WORLD CUP: Day 29/30 - the hangover


Yeah, to be honest there were a few occasions during the tournament that I felt Southgate either made the wrong substitutions, or didn’t make one at the right time.
Last night Alli was poor, non-existent for long periods. Kane was dead on his feet from about 60 mins. I’d have kept your best player on (Sterling), swapped Rashford for Alli and Vardy for Kane.
I’ll caveat that by saying that I obviously don’t know if Sterling was injured or whether Vardy was carrying an injury too.


I know this is a banter dig but there may be something in it in the sense that it was a Spurs heavy team and that Spurs lack the experience of having reached major finals or won trophies/titles

By which I mean if Spurs have a decent run or two in the Champions League then this England team will mature hugely and the potential is definitely there for both of those things to happen


Can’t see Croatia doing anything against France. They’ll be really tired and proper leggy after 3 games going to ET…


Probably be a repeat of the last group stage match: England B v Belgium B


Marks out of 10 for the WC:
Pickford 8
Walker 7.5
Maguire 8
Stones 7.5
Trippier 9
Young 7.5
Henderson 8
Alli 6.5
Lingard 7.5
Sterling 7.5
Kane 9


If I was England manager, as we all know I should be, I’d have taken Alli off for Delph and told him to just man mark Modric


Yep to the first part

But if we’re talking about ‘factors’ then you’ve got to give even more credit to Croatia - winning a group over Argentina & Nigeria, coming from behind in knockout matches, playing 3 lots of extra time, winning two penalty shootouts …and don’t underestimate getting through that quarter final against the hosts Russia - the noise in that stadium was ridiculous


Been less than impressed with Alli throughout.


It’s a bit disappointing, but this was achievement at the absolute far range of what we thought was possible going into the tournament.

Got to consolidate now. I don’t want to be watching wistful documentaries about ‘Gareth’s boys’ in 20 years time. This has to be the start of something and not a hot summer’s aberration.


Young deserves way higher than a 7.5


Croatia are a very very good side. Would not be surprised if they won on Sunday


He hasn’t looked fit in the knockouts. Can understand keeping picking him because he’s a goalscorer and Delph/RLC aren’t, but we got a bit swarmed in the second half in the middle


Photographer kept taking photos last night when bundled over in the celebrations:


I think you should be England manager too!


Really enjoyed Vida kissing the photographer after the winning goal


He did score one, fair enough, but never looked remotely like he would get another. Add to that he made bad choices - missed tackles, poor passes. It made complete sense to keep him in because of his club record with Kane but last night showed how off the pace he is


It’ll be tight but you’ve got to imagine that fitness will be a factor & France will have had an extra rest day

They really controlled the game from midfield once they got their shape together in the 2nd half, was very impressive. And Lovren had an excellent game too, pretty much snuffed out England’s aerial threat at set pieces

But France can be deadly on the counter attack so I dunno

Will either be a superhumdinger or a really stressed and tetchy stalemate


Feel like people jumped on @wonton a bit last night. There’s no ‘right’ way to react the game. A sense of jadedness around England’s tournament shouldn’t devalue feeling sad/touched by this team, in the same way that feeling inspired shouldn’t negate genuine and fair criticism, as @nestor said.

For me, I think it has been great to watch England with a clear tactical set-up that has attempted to play to the strengths of each player, whilst also having relatively innovative set piece routines. Obviously it’s been hugely enjoyable to support a side with Pickford, Maguire and Rashford in as opposed to the likes of Terry, Gerrard and Rooney too.

But, I think England going up 1-0 so quickly and then meekly holding back is at best naïve, at worst pretty inexcusable. As others have said Croatia were completely there for the taking first half, and going into half time 2-0 up would’ve been ideal to cement a lead in the second. I mentioned yesterday that I think Southgate got it wrong with the substitutions too. Taking Sterling off was completely the turning point. Rashford, as good as he is, just isn’t as good as Sterling at stretching the defense, and doesn’t have the tactical nous and prowess Sterling does (yet). Likewise, with bringing on Dier, it was a similar situation to the Colombia game whereby it just invited more pressure on the defence, and also possibly created a bit of a dissonance between midfield and attack. I totally get why you would want to have Alli on, but he really should’ve come off last night.

Despite that, Croatia were very very good in the second half and was definitely a case of them playing well rather than us making them look good. Perisic’s goal showed incredible technique, and Modric/Rakitic were pretty unplayable. But at the same time, they were there for the taking and it’s a huge opportunity missed. I do think that England overachieved by virtue of the draw, but met expectations in every game they’ve played. They won everything they should’ve, and lost against those that are relative equals. But it’s the manner in which we’ve approached the tournament, and the promise it has shown that is really heartwarming. We’ll unlikely never get an easier run the final again, but the ‘good feelings’ this tournament has produced will be used to galvanize the squad, and provides such a valuable framework for the next. I think the future of this team is incredibly bright.


Think the biggest thing for me is that we miss out on seeing how absolutely batshit crazy the country would get in the next few days in preparation for a World Cup final. It would have been amazing to see.


Good post!