England 2 - 1 Croatia
Jordan Pickford played in goal for England as they finally got revenge over Croatia in a crucial Group A decider that will take them to the Nations League Semi-Finals in Portugal next summer.
A frustrating first half was dominated by England in terms of chances but no goals scored, with Nikola Vlasic, who is on loan with CSKA Moscow, playing for obdurate Croatia.
And with England pressing again in the second half, Kramatic got the goal for Croatia that would threaten to make it so difficult for England to progress... again.
But England plugged away and finally pulled one back from a deep throw-in, Kane poking it goalward, and Lingard finishing from 8½ inches.
This set up quite a tense finish for England, pushing for a goal, but getting pushed back and Lingard clearing off the line, with Vlasic substituted.
But Harry Kane stepped up, just 6 minutes before the end to poke the ball inside the post off a free-kick, giving England a precious win, and further reinforcing the good work Gareth Southgate is doing with a very modest group of players.
Reader Comments (83)
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1 Posted 18/11/2018 at 15:29:55
2 Posted 18/11/2018 at 16:34:17
I always wonder whether that's down to fear of missing out on selection for their club teams due to a knock or a general lack of bottle.
Strange because you see the likes of Walker at the back who shits out of nothing!
3 Posted 18/11/2018 at 17:03:00
I guess the Beeb are heavily invested in covering England and only too happy to celebrate what is, in fact, a very important win for them to reach the final stages of this brand new competition.
And I guess that's the key for the ageing and cynical Toffees who've seen plenty of false dawns and have no enthusiasm left for the national side, what with the huge risk of players having their heads turned when they hook up with mates like Stones, Barkley, Dier — and of course Rooney before them — who have made the move to Sky 6 clubs.
4 Posted 18/11/2018 at 17:09:34
5 Posted 18/11/2018 at 18:07:33
From an Evertonian perspective, the first sign of the rot setting in was the failure to cap Kendall and Harvey (apart from Harvey appearing in one friendly), which would have given England the best midfield trio in the world at the time, fit to compete with the great Brazil midfield.
Little wonder there's little interest. Football is supposed to be entertaining, as well as effective, and England has failed on both fronts.
6 Posted 18/11/2018 at 18:08:49
There's a great rant from a kopite twat called 'Steve' — probably just before the hour mark, if you download the podcast. He really nails the point Brian Potter makes at the start about the widely hated International Breaks.
7 Posted 18/11/2018 at 18:17:24
8 Posted 18/11/2018 at 18:55:08
9 Posted 18/11/2018 at 19:21:06
I was in Germany some months back talking to a waiter about football. He was Croation and, as soon as he heard who I supported, he said "Vlasic! Great player!" and wanted to know all about Everton. So, I was in my element!
10 Posted 18/11/2018 at 19:27:34
11 Posted 18/11/2018 at 19:53:20
12 Posted 18/11/2018 at 20:20:37
Look ahead and not back, both Everton and England are progressing and are far more pleasing to the eye than in many a year.
Self-sabotage becomes a millstone which is hard to shake.
13 Posted 18/11/2018 at 20:45:11
14 Posted 18/11/2018 at 20:50:57
A parallel to the conviction that Bramley-Moore Dock isn't going to happen because of all the lies and shit that were Destination Kirby and before that, Kings Dock.
I'm with you: Everton and England are both on an upward trajectory going forward. But I respect anyone who still wants to cry in their beer about Howard Kendall and Colin Harvey being overlooked...
No, I don't. I was lying. Just yet more moribund nostalgia... Try living in the present, guys!
15 Posted 18/11/2018 at 21:52:28
You have put in a lot of hard work to provide this forum. Don't knock it when people use it!
16 Posted 18/11/2018 at 22:05:36
17 Posted 18/11/2018 at 22:12:56
18 Posted 18/11/2018 at 22:37:32
19 Posted 18/11/2018 at 22:55:57
Sterling looks like he's becoming a complete player, Stones is now the complete centre-back, and Sancho was really bright when he came on. Unimpressed still by Dier in midfield.
England look very promising, a blend of today's team and the kids from Wednesday would be a real step up from the recent past.
20 Posted 18/11/2018 at 23:07:34
Spok would point out the inaccuracy as it should be to 3 decimal places. :) :)
21 Posted 18/11/2018 at 23:50:49
All too similar and not the quality we have in other areas. I'd seriously consider blooding Phil Foden. Yes a risk for sure but, he already has more in his locker than Dier, Delph & Barkley. Loftus-cheek too deserves more minutes, balance that out with Henderson, I think that's an upgrade on what we have.
It says a lot that the game engaged me for the duration. Positive signs.
