these countries won't get as big a slice of the pie. It's a loose connection but look at horse racing, they've been serving up an uncompetitive product where the best competitors avoid each other that nobody questioned for years and now the sport might as well be dead aside from 4 days a year. The prize money is dwindling and the attendances and viewing figures are way down.

son_of_foley
October 13th, 2014, 4:28 AM
I'm not claiming you know the solution I'm asking what the proposal is.

You said the last two games were pointless so are we saying anyone in pot 5 and 6 shouldn't be in the draw without coming though pre-qualifiers. Or is it 4, 5 and 6.

It's good to know which teams are pointless.

The idea of international football becoming a closed club doesn't sit right with a lot of other people either. Next we'll be offering wildcards for the big countries who miss out on qualifying to make sure we maximise tv audiences

Simon
October 13th, 2014, 4:31 AM
The difference it makes is that if these utterly pointless games continue then the appetite will die and these countries won't get as big a slice of the pie.

So to save smaller countries from the risk of missing out on big money matches against top sides thanks to dwindling crowds, you'll just remove the possibility of getting big money at all. Alright then.

Simon
October 13th, 2014, 4:32 AM
Next we'll be offering wildcards for the big countries who miss out on qualifying to make sure we maximise tv audiences

Something Milan's owner raised just last week, insisting 'top' clubs who aren't good enough to qualify for the CL should be included anyway. Pathetic.

son_of_foley
October 13th, 2014, 4:34 AM
Simon,

They'll of course get solidarity payments from the masters table. Maybe down the line if they have a really good player we can have a big money IPL style draft for them to play for the real countries. Allen Stanford could maybe even put a team in the next world cup rather than any of that bosnia bollocks.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 4:46 AM
I'm not claiming you know the solution I'm asking what the proposal is.

You said the last two games were pointless so are we saying anyone in pot 5 and 6 shouldn't be in the draw without coming though pre-qualifiers. Or is it 4, 5 and 6.

It's good to know which teams are pointless.

The idea of international football becoming a closed club doesn't sit right with a lot of other people either. Next we'll be offering wildcards for the big countries who miss out on qualifying to make sure we maximise tv audiences

I don't want it to be a closed club at all. Did you watch the last 2 games? I can't believe you sat and watched them and thought 'yeah this is a great product, I can't wait for more of this, it really did a good service to the footballing progress of Estonia and San Marino'.

I'm not saying exclude them at all, I can't offer a viable solution and I don't know if there even is one. I've just ordered MMH's book, I hope it presents a compelling argument but I'm not sure it'll justify such an uncompetitive product being considered acceptable.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 4:49 AM
Simon,

They'll of course get solidarity payments from the masters table. Maybe down the line if they have a really good player we can have a big money IPL style draft for them to play for the real countries. Allen Stanford could maybe even put a team in the next world cup rather than any of that bosnia bollocks.

Bosnia can stay, I like them. Keep Armenia and Iceland too.

son_of_foley
October 13th, 2014, 4:57 AM
I don't want it to be a closed club at all. Did you watch the last 2 games? I can't believe you sat and watched them and thought 'yeah this is a great product, I can't wait for more of this, it really did a good service to the footballing progress of Estonia and San Marino'.

I'm not saying exclude them at all, I can't offer a viable solution and I don't know if there even is one. I've just ordered MMH's book, I hope it presents a compelling argument but I'm not sure it'll justify such an uncompetitive product being considered acceptable.

I don't think about football in terms of a product too much. It's probably part of the reason why the new schedule doesn't do much for me. I have an emotional attachment to my countries team and am invested in their games. I'll watch other games if they are on but I'm never overly fussed. If England were playing more expansive football I think the 'product' would seem better. Are any of the games in the group going to do much? Yet if it was a harder group and they failed to qualify what would happen then?

These ideas of minnow leagues could quickly become the champions league of international football or worse become another oceania with the deck stacked further against those teams qualifying to provide more of a safety net for the strong teams to get in.

I thought you were happy for the fixture spread and increase in teams at the Euros though? Surely smaller groups but more teams qualifying means an even staler qualifying process.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 5:18 AM
The fixture spread I think is a great idea and will probably result in more money for everyone, I'm not sure I've ever commented on the increased Euros. It has nothing to do with the football England play, and they've been playing well for a while now. It really doesn't matter how they play against San Marino who put 11 men in their box from the getgo.

