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Corvinus

The Final & 3rd Place - FRA v. CRO / BEL v. ENG

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11 minutes ago, The Sunland Lord said:

A farce orchestrated by the referee and the French players. Shame, because this was a great World Cup up until this point.

Griezmann is such a diva. Dude fell after a non-existent contact with Brozovic after which the first goal happened.

And that wasn't a penalty. Matuidi was one meter away from Perisic and the latter couldn't react that fast and remove his hand away, There wasn't even an intention, nor that ball was a real threat to Croatia. 

Kudos to the Croats who fought till the end despite all the injustice towards them. 

During France-Belgium Jan Verthongen made actually a sign during the match that the ref had been bribed... ^_^

I think the first two goals weren't really deserved but the last two goals of France were deserved. 

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1 minute ago, Tijgy said:

During France-Belgium Jan Verthongen made actually a sign during the match that the ref had been bribed... ^_^

I think the first two goals weren't really deserved but the last two goals of France were deserved. 

I wouldn't say they were bribed. But biased af. Anyway, it's hard to fight after you conceded such two goals. A shame, but football never really was a fair and a just game. On the contrary.

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Neither did I. Jan just made the sign during the game :P

But it is still rather weird that in both games the refs made some weird decisions. Nevertheless I don't think it is completely undeserved France won both times.

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48 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

That was Pussy Riot? haha. American commentators always try to deflect from that stuff, so I had no idea who it was, but I thought they were Russians. 



Pussy Riot are Russians.

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He got later in the game a yellow card ;)

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2 hours ago, Notone said:

Wasn't that what people said about Germany four years ago? Well, replace the names Giroud and Lloris with Lahm, Schweinsteiger and Klose, but you know what I mean.

Germany's problem was that it didn't replace those three players you mentioned properly- although Kimmich isn't THAT much of a downgrade over Lahm.

Only Giroud, who wasn't exactly irreplaceable, won't be there in 2022 for certain. One opes the coach doesn't use Lloris if he spends the entire season out injured.

Also, France has a ton of talented players that weren't called, such as Rabiot, Martial, Coman, etc, who will be hungry for a trophy.

 

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15 minutes ago, Bern is Burning said:

Only Giroud, who wasn't exactly irreplaceable, won't be there in 2022 for certain. One opes the coach doesn't use Lloris if he spends the entire season out injured.

 

Well, Neuer was the least of the problems in Germany's attempt to defend the title. 

15 minutes ago, Bern is Burning said:

 Also, France has a ton of talented players that weren't called, such as Rabiot, Martial, Coman, etc, who will be hungry for a trophy.

 

Yep, they didn't win the title. Now it'll take some balls to axe some of the players that won the cup (Mark Twain's right about the sacred cows making the best hamburgers, but few dare to take that to a test). 

Anyway, France's development has some similarities to the German team's. Very good talented team that didn't win the World Cup on their first proper run (Germany failed in 2010 and so did France in 2014), both had some disappointments on their way there (Germany's semi-final exit against Italy at the Euros in 2012 and France's heartbreak in their final at home 2016 against Portugal). 

Let's see if the players you mentioned can break (back) into the team. Eventhough it's pretty hypothetical, but Iam not sure they could do much, if they were in roughly the same squad in four years time, with a Pogba in solo-mode (as in, I've already won that thing and don't need to prove anything anymore, and not track back as decisively), just with some sort of saturation and complacency.

Again, for the last 20 years almost any reigning champion has struggled rather badly when it came down to defending the title. Brazil in 1998 was pretty much the last champion that managed to play a good tournament. 

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2 hours ago, Dolorous Gabe said:

(Luke Shaw could still make it I suppose). 

Man, how I hope so. United fans hope for this every season but the truth is that Shaw is a worse player now than when he was 18. 

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3 hours ago, Dolorous Gabe said:

We would need some of the young talent to develop into top players I think, and a left back to emerge from somewhere (Luke Shaw could still make it I suppose). It'll be nice if the likes of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho are fully fledged by then.