22 Posted 19/11/2018 at 00:44:27
To me, England are right now paralleling Everton in that we have a little distant history as winners... but now, with the green leaves of a resurgence. I hope the two of us progress to where we want to be.
On Vlasic, I think he'll have to develop way better than he is if he's to succeed in the hurly-burly of the Premier League as a starting player. It ain't his fault but, without extreme pace or extreme physicality – and he lacks both – it really demands immense talent, à la Luca Modric.
23 Posted 19/11/2018 at 04:00:16
Pickford's mistake early on was caused by John Stones who dallied and passed it to Delph who was under pressure and only just got to the ball ahead of a Croatian, toe-poked it back to the well-positioned Pickford. Pickford went to ground as if to pick up the ball but then reckoned it was a back pass so chested the ball instead... straight to a Croatian... who then fluffed his shot. Pickford should have just wellied it... but the cause of the whole problem was John Stones.
Delph I thought was generally outstanding and far better than Henderson (who he replaced because of injury).
Chilwell played a lot better against us and although his delivery was generally poor, he did provide the cross for the winner. He is an upgrade on Ashely Young & Danny Rose defensively.
Rashford looked a great player... I've never really rated him before but he impressed me yesterday. Unfortunately all the chances in the first half fell to Kane and Sterling who both just fluffed it. Why Sterling can't shoot with his left foot is a mystery... surely all it takes is practice?
24 Posted 19/11/2018 at 04:07:21
26 Posted 19/11/2018 at 08:54:51
The national side is now one of the best in the world, and had the midfield been beefed with a 4-3-3 in the semis we could have made the final.
As for Vlasic, give the lad a break, he is just 21 and getting started outside his native country, he will be a top player. He needs the time and patience that certain posters on this site don't seem to afford him.
27 Posted 19/11/2018 at 09:13:42
I thought the World Cup was probably the worst in terms of quality I've seen, but England did okay. Best World Cup ever was 1970 in my opinion. Brazil 70 is the best footballing team I have ever seen. They would beat most teams today with the same fitness regime. Yes, I'm ageing... but I seen them all with my own eyes.
28 Posted 19/11/2018 at 09:39:54
Hard to say if they would win. They certainly had the skills but could they execute at the pace of the modern game? Many of them would simply be too slow regardless of fitness as pace was less important back then.
I remember Brian Clough saying circa 1980 when his Forest team was being criticized as unworthy English Champions by saying "If they didn't have stopwatches, they'd be saying that Roger Bannister was faster than Seb Coe".
No doubt at all that that 1970 Brazil team without modern training regime and probably tactics would be mullered by pretty much any national side in the top 10 now (or top 20). And, with modern coaching, they wouldn't really be playing quite so beautifully.
29 Posted 19/11/2018 at 09:52:43
Regarding my comments about Kendall and Harvey being overlooked by England, I think it's an issue that's relevant today. Many Evertonians, including me, believe that there's a bias against giving caps to Everton players. The latest manifestations have been Stones and Barkley, who could barely get a game when here but are being selected after joining 'top-4' sides. Some might disagree that there's such a bias, but such disagreement is what constitutes a 'relevant issue'.
30 Posted 19/11/2018 at 09:59:16
I doubt there is a modern player today to compete with Maradona or Cruyff – the two best players to grace the planet. Closely followed by the Kaiser and Bobby Moore, who optimised playing out from the back... and guess what: they could defend too. Guarantee Pep would have both in his team today.
31 Posted 19/11/2018 at 10:14:13
I doubt that most of the modern teams would even be able to play in the toxic masculinity world the feminists have developed for you millennial fellas. It used to pitting your prowess against other males. Believe me, that was part of being a man. Not big beards and tattoos. God bless... poor little things.
No, the modern teams would not muller the teams of old; it would not be a contest. Unless we made them wear skirts... even then, I doubt it.
32 Posted 19/11/2018 at 10:21:35
33 Posted 19/11/2018 at 12:48:26
2-0 up needing to avoid defeat by more than 2 goals and lost 5-2!!!
Some things never change.
34 Posted 19/11/2018 at 12:51:16
Corner for England, ball pinged about a bit, ended up with Ross who started to try and juggle the ball past a player, got caught and there was a promising breakaway for Crotia, who had a 3-on-3 situation.
Yep, that's Barlkey that!
35 Posted 19/11/2018 at 13:26:09
Good old Roberto.
36 Posted 19/11/2018 at 13:35:43
38 Posted 19/11/2018 at 15:32:35
You mention cheating... Maradona knew a thing or two about that.