You're assuming I'm saying the countries are pointless, not at all, it's the fixtures that are doing nothing for anyone. Albania just beat Portugal, a great result but half of a good team has gone to play for Switzerland anyway to give themselves a chance to compete.

We obviously look at it from different angles. I think it's essential for football to be entertaining or audiences won't care. I'll keep track of Group I which is the best group by a long way and just sit shaking my head everytime I watch Andorra score a 5-0 loss that funds a rubbish all weather pitch no one wants to play on and hope someone has a good idea to add some entertainment.

Simon
October 13th, 2014, 5:22 AM
Wales needed a last minute goal to beat Andorra, presumably Wales are close to the breadline when it comes to relegating smaller nations to a B league?

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 5:23 AM
Wales needed a last minute goal to beat Andorra, presumably Wales are close to the breadline when it comes to relegating smaller nations to a B league?

No they didn't.

Simon
October 13th, 2014, 5:34 AM
Nine minutes from time, whatever. They scraped past Andorra. So where does that leave them? Where do you draw the arbitrary line? As far as I can tell only Gibraltar are completely out of their depth - San Marino are a joyless bunch of cynical cunts (as are Andorra) and are a crap team, but they're not so far out of their depth as to make it laughable that they're allowed to play.

Hlebsfall
October 13th, 2014, 5:51 AM
They've scored 1 goal in their last 30 qualifying games. They're utterly pointless as a football team, and just set up to have 10 men behind the ball at all times. I know Gibraltar are a joke, but they were at least trying to get forward against Ireland.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 5:55 AM
Nine minutes from time, whatever. They scraped past Andorra. So where does that leave them? Where do you draw the arbitrary line? As far as I can tell only Gibraltar are completely out of their depth - San Marino are a joyless bunch of cynical cunts (as are Andorra) and are a crap team, but they're not so far out of their depth as to make it laughable that they're allowed to play.

Sof can't see the middle ground but at least he's making some points. You've made 2 posts taking a wild swing at a generalised comment and making a huge leap from what I'm saying. You've made another post to an incomparable competition where you've stated uncompetitive teams shouldn't be allowed to compete but in the Euro qualifying they can take their piece of the pie as long as they turn up, or am I making one of those leaps there?

Wales didn't scrape past Andorra. The exciting moment of the game was Andorra scoring, they sat back and got dominated for the entire game on a pitch which was spitting marbles into the face of players and the ball couldn't be passed along. Coleman made a number of different changes to try and react to that before basically deciding on 7 midfielders on the edge of Andorra's box because it was impossible to pass the ball on the way to Andorra's 45th consecutive defeat. Did anyone leave that game proud of our socially inclusive attitude and confident that the Andorra's share of the pot will see a big improvement in the next campaign?

Simon
October 13th, 2014, 6:05 AM
Sof can't see the middle ground but at least he's making some points. You've made 2 posts taking a wild swing at a generalised comment and making a huge leap from what I'm saying. You've made another post to an incomparable competition where you've stated uncompetitive teams shouldn't be allowed to compete but in the Euro qualifying they can take their piece of the pie as long as they turn up, or am I making one of those leaps there?The Champions League and the Euro Qualifiers are not the same thing. If you really want to make that comparison, then the correct parallel is that Milan ARE allowed automatically into the Champions League Qualifiers ie. the Italian league system - they didn't qualify, so they shouldn't be allowed in.
No one's arguing that these small nations should be allowed into the tournament proper automatically, just that they have the right to compete on an even footing with everyone else at the start of qualifying.

For what it's worth, I think that for the most part these games ARE a waste of time. Of course they are. I just don't think there's a better solution - splitting qualification into two tiers will only set these teams back further, and there are better ways around the problem of overplaying players, such as managers simply utilising their 23-man squad to better effect by playing squad players against weaker nations - and the justifications for changing it don't stack up.

Wales did scrape past Andorra. Regardless of how you view Andorra's tactics - and I said at the time that I HATE the way Andorra play, going so far as to say that it's incredible how such huge underdogs can still be so utterly unlikeable, and that I was glad they got beaten so heart-breakingly - they came within nine minutes of getting a point, defended well and Wales needed a screamer from Bale to get them the win. By any definition that is scraping a victory.

The issue of whether or not Andorra's opportunity to play bigger opposition can improve their setup is separate - and just because they are not currently showing any signs of being willing to expand their style or risk heavier defeats in order to become a more competitive team that offers some kind of threat beyond just limiting the other team to five goals, doesn't mean they shouldn't be encouraged to do so.

