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Randomville! => The Locker Room => Topic started by: euro60 on June 12, 2017, 02:55:27 PM

Title: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 12, 2017, 02:55:27 PM
We have exactly a year to go before the start of the WC in Russia, so it's time for a proper thread.

Anyone watch the Mexico-USA WC qualifier last night? I did (on Univision, for good measure). Parking the bus is always a huge gamble, but this time it paid off for Team USA. Mexico had about 75% of the possession, but couldn't convert (except that one time). I thought Guzan reacted slowly on the goal by Mexico. Why didn't he do a cat leap into the corner? Michael Bradley's goal was out of this world.

Anyway, looks like Bruce Arena has settled down the team, or at least prevented a complete free fall when Klingsmann was let go.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on June 13, 2017, 07:19:21 AM
Yes, I watched it.  I have no idea why DeMarcus Beasley or Brad Guzan are playing for the national team at this point, but they both hooked up to allow that goal.

Christian Pulisic is really the biggest difference between a year ago and now.  He is a World Class player, and even when he is not dominating the midfield, he still draws a lot of attention... and even one slip up defending him can result in a chance (his missed goal with about 15 minutes to go at the top of the box was just a shank... happens to everyone).

Looking at the US schedule, they should expect 10 points from their last 12, if not all 12.  Shouldn't have any trouble finishing top 3... looking forward to seeing more of Nagbe and Pulisic.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 17, 2017, 12:14:50 PM
I can cut Guzman some slack on the goal.  He was caught flat footed, not expecting that shot, in that area.  A gap opened up and Mexico was quick to seize on it.  Made it look easier than it was and Guzan looked more foolish. 

Bradley's goal was kind of similar.  Keeper looks like an idiot for getting chipped but really Bradley just saw an opening and executed quickly and perfectly.

Both goals were a little fluke-y.  They were both good plays from situations where 9 times out of 10 nothing happens.  Sure, maybe if you are Ronaldo or Messi or something you score those types of goals with regularity, but those guys are not at that level.

Agree that Puselic looks legit.  I don't think I would put him in like the top 50 players in the world but he could get there.  But he is at least a real attacking threat that you can't just put a man on and mark him out.  It takes some sort of scheme, which opens things up for others.  IMO, he should optimally play on the wing but probably for us we need him in the middle.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 17, 2017, 11:01:40 PM
If the Gold Cup is any measure for what Team USA is going to do next year, oh boy, it's not going to be pretty, if they qualify at all.

I realize that to date this had been Team USA's mostly "B team" in the Gold Cup, but still, it hasn't been pretty (and I'm being generous).
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on October 10, 2017, 10:14:42 PM
What in the ever living fuck just happened.

Fire everyone.  March on Washington.  Slash Arena's tires.  Inject Gulati with Hep-C.

Unbelievable.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on October 10, 2017, 10:38:06 PM
Going into tonight, Team USA had a 93% chance (per the computer calculations as the TV announcers told us) of qualifying.

Then, everything that could go wrong, in fact did go wrong.

Team USA sleepwalked through the entire game, even when things were dire. What were these guys thinking? No sense of urgency, none, even in the dying moments.

Just thought I'd mention that Team USA (currently ranked #28 in the FIFA rankings) was playing Trinidad & Tobago (currently ranked #99).

I agree with Butter. Complete house-cleaning is necessary.

What in the world is Micheal Bradley still doing on this team? He was absolutely pathetic. Not to single him out (ok, yes, I am pointing him out), as the rest wasn't much better.

I just want to vomit.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on October 10, 2017, 10:48:13 PM
If the Gold Cup is any measure for what Team USA is going to do next year, oh boy, it's not going to be pretty, if they qualify at all.

Turns out, they didn't qualify at all......
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 11, 2017, 02:41:10 AM
Bruce Arena, lol.

Pretty stupid for the pundits to blast the players though.  I think accusing players of “no heart” is just a sign of how bad things are.

One, we don’t have that much talent.  Two, there are still reasons we lost.  Let’s look at the tactics, eh?  And third, if the players have no heart, then who picked these jackasses and failed to instill in them the proper mental fortitude?

Gulati sucks.  We’ve known this for a long time.  Arena is not the coach to take the team to the next level.  We have also known this for some time.  And USSF sucks for all of this— poor leadership, poor decision making, poor choice of staff, poor player development.