The game has changed, but not entirely for the worse. Better protection of flair players is a good thing. The diving and gamesmanship is awful now, but I think the Italians and Argentinians (amongst others) were at it in the 60s and before. It's just universal now.
39 Posted 19/11/2018 at 15:44:59
Zinadine Zidane was surely another player to go in-between the names you have just mentioned, David, especially considering he also won a World Cup!!
40 Posted 19/11/2018 at 16:28:37
41 Posted 19/11/2018 at 18:08:13
I remember us playing Man Utd at Goodison, in 1971 I think, at the start of the season when the first few games were all-ticket. I was in the Paddock with my dad, and Best was on the right wing with Man Utd attacking the Gladwys Street end, so we could see him up close.
I just remember being gobsmacked at his control of a football, his ability to beat defenders even when marked by several of them, making it seem easy to send defenders the wrong way. The term genius is overused nowadays, but Best was one of them. We still managed to win 2-1 though!
42 Posted 19/11/2018 at 18:12:54
A red once argued with me that Dogleash was a better player than George Best!!
43 Posted 19/11/2018 at 22:03:45
Er... to bring it bang up-to-date: Pickford, only now established as undisputed England No 1 — since moving to (big club) Everton.
Who will be next? I say Keane, under the tutelage of Mr Silva. Already working his way back into contention after the horrors of last season.
44 Posted 19/11/2018 at 22:15:26
45 Posted 19/11/2018 at 22:33:58
He also had imagination and skill beyond even excellent players, a mental toughness to withstand some of the crap pitches and shoe'ings he regularly got throughout his 7 or 8 years at the top, and a devilish heart to deliver it back. He never wimped out.
At 18, I thought Rooney matched him but then regrettably failed to sustain the impact of those early years in blue.
46 Posted 19/11/2018 at 22:34:09
Oh and Vlasic will leave us as he doesnt feel the love. And he hasnt covered himself in glory with his comments on us.
47 Posted 19/11/2018 at 23:07:58
48 Posted 19/11/2018 at 23:10:45
Bobby Charlton said "He should have been brought down".
Program anchor, Jimmy Hill in 'shocked voice': "Surely you don't mean he should have been deliberately fouled?"
"We players call it a professional foul and Alf Ramsay would have had our guts for garters had he not been brought down."
That was the very first time I heard the term 'professional foul' — and by Charlton of all people.
49 Posted 19/11/2018 at 23:22:18
Both could lift a game out of the ordinary into something magical. Others, such as our own Alex Young, also had that god-given gift but to a slightly lesser degree.
50 Posted 20/11/2018 at 01:37:46
51 Posted 19/11/2018 at 01:40:28
You dropped some names. For what? The elite are the elite, any era. The best of the best will give anyone a go.
If we could send the top teams today, Everton included, back to the times of your fantasy? They'd crush everything in front of them.
Plus, once they discovered what is a foul now, wasn't then? They'd leave the pitch covered with writhing bodies, as they sprinted on their way to running up a score even worse.
I'm an old-timer like you, James. The idea that today's teams couldn't deal with the old boys is beyond fantasy. It's an hallucination.
52 Posted 20/11/2018 at 01:58:31
Some have mentioned George Best and if he'd graced a World Cup finals he might have got more international acclaim. Probably the best British player of all time. But he for sure would not have lasted long in the modern game – he drank all the money he had – give him more and he'd have gone down faster.
Digressing, it's sad to see Gazza in the news today for all the wrong reasons – and Danny Murphy saying how many young Premier League players were ripped off by independent financial advisers – not just them, of course – but it's a terrible shame.
53 Posted 20/11/2018 at 02:02:41
54 Posted 20/11/2018 at 20:28:28
Just a thought but maybe you need total freedom of your team-mates to be the absolute best, and possibly why no real midfielders make the list?
55 Posted 21/11/2018 at 04:30:18
I suppose it's all a matter of opinion but I'd rate Puskas better than both and Platini before Iniesta but the forgotten man always seems to be Gerson, who'd be my first all-time selection and who ran the Brazil 1970 team, unspectacularly spectacular.
56 Posted 21/11/2018 at 07:31:29
Platini, what a player, especially lining up alongside Tigana and Giresse (I loved the Euros... France won when I was a kid) and possibly the best long passer of the ball I've ever seen.
Like everyone else, I love to watch great footballers and every time someone mentions another great, it usually brings a smile to my face, especially if I've been lucky enough to watch them play!
57 Posted 21/11/2018 at 10:34:56
58 Posted 21/11/2018 at 10:50:49
59 Posted 21/11/2018 at 11:22:10
Imagine if the two trinities had faced each other at the England v Brazil game in Mexico 1970. The two best midfield trios in the world at that time, and the match might have been even more entertaining than it was.