If we continue to play 3 at the back then Ryan Sessegnon will be an option there, though he mainly plays as a winger these days. His first year in the top flight is one of the things I am looking forward to most from the new PL season.

 

1 hour ago, Notone said:

Well, Neuer was the least of the problems in Germany's attempt to defend the title. 

It was more the complacency it exuded - letting someone who had not played all year walk back into the team no questions asked - than his poor performance that made it a bad decision.

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44 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

Man, how I hope so. United fans hope for this every season but the truth is that Shaw is a worse player now than when he was 18. 

I actually hope so too, even as a City supporter. We've seen too many promising careers go awry. I still think what happened with Michael Johnson was a travesty. I remember going and seeing him play at 17 for us away at Newcastle where he set up the winner and also away at Wigan where we lost 4-0 but he was the brightest spark in the team. Then the following season he was immense under Sven Goran Eriksson but he got an injury and never seemed to recover (physically or mentally).

1 minute ago, Philokles said:

If we continue to play 3 at the back then Ryan Sessegnon will be an option there, though he mainly plays as a winger these days. His first year in the top flight is one of the things I am looking forward to most from the new PL season.

Ah yes, good point. I'm looking forward to seeing him too. Good that he has stuck with Fulham for now.

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That final left a sour aftertaste.  Griezmann’s dive (and Pogba’s offside challenge on Mandzukic) for the opening goal changed the game decisively.  Then the penalty felt unearned.  Croatia were dominant but France got to halftime at 2-1 with extreme good fortune and crap football, and then could pick off the desperate and tiring Croats in the second half.  Pogba and Mbappe took their goals well and put some glamorous gloss on a game where France showed very little quality in their play.  It left me feeling the Croat’s were cheated of a fair shot at this game, even if the outcome might have been the same anyway  

But, it has to be acknowledged that Croatia generated very few good chances from all of their midfield control and interplay between their front three.  The French defense has been miserly and once again was able to sit deep and absorb pressure.  Varane and Umtiti cleared so many crosses, and Lloris caught several too easily.  Perisic was great in the first half but over hit so many crosses in the second.  Rebic was dangerous in flashes but not much end product. 

This French team was efficient.  They sat deep and defended comfortably for most of the tournament (other than a nervy 15-20 minutes late against Argentina), they grew in confidence as the tournament went on and found a shape with their MF 3 sitting deep and their attacking 3 offering an out-ball.  They are champions but I wish they offered better entertainment getting there. 

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And what was wrong with Subasic?  Was his hamstring injury impairing his movement?  His efforts at the first, third and fourth goals were terrible.  Lloris distracted from his ineffective performance but he was very poor. 

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I've watched the awards ceremony up until Lloris lifted the trophy. 

The Croatians were gracious losers, much better than the Argentinians 4 years ago. I recall Messi couldn't wait to get off the field that day. Also, the French, while ecstatic, where not all up in their faces. Deschamps was gracious, and congratulated every Croatian player. I think he's secured his job for at least 2 more years. Oh, what will Zidane do? :P

Anyway, I must say I've never seen heads of state more jubilant than this at a sports event. Both Macron and Croatia's Grabar-Kitarović were really into it, despite the rain. Speaking of which, was the rain Russia's warning to France not to overstay their welcome, again. ;) (just being silly here). 

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3 hours ago, Notone said:

 

Again, for the last 20 years almost any reigning champion has struggled rather badly when it came down to defending the title. Brazil in 1998 was pretty much the last champion that managed to play a good tournament. 

 

Well, that's true. And should be noticed that in Brazil's 1998 team, most of the bigger stars were still eager to make their names- Rivaldo, César Sampaio and Roberto Carlos didn't made the 1994 team, Ronaldo was an unused substitute, Leonardo's tournament ended early due to a red card, Cafu was a reserve in 1994 (though he played most of the final) etc.

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42 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

I've watched the awards ceremony up until Lloris lifted the trophy. 

