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England v Italy

Oct 5, 2013
2,599
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It’s easy with hindsight and I suppose that the decision had already been made but, after his superb save from Jorghino, I just so wish that Pickford was told to take the 5th penalty. He was on a role and he would have buried it. We still had experienced players left; Sterling, Shaw, Grealish, for example.
Southgate was proved right with almost all of his tournament selections, including Trippier, who provided the assist for Shaw’s early goal in the Final but when it came to penalties……oh no!!
We did very well all through the tournament and runner-up is a great overall outcome, but the manager has to take on board the lessons from the final.
The following link from ESPN says it like it is, for me.

 
Jan 7, 2007
1,065
18
Plymouth
Therè were a whole lot of other countries who'd have taken our "glorious failure". Spain, Belgium, France, Germany. The competition runs for 4/5 years from start to finish. At the end only one team can win. Are all the other teams failures? If so that's a depressing outlook on life/ sport. Italy won, but they didn't win because they played better football. They won because they took penalties better than England and Spain. Fine margins. Spain outplayed them but lost. Italy won't be wringing their hands & sobbing "but we didn't really deserve it."
 
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Dec 30, 2020
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The players who "missed" their penalties are receiving racist abuse on social media.

https://www.foxsports.com.au/football/t ... 061898bee3

Not a happy aftermath.

Asking players to have their first touch of the ball in a penalty shootout is unfair.
IMHO, if anyone is to blame it's Southgate.
The Italian goalkeeper did a great job and should get a lot of the credit.

I was at the game and it was a seriously bleak advert for Englishness.

from the second you got off the tube at Wembley there was just drunkenness, aggression and anti social behaviour every where you looked.

From footage on social media it seems that was the case in a lot of places round the country.

It’s a big problem, and it misses the point to say that other countries have racists or hooligans or boo their opponents’ national anthem. It’s just unarguable that the general obnoxiousness around England games is on a whole other level. In fact I wouldn’t even say it’s a football thing - you see it in our holiday resorts or in our town centres on a Friday night as well and it just doesn’t happen on anything like the same scale in other countries.

I don’t know what the root causes are - our attitudes to football, national identity, masculinity, alcohol/drugs, and how they all interact with each other, I guess- but it’s depressing and embarrassing.
 

Metal Green Mickey

NHS Volunteer Supporter
Mar 14, 2009
5,130
267
Therè were a whole lot of other countries who'd have taken our "glorious failure". Spain, Belgium, France, Germany. The competition runs for 4/5 years from start to finish. At the end only one team can win. Are all the other teams failures? If so that's a depressing outlook on life/ sport. Italy won, but they didn't win because they played better football. They won because they took penalties better than England and Spain. Fine margins. Spain outplayed them but lost. Italy won't be wringing their hands & sobbing "but we didn't really deserve it."

Only one problem.

Spain, Germany and France have won many major honours already.

When they don’t, they have a hunger to change things. They already shown us how ruthless they are.

Italy won because they were the better team. The only team likely to win. 70% plus possession at times against you in a final. Crazy. We had no chance of winning because we didn’t have the ball. If you don’t have the ball you can’t score.

If you don’t win a tournament, it is failure. Imagine if Djokovic said well at least l got the finals of Wimbledon this years, but didn’t win. It is the attitude that what makes great sports people and teams winners. You might not like their attitude or that person / team but that is the difference between winning and losing. If you playing sport for recreation then yes Sport is about fun. However, at elite sporting professional levels, it’s only winning that matters. it may not be the outlook you like. Yet it’s the outlook that make these countries much more successful than England.

In club football it is all about money. The richest clubs will be the most successful because they buy the best players. In Country football, you have more of a level playing field. It’s about how your manager organises your team and sets you up to play. Italy were by far and away the best team in this tournament because of Mancini’s tactics and his style of play. Aggressive press, built on winning the ball back. Yes they were lucky against Spain but he didn't sit there waiting to lose. He made changes and tried to win the game. Southgate instead just let’s the game pass on by.

There is no such thing as the plucky loser. It’s only the nation that loses that makes up such a notion. We been doing that in football since ‘66.
 
Last edited:
Dec 27, 2004
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25
Bidford on Avon
Well said Mickey.

So much guff said today in my opinion.

We tried not to lose, rather than trying to win. There's a huge difference.

Exactly the same as Croatia in the World Cup - inability to be pro-active.

2 subs with a minute to go - wtf

Terrible management
 

Tugboat

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Feb 24, 2007
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I can take a defeat after we’ve fought tooth and nail but I struggle when we perform so lamely and limply struggle like we did for almost 100 minutes of football.

