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    (Original post by CB91)
    You're the most pathetically biased piece of crap on here, so do us all a favour and do one.
    Hang on, isn't that you? The Liverpool fan who happens to think Rooney is a joke and Welbeck is a crap player.
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    (Original post by CB91)
    You're the most pathetically biased piece of crap on here, so do us all a favour and do one.
    Wow. Well I'd love to be able to see everything from your point of view then seeing as it's so superior. Problem being I can't get my head that far up my own arse...

    How? Do you deny that Shelvey and Sterling have been good this season? I'm asking why we continue to use older players. Terry, A.Cole and Gerrard included, but Gerrard's captain and Terry's now retired, Cole not playing. How's that biased?

    Just sick of seeing Oxlade Chamberlain, Welbeck and Cleverley talked up when they do nothing of note, meanwhile dozens of performing mid table players get nothing!
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    Well 5-0, not too bad.

    Need Young back, Ox & Lennon were both poor overall, Walker was the worst England player on the pitch, Cahill wasted a large number of chances, Carrick was average and had nothing to do. CBs and Hart had nothing to do so ye.

    Cleverley, Welbeck & Rooney the three best players.
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    (Original post by Jim-Jam)
    Just sick of seeing Oxlade Chamberlain, Welbeck and Cleverley talked up when they do nothing of note, meanwhile dozens of performing mid table players get nothing!
    0.o

    Just.. :facepalm:
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    Guess the real judgement will be Poland on Tuesday failure to win that and massive pressure on Montenegro away who we struggled against last time though we do have San Marino again in between those two. Though Moldova done us a favour with the draw against Ukraine as that cancels out our draw against Ukraine.
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    5-0 will do.

    Poland next, that'll be a proper test of where England are at the moment.

    Rooney and Wellbeck's goals should do wonders for their confidence if nothing else.
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    I like that Cleverley can have 2 assists, the most key vpasses, 96% pass accuracy with the most touches, and played a great game, and he wasnt mentioned once.

    Shelvey did well when he came on though. Did better than Carrick did, who is much more of a controller than a key passer so was a bit anonymous behind the scenes.
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    (Original post by Tommyjw)
    0.o

    Just.. :facepalm:
    I don't mean in this match, I mean overall. The matches in the Euros where Welbeck went missing and did nothing and stayed on the pitch etc.
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    For the Walker bashers, he predictably wasn't allowed an inch of space by San Marino. Against stronger teams that play more of the game in the England half, he's allowed space to run on the counter. Here the ball barely crossed the halfway line, and when he received the ball he more than often had two defenders already in his face.
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    (Original post by Jim-Jam)
    I don't mean in this match, I mean overall. The matches in the Euros where Welbeck went missing and did nothing and stayed on the pitch etc.
    Meh, Welbeck did well at the Euros especially considering his age, style of play and level of international experience. Did better than Carroll , can't remember about Defoe but he should have played more if he could, other than that no1 else is even close and worthy of getting regular spots.
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    It really annoys me when 'analysts' say that teams like San Marino should be in their own group. Every team deserves a chance to qualify. England should be grateful that they can qualify easily, as if they ever had to play a decent team in qualification they'd be knocked out.
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    (Original post by rockrunride)
    For the Walker bashers, he predictably wasn't allowed an inch of space by San Marino. Against stronger teams that play more of the game in the England half, he's allowed space to run on the counter. Here the ball barely crossed the halfway line, and when he received the ball he more than often had two defenders already in his face.
    I bet you're happy after those two Bale goals
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    (Original post by Colonel.)
    I bet you're happy after those two Bale goals
    Especially against the auld enemy :gah:
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    (Original post by little_wizard123)
    It really annoys me when 'analysts' say that teams like San Marino should be in their own group. Every team deserves a chance to qualify. England should be grateful that they can qualify easily, as if they ever had to play a decent team in qualification they'd be knocked out.
    Teams like San Marino and Andorra will never develop if they have to play every competitive game with 9-11 men behind the ball for 90 minutes. There's no harm at all in giving them a Round 1 group and having what we have now (except whoever gets eliminated in Round 1) as Round 2.

