Mixed fortunes for Blues in international action

Saturday, 8 September, 2018 37comments  |  Jump to last

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Cenk Tosun and Jordan Pickford suffered defeats but on loan Blues Henry Onyekuru and Muhamed Besic were on the winning side

Onyekuru failed to dislodge Samuel Kalu from the Nigeria starting line-up, and had to sit through most of the game in The Seychelles, coming on only as a very late substitute with the game won by Nigeria, 3-0.

Besic played for Bosnia-Herzegovina in their 2-1 victory over Northern Ireland.

Sigurdsson played for Iceland to start their Nations League campaign in Switzerland but his country were hammered 6-0.

Pickford kept goal for England when they took on Spain at Wembley but the Three Lions gave up two goals after going ahead against a very good Spain side, the second one deceptively simple off a set-piece.

England had a late goal disallowed in a controversial decision.


Reader Comments (37)

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Gerry Quinn
1 Posted 08/09/2018 at 17:00:53
AS I speak, there is a fascinating look back to 1888 on the BBC Live page...Everton v Altrincham at Anfield...


Gerry Quinn
2 Posted 08/09/2018 at 17:37:31
Apologies, I meant Accrington Stanley
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 08/09/2018 at 17:50:40
Interesting piece, Gerry. Some cracking moustachios in the pictures. I think they should be compulsory again.
Steve Ferns
4 Posted 08/09/2018 at 18:21:54
Northern Ireland lost to Bosnia. Didn't see the game but saw Bosnia's kit... this is the Leicester away kit, identical, and the Lyon home kit with some blue changed to red. A few other teams wear it too.

Someone wanted us to be sponsored by Adidas and have them make the kit. I'm glad they don't.

Jay Wood

5 Posted 08/09/2018 at 19:04:43

Siggy's Iceland thumped 6-0 in Switzerland.

Derek Taylor
6 Posted 08/09/2018 at 19:10:49
Does anybody suspect that the rumoured £65 - £70M expended on the likes of Sigurdsson and Schhneiderlin was a criminal waste of Everton's money?
Daniel Hutchinson
7 Posted 08/09/2018 at 19:39:43
I think Iceland lost on purpose. They want to drop down to the lesser groups. We will see a lot of this with the new system.
Brian Williams
8 Posted 08/09/2018 at 19:50:02
Bloody Wembley crowd booing Ramos!
Hero in my book!
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 08/09/2018 at 19:57:56
That was a hell of a ball in behind the Spanish defence.
Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 08/09/2018 at 20:00:01
Pickford beaten at the near post. No chance.
Brian Williams
11 Posted 08/09/2018 at 20:01:48
Superb ball by Shaw, absolutely inch perfect.
Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 08/09/2018 at 20:19:38
Uh oh zonal marking faux pas... Pickford beaten hands down. Spain looking very good.
John Keating
13 Posted 08/09/2018 at 20:21:15
Silva advising Southgate???
John Keating
14 Posted 08/09/2018 at 20:53:39
Why would Southgate, the manager of England, set up a zonal system like that, when he must know that all the experts, including a few on here, all say it takes a year or three to get it right.

I mean they are all established international footballers. I wonder if their zonal system, like ours, needs tweaking a bit, or not, according to what expert you listen too.

Michael Kenrick
15 Posted 08/09/2018 at 20:59:32
Luke Shaw down... No replays so I rewound my tape... ouch!!! Real whiplash, hopefully not but I fear it could have broken his neck!
Kunal Desai
16 Posted 08/09/2018 at 21:12:23
Bad bellend of a ref this. That Stones tackle was clean.
Will Mabon
17 Posted 08/09/2018 at 21:16:06
Jeez, Mike. So bad?

I don't watch TV except for the occasional sports event. I decided to not watch the match but did listen to a little during a quick drive to a friend's place - where I discovered it's not being shown on UK mainstream television.

Secondary tournament or not, even a friendly, is everything getting the monetize treatment? Can't watch an England match, even on a minor free-to-air channel...

Tom Bowers
18 Posted 08/09/2018 at 22:03:14
I said Southgate didn't have a clue before the World Cup and he's proved it. Rashford is not world class and despite the goal missed two sitters.