RFF Champ
October 13th, 2014, 6:21 AM
They came within 15 minutes because there was 6 minutes added on for Andorra time wasting. They went 1-0 from a crazy penalty decision and got dominated for the rest of the game. They were playing on a road where you couldn't dribble or pass the ball. Wales won in those circumstances, it's not really up for much more analysis than that because it was pretty farcical and Wales don't deserve credit or criticism for that in my opinion.

son_of_foley
October 13th, 2014, 6:37 AM
Sof can't see the middle ground but at least he's making some points.

I don't see how we get middle ground mate. We either have the members in qualifying (ie all members of uefa being treated the same) or we make some of them jump through hoops before they can play.

I just dont know what the gating factor is that's all. Is it going to be having a stadium of size X available to them (similar to entrance to the football league before). I don't think those kind of restrictions improved the non league because their income was smaller now and couldn't afford to build a new stadium etc without a generous benefactor.

My worry is when you have the pre-qualifier is when? Do we do it during the world cup? Not allowed. Do we do it after? I also think losing 2 games (or 4 if thats the suggestion) in qualifying won't change much. Which of the games in Englands group are offering a great product? Genuinely I can't see many.

It feels more like people want boring teams kicked out? We can't mandate footballing style though can we without fundamental changes to the games rules. What's to say Latvia or Northern Ireland won't become the new Andorra and just lose 45 games in the Tier 1 qualifiers after getting through Tier 2. I fundamentally disagree that excluding smaller/less capable sides and making them play against each other will improve them. I think they will play within themselves at a lower level.

This is football elitism

MikeHunt
October 13th, 2014, 7:11 AM
Of course they shouldn't have pre qualifiers. What would qualify someone for a pre qualifier the stupid FIFA rankings or bozos at Uefa

wardy
October 13th, 2014, 9:32 AM
The more shit teams the better.

Beefy
October 13th, 2014, 9:37 AM
They've scored 1 goal in their last 30 qualifying games. They're utterly pointless as a football team, and just set up to have 10 men behind the ball at all times. I know Gibraltar are a joke, but they were at least trying to get forward against Ireland.

Exactly. Let's cull San Marino for the good of the game and as an example to the rest. Fuck them.

MikeHunt
October 13th, 2014, 10:05 AM
Why don't we just do away with the qualifying and have a massive tournament every 4 years. Fuck off. Don't be stupid. They have as much right to play as bloody England who btw are also fucking bollocls.

Beefy
October 13th, 2014, 10:12 AM
No they don't. If they don't want to try to win football matches then they shouldn't be allowed in the tournament. They lost the right to be considered an equal with everyone else when they took the decision to put ten men behind the ball in every single match they play.

When they stop seeing a 5-0 defeat as a great result then they could be reconsidered.

The contrast between San Marino on Thursday and Gibraltar on Sunday was incredible.

son_of_foley
October 13th, 2014, 10:59 AM
So what would you do?

MikeHunt
October 13th, 2014, 11:06 AM
Nothing. Just leave it.

Red Dog
October 13th, 2014, 1:23 PM
No they don't. If they don't want to try to win football matches then they shouldn't be allowed in the tournament. They lost the right to be considered an equal with everyone else when they took the decision to put ten men behind the ball in every single match they play.

When they stop seeing a 5-0 defeat as a great result then they could be reconsidered.

The contrast between San Marino on Thursday and Gibraltar on Sunday was incredible.
I've not read this whole conversation so not sure if this is serious or not. But if it is, who is the judge of who plays attacking enough football? When we had Gary Megson we would go 1-0 up and then bring on a defender for a striker, often in the first half. I'd like to outlaw that but it is obviously unworkable as it is completely subjective.

(If you were not being serious then ignore this post and pretend it didn't happen)

The Rosk
October 14th, 2014, 4:41 PM
Ahagshaha O'Shea. Amazing.

El Capitano Gatisto
October 14th, 2014, 4:42 PM
Brilliant point. Great result for Northern Ireland too.

Beefy
October 14th, 2014, 5:03 PM
I've not read this whole conversation so not sure if this is serious or not. But if it is, who is the judge of who plays attacking enough football? When we had Gary Megson we would go 1-0 up and then bring on a defender for a striker, often in the first half. I'd like to outlaw that but it is obviously unworkable as it is completely subjective.

(If you were not being serious then ignore this post and pretend it didn't happen)

I'm the judge. San Marino are gone.

Great results for both Irish teams tonight. Enjoyed the Germany game a lot.