It was like watching men play a youth team.

Italy were on another level compared to us both tactically and technically.

Disappointed to showcase how fragile and inept we actually are against good teams.

Even more disappointed to see they almost mimic an Argyle performance of late.
 
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Sep 6, 2006
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I was at the game and it was a seriously bleak advert for Englishness.

from the second you got off the tube at Wembley there was just drunkenness, aggression and anti social behaviour every where you looked.

From footage on social media it seems that was the case in a lot of places round the country.

It’s a big problem, and it misses the point to say that other countries have racists or hooligans or boo their opponents’ national anthem. It’s just unarguable that the general obnoxiousness around England games is on a whole other level. In fact I wouldn’t even say it’s a football thing - you see it in our holiday resorts or in our town centres on a Friday night as well and it just doesn’t happen on anything like the same scale in other countries.

I don’t know what the root causes are - our attitudes to football, national identity, masculinity, alcohol/drugs, and how they all interact with each other, I guess- but it’s depressing and embarrassing.
It is very depressing. The alcohol culture contributes. I also think the very polarised society as a result of right wing policies including last Labour Government have led to an underclass, a minority of whom are louts with little stake in normal society.
 
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Oct 5, 2013
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People have said about us not having players who are comfortable on the ball, which is why we lost the match, but we do have them:
Grealish, who was brought in after 109 minutes;
Sancho, who was brought on after 119; Rashford, also brought on after 119;
and Bellingham, who was not brought on at all.
The manager is responsible for each one of these incomprehensible decisions.
 
Jun 27, 2019
2,381
137
I can take a defeat after we’ve fought tooth and nail but I struggle when we perform so lamely and limply struggle like we did for almost 100 minutes of football.

It was like watching men play a youth team.

Italy were on another level compared to us both tactically and technically.

Disappointed to showcase how fragile and inept we actually are against good teams.

Even more disappointed to see they almost mimic an Argyle performance of late.

The frustrating thing is that we are just as good technically as the Italians. Just look at how we closed the game out against Denmark... 54 passes over a period of more than two minutes without a Danish player getting anywhere near the ball. We can do it, but for some reason we retreated into our shells against Italy and forgot how to pass and retain possession. The ball therefore kept coming back and the goal was inevitable.

It's just sooooo frustrating because we were in pole position to win the match: 1-0 up early doors and with the benefit of a defence that hadn't conceded a single goal from open play in the entire tournament. What an opportunity!

But we blew it because we weren't brave enough and the Italians were. The manager also got his subs wrong: Saka looked like a schoolboy who'd won a competition to play in a men's match, while Henderson is badly out of nick and was a liability when he came on. Mancini's subs turned the game and Southgate had no answer.

Such a shame. It'll take me a long, long time to get over that one.
 
Apr 25, 2006
2,617
62
Cornwall
I can't help but think what fine margins there are in sport. Had Rashford's pen. been 3 inches further to the right it would have gone in, we could have won the shoot-out and all the subsequent hoo-ha would never have happened.
 
Sep 30, 2004
1,117
47
Fine margins between winning and losing in sport as always, but for me we never really went for it all tournament.

Lets be candid here, how much change from a billion would you have in the open market if you bought, Kane, Sterling, Mount, Foden, Grealish, Saka, Sancho, Rashford, Calvert-Lewin and Bellingham? The answer very little if any. So we have a wealth of attacking options, compared to any other side in the tournament. However, we played with two centre backs masquerading at central midfielders (dont get me wrong Rice and Phillips are great at what they do), as well as 3 centre backs, how much possession do you think you'll get when you pick 5 centre backs?

Southgate comes across as a good and honourable man, but he was a safe appointment in the fall out of Big Sam, if he was sacked/resigned tomorrow, i dont for one second think any top prem side would even interview him. Yet we have pundits lauding his appointment. It was done out of fear, not forward thinking.

We have a ridiculously large pool of players, yet against Germany and Italy, we played with fear, the ball bounced our way against Germany, it didn't against Italy. But in sport, i've always been of the mind you do what your opponents want you to do the least, i suspect the Italian centre halves thought it was their birthday when they saw our line up, it showed the moment we did run at them, they were ill equipped to deal with it, it just took us 100 minutes to decide it was worth a try. With the pool of players we have, we should have (imho) been aggressive and bold, Gareth decided we should be pragmatic and cautious, Rashford's penalty two inches to the right and Southgate would have looked a genius. So yes fine margins, but in my heart of hearts, we could and should have been bolder, we had home advantage and a great draw, yet we still didn't do the one thing Southgate promised us - CARPE DIEM - his selections never screamed of seizing anything.
 