Dele Alli is a waste of space at this level, as is Henderson, but playing a defence like that is bananas.

Tommy Carter
19 Posted 08/09/2018 at 23:32:23
Funny how people ar slagging Southgate. The man took us to a World Cup semi final and people are happy to criticise him. Basically, people don’t have a clue

He’s moved England forward lightyears. Let me explain how.

Between 2006 - 2018 England put in truly abysmal tournament performances against:

Trinidad and Tobago
Costa Rica

I’m not talking results. I’m talking games where we should’ve at least been on top and probably should have out performed our performances. I guess that’s 80% of our tournament games in that time

My point is this. We performed to our ability under GS and that is all you can ask for. Failing that you need the opposition to under perform. Belgium didn’t against us (twice) and neither did Croatia who got unbelievably more strong as the game went on.

Do we have better players than Belgium? No

Do we have better players than Croatia? Maybe.

Do we have better players than Costa Rica? Yes. But we couldn’t beat them.

USA? Yes but we couldn’t beat them

Etc etc

Si Cooper
20 Posted 08/09/2018 at 23:58:21
Tom, out of interest, who do you think he is keeping out of the side?

For me, Lingard is the current David Platt; mainly very ordinary and ineffectual but has an annoying habit of producing just enough eye-catching moments to make it look like he is contributing more overall than he is. Absolute waste of space when the opposition are controlling the possession.

Si Cooper
21 Posted 08/09/2018 at 00:11:36
Daniel Hutchison (7), is that a serious post? Why would a national team deliberately want to play lesser teams when they can find a level in this structure where they should get decent workouts against teams of a similar strength / ability? Wouldn't the clubs be furious to be releasing players to risk themselves in completely pointless international games?

Didn't look like they were ‘controlling' any aspect of that game.

Si Cooper
22 Posted 09/09/2018 at 00:19:42
Gary Neville made the eminently sensible point that Henderson (I would say Gomez as well) have to be busting a gut to stop that ball getting past them and into the danger area in front of goal. Do that and you don’t have to worry about the attackers.
Si Cooper
23 Posted 09/09/2018 at 00:39:42
MK, just watched the Luke Shaw collision on ITV+1. It didn't look particularly bad to me (Michael Keane was one where watching him hit the turf is difficult to watch) though he got a double whammy from the initial contact with Carvajal's (fore?)arm and then whacking his head on the turf as he comes down awkwardly.

He was also apparently conscious and able to move his arm to the top of his head straight after the fall. A definite head-ringer with a bit of a a neck wrench thrown in?

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 09/09/2018 at 00:50:19
Si Cooper #21, yes.

If you tank a cycle on the new UEFA nations league and get yourself down to the lowest tier then it’s easier to qualify for the World Cup in the next cycle. One of the weakest 16 European sides on rankings will go to the World Cup.

The new system sees lots more England v Spain games, but it ends the monopoly of the big European powerhouses qualifying for World Cup after World Cup.

Me, I can’t see it lasting. No one realises what it is yet, once half the biggest European nations miss out on World Cup, they’ll scrap it. Who cares about winning the UEFA nations league anyway?

Si Cooper
25 Posted 09/09/2018 at 01:07:57
Steve, to be honest I haven't really read up on the competition so I obviously need to do that.

It hadn't occurred to me that anyone would set up a competition that guarantees a place for even one of the lower ranked teams, so I assumed it was meant to give national teams more properly competitive games so that they would have a better chance to improve.

Make it easier for them to improve through competitive well matched games = sensible / give them a guarantee of a place in the finals by merely being the best of the minnows = barmy.

Si Cooper
26 Posted 09/09/2018 at 01:31:30

I just checked a brief explanation of this competition. Does seem like a major flaw in the plan and something wholly against the ethos of any serious sporting competition. It is like the people who advocate non-competitive sports days are now in charge of major sporting events as well. However, does the back-door qualification route apply to the World Cup as well as the Euros?

If they want to freshen things up why not have an All-Stars team from the non-qualifiers (with a neutral manager) so that those great individual players from weaker national teams get to play at the highest level as well?