El Capitano Gatisto
October 14th, 2014, 5:09 PM
The Ireland-Scotland games will be huge now. Looking forward to them.

Badger
October 14th, 2014, 5:28 PM
It's been a bloody entertaining group so far. Four horse race.

MMH
October 14th, 2014, 5:50 PM
I'm the judge. San Marino are gone.

Great results for both Irish teams tonight. Enjoyed the Germany game a lot.

I honestly cant remember the last entertaining England game. get rid of them too.

MMH
October 14th, 2014, 5:57 PM
I don't want it to be a closed club at all. Did you watch the last 2 games? I can't believe you sat and watched them and thought 'yeah this is a great product, I can't wait for more of this, it really did a good service to the footballing progress of Estonia and San Marino'.

I'm not saying exclude them at all, I can't offer a viable solution and I don't know if there even is one. I've just ordered MMH's book, I hope it presents a compelling argument but I'm not sure it'll justify such an uncompetitive product being considered acceptable.

Estonia were down to 10 men for half the game! Also Estonia whilst not great are not on the same level as San Marino etc. They are probably in the same bracket as Georgia (who had some brilliant players back in the day and could again one day), Cyprus, Azerbaijan and the likes.

All this pre qualifying stuff doesnt take into account that a lot of the smaller nations players are not professionals either nor will the federations be swimming in money. How can they afford to play these games if there are no games against bigger nations bringing money in?

But yeah may as well kill football in these nations because some bellends in England were not entertained by the two games they saw of them in qualifying.

The book is good by the way, tails off weirdly at the end though. Worth a go for a couple of pence on Amazon or whatever.

Beefy
October 14th, 2014, 6:26 PM
I honestly cant remember the last entertaining England game. get rid of them too.

Poland, Scotland, Brazil, Ireland in the last 16 months or so. The Ecuador game was enjoyable despite or because of the GBH going on on the field too.

Perhaps you should see someone about that memory?

El Capitano Gatisto
October 14th, 2014, 6:28 PM
Englan v Italy at the World Cup was a pretty good game.

I'm not really in favour of separating the small nations, on the other hand I don't see how the fuck Gibraltar qualifies as a nation. Or San Marino.

MMH
October 14th, 2014, 8:03 PM
Poland, Scotland, Brazil, Ireland in the last 16 months or so. The Ecuador game was enjoyable despite or because of the GBH going on on the field too.

Perhaps you should see someone about that memory?

Average games if that. England are terrible to watch.

MMH
October 14th, 2014, 8:05 PM
Englan v Italy at the World Cup was a pretty good game.

I'm not really in favour of separating the small nations, on the other hand I don't see how the fuck Gibraltar qualifies as a nation. Or San Marino.

What constitutes a nation for FIFA is weird and very random. They wont allow Monaco in but Gibraltar is fine even though its an Overseas territory. Yet Greenland, which is also an Overseas territory of Denmark isnt allowed in.

connorboy
October 15th, 2014, 2:45 AM
Gibraltar aren't recognised by FIFA only uefa

Beefy
October 15th, 2014, 5:50 AM
Average games if that. England are terrible to watch.

Your face is terrible to watch.

Ringo
October 15th, 2014, 6:08 AM
San Marino is a UN member state at least, unlike Gibraltar. I know Monaco is too but that's a weird one. A Vatican City XI would be a blast.

Red Dog
October 15th, 2014, 6:31 AM
I'm the judge. San Marino are gone.

Great results for both Irish teams tonight. Enjoyed the Germany game a lot.

Oh right shit you are being serious :\

son_of_foley
October 16th, 2014, 9:54 AM
Lafferty showing glimpses again. Shame he doesn't do it more often because thats the same thing he showed as a much younger man that looked like he could get shit done.

Think going to Sion and Palermo and getting away from Rangers has helped him wise up. Hope it works out well at Norwich for him

Badger
November 14th, 2014, 4:26 PM
Scotland bossing this so far, Ireland getting edgy with the tackles. Great game.

wardy
November 14th, 2014, 4:48 PM
I still think Ireland are capable of scoring every time they get the ball and they've got a proven match winner to come on in Keane. We need an early goal in this half or I'll end up shitting myself.

JP
November 14th, 2014, 5:18 PM
Stunning goal!

Badger
November 14th, 2014, 5:19 PM
BOOM!

wardy
November 14th, 2014, 5:22 PM
Textbook

JP
November 14th, 2014, 5:34 PM
Textbook

With a nutmeg, a back heel and a peach of a placed curling shot, if that's textbook then it's theoretical physics.