Let’s not turn this into in England situation and choice some weird, non-quantifiable thing like “heart” to blame this on when there are so many obviously glaring concrete flaws that we can fix easily if we stop being stupid and/or corrupt.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on October 11, 2017, 09:29:47 AM
Pulisic: awesome. World Class.

Not sure about anyone involved after that. There are some good players but I don't know about great players.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on October 11, 2017, 09:51:50 AM
You've probably already seen this, but

Taylor Twellman is not happy. (http://awfulannouncing.com/espn/taylor-twellman-went-rant-ages-following-usmnts-loss-trinidad-tobago.html)
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on November 14, 2017, 09:28:31 AM
Anyone watch Italy-Sweden yesterday? I caught the replay on Fox Soccer Plus last night, not knowing the outcome. What a match! And the tension was thick from the very get-go.

One thing that was absolutely amazing to me was how mediocre Italy's play was through the match. Compare this to what you see on a weekly basis at clubs like Real, Barca and ManCity, and Italy looked like second rate amateurs. In any event, if you cannot score a single goal over 2 matches, then there is no-one else to blame but yourselves.

Some big names missing from next year's WC: Italy, Holland, Chile, the US... (if you can consider the US a "big name")
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on November 14, 2017, 09:57:26 AM
That's the problem with National Team soccer: these guys barely know each other and they only get limited time to play with each other.

Real, Barca, and ManCity - they get to train week in and week out to hone their quality of play. Plus, the best coaches are at the club level. And they get to pick the best of the best. So while we all love World Cup Soccer, it isn't the best soccer in the world.

I am guessing that everyone here knows that, so consider this a "Captain Obvious" post.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Jonathan on November 14, 2017, 10:06:28 AM
Here Dan, have a beer...

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSy8q_PcHcXAcDSVVKAQpyFS2dCPPErgC1TRlJ5Fo5mMU-FHQ_LtDCLxfCSwQ)
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Jonathan on November 14, 2017, 10:11:58 AM
One more:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DOlqyKQW0AcitMQ?format=jpg)
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on November 14, 2017, 12:22:04 PM
As Dave Merrington would say, "what the Saints need to do here is put the ball in the back of the net."
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Jonathan on November 15, 2017, 07:54:23 AM
You know, I've watched a lot of soccer in my life. But I've never seen Burkina Faso v. the Cape Verde islands.

Until today.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Cockney Rebel on November 19, 2017, 11:16:58 PM
As Dave Merrington would say, "what the Saints need to do here is put the ball in the back of the net."
"If that had gone in, it woulda been a goal"
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on December 01, 2017, 03:41:14 PM
WC draw took place today. I don't see a Group of Death?!? And still weird not to see Italy, Chile, the US and Holland in there...


The draw, with FIFA's October rankings that were used for seedings:

▪ Group A: Russia (65), Uruguay (17), Egypt (30), Saudi Arabia (63)

▪ Group B: Portugal (3), Spain (8, Iran (34), Morocco (48)

▪ Group C: France (7), Peru (10), Denmark (19), Australia (43)

▪ Group D: Argentina (4), Croatia (18), Iceland (21), Nigeria (41)

▪ Group E: Brazil (2), Switzerland (11), Costa Rica (22), Serbia (38)

▪ Group F: Germany (1), Mexico (16), Sweden (25), South Korea (62)

▪ Group G: Belgium (5), England (12), Tunisia (28), Panama (49)

▪ Group H: Poland (6), Colombia (13), Senegal (32), Japan (44)

Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on December 01, 2017, 03:44:59 PM
I think the weirdest thing is that Portugal, Spain, and Morocco are all in the same group. They are all right next to each other! Amazing! Does Iran have any history with those countries?

Uruguay got the best group, from their perspective.

They aren't "groups of death" but maybe D or E are the toughest?
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Jonathan on December 01, 2017, 07:59:24 PM
They re-did the draw procedure so that the pots were aligned by FIFA ranking instead of geographically. While the FIFA rankings certainly aren't perfect, and the host country still goes into Pot A (even though Russia is the lowest-ranked team in the field), theoretically Pot A is meant to have the best teams, Pot B the second-best teams, and so on. Hence, no Group of Death.

Basically, it was a change meant to eliminate the Group of Death, and it appears to have worked.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Jonathan on December 01, 2017, 08:01:06 PM
Of course, the fix is still in. Russia's the worst team, and they still managed to get drawn in a group with the second-worst team, thus improving their chances of sneaking into the knockout round.

