The United Kingdom will never win the Eurovision song contest again. It is out of our hands and sadly, no matter how talented our entry, and I think you will agree that we have entered some belters recently, politics just ruin it for us.
However, this World Cup seems fair and I believe England can win it. Two wins against shite teams have not triggered euphoria. It seems incredibly low key. If the Luxembourg jury were voting now on the England performance, it woukd be maximum points.
I am Irish and after the Ireland, Scotland and Wales teams, it used to be anyone but England. Simply because of the Spice Boys, Engerlund, and the appalling sense of entitlement. I believe that we will see the World Cup winners tomorrow.
I will have a significant financial gain if it is Belgium but I will have compensation if it is England.
It can be done. Kane is a remarkable player with a top temperament. Stones is starting to look as if Man City robbed us. The spirit is good, the coach is doing and saying everything right. The formation and tactics are right and the press have not yet printed the window stickers.
We have poor Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and France sides with an okay England team. An okay team – not a great team – will win this World Cup. It can be England. I am backing them as a saver with Belgium.
Reader Comments (28)
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1 Posted 28/06/2018 at 08:19:08
For me, the only other side apart from England or Belgium who have looked good are Croatia. I would not fear Brazil, France or Argentina so far.
England won't face Belgium again now until late on so I think they can go far â€“ should be looking at SF at least now I'd say and then it is anyone's. One of England, Belgium or Croatia to win it for me.
2 Posted 28/06/2018 at 09:32:28
3 Posted 28/06/2018 at 11:33:19
4 Posted 28/06/2018 at 12:45:15
I think we've gone from a punchers chance, were the stars would need to align to a decent outsider.
The team will face several changes today, unlike previous teams there is only one outstanding player IMO, Kane, not a set of them.
The emphasis on the â€˜team' rather than the â€˜individual' might make those changes easier to handle? As the replacements aren't a significant step down from the starters.
Mix in that no country has looked dominant, and many of the pre-tournament favorites have had tougher group experiences than ourselves, which might count for something come knockout time, it might work against them too.
But no one is scared of Brazil ðŸ‡§ðŸ‡·, or France ðŸ‡«ðŸ‡· not the team that has stood out; Croatia ðŸ‡ðŸ‡·. Even in their win over Argentina they waited for the opposition to implode rather than go at them. I don't think they believe they can win it, however their talent should take them far.
I'd be very disappointed if we didn't make the QFs. My thoughts are the Sfs, out valiantly not with a damp squib.
5 Posted 28/06/2018 at 12:51:35
Kane is outstanding and this Championship is different because he hasn't been bizarrely asked to take corners or free kicks into the box (criminal management that)
Apart from him, there is no-one in the team that massively stands out.
You then look at Brazil, Spain and even Belgium and they have a number of outstanding players. Even Argentina are suffering because Messi can't do it all and Macherano has been woeful.
Don't get me wrong, I applaud what Southgate has done, he has dropped the big club's clique, picked players on merit and got them playing as a team again, not just a group of individuals playing for themselves.
As above, we have a slight underdogs chance, but I believe the first good side we come against will rip that 3 at the back apart.
I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I won't be.
6 Posted 28/06/2018 at 15:10:17
Do I think we will win it? No, I don't. We will probably bomb out in the quarterfinal or semi-final stages.
7 Posted 28/06/2018 at 17:09:04
Battering the Saudis didn't make me think the Russians were contenders. Battering the Panamanians is at about the same level.
8 Posted 28/06/2018 at 19:36:56
If the team can defend like lions and have the best most clinical striker, they can beat any of the favoured sides.
All the big teams have more flaws than usual so it's wide open.
9 Posted 28/06/2018 at 23:37:11
What I did see was a shot of the Belgium bench with Lukaku, Hazard and De Bruyne sitting there, and I couldn't help thinking we would more than likely get overrun facing this opposition in a proper battle.
Southgate seems to have done a very good job. I like the way he has set up the team. I like the ball playing centre halves, the thinking behind putting Walker in the back 3 to utilise his pace. Trippier is doing a good job down the right. Kane is Kane.
Ultimately though, I think it's the midfield that won't offer enough when it comes to the crunch. We are lacking a true playmaker. One that can unpick the lock in the tightest of games. We've got talent aplenty, decent players for sure, but I don't see a "genius". Most top teams have at least one of those.
Kane can't do it all by himself. He was anonymous in the second half against Tunisia until the last minute.
We could do it. I hope we do. But I really just can't see it happening.
