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  1. Really great stuff. Particularly with it so nearly going the way we all expected with the Utd penalty at the end (I can't have been the only one seeing a 2-1 loss as soon as Dean gave that). Luiz and McGinn stood out most for us, I thought. Man Utd fans will be looking at them today and thinking why are we stuck with Fred and McTominay. I gave Luiz motm because his setpieces also v good and got the assist for the goal Hause deserves credit because there are moments you see why he is a backup, but in general sticks to the task and did great for the goal. Great player to have in the squad. Defence in general kept Ronaldo and Fernandes very quiet, Pogba and Greenwood had their moments but their finishing wasn't there. These feel like bonus points 'cause we never get anything here usually and with the injury to Bailey making it seem even less hopeful. Bodes well for season.
  2. Been a good first half, pressing tactics are working and Cash in particular getting behind well. Have had the chances just not taking them. Of course, Mike Dean is doing his Mike Dean best to help out Utd with soft free kicks and I'm sure he's ready to step in with a penalty for them if they don't manage to get a goal otherwise.
  3. probably realised it could be only 20 mins of first team action he's getting this season.
  4. Largely agree but I think more likely Watkins than Bailey from the start, if they are at similar fitness levels coming back from injury. Bailey he might want to ease into the league a bit from the bench. And possibly keep Young LB and Ramsey back in midfield if Ramsey fully fit. Shame for Chuk to get injured just when getting into team but sounds minor.
  5. Yeah I think he'll end up playing most games. Even if not starting, he'll be the first go-to sub in a lot of circumstances. Can see him playing midfield/wing as much as full back.
  6. Seen a lot of people elsewhere saying things like 'he'll learn from this' but for me the single most frustrating thing (amongst many) is that this game so closely mirrored the way the Croatia game from the last World Cup played out and he plainly did not learn anything from that because he made the exact same mistakes. In Croatia game we scored early to take the lead without having to work for it and then sat back and as game progressed, Croatia's experience started to show and they dominated midfield. And we did nothing to change the flow of the game, Croatia scored with 20 odd mins to go. Then we finally make first sub as a reaction but never really get back into it. Momentum with Croatia for extra time and the only real difference then was Croatia pushed more than Italy to win it and got the winner in ET rather than on penalties. Southgate made a few more late subs in extra time with too little time for impact. Take a glance at the comments below the BBC article from then, you could almost cut and paste, just switch a handful of names like Mount for Alli https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44706648 And here we are with three years to reflect and learn from that. But when Italy start to dominate from 30 mins on, what does he do? Nothing. Waits for the equaliser before making a single change. And it's even more inexcusable this time because we had better options on the bench than were available in 2018. At 60 mins game was screaming for Mount and Trippier off, bring on Grealish and Saka/Sancho. Change the shape and pace of the game which was all to Italy's liking by then. Or even if the game had played out the same up to 90 mins, I cannot comprehend what was the possible point of Mount still getting another 10 mins anonymity in ET. Or why Sterling was kept on beyond 90 mins if he wasn't there for a penalty. Sterling had a great tournament but for those 30 mins yesterday how could Rashford or Sancho not have been a better option, especially if they were pegged as penalty takers? Southgate does well at setting up the team and seemingly getting good team spirit. But his over-caution is his downfall in these decisive games. If we'd pushed for a winner in extra time and got caught on the break and lost 2-1 it would have been upsetting but it wouldn't be as grindingly frustrating as this sense of not having giving it as much of a go as we could have. I'd rather lose like that than penalties, any day. And I don't understand how he seemed so content to play for penalties when Italy would so clearly be favourites there (given their penalty win against Spain, their goalkeeper, their lack of 30 years of crushing history of going out on penalties). It's almost like he was playing for a fairytale catharsis ending to make up for 96 but instead he's just condemned a whole new generation to that same despair. Even though I am being critical, I think he has earned the right to manage us for the next World Cup, a successive semi-final and a final do justify that. It's just it's hard to hold out much hope that it won't end in similar disappointment and possibly much earlier if the draw is less kind. And a strong feeling that in 10,20 years we may well be looking back at World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020 as our best ever chances, the ones that got away.
  7. Looking a bit closer, he's basically gone as close as possible to his World Cup 2018 lineup throughout the KO stages. Brackets are the only changes from then. Makes it all the more surprising that he didn't bring Lingard as well tbh: Pickford Walker Stones Maguire Trippier Shaw (Young) Rice (Henderson) Phillips (Alli) Saka (Lingard) Sterling Kane On one hand, I can understand he got to semi-final then so he can say the tactic worked in tournament football. But it was a bit of a grind, penalties against Colombia, beat an average Sweden and then came up short of ideas vs Croatia. This could easily be like Colombia but with the opposite shootout result. Or like Croatia. Feel like Werner is guaranteed to score.
  8. All along I've assumed you can only really fit 1 or 2 out of Foden, Mount & Grealish and I could understand any choice there, all very good intelligent footballers. In the end we get zero. Who is the creative passer in this team? Maguire? I can just see endless negative passing triangles between Rice, Walker and Stones, Kane getting bored by himself up front and Saka/Sterling running into blind alleys. If he really had to go three at the back, why not at least have Saka as an attacking wing back instead of Shaw or Trippier? Least we have good bench options to step it up in 2nd half. Just seems so extremely negative and giving Germany a psychological advantage from the start.
  9. Indeed. Been done on positioning/pace time and time again. and useless with the ball. Contributed to all 4 goals.
  10. Guilbert needs subbing so very badly. Elmo to RB + any of the attackers on for Guilbert please.
  11. Yep, he'd be a great addition, along the lines of Elphick. Would add both strength and experience (including being central part of a team which got promoted from this division).
  12. Frustrating but not a disaster. We need to regain winning mentality, but this was always going to be a tricky fixture to start with. Once we get some cohesion up front between Ayew, McCormack and Grealish we'll cause lots of teams problems, and once we start getting goals, confidence will return to the side. Think it did show we very much need investment in midfield. Defence was solid for the most part but it was a classic cock-up of the kind we did all the time last season (all the more frustrating that it's completely new player doing the same kind of thing)
  13. well, we still got a suicidal cockup in us. Gollini looked good until that moment.
  14. There's a decent player in there but just too damn inconsistent and prone to disappearance. Maybe he should fully convert to striker, he didn't seem to have the discipline for the position but he's a good finisher. Anyway, good move all round. Should do well for Celtic 'cause the defences up there ain't gonna be too great and Celtic are going to be dominating against most of them which'll keep him involved. And we've done well to get some money for him and shift another player who is strongly associated with the horror of last season (even if not the worst culprit) That's 8 players from last year's squad moved on now (Richardson, N'Zogbia, Guzan, Clark, Gueye, Sinclair, Crespo, Gil), along with a few youngsters. Expect Veretout, Sanchez, Lescott to find their way out by end of month, maybe one or two others (can't see we'll keep all three of Amavi, Bennett and Cissokho, for example) and then with a few coming in, we'll really start to feel like we've started fresh.
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