Putin and his sweet, sweet oligarchy money paid off FIFA, of course.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on December 01, 2017, 11:54:02 PM
Of course, the fix is still in. Russia's the worst team, and they still managed to get drawn in a group with the second-worst team, thus improving their chances of sneaking into the knockout round.

Putin and his sweet, sweet oligarchy money paid off FIFA, of course.
agreed 100%

Anything related to Russia involves a fix.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the upcoming Winter Olympics. By all means, there should be no Russian "athletes" competing.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on May 17, 2018, 03:28:49 PM
The World Cup opens 4 weeks from today!!!!

I'm getting excited.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on May 18, 2018, 12:32:41 PM
Who do you all think are going to win? Thoughts on your surprise teams (aka Turkey 2002, Costa Rica 2014, etc) or even your surprise flame-outs (France 2010)?

Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: MissKitty on May 18, 2018, 01:14:24 PM
Who do you all think are going to win?


Duh. Russia. See below.


Anything related to Russia involves a fix.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 02, 2018, 11:14:44 PM
Watched today's friendly Belgium vs. Portugal, ending in a 0-0, and pretty much a listless game for the most part. The Red Devils damn be much better than this if they are going to make a deep run into the WC <sigh> Of course, it's just a friendly, and tons of substitutions were made (on both sides). Renaldo didn't even play.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 05, 2018, 04:05:20 PM
Fascinating look at what went wrong with Team USA's WC qualifying (and beyond that):

https://www.theringer.com/2018/6/5/17428184/2018-world-cup-us-soccer-inside-story-jurgen-klinsmann-sunil-gulati-bruce-arena
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 14, 2018, 10:56:29 PM
So the WC is finally underway. Watched the opening game Russia-Saudi Arabia tonight (in relay). Both teams are the lowest-ranked in the FIFA rankings to be in the WC. Russia won 5-0, wow, this is after they couldn't win a single game of their last 7 friendlies leading up to the WC (for which they were automatically entered).

Couple of things: the ref was outstanding, yes, it needs to be said. Clear and commanding decisions all around, hence no need for the (maybe dreaded) VAR.

Also, no dirty play between the teams, and no time-milking when it could've been done. The final score was grossly unrepresentative of the game (2 of Russia's goals came in the 90+ min).

I can only hope this is a sign of things to come. We shall see...
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 15, 2018, 10:26:35 AM
I thought the score was fairly representative.  Saudi Arabia's defense was a joke. The only reason the score was not worse was because they were holding the ball for 10 minutes at a time just passing it back and forth and Russia with the lead and knowing they could counter was happy to let them waste time and get sucked in.

To their credit though, I was expecting very little from Russia but they looked sharp. It wasn't ALL SA just sucking, only like 80%.

At the end, Saudi Arabia was tired and just kind of gave up.  I mean, in a way 5 goals is a super ass-kicking so maybe the gulf wasn't that big.  But 3-0 is a pretty dominating result already.  Suffice it to say there was a HUGE gap in the level of play to the extent that the result was never in question and it was in no way close.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: c-lando on June 15, 2018, 04:05:22 PM
Today has been a fun match day. Deciding goals in extra time for two matches and a 3-3 draw with a hat trick for Ronaldo in the final match.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 15, 2018, 04:56:14 PM
The greatest and clutchiest free kick taker gets a kick in a perfect place in the perfect situation with just enough room to bend it into the corner.

I question De Gea’s positioning a bit.  But mostly we should just respect how easy Ronaldo made that look and how inevitable it seemed when he was setting it up.  He was made for that moment.  Gotta give him props.

De Gea letting that second goal go right through his hands, though....
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 17, 2018, 12:01:18 AM
Right, De Gea simply blew it for Spain, which should've won the game, period
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 18, 2018, 11:03:48 PM
Nice start for Belgium today.

And England should thank its lucky stars for Harry Kane. Honestly, where would they be without him?
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 21, 2018, 04:36:11 PM
I can't stop watching that Rebic goal.

It's one of the best goals I've seen in a World Cup while simultaneously being one of the worst goals I've ever seen in a World Cup.  How is that even possible? 
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 21, 2018, 11:29:33 PM
I am so enjoying this WC. Avoiding all media contact during the day, and when I get home after work, watching a couple of games being re-broadcast. Tonight's Argentina-Croatia being a prime example. What a game! But that's just one. These couple of weeks are heaven for soccer fans, really.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: c-lando on June 22, 2018, 08:54:05 AM
And no 0-0 results yet!!!! I love that!
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: MissKitty on June 22, 2018, 01:54:08 PM
I've been enjoying it too - at least what I've been able to watch of it.