61 Posted 21/11/2018 at 12:28:44
The argument about players from different eras is always entertaining but to say players from the past would not be able to cut it today is ludicrous. Given the same training, fitness, diet etc the great players from the past would be great players today. Try saying that Best, Young or the greats mentioned above wouldn't stand out to anyone who saw them play... 🤣
62 Posted 21/11/2018 at 12:59:26
It was said that Puskas was asked why he never used his right foot and his answer was that with a left leg like his, who needed a right leg. Di Stefano was asked why as a centre-forward (he wore No 9) he never headed the ball and he replied that the head is for the wearing of the hat.
George Best used to tell the story about coaching in Sydney and all the kids rushed to him ignoring the overweight older European coach so Best lined up 6 balls and asked the coach to try and hit the bar with them. He hit 5 out of 6 and the kids sat up; it was Puskas.
Stan (#59); Always was the downfall of English managers that they prefer playing the likes of Mullery and Stiles (not bad players) to mark somebody from the opposition out of the game rather than have the opposition worry about them. Remember Joe Mercer as caretaker England manager telling the players to, above all, go out and enjoy themselves.
63 Posted 21/11/2018 at 13:11:52
The best player I never saw (only on television) but what a privilege, every time I saw him. Did he score four in that European Cup Final at Hampden Park, and Puskas three, or was it the other way round?
Alfredo played for three International countries, he was just an immense footballer, for me the best I ever saw: tremendous skill, dedication and application. A pity he never played in the English league; I'd have queued all night to watch him.
64 Posted 21/11/2018 at 13:20:32
Georgie Best rightly deserves recalling; another great footballer, great to watch. Pity he only played top-flight football for seven years... what a talent he threw away.
65 Posted 21/11/2018 at 13:23:21
I was lucky enough to see Alfredo Di Stefano play for Real Madrid against Manchester Utd at Old Trafford. He was a great player, great first touch and very good in the air; he was also a very graceful player. I think Santa Maria played that game, a brilliant centre-half, as they were called back then; Del Sol and Ghento played as well. What a team Real were – a joy to watch.
66 Posted 21/11/2018 at 13:47:37
Man Utd also played Real Madrid not long after in a European Cup match, think they lost 1-3 and Di Stefano played in that game, if I'm not mistaken.
67 Posted 21/11/2018 at 13:50:23
68 Posted 21/11/2018 at 14:19:31
69 Posted 21/11/2018 at 15:20:24
The following season, Man Utd won the League Championship and they told the league where to go when they told them they also couldn't enter the European Cup.
So that 2-2 game was a friendly and would have been played around 1955, the 1-3 game was a European Cup fixture and was played in 1956 or not long after that.
70 Posted 21/11/2018 at 16:38:45
Memory not being what it was but I thought Puskas got 3 in that Final.
For some reason, I had Wolves playing in Europe in 1956 – or should that be 1959?
71 Posted 21/11/2018 at 16:58:40
72 Posted 21/11/2018 at 17:01:19
Argentina, Colombia and Spain according to Wikki.
73 Posted 21/11/2018 at 17:05:24
Alan, you would be correct to say Wolves played in Europe in 1955 and possibly earlier, but they were all friendly games against, I think, Moscow Dynamo and Honved, the second half of these games were shown on TV, probably BBC. The games were brilliant to watch, not only were they very good games, but we were starved of watching football on TV those days, it was like Chtistmas for the eager football fans of those days.
Wolves also might have played in the Inter City Fairs Cup games in 1959, which were the forerunner of the Uefa Cup and the present Europa League.
74 Posted 21/11/2018 at 17:38:59
He also played with an ex-Everton player while out in Colombia.
75 Posted 21/11/2018 at 18:12:23
A few Brittish players went to Bogota, ignoring a warning not to go by the football authorities. They were all promised a lavish lifestyle and top wages to go; it turned out be an illusion and they came back pretty quickly. They were suspended but eventually returned to the game.
I think Jack Hedley went to Sunderland and played many years for them. Ironically Sunderland were later fined for paying over the top wages to players in the fifties, don't know if Hedley was one of those players.
76 Posted 21/11/2018 at 19:00:14
It was a rare opportunity to have two great football experiences in the space of about 26 hours, something I haven't done since. But I will be taking Mike Gaynes to Marine and Anfield in the same timespan next weekend - what chance some more great memories?
Look forward to seeing you, Dave A.
77 Posted 21/11/2018 at 21:01:09
Yes, looking forward to the derby game and echo your thoughts about gathering some memories from that game. See you a week on Friday.