Ringo
November 14th, 2014, 5:43 PM
The Faroe Islands beat Greece.

IN GREECE.

Badger
November 14th, 2014, 5:45 PM
What a fucking result that is! Admittely on the verge of defecation during that last Irish chance off thebar.

El Capitano Gatisto
November 14th, 2014, 5:45 PM
Low quality game of football there. Scotland probably deserved it on the balance of things but some Ireland players just didn't show up. I think we can do Scotland at home, it will probably come down to who does better in the Poland games. Hanley could have had two red cards but definitely should have had at least one. He got away with that big time, the stupid ugly fat cunt.

I can't believe McGeady made it to the end of that game. He got a bit better in the second half but that wasn't hard, he was absolutely putrid in the first half.

wardy
November 14th, 2014, 5:47 PM
Naismith is outstanding. Best Scotland player for a long time.

Badger
November 14th, 2014, 5:53 PM
Big ups to Marshall too.

El Capitano Gatisto
November 14th, 2014, 5:54 PM
Naismith was a real pain in the hole tonight, won a lot in the air and held the ball up well. Shane Long was disappointingly much less of a pain in the hole at the other end, normally he's a bastard for unsettling defenders.

Peter Griffin
November 14th, 2014, 5:55 PM
And Johnny Russell, oh wait :shifty:

Slare
November 14th, 2014, 6:23 PM
Naismith and Anya are fucking brilliant and what a goal. Great result

Simon
November 14th, 2014, 7:11 PM
Shit game, class goal.

Badger
November 15th, 2014, 10:44 AM
Scrappy, but still more entertaining than the likes of Barcelona pass about 73 times before they decide to shoot.

Goal is a peach, just recently I was mocking Maloney against Georgia. He has smashed his critics in the face.

son_of_foley
November 15th, 2014, 2:25 PM
That looked a little like Rooney tripped himself up. Unsurprisingly itv didn't dwell on it so I may be wrong

wardy
November 15th, 2014, 2:26 PM
It's amazing how much more effective we are with a good manager. Last year some Welsh cunt was calling us the worst Scotland side ever but apart from losing Commons we're the exact same team. The Ireland and Poland games are going to be massive and I can't wait.

Beefy
November 15th, 2014, 2:45 PM
That looked a little like Rooney tripped himself up. Unsurprisingly itv didn't dwell on it so I may be wrong

I thought it was a pen but yeah we didn't see enough replays.

turdpower
November 15th, 2014, 2:51 PM
He instantly appealed, so I assume some contact was made, but it's not conclusive one way or another from what I've seen.

son_of_foley
November 15th, 2014, 3:09 PM
He instantly appealed, so I assume some contact was made, but it's not conclusive one way or another from what I've seen.

Oh I'm not saying he cheated he probably did think there was contact. I thought it was in real time, replay not sure.

Simon
November 17th, 2014, 5:49 AM
Welbeck had one of those days where he looks unstoppable.

The Rosk
November 17th, 2014, 6:39 AM
Maloney is annoying. He could possibly be a great player if he wasn't a mental homesick wanker.

MikeHunt
November 17th, 2014, 7:07 AM
I'd suggest it's more injuries that have hampered Maloney not being homesick. He's had some terrible bangs.

RFF Champ
June 12th, 2015, 3:41 PM
This is unreal from Bale, Belgium haven't dispossessed him once and he's picking off their players like it's nothing. The touch and finish was top class too.

Ringo
June 12th, 2015, 3:43 PM
He's great. What the fuck was that from Nainggolan though?

Great stuff before the chance that Robson Kanu missed as well.

RFF Champ
June 12th, 2015, 4:40 PM
This is very very special.

Peter Griffin
June 13th, 2015, 12:09 PM
Fuck up Forsyth at it already :rofl:

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 1:58 PM
Keane on before Long was interesting.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 13th, 2015, 2:01 PM
Jesus Christ that game was fucking desperate. Ireland have one Premier League striker and he spent 80 minutes on the bench watching Daryl Murphy lumber around like a semi-professional goat. You cannot qualify if you don't win your home games. MON needed to go for it and he blew it. He put out a team set out to not lose in a game Ireland simply had to win. He is no more progressive than Trappatoni, the first thought is always to secure the two banks in our own half than pump it long and play for set-pieces. It's fucking woeful stuff. You don't need great players to have a decent international team, it just takes a bit of intelligence and wit.