Not enough players removing their shirts for my liking, but aside from that ...
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on June 22, 2018, 04:14:29 PM
I've been enjoying it too - at least what I've been able to watch of it.

Not enough players removing their shirts for my liking, but aside from that ...

Make sure you watch Shaqiri's goal, then, MK
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 22, 2018, 04:56:50 PM
Yeah, Albanian Eagle on that celebration too though.  Not smart.  Obvious penalty on Mitrovic that was somehow not called.  Kinda wrecked an entertaining game.

But the big thing for me is wtf Ivanovic?  That shot would have been exceedingly unpleasant to block, I get that.  But it's the goddamn World Cup.  You can't duck out of the way of a shot like that.  Against a Swiss-Albanian no less who then throws the Eagle up in your face.  You will never live that down.  I just hope no one kills you over it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 23, 2018, 11:32:56 PM
Some great games today. Belgium obviously.

But what a heart-breaker for the Swedes.... wow, just wow.

This WC keeps going great. So many fun games.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on June 25, 2018, 07:57:23 AM
Unclear if Belgium and England are really good, or if they got placed in a super-easy draw.  I think even their Round of 16 draws should be not too bad since they are matched up with a weak Group H.

But after that, good luck.  Probably Brazil and Germany await.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 25, 2018, 11:07:34 AM
I don't think Belgium or England are really that good (or Russia).  But then, I don't think Brazil and Germany need to be feared that much either.

Lotta parity this year. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on June 25, 2018, 11:25:28 AM
I don't think Belgium or England are really that good (or Russia).  But then, I don't think Brazil and Germany need to be feared that much either.

Lotta parity this year. 

None of the traditionally feared teams seem all that strong to me.  Croatia might be the best looking team I've seen. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 25, 2018, 11:58:21 PM
From the Belgian perspective, nothing really matters until we get to the knock-out stages, no matter who we face. If the Red Devils advance to the Quarters (which what they did in Brazil), that is the minimum what is required of this "golden generation", but honestly they should do more, if they are really as good as so many have proclaimed. Only time will tell...

From what I'm reading in the Belgian press, they will not start anyone with a yellow against England, which will be a "friendly" with nothing on the line (the Red Devils apparently would just as much prefer end 2nd in the group)

Iran gave it  good go, but not enough...

Russia was immediately exposed in today's match vs Uruguay. No way they can beat Spain in the next round, What a farce anyway, that group Russian was in
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: c-lando on June 26, 2018, 11:27:37 AM

Croatia might be the best looking team I've seen.

Hello, Dejan Lovren. You foine as hell.

Oh. That's not what you meant.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: MissKitty on June 26, 2018, 02:11:33 PM
I've been enjoying it too - at least what I've been able to watch of it.

Not enough players removing their shirts for my liking, but aside from that ...

Make sure you watch Shaqiri's goal, then, MK

Yeah ... but nobody wants to see THAT. ;)

(even if the rumors prove true and he becomes a Saint)
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: c-lando on June 26, 2018, 05:09:11 PM

Croatia might be the best looking team I've seen.

Hello, Dejan Lovren. You foine as hell.

Oh. That's not what you meant.


Especially not with that Lovren hand ball!
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 26, 2018, 11:16:27 PM
Argentina through by the skin of their teeth, wow.... They now face France in the next round. What a great game that should be!
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on June 27, 2018, 12:51:48 PM
The South Korea-Germany game today was a lot of fun (unless you were rooting for Germany, obvi). The end-to-end back and forth was thrilling.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: c-lando on June 27, 2018, 03:43:39 PM
The South Korea-Germany game today was a lot of fun (unless you were rooting for Germany, obvi). The end-to-end back and forth was thrilling.

It is sooooooooooooooooo difficult to watch football in a work setting when I'm used to watching in a bar.
SO MANY BAD HABITS THAT MUST BE CURBED.
This kind of nail-biter put my curbing skills to the test!
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 27, 2018, 11:27:03 PM
Germany not advancing from the group stage is just shocking in football terms (apat from the defending WC holder, they are the No 1 rated country in current FIFA rankings). But it is their well-deserved fate. But for the miraculous 95th min. goal against Sweden, they wouldn't have won a single game. And they simply didn't look good in any of the 3 games.