78 Posted 21/11/2018 at 23:07:12
Sivori's less celebrated skill was diving though, and in later years Sivori related how after one of his pike-with-double-twist efforts it was Charles, not the irate defenders, who dragged him upright and bollocked him senseless for trying to cheat.
Ah, those were the days!
79 Posted 22/11/2018 at 03:55:17
Regarding players Hill named and you with Young and Best.
I opened in reply to Hill's maudlin drooling (31), "You dropped some names. For what? The elite are the elite, any era. The best of the best will give anyone a go."
For me, the best of any era would fit in anywhere. So there's no quarrel there.
It's today's players vs back when the game "was a man's game", I laugh at the old-timer bullshit it is.
Here, let's send some of today's sides back to the 60-70s years when men were men. I think Moyes had a couple to fill the bill, but will pick two teams from right now that always send out a side with some chippy bastards; Spurs and Chelsea.
Blatantly kicked down. "Hey ref, you didn't see that, for fucks sake?", in the whimpering, bearded, tatooed way of the modern player.
Few minutes later, gets some back, but not as "hard", since these pampered pussies of today wouldn't recognize hard if they slammed into a brick wall.
Yet, as the game progresses, it sinks in that what is a foul all day in this descended, millennial world of girly-men athletes, is simply "play on". back in the era of real men.
I said, and repeat, that once the realization sunk all the way in with Chelsea and Spurs players that almost anything goes "mano a mano", they'd run all over those teams of old.
Wouldn't be close.
80 Posted 22/11/2018 at 08:04:21
Great response – love it!
81 Posted 22/11/2018 at 08:19:24
Best would still be a great player, along with most of the others mentioned. The likes of Hunter, Stiles, Smith etc would be found out for what they where. Dinosaurs. But effective in that era.
If it were possible for the current generation to go back, once they'd realised that a broken fingernail, smudged tattoo or ruined hair extension wasn't a death sentence some of today's players would also have been able to make the transition back to the Middle Ages, as some on here think it was. ;-)
As I said, always an entertaining topic.
83 Posted 22/11/2018 at 09:58:13
Yesterday's gone, but it's never forgotten, even if this new Everton team, have got me doing something I haven't done for years, because I've been counting down the days till Saturday all week, and there is nothing worse than wishing time away!
84 Posted 22/11/2018 at 16:48:10
87 Posted 23/11/2018 at 04:50:37
However, I can also say that, as a true Blue, there are at least a dozen Everton players who have personally given me more pleasure over the last seventy years than any of the above superstars. Yes, I know they might not be nearly as skillful and I do admire special skills but I would rather watch a good Evertonian than a great player in another team. Alex Young tops my list but he was never an International worldwide star, but he did it all, for me.
88 Posted 23/11/2018 at 21:18:39
I agree that we'd have to allow for today's all-round fitness considerations (especially eliminating the alcohol/tobacco/lousy food of those days). No doubt that makes a difference.
I agree that the elite of any era provided the current levels of fitness would remain elite. Why wouldn't they? For me, the best back then would be among the best now.
The average club 11 from back then, though, would be thrashed out-of-site.
Based on what Hill said: "I doubt that most of the modern teams would even be able to play in the toxic masculinity world the feminists have developed for you millennial fellas. It used to be pitting your prowess against other males. Believe me, that was part of being a man. Not big beards and tattoos. God bless... poor little things.
No, the modern teams would not muller the teams of old; it would not be a contest. Unless we made them wear skirts... even then, I doubt it."
He didn't approach it as you have. His was that send today's teams back then and boy wouldn't they find out. Grandpa's delusion.
What today's teams would find out is that compared to today, beyond the dramatic difference in fitness and pace, anything went back then and wouldn't they relish it is my take, skirts and all.
I'm in my mid-60s. In our American sports, there is a running (enjoyable) argument with fellows my age that include some spouting the same "Back when we were young, by God..." Hill spouted.
It dismisses the modern players' determination to succeed, especially their willingness to kick the shit out an opponent if dropped into an environment when "Men were men."
89 Posted 23/11/2018 at 21:46:24
For instance, your pick, Alex Young. I have to say he had a God-given talent, but wasted it on many occasions. On his way up at Hearts, when Real Madrid were buying the best players in the world, they ran the rule over Alex but decided he wasn't good enough for them. Their loss was Everton's good fortune.
For me, if an Everton fan told me Alex was the best they ever saw "On his day", then I would find it hard to disagree, but I suppose you could say that about quite a few players.
Incidentally, Tom Finney is the best Brittish player I have seen up to now, in my opinion.
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