    Europe isn't some magical continent where everyone's so brilliant that they don't need more than one qualifying stage while all the other continents do (bar South America since they only have 9 or so countries anyway).
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Teams like San Marino and Andorra will never develop if they have to play every competitive game with 9-11 men behind the ball for 90 minutes. There's no harm at all in giving them a Round 1 group and having what we have now (except whoever gets eliminated in Round 1) as Round 2.

    Europe isn't some magical continent where everyone's so brilliant that they don't need more than one qualifying stage while all the other continents do (bar South America since they only have 9 or so countries anyway).
    Yeah, it can't do much for them as a nation either. You aspire to win, be that competitions or single matches. Failing that you have a go anyway and just try to score - imagine if your boss sends you out to concede as few goals as possible but you still get hammered to nil. Go and try and score a goal, be a national hero for having scored at Wembley, have a go at least. Their goal difference doesn't matter because they'll be stuck at the bottom of the group anyway, so might as well score some goals and have something to celebrate.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Teams like San Marino and Andorra will never develop if they have to play every competitive game with 9-11 men behind the ball for 90 minutes. There's no harm at all in giving them a Round 1 group and having what we have now (except whoever gets eliminated in Round 1) as Round 2.

    Europe isn't some magical continent where everyone's so brilliant that they don't need more than one qualifying stage while all the other continents do (bar South America since they only have 9 or so countries anyway).
    Their tactics aren't really an argument for not being allowed to play, they're doing the best they can with the resources they have. Chelsea won the CL playing like that. Playing against other terrible teams isn't going to improve them much either. Playing against better teams will only improve them; it's up to them if they play a certain way to get the best result they can. Obviously they'd benefit in the long run more if they tried to come at opposition a bit, but that's not the opposition's decision.

    I hate how even now, playoffs are seeded. The original groups are seeded, then the playoffs(!), and then the actual tournament. Everything works in favour of teams like England who then fail miserably every international tournament they play in. I am in favour of seedings, but by forcing weaker teams to play even more games to get into the big tournaments just reduces the number of teams with a chance of qualifying, when it heavily favours certain teams anyway. It'd be a bit pointless just to have to do this with only a few teams, and San Marino aren't going to improve by playing Andorra twice and then no competitive games for two years.
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    (Original post by little_wizard123)
    Their tactics aren't really an argument for not being allowed to play, they're doing the best they can with the resources they have. Playing against other terrible teams isn't going to improve them much either. Playing against better teams will only improve them; it's up to them if they play a certain way to get the best result they can. Obviously they'd benefit in the long run more if they tried to come at opposition a bit, but that's not the opposition's decision.

    I hate how even now, playoffs are seeded. The original groups are seeded, then the playoffs(!), and then the actual tournament. Everything works in favour of teams like England who then fail miserably every international tournament they play in. I am in favour of seedings, but by forcing weaker teams to play even more games to get into the big tournaments just reduces the number of teams with a chance of qualifying, when it heavily favours certain teams anyway. It'd be a bit pointless just to have to do this with only a few teams, and San Marino aren't going to improve by playing Andorra twice and then no competitive games for two years.
    Their tactics are an argument for round 1 as it reflects their mentality and logic. They HAVE to play this way. Playing competitive matches does improve teams. What experience does a team learn putting bodies behind the ball and having 2 shots on goal on a good day? How does it magically improve them in the long term? How does it make the fans happy?

    This is not a new concept, this has happened throughout the past century. Even recently Australia moved to Asia to play competitive football. Before, they had to trounce teams for 10 or 12 matches, then play one playoff game, two-legged, against a competitive team. At first glance this might seem great, just one team to beat to qualify, but Australia only ever qualified twice this way over FOUR DECADES. They actually moved to a tougher confederation to improve their game, and they continue to improve.

    Seeding and byes are a part of football, and an important part for the confederations. This isn't 1912, it's 2012.

    This isn't forcing. You think Andorra and co. love to watch their team play like that and always lose? They'd love a Round 1 against similar teams and celebrate goals and victories. If you think otherwise, you've been spoilt on the strength of England, the football league/premier league and European football.

