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England v Russia, 11th June, 8pm

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It looks to me like Hodgson got his starting line up right, despite me being disappointed Vardy didn't start. We played well, really well at times. The trouble is that Sterling and Lallana aren't particularly confident or potent in front of goal so the threat is limited to Kane. And he had a real off day.
But we played good football, Russia didn't get a sniff and the opening goal looked likely on the balance of play, despite it taking a set piece.
But then you get down to the issue with Hodgson. He doesn't listen to his own pre match ramblings. He knows our defence is a weakness, he wants us to go all out attack. So why, with a one goal lead, do we revert to defending a slender lead dropping further into our own half, making negative subs (though Wilshere for Rooney isn't a negative move) or not making subs at all.
This is where having Vardy on the bench makes no sense. He will not be a useful sub if we are behind as he thrives on space. The kind of space that comes when a side tries to chase an equaliser. So the only instance you shoud be using him from the bench is if you have an injury or you've got a slim lead. He'll either get a chance to exploit the space on a break or he'll keep the opposition pinned in.
Saying this if we defend that cross, we win 1-0 everyone is happy and the outlook is positive.
I just don't see what Roy is thinking with him.

Pretty much what I've been saying all night.... In less words.
 

JimJams

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I can see why he took Rooney off. I imagine it's just tired legs. In the first half Rooney was coming very deep alongside Dier and also getting himself right on teh edge of teh box. He performed very well but I'm not sure he can sustain that level for 90 minutes, and even if he can Wilshere is a great swap really.
 

last request

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Played well overall but typically not shrewd and ruthless enough at the end to close the game out. Summed up by Lallana taking a pot shot and easily giving possession back to Russia when the situation did not call for it. That's going for individual glory over the team. Just pass the ball, make Russia work harder to get it back, and only go for a second if the chance is guilt edged or attacking situation is promising enough.

England too honest once again. Other teams would time waste, trap the ball in the corner or do whatever it takes to get over the line there. Only time someone went close to taking the ball to the corner was Wilshere by accident more than intentionally. And then rather than holding it there and making Russia work hard to get it back, maybe winning a throw he does a blind pass backwards out of the corner giving the ball straight to Russia. Seen this before with England in all honesty.

Having said that, it was a great header from Russia's point of view but England did minimise Russia's threat over the game and so it's unlucky in that sense (that header was a v difficult chance).

Good passing from Rooney but he is immobile. Still, better to have him in midfield than as a forward if Roy insists on including him. Look at the likes of Kante in midfield for France and the kind of off the ball work he does. Kyle Walker very good I thought. I think Vardy should have come on.
 

Veggie Legs

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Well, if only it was that simple. We only scored one despite creating seven or eight clear chances - which, to me, suggests we did do something wrong. They should never have been in a position where they could get back on level terms.
I'm not saying we shouldn't have been further ahead (although I think seven or eight clear chances is a stretch), I'm saying we didn't do anything wrong at the end of the game. Wilshere for Rooney wasn't really a defensive change and I have no problem with Milner coming on with five minutes to go, especially when Sterling was quite ineffective.
 

G.B

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rooney looked shattered tbf, no problem with him coming off.

it's all well and good saying we played well and russia didn't have a sniff etc. but we didn't score a goal from open play against a very poor team, which to me suggests woy got it wrong. the "you can't blame the manager for players missing chances" excuse doesn't hold up either. 2 of the front 3 are very well known for their lack of end product (lallana missing from 2 yards out, though he was offside, and sterling failing to connect with the ball in the box with nobody near him summing them up well). the manager picked them. so yes, you can blame the manager. kane was our only real goal threat and he was having a poor game, there was no reason not to start with/bring on another striker and smash them 2 or 3 nil. overly cautious approach as usual. why are we playing a 4-1-4-1 without the ball against a team who are literally kicking it over our midfields heads whenever they get possession? there's no reason to pack a midfield against those tactics. leave 2 up top soft lad.
 
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Reaper

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Those substitutions were a disgrace, why on gods earth would you take off the best player on the pitch, the captain and leader off when your defending a lead and im sure Milner is Hodgson's love child or something cos he always seems to get a run at some stage despite being terribly shit and lost the ball which eventually lead to the goal. Its such a shame because we played well and controlled the game for 90 mins but individual mistakes and poor substitutions cost us.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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Well for a start, it was screaming out for Vardy to be brought on. Kane was playing shit and it was a no-brainer to have someone who could get in behind. Taking Rooney off was a strange move as well, we could have done with having another midfielder who is good at keeping the ball.