A;ready looking forward to the Brazil-Mexico match-up in the next round.

Not expecting much from tomorrow's England-Belgium clash as both teams have already secured the next round, but I'll be watching it of course.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 28, 2018, 11:02:05 PM
stupid result for Belgium beating England. This should've been a 0-0 game, instead Januzaj scores and now Belgium is on target to meet Brazil in the quarters. When instead they could've been on the other side of the bracket, where the road to the WC final was open to them. Wow.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 29, 2018, 08:44:50 AM
Why so afraid of Brazil?  They haven’t looked that impressive.

I get that with advancement assured, neither side should have been risking cards or injuries in their third match.  But you don’t have to actively punt, either.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on June 30, 2018, 12:56:49 PM
France-Argentina (4-3) best match of the WC so far. Pure propaganda for the game.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 01, 2018, 01:43:23 PM
Russia (ranked #70 on the latest FIFA world rankings) on its way to the WC final. Putin has ordered it this way. Hence it will happen.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Dan on July 02, 2018, 01:48:01 PM
There was very little in that game which would suggest corruption that I could see. Spain barely threatened and there weren't any strange calls. While I was rooting for Spain the whole time, I didn't think they actually deserved to win it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 02, 2018, 03:13:03 PM
Oh, Belgium.  Why are you always like this?

Sorry, Euro60. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 02, 2018, 03:35:07 PM
That's more like it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on July 02, 2018, 03:36:26 PM
This game is bonkers
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 02, 2018, 06:37:19 PM
I think I aged about 10 years in 2 hours time this afternoon... Wow, just wow.

This is such a fun WC.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 03, 2018, 10:00:22 AM
Belgium is totally capable of winning it all.  I'd argue they might even be paper favorites.  I would have said that last time too, though.  I think Martinez is a better manager which should help.

I just don't know why they play tentative so often when they are capable of the kind of attack they showed in the second half.  I mean, you have to give Japan some credit.  Two wonderful goals.  And Belgium did push things a bit, which helped tire Japan out.  They've looked a lot better than last World Cup.  But they still lack that bit of confidence that would take them over the top.  Maybe this game will give it to them.

They can totally beat Brazil.  They should beat Brazil, easily in fact if they play their game.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on July 03, 2018, 10:35:17 AM
Belgium is totally capable of winning it all.  I'd argue they might even be paper favorites.  I would have said that last time too, though.  I think Martinez is a better manager which should help.

I just don't know why they play tentative so often when they are capable of the kind of attack they showed in the second half.  I mean, you have to give Japan some credit.  Two wonderful goals.  And Belgium did push things a bit, which helped tire Japan out.  They've looked a lot better than last World Cup.  But they still lack that bit of confidence that would take them over the top.  Maybe this game will give it to them.

They can totally beat Brazil.  They should beat Brazil, easily in fact if they play their game.

I don't know about "easily".  Belgium's defense didn't look great yesterday.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 03, 2018, 03:23:59 PM
This game kind of sucks.  Colombia playing carefully-placed but pointless risky little through passes in their own third before booting the ball aimlessly toward Falcao.  England just a pile of crap plus Kane.

Getting tired of the ref taking 10 minutes to separate players just so England can shank a free kick.

That should never have been a penalty.  For the usual reason of that didn't merit a PK, but also because what was the point of that committing that foul anyway?  It shouldn't have been a penalty because the event should never have occurred.

The proper call for that should have been indirect free kick from outside the box and a red card to Colombia for idiocy.  Both teams should be eliminated for playing such a crap match.  Jesse Jackson wins the car.

Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 03, 2018, 07:48:48 PM
Why the fuck are England winning when I can't drink?

Penalty shoot-out and ITV curse* broken.

*Weird stat that said (something like) when England's WC games have been on BBC in the UK they'd won 90% of them, but when they'd been on ITV they'd lost 90% of them. Or some bollocks like that. Anyway this one was on ITV.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 04, 2018, 12:13:23 AM
CR, England must play a lot better if they are going to beat the Swedes, who may turn out to be THE surprise of the WC. Who needs Ibram?