    San Marino are effectively playing zero - two games per two years anyway. Countries in the Americas play far more qualifying games than Europe, you don't see them whining. Brazil and Argentina turned out pretty good, didn't they? And while USA and Mexico are the big two, it is still competitive - because they play 3+ rounds of qualification there. They haven't done too badly.

    Top Asian teams, on the other hand, play two rounds and sometimes a playoff, but they don't perform well at the World Cup often. Number of games has nothing to do with it, and it's a pathetic excuse from the current era of players and fans. They get rest, a hell of a lot of rest, and training sessions for an hour or two every day they're not resting. Spain's players played far more games than others, and they've won 3 trophies in a row.

    England "fail miserably" even though they're "seeded", so what happens when the seeds are gone? England still regularly qualify and fans still ***** and cry when they don't turn out to be one of the best teams in the world. Unless you think there are teams other than the obvious Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands etc. who would qualify and then storm the tournament and reach the semis or final regularly. Which is just more current-era fan logic.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Their tactics are an argument for round 1 as it reflects their mentality and logic. They HAVE to play this way. Playing competitive matches does improve teams. What experience does a team learn putting bodies behind the ball and having 2 shots on goal on a good day? How does it magically improve them in the long term? How does it make the fans happy?

    This is not a new concept, this has happened throughout the past century. Even recently Australia moved to Asia to play competitive football. Before, they had to trounce teams for 10 or 12 matches, then play one playoff game, two-legged, against a competitive team. At first glance this might seem great, just one team to beat to qualify, but Australia only ever qualified twice this way over FOUR DECADES. They actually moved to a tougher confederation to improve their game, and they continue to improve.

    Seeding and byes are a part of football, and an important part for the confederations. This isn't 1912, it's 2012.

    This isn't forcing. You think Andorra and co. love to watch their team play like that and always lose? They'd love a Round 1 against similar teams and celebrate goals and victories. If you think otherwise, you've been spoilt on the strength of England, the football league/premier league and European football.

    San Marino are effectively playing zero - two games per two years anyway. Countries in the Americas play far more qualifying games than Europe, you don't see them whining. Brazil and Argentina turned out pretty good, didn't they? And while USA and Mexico are the big two, it is still competitive - because they play 3+ rounds of qualification there. They haven't done too badly.

    Top Asian teams, on the other hand, play two rounds and sometimes a playoff, but they don't perform well at the World Cup often. Number of games has nothing to do with it, and it's a pathetic excuse from the current era of players and fans. They get rest, a hell of a lot of rest, and training sessions for an hour or two every day they're not resting. Spain's players played far more games than others, and they've won 3 trophies in a row.

    England "fail miserably" even though they're "seeded", so what happens when the seeds are gone? England still regularly qualify and fans still ***** and cry when they don't turn out to be one of the best teams in the world. Unless you think there are teams other than the obvious Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands etc. who would qualify and then storm the tournament and reach the semis or final regularly. Which is just more current-era fan logic.
    But how many teams would there be in this 'preliminary' tournament? If by your logic they're not good enough, it'd be one or two at most (otherwise there'd be no point in having it). Therefore, all of the teams that go out will only ever play against other weak opposition. Playing against better teams (apart from the worst of the worst) will only improve teams. I'd much prefer weaker teams to play more competitive games (as you say this will help teams) that to play a few very weak teams and then not play again until the next set of qualifiers.

    I don't understand your argument with Australia. It's clear that they'd have just as good a chance of qualifying if there are more spots open, even in a tougher continent. Like with Australia, they improve because they play better teams. Surely this is the same with weaker teams?

    As for the fans, I'm pretty sure that games at Wembley for example, even if they lose, are the best moments for their fans. The fans want to see their teams playing the best teams, it's how they improve. You can't think that their fans want to see their team lose to Andorra and Liechtenstein and never play a good team? To repeat, if none of them are good enough, we're going to have to get rid of a lot in 'Round 1' to make it worthwhile, therefore only one or two of this group will get to play a decent team in two years. It's just going to make it harder for them to catch up to the standards of European football. The matter of fact is that the groups aren't that big anyway. San Marino will improve more if they play 10 games against better European opposition than a few games against similar standard teams.