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signalspast

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Aug 17, 2005
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I was at the game and it was a seriously bleak advert for Englishness.

from the second you got off the tube at Wembley there was just drunkenness, aggression and anti social behaviour every where you looked.

From footage on social media it seems that was the case in a lot of places round the country.

It’s a big problem, and it misses the point to say that other countries have racists or hooligans or boo their opponents’ national anthem. It’s just unarguable that the general obnoxiousness around England games is on a whole other level. In fact I wouldn’t even say it’s a football thing - you see it in our holiday resorts or in our town centres on a Friday night as well and it just doesn’t happen on anything like the same scale in other countries.

I don’t know what the root causes are - our attitudes to football, national identity, masculinity, alcohol/drugs, and how they all interact with each other, I guess- but it’s depressing and embarrassing.
It is sad that I feel safer in Manila a third world city with mega poverty than I do when visiting London.
 
Jan 7, 2007
1,065
18
Plymouth
Only one problem.

Spain, Germany and France have won many major honours already.

When they don’t, they have a hunger to change things. They already shown us how ruthless they are.

Italy won because they were the better team. The only team likely to win. 70% plus possession at times against you in a final. Crazy. We had no chance of winning because we didn’t have the ball. If you don’t have the ball you can’t score.

If you don’t win a tournament, it is failure. Imagine if Djokovic said well at least l got the finals of Wimbledon this years, but didn’t win. It is the attitude that what makes great sports people and teams winners. You might not like their attitude or that person / team but that is the difference between winning and losing. If you playing sport for recreation then yes Sport is about fun. However, at elite sporting professional levels, it’s only winning that matters. it may not be the outlook you like. Yet it’s the outlook that make these countries much more successful than England.

In club football it is all about money. The richest clubs will be the most successful because they buy the best players. In Country football, you have more of a level playing field. It’s about how your manager organises your team and sets you up to play. Italy were by far and away the best team in this tournament because of Mancini’s tactics and his style of play. Aggressive press, built on winning the ball back. Yes they were lucky against Spain but he didn't sit there waiting to lose. He made changes and tried to win the game. Southgate instead just let’s the game pass on by.

There is no such thing as the plucky loser. It’s only the nation that loses that makes up such a notion. We been doing that in

Only one problem.

Spain, Germany and France have won many major honours already.

When they don’t, they have a hunger to change things. They already shown us how ruthless they are.

Italy won because they were the better team. The only team likely to win. 70% plus possession at times against you in a final. Crazy. We had no chance of winning because we didn’t have the ball. If you don’t have the ball you can’t score.

If you don’t win a tournament, it is failure. Imagine if Djokovic said well at least l got the finals of Wimbledon this years, but didn’t win. It is the attitude that what makes great sports people and teams winners. You might not like their attitude or that person / team but that is the difference between winning and losing. If you playing sport for recreation then yes Sport is about fun. However, at elite sporting professional levels, it’s only winning that matters. it may not be the outlook you like. Yet it’s the outlook that make these countries much more successful than England.

In club football it is all about money. The richest clubs will be the most successful because they buy the best players. In Country football, you have more of a level playing field. It’s about how your manager organises your team and sets you up to play. Italy were by far and away the best team in this tournament because of Mancini’s tactics and his style of play. Aggressive press, built on winning the ball back. Yes they were lucky against Spain but he didn't sit there waiting to lose. He made changes and tried to win the game. Southgate instead just let’s the game pass on by.

There is no such thing as the plucky loser. It’s only the nation that loses that makes up such a notion. We been doing that in football since ‘66.
Bit of a leap from this:-

"Firstly, l wanted to say thank you to Gareth Southgate. I will be honest. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the way this England team play. I still find personally the team move the ball too slowly and go backwards too often. I would like us to have more of a creative, quicker tempo in midfield like Spain showed in that semi final. However, people keep telling me football is a results business. My own personal belief is better performances will end up giving you more successful results in the long run.

Yet l can’t argue with Southgate though delivering results and ones l have never seen in my lifetime. A win in the knockout stages against Germany. A win in the semi final of a European / World Cup competition where l have only witnessed defeats against the Croatians and the Germans.

They are happy memories that l now have about this England team. I don’t have to look back and think of the disappointment of ‘90 ,’96 or 2018 because we finally got past that hurdle. We finally reached a final of a tournament!!