ZK, I completely agree with you. The Red Devils have so much talent on offense. Throw the shackles off! This is what so frustrated me when Belgium lost in the 2014 quarters against Argentina. Far too restrained and conservative. I hope they won't make the same tactical decision against Brazil on Friday.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 04, 2018, 11:13:41 PM
Reading the Belgian press today, the general feeling among the Red Devils is that they recognize the upcoming game on Friday vs. Brazil is THE moment to make this so-called "golden generation" truly special. "The biggest game for us", as Vincent Company terms it.

On the Brazilian side (per the Belgian media I've read), they recognize the talent of the Belgium, but really this is just another game for them (says Willian).

And that sums about it up for me, really, David vs. Goliath. I hope it's going to be epic, no matter the outcome.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 06, 2018, 07:01:54 PM
Belgium!

Belgium!!!!


Belgium!!!!!!


The "golden generation" finally delivers on the promise. What a dag for Belgian football!!!!!!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 07, 2018, 11:17:04 PM
CR, England must play a lot better if they are going to beat the Swedes, who may turn out to be THE surprise of the WC. Who needs Ibram?
ENGLAND!
ENGLAND!!
ENGLAND!!!!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 07, 2018, 11:50:58 PM
CR, I think we may be heading to a rematch of Belgium-England for all the marbles....<knocking on wood>
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 09, 2018, 10:59:15 PM
Coming up: Belgium vs. France

Can I get some love, or at least moral support for the scrappy lil' Belgians? We need ya!

I think I aged about 10 years in the last 20 min. of the game against Brazil, when they scored and made it 2-1. I have no idea what to expect for tomorrow, other than me being "inexplicably unavailable" in the afternoon. But most clients who know me well know this already....
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: noonan on July 10, 2018, 09:21:26 AM
Can I get some love, or at least moral support for the scrappy lil' Belgians?

I love them. So much talent and teamwork that it's impossible not to enjoy watching them play.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Butter on July 10, 2018, 01:20:44 PM
Terrific offensive football team.  But it is their defense that will do them in, if anything.  France is like Belgium but a little bit better all around.

Maybe Courtois has the game of his life.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 10, 2018, 03:24:44 PM
Yeah, Belgium's defense is a little soft but offset by Courtois.

I dunno, I kind of root for England and in the normal case I'd be happy to see them win it all.  But they got such a bullshit easy draw it would kind of piss me off if they won it this year. 

TBF, the WC is very even this year so while I believe that France and Belgium are both better than England and Croatia they aren't THAT much better.  It's more that those teams had to play tough opposition to get where they are.  England had a crap group and then beat a Rodriguez-less Colombia and not-so-great Sweden.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: notoriouspbake on July 10, 2018, 07:37:45 PM
i was rooting for belgium, but alas. euro, your interest and insights into the red devils made them a compelling team to watch. thanks for that!

all the remaining teams have decent players to root for: mbappé, kane, and modric. as we've seen, one player doesn't make a win; it takes the team. not sure which team i'm going to root for now.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 10, 2018, 11:54:05 PM
So disappointing for Belgium, but I will give credit to France's game plan.... don't get any open spaces, sit back, and just wait.... One brilliant set piece (the corner) is all it took. <sigh>

So proud of the Red Devils. Thank you guys
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 11, 2018, 11:54:16 AM
Tough break, euro. 

It was a well-played and entertaining game that really could have gone either way.  I guess some people will criticize France for parking the bus, but it wasn't negative football.  They knew Belgium's strengths on attack and were looking to draw them in and exploit them on counters.  It didn't really work that well in part because Belgium's midfield did a pretty good job holding the ball and getting back.  It may have only been a 1-0 score but there was a lot going on.

It was a chess match with both teams having tactics to win and trying to implement them, not just one team playing defensively for a shootout or the other team just passing it around and not trying to score.

Luka Modric has the potential to carve up England and provide an entertaining match.  But if not, I think its going to be pretty boring with England just looking to punt to Kane or score off a set piece.  I don't blame them.  I mean, as a relative neutral I demand entertainment.  But if I were England or an England fan, you do what it takes to win.  Which is not to dork around playing from the back against a team that has Modric and Kramaric in it.  You mess up even the tiniest bit, those two can put the ball in the back of the net fast.

Still, England should win.  Crotia's played a lot of minutes, and Modric is getting up there in age.  Also, Croatia still has Dejan Lovren in their back four.  It's a bad matchup with Kane, plus Lovren sucks anyway, plus Lovren is a massive choker.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 11, 2018, 11:13:55 PM
Watched the England-Croatia game tonight after work, not knowing the outcome. Holy cow! what a game. (So much better than the France-Belgium semi-final.)