The Croatians were gracious losers, much better than the Argentinians 4 years ago. I recall Messi couldn't wait to get off the field that day. Also, the French, while ecstatic, where not all up in their faces. Deschamps was gracious, and congratulated every Croatian player. I think he's secured his job for at least 2 more years. Oh, what will Zidane do? :P

 

I watched for a while. And I noticed that during the long, long wait for the presentations, one of the French players (Matuidi, I think?) was over amongst the Croations, hugging and consoling them. The downcast look on his face as he left to return to his team-mates would have made you think he was on the losing team. He obviously realised how much they were hurting and genuinely felt for them.

A real class act.

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15 hours ago, Corvinus said:

That was Pussy Riot? haha. American commentators always try to deflect from that stuff, so I had no idea who it was, but I thought they were Russians.

It is the policy of FIFA/UEFA/broadcasters/whoever that situations like this one are given as little screen time as possible in order to no give publicity to people doing that which would hopefully discourage similar stunts in the future.

15 hours ago, Notone said:

I think England might actually win it in four years time. This year it was a bit too early for them.

England have great results in younger categories so there is definitely something to base such optimism on.

Still, I think that England had a lot of luck (let's call it luck ;)) getting into the weaker side of the draw which made the road to semifinal much easier. Really don't see England making it to the semifinals if they needed to take Belgium's route.

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12 hours ago, Bern is Burning said:

Well, that's true. And should be noticed that in Brazil's 1998 team, most of the bigger stars were still eager to make their names- Rivaldo, César Sampaio and Roberto Carlos didn't made the 1994 team, Ronaldo was an unused substitute, Leonardo's tournament ended early due to a red card, Cafu was a reserve in 1994 (though he played most of the final) etc.

Yep, while the nucleus of the French winning team will stay on, which is kinda my  original point with regards to the bright future.

3 hours ago, baxus said:

Still, I think that England had a lot of luck (let's call it luck ;)) getting into the weaker side of the draw which made the road to semifinal much easier. Really don't see England making it to the semifinals if they needed to take Belgium's route.

Yes, they ended on the easier side of the tree (and avoided the winners' curse :) ), however what this team lacked in their game against Croatia was mainly experience. They fell into passivity in the second half, and conceded a goal that was by no means impossible to defend against. With a bit more experience, I think they could've avoided the passivity trap and would've continued to play or at least played out one or two counter attacks.

15 hours ago, Philokles said:

It was more the complacency it exuded - letting someone who had not played all year walk back into the team no questions asked - than his poor performance that made it a bad decision.

While it played a part, I think it's a bit too lazy and simple to reduce it to Neuer's call up, or Özil's (Gündogan's) embarassing photo op with Turkish autocrat president Erdogan, or their hated lodging in Watutinki, all of that may have a played a role. But unless you assume they had a time machine and travelled back in time 9 months or so, it all falls short. As the series of shitty game had been going on for a while longer. It started after they clinched the qualification, after the Spain or Brazil friendly Kroos called out his teammates in public ("it's now obvious, that we are not as good as people think, or even some of us pretend to be.") So I'd argue that rot goes a bit deeper than that.

Griezman said after they won the title, "you are nothing without the collective/group". That's most certainly true, the Germany of 2014 made a promise to each other, everything for the team, no ego, no distraction from their goal (as none of them wanted to end their international careers with the stain of not having won anything on that level [golden generation, not silver (or tin) generation]). I think that difference played a bigger role than picking Neuer. 

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54 minutes ago, Notone said:

Yes, they ended on the easier side of the tree (and avoided the winners' curse :) ), however what this team lacked in their game against Croatia was mainly experience. They fell into passivity in the second half, and conceded a goal that was by no means impossible to defend against. With a bit more experience, I think they could've avoided the passivity trap and would've continued to play or at least played out one or two counter attacks.

Honestly, I think that England getting this far has more to do with them playing in the easier half of the bracket than with their quality.

If England fell into Belgium's place after the group stage, I don't see them moving past Brazil. I'm not even certain they'd move past Japan.

Good news for England is that there's enough potential and enough time for that potential to be fulfilled but at the moment there are a lot of ifs that need to be met before I'd call England a serious title contender in Qatar.

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