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Henderson and Two Bigfoots?
So what did you think about England's game last night ..... and the chances going forward?

I wasn't impressed. Thought we were the better of two poor sides in the first half, but Colombia were the best side second half and for most of extra time whilst remaining disappointing going forward. I'm not a big Harry Kane fan, but do admit he always gets on the score sheet ...... BUT last night I was very impressed, feeding on some piss-poor service he kept Colombia's defence stretched. Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier, neither of whom would have been in my side beforehand, both shone too. My favourite player Dele Alli, didn't look fit to me, the sharpness and sparkle he always displays were absent, his running was conservative and his whole game was unambitious. Raheem produced just one worthwhile move in the whole game, Lingard seemed to be stumbling when he was running, but Pickford, another who I'd have trouble selecting, had the chance to show the things he CAN do and did.... Henderson, however, was all too Henderson, all the way to his penalty.

Didn't understand Colombia either. Muriel took a penalty that showed he's a player of some class, but what was he, third sub? Surely he should have been up with Falcao, like he was second half against Senegal? Why was Carlos Sanchez marking Kane never mind wrestling him to the floor, did Mr Pekerman get his Sanchezes mixed up? Why did they wait until they went behind, had been very angry to no-effect and tried to  upset England at every turn in every way they knew BEFORE they even tried playing a bit of their football? Were they so convinced that the loss of James Rodriguez meant actually playing couldn't win them the game?

I thought it was a poor game with hardly a shot on target for either side. But then earlier I'd watched tennis rather than continue with Sweden and Switzerland into a turgid second half.

Despite my criticism, player for player we are way better than Sweden. Unfortunately teams don't operate that way. Sweden'd like us to attack and create them some space and let them win somekinda dead ball from which they could grab a winner ....... I know you'll think I'm a mental, but I'd revert to a back four and either Trippier or Walker would have to end up playing left back, because I'd want them to be proper full backs,neither deserves to be left out, but defending would be their priority. I'd leave out Alli and Lingard and hope there'd be a next round in which to use them - I'd pick a midfield of Dier, Loftus-Cheek and Henderson with the specific intention of bringing Sweden on to us and having three more sizeable guys to handle the physical challenge. Harry would be centre forward and in behind him attacking from midfield and wide would be Raheem (despite last night's effort) and Rashford, to run the Swedes ragged and make space for Kane and to feed him ..... All this because teams that they think they are better than Sweden don't get much success. Holland and Italy tried it in qualifying, Switzerland tried it, Germany scraped a win they never deserved. If Sweden were an attacking team we'd be thinking, "we have to stop them playing their game." So if they want to sit back, drag them forward, make them play a game they aren't familiar with. That's my bunkum and I'm sticking to it.
Lord Snooty likes this post
I couldn't understand why Kane was playing so deep all the time. It was like having Rooney back. Don't get me wrong, I thought he played well, just thought he shouldn't have been having to drop back so much to get the ball.
I like Trippier, but is he really our free kick specialist? Shouldn't that be one of the so called jewels in the team like Dele or Harry or Raheem be taking free kicks at the edge of the box?
I think that back three really limits any team having lots of chances against us.
They work well together, and I'm massively impressed with Harry McGuire. What a player he is. Apart from Kane, he's been my England player of the tournament.
Keep it the same v Sweden except for Alli replaced by Rashford.
I agree with Snoots re Trippier as the dead ball expert. Until he took that penalty though!!....smashed it home with a cool head.
All in all, not a great win....but a win nonetheless.
Sweden will be a completely different game. But why change to suit them? Would Brazil do that? Nah.
Let them try and deal with our defence and attacking threat.
In beer there is freedom, in wine there is health, in cognac there is power and in water there is bacteria
I wouldn’t change the formation, but I would change a couple of the players. I would play Rashford instead of Sterling, we keep saying it will come good for him but I thought he was awfyul yesterday. I would also switch Dele out for Loftus-Cheek, like you I didn’t think Dele looked fit so give him this one off and put the harder working LC in there. Aside from that I wouldn’t change anything.

As for the performance, Colombia went out in the first half to stop us playing, they were the anti-football team for 45 mins. They then realized that they can play a bit and came out in the 2nd half and actaully played football and caused us problems. Still think we were the better team over the 90 mins. In ET, we seemed shell shocked in the first half but I thought we were much better in the 2nd half and controlled the game.

Penalties are great drama, but god its tough watching them when its your team!! Got to give huge praise to Rashford and Trippier, neither of whom have ever taken a penalty before, both penalties were brilliant and both players showed enourmous courage!!! Kane scored because thats what he does, Henderson missed because someone had to but it wasn’t a bad pen and the keeper made a good save. Dier was a surprise 5th taker for me but even though the keeper got his fingers to it he hit it WHITHER good pace and it went in. Pickford’s save though was the moment, that was a superb save, thats what won us the penalty decider!!
It's a shame they equalised when they did, because that save by Pickford deserved to be a match winning save. And for them to score from the resulting corner seemed a bit of an injustice.
It came good for the lad in the end though and hopefully will inspire him even more. Thumb up
Dier took that 5th penalty but he wasn't supposed to. Vardy was down to take it, but he injured his groin in ET.
Told the manager he couldn't strike the ball hard enough to take one. So up stepped hero Dier.
If you watch the celebrations again when Dier scored, he jumps into the rushing England players and missed everyone. Looked a right plonker. Funny.
Lord Snooty likes this post
In beer there is freedom, in wine there is health, in cognac there is power and in water there is bacteria
Wondered why Vardy didn't take one. Thumb up
Is Eric Dier the ONLY player in this squad who has scored from a free kick for England?

The only prediction I've nearly got right in the whole World Cup was 4 of the 5 England penalty takers ......... The one I didn't get was Jordan I'm-too-bulky-for-my-shirt Henderson.

Ospina, like Pickford, is good at penalties. We did well to score 4. I reckon you have to go top or bottom corner - a few inches above the ground and he's got a shout. Kane demonstrated the other option, down the middle as Ospina is usually keen to move, but he really reads them well.

Brazil DO CHANGE. They find a weakness and attack it, true they still look like Brazilians, but sometimes they'll even opt to soak up pressure and play on the break.

If we play our normal game we'll dominate play and the Swedes will be doing everything they are good at in temperatures that are likely to be really high. I'm afraid they'll rope a dope. Give em some space, drag em forward or they'll double and triple bank Rashford or Sterling and they'll be happy up against Harry Kane.

Another choice that you'd laugh at would be to draft in Danny Welbeck instead of Raheem. I think Welbeck would withstand them physically and cause them problems.

Every top sportsman and sports team adapts to different opponents, styles, venues, surfaces. One size fits all only applies to Jordan Henderson's shirt IMO.
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