England deservedly lost. One shot on target in 120 min! (their goal in the 5th min.) England hasn't had a good game in the entire WC other than the beating down of hapless Panama early on. They lucked out of the harder elimination games draw because of stupid Belgian's Januzaj brilliant score against them. England should be home by now. Instead, we get a Belgium-England rematch for the 3rd place game. I'm assuming that this time around it'll be the A teams.

I'll be rooting for Croatia all the way in the WC final. What a magical run it has been for them. And deservedly so. This is a country of all of 4 million people!

As an aside, I think I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again. This has been a tremendous and super-enjoyable WC. And the refs have been superb for the most time. And the VAR has been a major success too.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 11, 2018, 11:48:51 PM
By contrast, I think VAR is a piece of shit that slows the game down and removes a massive element of enjoyment from it. For me, part of the fan experience IS those contentious decisions, even if they don’t always go my/our way. The surreal length of time it took to get free kicks and some penalties going was also something I hated. Just get on with the game of fucking football.

The game itself is in flux right now IMHO. Every team, everywhere in the world, plays exactly the same style of football. It’s ridiculously boring and predictable. This WC has seen far more goals from set pieces, so many in fact that you’ve come to expect them. Where’s the flair, the chance taking, the individuality? No-one’s got it. It’s all keep pass the ball back, try and draw the other teams out, do a few one two, take it down the wing, cross it into the penalty area and hope somebodys there to collect and slot it home. There’s very few skillful dribblers of the ball, very few players who take on defender after defender to get close to goal, only a limited number of players take shit from distance, it’s all pass/pass/pass/pass/backheel/pass/pass within 20/30 yards of the goalmouth.

For all their faults, the old schoool managers who liked the “hoof the ball from the back” approach at least understood the entertainment aspect of the game. It’s become ‘boring’, ‘samey’ and very run-of-the-mill. I’ll still watch and love it of course, I just yearn for some creativity, some originality and the return of good old “tackling”, taking a man on in close quarters and bringing the ball through the middle of the pitch instead of always down the fucking wings.

Personally I was expecting more entertainment value out of this WC, some flair and some varied styles from certain countried. Alas no, they all played the same way, with the same types of players all in the same position. Both calmly waiting for a break instead of creating one.

I’ll watch the final, root for Croatia but also hope Lovren scores an own goal. Nice to have a new country’s name engraved on the trophy. Especially one that is bigger than Modric himself.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 12, 2018, 10:35:53 AM
They lucked out of the harder elimination games draw because of stupid Belgian's Januzaj brilliant score against them. England should be home by now. Instead, we get a Belgium-England rematch for the 3rd place game. I'm assuming that this time around it'll be the A teams.

England definitely lucked out to get the semi-finals as I don't think they are that good of a team.  You can't really blame them as you can only beat what's in front of you and England acquitted themselves well.  And tbf, quite a bit of England's luck was shared by England.  Turns out Tunisia and suck, which wasn't that much of a surprise.  And the way the schedule worked out, the key game of England v Belgium didn't happen until both teams were already through.  If that had been the first game in the group, the draw would have been trickier.

In the end, it's not like Belgium hurt themselves by winning that group.  Belgium lost to France, and had England won they would have had to beat France to win as well.  I told you Belgium shouldn't fear Brazil, and they did win that game in regular time.  Having to play Brazil didn't cost Belgium anything, a combination of just not having the luck of the pitch and a good French team knocked them out.

Belgium will have their chance against England and they can settle things if they wish.  If Belgium win that game than they will have proved they are better than England, and that maybe the only team better than Belgium in the entire tournament was France.  "Better than England and Brazil but just shy of France" would be a fair result. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 12, 2018, 10:51:57 AM
On VAR... I think that it was a success in the sense that it proved the potential value of the technology.  But I think it was kind of a failure in terms of this tournament because it showed that refs can still make plenty of terrible rulings by either failing to review plays or by reviewing them but still being incompetent boobs.

On the refs... they were crap as they always are.  I was happy that they were actually much less crap than I feared they would be.  That's a plus, I suppose.  But it's still a major problem that too many matches have a big call in which a decision can easily change the outcome and that the refs don't get those calls right. 