I assume the strategy was to keep the ball and defend, to see the game out rather than score another. Vardy will threaten in behind but he won't hold the ball up, and Wilshere is probably the best player we have at keeping possession.
 

Nath

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i didn't think Rooney looked any more tired than the other players. Sure he slowed down, but he was still keeping the ball well and dictating. Sterling and Vardy on the counter could have been very useful.
 

TractorBoys

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Good performance all round but counts for little when you don't kill a game off.
 

JJ1532

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I assume the strategy was to keep the ball and defend, to see the game out rather than score another.
Yes, and that is the wrong strategy given: how we were playing, how Russia were playing and the fact that it was bloody Russia anyway.

If we'd been shit and were fortunate to be ahead, I'd possibly agree that sitting on the 1-0 is the right thing to do. If we had no options on the bench, I'd say the same. If Russia had a few really dangerous weapons that could hurt us if they were given space, again, no issue. But none of those things were there in this game.

Not only was it the wrong thing to do, not going for the 2nd, it made no sense given everything that had happened in the game. Sorry, Hodgson made tactical errors and it cost us the game. Should the players have done better at both ends of the pitch? Sure, but I can forgive their mistakes. They are(bar Rooney) young players learning the game. But Hodgson has no excuse. He is old enough and experienced enough to know better. He knows the defence is weak, so why put all the pressure on them to see out a lead? His decision making had/has no logic.
 

smat

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I understand bringing on Milner in the context of leading a game 1-0 and wanting to close it out. I don't understand it in the context of this game, though. Russia were terrible and there for the taking. Vardy should have been on as soon as Dier's free kick went in.
 

G-Dragon

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England should still go through. Slovakia aren't that good. Just need to make sure they don't lose against Wales.
 

silkyman

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One thing you need when you are trying to defend a lead like that is an outlet and that usually needs pace. When Sterling went off, Vardy should absolutely have replaced him.

Something else that annoyed me a bit, and happens with a lot of sides that play wingers, is when a few times, with Sterling and The Llama was that they got a decent ball down the flank, and the rest of the side don't show any real passion to get into the box. There was one where Sterling got away from his man and got to the line and there was no one to cross to. So he had to hold it up for a moment and try and beat a man.

If you have wingers and they get the ball in space out widespread ... GET IN THE FUCKING BOX. NOW.
 

silkyman

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I understand bringing on Milner in the context of leading a game 1-0 and wanting to close it out. I don't understand it in the context of this game, though. Russia were terrible and there for the taking. Vardy should have been on as soon as Dier's free kick went in.

Russia had shown nothing. Playing it the same way for five minutes would have won the game. Defend high by pressing, not sitting back.
 

SALTIRE

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Skinner

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As usual in an England related thread, Jockney is the only person I agree with on every post.

Things ain't bad.
 

Murphy

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It wasn't an awful performance, but I find it hard to agree with people (well, mainly Clive Tylsdley), who suggest we sieged the Russian goal and would have been totally deserving winners. We probably did do enough to deserve to win, but it wasn't particularly good. One or two neat passages of play down the right aside, we didn't really create too many clear cut opportunities...and Sterling..well...the less said about his performance the better.

Rooney did very well I thought, as did Walker who was my man-of-the-match and Lallana who's clearly shown that Klopp is rubbing off on him (in whatever way you choose to interpret that). Negative substitutions in the end didn't help matters, but it was just all very frustrating and not at all surprising, really.
 

Leewilson

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Very surprised to see some people suggesting we did nothing wrong.