The pressure these guys must have played under with the weight of expectation, especially on Wednesday night would of been immense. Yet they delivered. So many managers we put faith in. So many players we have hyped up. I don’t care if people think this was a fortunate side of the draw. We came top of our group. Then we play Germany. The worst German side in years people said. Werner, Havertz and Rudiger all played a major part in Chelsea success in the Champions league. The year before you had Bayern Munich winning the champions league. That team destroyed Chelsea and Barcelona that year. Their team had Goretzka, Kimmich, Muller and Neuer. That’s 7 players in the last 12 months winning the pinnacle of club competition and all started against England.

Then can you imagine the Danish game. Mostly English crowd. A Danish team spurred on by the sad events that happened to Eriksen. A team that played for a cause bigger than football and galvanised that team. They took the lead. Imagine. Those English players could have froze. They could have remembered 2018 and how we let that slip by. The older fans were in Wembley probably remembering back to those other semi finals. All that weight of a nation. All those days of misery we had to suffer as England fans. The heartbreak. Yet the players dug deep and didn’t let it affect them. They found something that no other England team, except the ‘66 one, could find. They found a way to win. It may not of been pretty. Or exciting football. It was just damn stubbornness to win a game of football.

So proud of this England football team. To overcome hurdles other teams could never get past. So proud of them helping to put back a little happiness into this country after the past few years. Giving reasons for people to come together and share experiences of happiness. It’s what life should be about.

I dare say come Sunday evening, if we lose, there will be many who rejoice and take happiness from our nations misfortune. I find the world a sad place that come Sunday evening many will be ready with their social media platforms to revel in a nations sadness. That their only happiness they can currently find is within a bitterness of their soul because you just can’t be happy for other people.

If we do lose and people feel frustrated and gutted then it’s just mostly likely what the rest of the nation is feeling at that point. However, let’s have some perspective. England have been chronic under achievers. This is only England’s second final. English management, coaches and players are going into the unknown. This is Italy’s 10th final. Only Germany have achieved more. They have a wealth of experience from past players and coaches that l dare say is in the DNA of the current Italian team and something they can draw on.

I admire this Italian team. Love the way it’s been playing. Love the way they are a team unit. I think their manager Mancini is a class act. If it wasn’t England in this final l would be rooting for the Italians simply because l think they have played some of the best football in this tournament so far.

l just hope the occasion doesn’t get to this England team. That they just have fun and enjoy themselves. Just play for their families and their friends and lm sure they already made them proud. Everyone who is English is behind you and roaring you on".
 

Metal Green Mickey

NHS Volunteer Supporter
Mar 14, 2009
5,130
267
Bit of a leap from this:-

"Firstly, l wanted to say thank you to Gareth Southgate. I will be honest. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the way this England team play. I still find personally the team move the ball too slowly and go backwards too often. I would like us to have more of a creative, quicker tempo in midfield like Spain showed in that semi final. However, people keep telling me football is a results business. My own personal belief is better performances will end up giving you more successful results in the long run.

Yet l can’t argue with Southgate though delivering results and ones l have never seen in my lifetime. A win in the knockout stages against Germany. A win in the semi final of a European / World Cup competition where l have only witnessed defeats against the Croatians and the Germans.

They are happy memories that l now have about this England team. I don’t have to look back and think of the disappointment of ‘90 ,’96 or 2018 because we finally got past that hurdle. We finally reached a final of a tournament!!

The pressure these guys must have played under with the weight of expectation, especially on Wednesday night would of been immense. Yet they delivered. So many managers we put faith in. So many players we have hyped up. I don’t care if people think this was a fortunate side of the draw. We came top of our group. Then we play Germany. The worst German side in years people said. Werner, Havertz and Rudiger all played a major part in Chelsea success in the Champions league. The year before you had Bayern Munich winning the champions league. That team destroyed Chelsea and Barcelona that year. Their team had Goretzka, Kimmich, Muller and Neuer. That’s 7 players in the last 12 months winning the pinnacle of club competition and all started against England.

Then can you imagine the Danish game. Mostly English crowd. A Danish team spurred on by the sad events that happened to Eriksen. A team that played for a cause bigger than football and galvanised that team. They took the lead. Imagine. Those English players could have froze. They could have remembered 2018 and how we let that slip by. The older fans were in Wembley probably remembering back to those other semi finals. All that weight of a nation. All those days of misery we had to suffer as England fans. The heartbreak. Yet the players dug deep and didn’t let it affect them. They found something that no other England team, except the ‘66 one, could find. They found a way to win. It may not of been pretty. Or exciting football. It was just damn stubbornness to win a game of football.

So proud of this England football team. To overcome hurdles other teams could never get past. So proud of them helping to put back a little happiness into this country after the past few years. Giving reasons for people to come together and share experiences of happiness. It’s what life should be about.