    Seedings creates a two-tiered system whereby once you're seeded, it's very easy to stay there and therefore be favourites in a particular group. England are always going to be expected to qualify because of their seedings; they go out once they're in the knock-out stage. I obviously support seedings, as long as it's done well. But the seeding of play-offs is a joke, as you're effectively being punished twice in the same set of qualifiers (but that's for another day!).

    I agree with your point on the number of games. But lots of pundits point out that these are 'pointless' games based on time and ease of victory. Removing them just seems an option to benefit Europe's elite and have the opposite effect on the not so great nations.
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    (Original post by little_wizard123)
    But how many teams would there be in this 'preliminary' tournament? If by your logic they're not good enough, it'd be one or two at most (otherwise there'd be no point in having it). Therefore, all of the teams that go out will only ever play against other weak opposition. Playing against better teams (apart from the worst of the worst) will only improve teams. I'd much prefer weaker teams to play more competitive games (as you say this will help teams) that to play a few very weak teams and then not play again until the next set of qualifiers.

    I don't understand your argument with Australia. It's clear that they'd have just as good a chance of qualifying if there are more spots open, even in a tougher continent. Like with Australia, they improve because they play better teams. Surely this is the same with weaker teams?

    As for the fans, I'm pretty sure that games at Wembley for example, even if they lose, are the best moments for their fans. The fans want to see their teams playing the best teams, it's how they improve. You can't think that their fans want to see their team lose to Andorra and Liechtenstein and never play a good team? It's just going to make it harder for them to catch up to the standards of European football. The matter of fact is that the groups aren't that big anyway. San Marino will improve more if they play 10 games against better European opposition than a few games against similar standard teams.
    There are two ways of doing it. One way is to have a round robin of one or two groups with 5 - 8 teams for Round 1, with 2 - 4 teams qualifying for Round 2. Round 2 would be what we have now. You could have a knockout for Round 1, but I don't like having an entire qualifying campaign ending after two, sometimes effectively one, matches.

    Another way would be to have a knockout round and/or a group round followed by a final group round, with little seeding. In other words, what North America, Asia and Africa do. The downside to this option is that the final round can be a bit repetitive as it usually involves the same few teams.

    Teams will be knocked out, but unless you want a world cup with 200 countries in it, you have already accepted that this is fair and how sport is. In the above scenario (the first especially), they will play 8+ exciting and testing games that will require their skill, ability and mental reading of the game to succeed. They'll learn from experience about attacking, passing, possession football, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 tactics and so on. Even when knocked out, there are still friendlies to have to combine with their plenty qualifying games.

    'Weak' is subjective and comparative. What is weak to you is strong to them. You say you want competitive matches, that means weak teams playing weak teams, at least at first. In the Australia example, they moved because they weren't playing competitive games, that was the reason given. They were not going anywhere because they were beating small islands 10-0 and 20-0. The reason they have more chance of qualifying now isn't because more spots are open, but because they're prepared and constantly being tested, rather than being complacent. Before their move, they had a guaranteed half spot and only needed to win beat one team. Now they have about 4.5 spots to fight for, but they are matched by more than 4 teams.

    Ideally, AFC and OFC should partner up and combine, New Zealand are now exactly like Australia were. But politics will decide that.

    Ok, so how far have San Marino, Andorra and Leichenstein come in all this time playing great teams? Some countries will never catch up, they're too small and the players playing in their spare time. This isn't about making all of UEFA world cup-calibre, it's about improving the sport and experience for all, from fans to players.

    Using the two-round system, these teams will still have their trips to Wembley etc., but most importantly they will have felt they've earned it. Exactly like all the teams who qualify for the world cup and earn their trips to Japan/S.Korea, Africa and Brazil. Unless, again, you want a 200-team World Cup, you have already accepted this as a fact of sport. Some teams don't qualify, some players don't win a trophy, some Premier League players never get to play at Wembley while some lower league players can say they have several times.

    The playoff seedings was obviously a ruse to get France through. It made no sense and came out of nowhere, only was announced when France came 2nd in their group I think.
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    Hart, Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Carrick, Cleverley, Rooney, Defoe

    Dont know how it will line up but i dont particularly like the team. Will likely have Milner on the wing who isnt good anyway as well as someone else on the other wider role and none of them are suited to that role.
 
 
 
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