Russia couldn't run. They had no pace at all and a giant up top. The absolute last thing we should be doing with a 1-0 lead and 5 minutes to go is dropping deep and inviting them to go long.
 

james porter

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I knew we were in trouble when Hodgson was named as manager I did not think he was any good . I have always questioned his judgement . When he named his squad I thought he had made a mistake taking players not fully fit .not taking Townsend an out and out winger who can cross and shoot accurately .Tonight it all proved to be correct .Lallana as the wide player taking the corners and shots on goal were all a joke .why was he not off and Vardy on he couldn't be any worse when we had only 20 minutes to go why change things around . we started to drop deeper and deeper .taking one fast wide player who is causing problems for Russia not letting them push every one forward .To replace him with a slow defensive midfielder who has been beaten very easily this season by opposition midfielders congesting the centre and freeing the opposing wide men to push on .I could see the goal coming and was screaming for the final whistle as I could see us getting beaten then it happened they scored our defence looked a mess . after that I am now worried about the wales game .Is this going to be another failure going out at the group stages again .I have been lucky enough to have been to England games in the past I've watched the joy of the 66 word cup win and heart break of Italia 90 but those managers knew what they were doing same team set up like player swapped for like player , same formation same tactics .But Hodgson ?
 
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I knew we were in trouble when Hodgson was named as manager I did not think he was any good . I have always questioned his judgement . When he named his squad I thought he had made a mistake taking players not fully fit .not taking Townsend an out and out winger who can cross and shoot accurately .Tonight it all proved to be correct .Lallana as the wide player taking the corners and shots on goal were all a joke .why was he not off and Vardy on he couldn't be any worse when we had only 20 minutes to go why change things around . we started to drop deeper and deeper .taking one fast wide player who is causing problems for Russia not letting them push every one forward .To replace him with a slow defensive midfielder who has been beaten very easily this season by opposition midfielders congesting the centre and freeing the opposing wide men to push on .I could see the goal coming and was screaming for the final whistle as I could see us getting beaten then it happened they scored our defence looked a mess . after that I am now worried about the wales game .Is this going to be another failure going out at the group stages again .I have been lucky enough to have been to England games in the past I've watched the joy of the 66 word cup win and heart break of Italia 90 but those managers knew what they were doing same team set up like player swapped for like player , same formation same tactics .But Hodgson ?
Kane took the corners.
 

Nilsson

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We should've won that. I'm normally fairly optimistic when it comes to England but I think there's a real lack of character in this squad. Hopefully they prove me wrong against Wales, we'll find out what they're all about in that game.

Lallana is so frustrating, gets himself in great positions but can't finish at all. The less I see of him this tournament the better.

Dier and Alli are class.
 

StagsForLife

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I still believe, should have brought on Vardy and killed the game off on the counter with his pace. Very promising performance. Our most successful tournaments came from a draw in the first game.
 

Jockney

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There is a tremendous amount of character in this squad. If only there were the same amount of character in some sections of our support, we might actually band together for once: Lord knows, the mutual respect shown in Euro 96 was awful for all involved...

The performance tonight was very good. It was of Woy's making. He has managed to do what no other England manager has done since... no other England manager in recent memory... and build, almost from scratch, an energetic side with an attacking outlook that is greater than the sum of its parts (whether that is due to timing or tactical nous, I am not certain). Unfortunately, Woy's shortcomings were there for all to see after the goal. I understand why we were conservative after the opening goal, but that doesn't excuse his substitutions: we effectively invited Russia to attack us in those fifteen minutes (and we saw, ultimately, how fragile our defence is in high-pressure situations). Lessons hopefully learned for the Wales game, which I imagine will test the calm resolve we were keen to show off tonight.

We still only need one more win from our remaining two games to qualify for the knockouts. Tactical mishaps aside, we were unlucky tonight. We were miles better than Russia and I am of the opinion that we will grow into this formation over the next two games. The future is bright, make no mistake. Even if Woy isn't the man to lead us to glory (or even previously accepted standards) he has begun to address some of the main philosophical problems the national side have struggled to since Venables resigned: system over individuals. I remember how painfully boring England were to watch under Sven and Capello. We have arguably less talented players but England are exciting to watch again for only the second time in a lifetime and I can't help but be happy about that.
 

Jockney

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Think some perspective is needed. France, the hosts and arguably the 2nd strongest squad on paper, barely edged past Romania. Spain won Euro 2008 after losing their opener against a weak Switzerland side. England reached the WC semis @ Italia 90 after squeaking past a very poor Belgium outfit in extra time.

Long, long way to go. Annoying that so much is riding on the Wales game but fluency tonight was encouraging and if we can do the basics right we stand a good chance against anyone in the KOs.
 

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