I didn't find it that disruptive to play, and IMO there were no plays that were wrongly reversed by VAR.  So the plays that got through VAR with incorrect decisions would have gotten through anyway, while there were several key plays where VAR fixed mistakes.  So VAR can only do so much to fix the fundamental problems of not enough eyes on the pitch, stupid rules that incentivize diving, and biased incompetent refs.  But it hopefully called some attention to that while making things at least slightly less bad than they were before.

Honestly, so much of this would go away if they just got rid of the automatic PK for any foul in the box and make a player offside anytime they are in an offside position when the ball is played.

Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 12, 2018, 10:59:22 PM
"Better than England and Brazil but just shy of France" would be a fair result.
agreed... but of course they still need to beat England (again), and this time it will be the A team, on both sides (I hope)
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 12, 2018, 11:02:02 PM
On VAR... I think that it was a success

On the refs... they were crap as they always are.
Agreed as to VAR

Disagreed as to the refs, I thought they were superb for the most part.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 12, 2018, 11:51:52 PM
Personally I was expecting more entertainment value out of this WC, some flair and some varied styles from certain countried. Alas no, they all played the same way, with the same types of players all in the same position. Both calmly waiting for a break instead of creating one.

I am sorry for you that you feel this way, I've watched a LOT of the WC games, and simply feel differently. This has been one of the most enjoyable WCs I've watched.
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 13, 2018, 10:13:54 AM
I think England is fairly representative of this year's WC.  They were not really that good overall and sorely lacking in individual talent.  But they were pretty solid in most places.  They got the fundamentals right:  good set pieces, kept their shape, worked hard.  I don't think they should have gotten as far as they did, but they played well. 

Would it have been more entertaining if England had imploded due to some crazy off-the-pitch tabloid incident and/or a comically bad mistake?  In my book, yes.  But if you're a fan of the game probably not.

I thought Russia played some very entertaining soccer.  Mexico (surprisingly) as well.  But I do feel like things were overall a tad too button-down and staid.  Salah and Rodriguez not being 100% hurt.  It was a lot more exciting when we didn't know the players and it was like watching legends to turn life.  All the players from South America or not Western Europe who you had never seen play but had this buzz attached to them-- "He's the Pele of the Macedonians!"  "He's Cruyff, but as a striker!"  Once every four years you'd finally get to see these guys and find out if it was true.  And the Swiss team would be really Swiss and the Icelandic team would have been really Icelandic with gigantic dudes with huge beards.  Now we know everyone and the players are better but blander and sort of interchangeable.  It's like the Derek Jeter-fication of soccer.  20 years ago watching Luka Modric would have been amazing.  Now it's like "Yeah, we already know he's awesome.  We've been watching him for 10 years."

I mean, I guess for me it's not a major complaint.  It would have been nice if there had been more a little more flair in this WC in terms of some player going crazy with goals or juicy match-ups.  But it didn't ruin the World Cup for me or anything. 

Overall, I'd still say this has been a better than average World Cup, just not a classic.  And we may not ever have a classic again.

Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: MissKitty on July 13, 2018, 01:15:38 PM
I have a general question about the refereeing for the World Cup that maybe someone knows to save me the trouble of hunting for it in the Googles. Are refs randomly chosen for matches or do they need to be familiar with the languages for the teams they are refereeing? I'm kinda guessing it is random and sometimes they do not know the same languages of the teams but wanted to know if that is truly the case or not.

Anyone know?
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 13, 2018, 04:58:42 PM
All the refs are required to know some kind of basic English.

I don't believe they either purposely assign or avoid assigning Spanish speaking refs to games where there is a Spanish speaking team or anything like that.  Not positive though.

 
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 14, 2018, 12:18:03 AM
CBS Sports announced their WC all-star team. Seems pretty on point to me

https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/world-cup/news/2018-world-cup-best-starting-xi-kane-hazard-lukaku-among-cbs-sports-all-tournament-team-ronaldo-mbappe-on-bench/

Yes, Belgium has 3 of them, and rightly so IMHO
Title: Re: World Cup 2018
Post by: euro60 on July 15, 2018, 11:56:12 PM
"Better than England and Brazil but just shy of France" would be a fair result.
agreed... but of course they still need to beat England (again), and this time it will be the A team, on both sides (I hope)
and so that is how it played out.

Kudos to France.... but so proud of the Red Devils. They were the most attacking team in the WC and the most enjoyable to watch.