? That’s precisely the thing I thought was different about this team. They did attack and go for goal consistently and it was very refreshing. Finishing was a bit lacking but not for want of trying.England strategy unchanged from decades past and managers past.
Play for penalties and corners and free kicks, not for goals. Play to not lose, not to win.
? That’s precisely the thing I thought was different about this team. They did attack and go for goal consistently and it was very refreshing. Finishing was a bit lacking but not for want of trying.
Switch flicked as you put it was that they started kicking, body checking and barging England off the ball. Clever thing was that most of their yellow cards were in Englands half not their own. This is obvious after we scored from a set piece free kick.My take on the game was that the first 20-25 minutes were excellent from an England P.O.V. Exciting, attacking and creative football. Then they appeared to flick a switch, sit back and try to protect their 1-0 lead. I thought Southgate would put a rocket up their ar$es at half time but, to my surprise and disappointment, we were treated to more of the same in the second half and in extra time. Pickford saw more of the ball than Kane, Sterling, Alli and Lingard combined. Not as a result of attacking play by the Croats - but from back pass after back pass after back pass from our defenders. Almost every time Pickford got it - his only option was to hoof it up the field - which usually resulted in giving away possession. Rather than going backwards, it would be much, much better for the defenders and midfielders to try and pick out Kane and Sterling from the half way line (or there abouts) than hope that the forwards latch on to one of Pickford's long kicks.
To conclude, Croatia didn't so much win the game: we gifted it to them on a plate. If we'd lost as a result of playing like we did in the first 20 minutes or so - there would be no shame in that. Sadly, we lost through lack of creativity and imagination: most of the time the players looked like they didn't know what to do with the ball and just wanted to get rid of it asap and hope that one of their teammates would do something clever with it. All in all, Croatia deserved their equalizer and their winning goal. I'll be rooting for them against France on Sunday.
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