I dare say come Sunday evening, if we lose, there will be many who rejoice and take happiness from our nations misfortune. I find the world a sad place that come Sunday evening many will be ready with their social media platforms to revel in a nations sadness. That their only happiness they can currently find is within a bitterness of their soul because you just can’t be happy for other people.

If we do lose and people feel frustrated and gutted then it’s just mostly likely what the rest of the nation is feeling at that point. However, let’s have some perspective. England have been chronic under achievers. This is only England’s second final. English management, coaches and players are going into the unknown. This is Italy’s 10th final. Only Germany have achieved more. They have a wealth of experience from past players and coaches that l dare say is in the DNA of the current Italian team and something they can draw on.

I admire this Italian team. Love the way it’s been playing. Love the way they are a team unit. I think their manager Mancini is a class act. If it wasn’t England in this final l would be rooting for the Italians simply because l think they have played some of the best football in this tournament so far.

l just hope the occasion doesn’t get to this England team. That they just have fun and enjoy themselves. Just play for their families and their friends and lm sure they already made them proud. Everyone who is English is behind you and roaring you on".

l don’t think it is, and I will explain why.

l have always explained about good performances will turn into positive results.

This England team was built on working hard and being difficult to beat. I’m proud of the effort the players put in. I’m proud of Southgate for the way he conducts himself. Thats why l said thank you.

What you have quoted above is myself explaining why l was proud of the team. Why l thought it was unfair to say the German team was rubbish. That it was a meaningful to beat Denmark in a semi final especially when we had lost the previous ones in our history.

That’s was my perspective. That we had a good tournament whether we win or lost.

If you noticed l wasn’t calling for Southgate’s head in the latter post you feel l have leapt my view from. That post is a reflection of what England can do with Southgate in charge from this point on.

England simply didn’t keep the ball well enough. In 2018 against Croatia it was almost identical game to how we lost the momentum after a good start.

There is only two questions to ask. Are English players good enough to keep the ball better than they have showed under Southgate? If you believe the answer is yes then the question is why since 2018 have we not developed in keeping the ball better. If you think no, then Southgate did the best he can do with the squad of players he had.

Which ever though is your answer we are screwe’d. As Southgate tactics will hold back the current crop of English players with cautious, defensive tactics. Or the English players we are producing are still incapable of possession football years after we created St George’s park to develop much technically better English players.

For me l can separate the two things. I can appreciate we had a good tournament. I can appreciate the effort of the management, coaching staff and the players for giving us some pride as they wear the English shirt.

However, we aren’t going to win a WC under Southgate sitting 40 yards out from goal defending a 1-0 with 70 mins to go against opposition with players goof on the ball. Italy had a team unit that pressed. We just stood in a line behind the ball. A manager should learn from his experiences but unfortunately he managed the situation 3 years on in the same way. That isn’t a good sign. That doesn’t show he has tactically progressed against the better sides.

Against Germany it was how can we stop their threat. Denmark it was the same. Then Italy. We had a squad full of creative players and Southgate first thought was stopping a team. It wasn’t how can we hurt them with our players.

Mancini could see things were wrong. He made changes. Moved Cheisa and Insigne around. Took off their better players like Veratti when tiring. He changed their shape. It was all too reactive by Southgate when he did anything. Grealish with 20+ mins to go. Rashford and Sancho with mins to go.

The two posts are different because of my appreciation of what this team has done this summer. I wanted to put some context on the achievements made. l knew if England lost you would have the stupid minority with pathetic social media reaction. That’s why l said l hoped we would have some perspective and we wouldn’t see this. In other words be proud of our achievements and not succumb to vile hate messages.

The second post you highlighted though is a reflection of how far short we are still from winning a major tournament though in my opinion. We had virtually a home tournament. Hardly any travel. We will never have such a well presented opportunity. And we still came up short. They were a better team than us.

Unfortuately, if the penny hasn’t dropped in three years regarding the mistakes he made tactically against Croatia then that penny won’t drop eighteen months further on down the line.

We have some wonderful attacking talent. Yet our first thought is how can we stop them. Not how can we hurt them. You already lost the battle because your mindset is negative in my view.

Hope he proves me wrong though come Qatar.
 
Last edited:

Metal Green Mickey

NHS Volunteer Supporter
Mar 14, 2009
5,130
267
Plus l will add in l did say the following in the opening paragraph

I still find personally the team move the ball too slowly and go backwards too often. I would like us to have more of a creative, quicker tempo in midfield like Spain showed in that semi final. However, people keep telling me football is a results business. My own personal belief is better performances will end up giving you more successful results in the long run.


Which l feel is no different to my point l made in the post after the game.