Two frankly shite teams. Ireland are a truly awful side but Scotland really don't look much better. Either of these teams would stink up a tournament. Scotland will take 3rd now but I don't see them getting through a play-off.

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 2:02 PM
I thought Scotland would win that. I think Strachan got it wrong leaving Anya on the bench as he creates so much.

I've been a big fan of Fletcher but since his injuries he doesn't offer much beside tap ins now. I'd look at a fit Chris Martin for that role or even see if Mccormack could play up top alone though I'm not sure that'd work.

Torn
June 13th, 2015, 2:03 PM
Delighted for Stuart Dallas making his first competitive start tonight

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 2:06 PM
Peter Griffin will quote this but the more I see of the teams that will likely qualify is that there's every chance Wales go far next year. They've got the right mix of defensive solidity and throwing themselves at shots etc. to go with the star quality of Bale and Ramsey. I wouldn't be happy if England drew them at any stage.

Peter Griffin
June 13th, 2015, 2:09 PM
Why in gods name would I quote that?

Torn
June 13th, 2015, 2:11 PM
I thought Scotland would win that. I think Strachan got it wrong leaving Anya on the bench as he creates so much.

I've been a big fan of Fletcher but since his injuries he doesn't offer much beside tap ins now. I'd look at a fit Chris Martin for that role or even see if Mccormack could play up top alone though I'm not sure that'd work.

Out of Rhodes, Martin and your hero McCormack they do actually have some decent options to pick from besides Fletcher.

A shame O'Neill decided Alan Judge shouldn't make the squad. I can only assume he's too creative for his dinosaur brand of football.

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 2:13 PM
I forgot about Rhodes. Fletcher is probably going to ride that Gibraltar hattrick for a while. I think Martin is the answer personally.

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 2:16 PM
Why in gods name would I quote that?

You can quote it when they don't win the Euros.

Peter Griffin
June 13th, 2015, 2:18 PM
Do you really think I am that petty...you Bamford bummer.

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 2:19 PM
I suppose you haven't been back to when I told you Mclaren was a wrongun.

Peter Griffin
June 13th, 2015, 2:21 PM
To be fair I don't remember saying he was :D

son_of_foley
June 13th, 2015, 4:27 PM
How did laffs miss that!

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 4:27 PM
Lafferty HAS to score that from there.

son_of_foley
June 13th, 2015, 4:34 PM
Healy would have put the keeper in the net with it from there

RFF Champ
June 13th, 2015, 4:35 PM
They could play till Christmas and it'd still be 0-0.

son_of_foley
June 13th, 2015, 4:37 PM
Yeah tbh it's not a bad result. Hungary have woken up. That's the fear now.

wardy
June 13th, 2015, 8:58 PM
God bless John O'Shea's arse!

Badger
June 14th, 2015, 6:58 AM
I'f Scotland win at least 3 of their remaining 4 games , they may have a small chance of 2nd. Georgia and Gilbraltar must-wins obv then beat at least one of Germany or Poland at home. Not impossible, but just can't see it. 3rd is more likely and even then there's stiff opposition in Germany, Poland and Ireland.

Mik
June 15th, 2015, 6:00 AM
Weird to see. England played a qualifier and nobody even mentioned it in here.

Simon
June 15th, 2015, 6:03 AM
Well it basically didn't matter did it, we only needed one win (plus the gimme against San Marino) to be sure of qualification. In a way that good win at Switzerland in the first game was the worst thing that could have happened because ever since then we've been more or less assured of qualification. Not the ideal preparation for a tournament.

Those goals from Wilshere were unreal. Can't believe how bad Rooney was.

Torn
June 15th, 2015, 6:18 AM
Wilshere, Lallana and Delph I thought all played very well. The defence was awful. What has Clyne done wrong???

Mik
June 15th, 2015, 8:02 AM
Lallana needs to develop some strength. Embarrassing seeing him shrugged off the ball so many times yesterday.

RFF Champ
June 15th, 2015, 8:51 AM
Lallana was brought on to offer what Welbeck would have. Welbeck has been crucial for England for a while now as he's the one player who with the majority of his touches in the final third is looking for a shot, assist or to take on a defender, without him everything is much slower.. Wilshere in that deeper role is great against teams who press higher because he will run the ball forward and take midfielders out of play but when teams sit deeper it might be better for Wilshere to be able to offer that further forward, though long term I think Wilshere is offering a heck of a lot in that position.