Who would really be overly surprised if we "did an England" in the next game against Colombia? Not me.
10 Posted 29/06/2018 at 09:34:48
Colombia are no push-overs. Croatia look more dangerous and any other teams in the competition. Even Sweden are looking good.
11 Posted 29/06/2018 at 09:53:35
12 Posted 29/06/2018 at 10:56:17
From what I've seen, England remain the England we have known for the past 30 years. Their main attributes are being physical and direct. There is very little craft or guile in the side with most goals it appears coming largely from set pieces.
Maybe this is the way it is. Maybe this type of football is in our DNA. I hope it's not in Everton's DNA!
13 Posted 29/06/2018 at 11:03:29
14 Posted 29/06/2018 at 11:04:38
Our manager when we move to new stadium?
Must go, those pigs are flying again!
15 Posted 29/06/2018 at 11:16:28
17 Posted 29/06/2018 at 11:45:49
Both England and Belgium won't win it. England is just not good enough, especially in the before mentioned creativity-bracket and also defensively. On the plus side; if (and that's a real if) England beats Colombia they have a doable quarter final, although both Sweden and Switzerland could hurt England on the counter attack.
Belgium has their best squad ever in terms of sheer talent. But it's not really a team, and their midfield is totally unbalanced. Martinez's suicide tactics won't do them good in that respect either. They will beat Japan but I fear for Belgium playing either Brazil or Mexico. Quarterfinal exit it is.
Of course I could be dead wrong in two weeks time, wouldn't be the first time either.
18 Posted 29/06/2018 at 12:15:44
19 Posted 29/06/2018 at 12:31:17
My biggest concern would be either Spain of Croatia, in the semi-finals, simply because they are both excellent whilst we are just a little bit short in the middle of the park.
Anyone who understands team sport will realise that making all those changes will only enhance an already excellent team spirit and, although they fell a little bit short, every player bar the keepers will feel like they are properly part of the squad.
I said at the start that England were possibly one top midfielder away from really having a chance to win this World Cup, but last night meant nothing really, except most of the first team got a rest.
I'm going to stick my neck out and say England can get to the final... but only if they can get past a very good Colombia.
20 Posted 29/06/2018 at 15:04:45
We've only played one decent (second) team and lost that one.
We've played Mickey Mouse teams up to now and still failed to keep a clean sheet in any game.
The Colombia game will be telling.
22 Posted 29/06/2018 at 19:38:47
England will be relying on Stirling or Rashford to create from wide positions. Scoring from set-pieces. Harry Kane scoring from scraps.
I don't get excited at all about England; it is a sideshow for me, but I think they have a decent chance this time around, especially with the relatively soft draw compared to other big teams.
If they don't get to the semis, it can be reasonably be labelled a failure.
23 Posted 29/06/2018 at 20:23:44
24 Posted 29/06/2018 at 20:44:00
On what basis do England have a great chance? Their friendly results? How they qualified in the first place? A decent win against Panama? Struggled against Tunisia and then lost to Belgium's reserves. Yet, apparently, it's semifinals or bust. It won't surprise me when, having scraped past Columbia, England get dumped out on their arses against either Sweden or Switzerland.
Winner of Belgium - Brazil quarter-final for me. Failing that, Croatia as an outside bet.
25 Posted 29/06/2018 at 00:02:35
Harry Kane must have been spitting feathers to have missed out on a chance to further his claims to win the Golden Boot, and to not even bring him on for the last half-hour at least was bloody criminal.
Looking at the bigger picture, we were unanimous in thinking this was Southgate's biggest mistake so far. After pyrrhic victories against two very weak teams, he had the opportunity to try out his first team against one of the better teams in the tournament with no danger of elimination if we lost. He would have had the chance to correct any errors in his selection and / or tactics in time for the next round, giving us a better chance of progression.
Instead, by playing his second string, he really learned nothing that will help us going forward as few of the players he started with last night will be in his first choice selection in the coming rounds.
Big mistake Gareth, and a massive missed opportunity.
26 Posted 30/06/2018 at 18:10:40
27 Posted 30/06/2018 at 18:53:44
Could Leicester City win the Premier League ?
Could Wigan Athletic win the F.A. Cup ?
Like any cup competition it depends on who is in form on the day. So the answer is YES, but if everyone else plays to their potential, NO !!!
P.S. Watch out for France.
28 Posted 30/06/2018 at 22:11:55
29 Posted 30/06/2018 at 22:15:08
30 Posted 30/06/2018 at 22:57:40
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