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 09/09/2018 at 02:56:25
Not sure Si. It might just be the euros, I thought it was the World Cup too. FIFA don’t care who we send, just how many. So it’s up to UEFA how they do it.
Andy Mead
28 Posted 09/09/2018 at 10:29:12
It is just the European Championships – not the World Cup.
Steve Cotton
29 Posted 09/09/2018 at 10:55:03
Si Cooper great idea. Simon Cowell could manage the all star style 'one direction' team. It's worked every year for X factor. The 'thrown together' team will get more help as underdogs. Louis Walsh could be the throw in coach
John G Davies
30 Posted 09/09/2018 at 15:39:52
I didn't watch the full game, just highlights. John Stones had a couple of lapses in concentration in the bits I watched. How did he play overall?
John G Davies
31 Posted 09/09/2018 at 15:57:20

Classy lad this Ramos

Justin Doone
32 Posted 09/09/2018 at 21:44:12
I've said it for the past 20+ years England remind me of Everton so much. Its a different team, different players and managers but they both continue to fail to make the most of what they have. The constant internal optimism of what quality we possess but failing to understand the reality of what we are up against.

So often the unlucky losers, the "Tim, nice but dim" characters — as soon as a sprinkling of optimism started to shine through, some ruthless master puts them back in their place, yelling to be quiet; we've had our bit of fun... now, back to reality.

Football changed a long time ago but England, like Everton, are playing catch-up. We hope to unearth a few diamonds but realistically we know they are very rare.

We have some lesser jewels, we can plan, be organised, work hard, but it will be a very long time before we are are considered worthy of a place next to the elite, never mind joining in.

In the meantime, I dream but keep my expectations realistic. Therefore, I'm left with little else but to hope for effort and entertainment. The fact Everton have now overtaken England on this front too is a sad indictment of the national team.

I'm British Irish and although I've talked about England it's simply because words fail me when talking about the shambles of Ireland and Scotland. Northern Ireland are at least making a fight of it and Wales have a diamond that they allow to shine but one diamond is no longer enough on the world stage. However when talking Europe, they are certainly in with a better shout as long as they look after it well.

Everton have Richarlison and I'm hoping a couple of others will soon be confirmed as real and not zirconias.

Bobby Mallon
33 Posted 10/09/2018 at 09:07:57
Justin Doone, a great post!
Victor Yu
34 Posted 10/09/2018 at 09:49:16
Let's be honest. The England team is not that good. In the World Cup they beat the weaker teams but had no answers against stronger teams.

They are not bad but definitely not Tier 1 material at the moment.

Lee Brownlie
35 Posted 11/09/2018 at 09:47:40
Yes, great post, Justin!! (@32).. also Victor.. absolutely true!! (@34).

Suppose thats all saved ME posting then.. not like I could say it in any way better, anyway.. so, cheers, chaps!!!

Jay Wood

36 Posted 11/09/2018 at 13:09:10
I see last night Turkey had a great result away to Sweden, no mugs themselves.

2-0 down at one stage, Turkey scored two in the last 2 minutes to win 3-2. And - no! - Cenk Tosun did not score, although he played the full 90 minutes.

In other international news, Richarlison will START for Brazil against El Savador today. He will play alongside Neymar and Douglas Costa up front.

A really nice shot of Richarlison receiving a bib in training from the manager Tite. Richarlison's face absolutely lit up with a broad smile.

Why? Because the bib's were being handed out to today's starting XI. Tite even made a comment on this small gesture in a press conference. "If I give you a bib this means that you have my confidence."

Richarlison will be enriched by this experience and encouraged, I have no doubts.

Neymar passes Pele's number of caps for Brazil with this game - 93. Still got a way to go to beat the great man's record number of goals for Brazil - 77 - but given Neymar's age, you'd probably back him to pass 'O Rei'.

Steve Ferns
37 Posted 11/09/2018 at 13:14:31
Great news about Richarlison. He must be over the moon right now. He’s got 11 days after the game to get ready for arsenal too. Whereas if he keeps playing for Brazil, jet lag could be a problem for the first game after the internationals.

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