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    What's really great is that those rule changes only benefitted England. And no other teams scored any goals from set pieces.

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      Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
      The last time an actively reviled england team got to a world cup semi-final
      What the fuck are you on about? No-one actively reviled this World Cup squad, before, during or after. Well, no-one who didn't hate them beforehand.

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        They would have benefited us if we were there. It's all we could manage at the time. Kane would have been fighting it out with Shane Duffy for the Golden boot. It's only the football cultures of these islands that are really into corners. Everyone else seemed to have noticed that 2% of them result in a goal, and largely ignored it. Don't get me wrong, if you look back over most successful teams at international tournaments, they'll have got their share of goals from corners (France 98 being a prime example). But 9 out of 12 is too many.

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          Originally posted by Snake Plissken View Post
          What the fuck are you on about? No-one actively reviled this World Cup squad, before, during or after. Well, no-one who didn't hate them beforehand.
          There should be a comma in there somewhere. The point is the journey of the italia 90 team from being seen as hooligans, who had shat on churchill's grave with their performances in euro 88 to thought pieces in the sunday times, on the back of progress in a tournament.

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            The England team weren’t seen as hooligans in 88 or 90. They were seen as a talented bunch who’d maybe be able to do better than they’d done in 86.

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              No but the fans were, and the whole thing was tarred with the same shitty brush. Remember the point here isn't about the reality of things, it's about the effects on perception of a bit of success.

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                "I think we're getting lost here. The England team as players haven't changed, they haven't got any better, they haven't got any worse. They aren't any more organized in the past."

                Who said they were? Talk about "straw men". I literally said further back people weren't under any illusions.

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                  The NL winners should have been given a place in the finals. It makes no sense that they would have to play off again in 2020 if they fail to get through their EC group when they have already won one set of playoffs to win the NL. OTOH to fail to qualify they would need to play way below the form that won the NL because they would have to finish below 2 sides in lower pots in the EC group then lose a playoff to a side that did not finish in the top 2 in its group.

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                    We won't know who wins the Nations League until we're already part way through the ECQ campaign.

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                      True, and the NL winner does have the play-off as back-up. The chances of the NL winner not qualifying must be miniscule but if it ever happens, the NL crown will be hollow indeed.

                      Is there any update on 2020-21 format?

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                        Can I just suggest we use the abbreviation UNL for the competition to avoid confusing it with the Netherlands?

                        Well I guess the hope is that the UNL title becomes something worth winning in its own right rather than for Euros qualification. But it should be straightforward for them anyway - top seed, and with playoffs against a couple of sides who are outside the best 20 from the qualifying.

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                          Or we could just use Holland

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                            Originally posted by Kevin S View Post
                            Well I guess the hope is that the UNL title becomes something worth winning in its own right rather than for Euros qualification
                            Allied to that, the UNL title needs to become equally important for all the top tier participants, rather than just those who haven't won a trophy this century. I would also worry about 2020-21 being taken less seriously by other tiers if there is no qualification prize in World Cup years as opposed to Euro Champs. It's much harder to qualify for World Cups and probably less than half the entrants start with a realistic chance, compared to just about all but the very poorest Tier D sides in Euro campaigns (although statistically that chance is quite low if you have, say, 15 teams of roughly equal quality in Tier C scrapping for one slot).
                            Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 25-11-2018, 10:11.

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                              There is going to be a 3rd placed play-off on the same day as the final, even though the Euros no longer has one.

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                                We'll use this one then. Is anyone going to get into this? All the drama of the group stages feels a long time ago now.

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                                  Yeah, that's a bit of a snag in this. You go from a long break, and a couple of qualifiers for EC20, straight into the semi finals. And it's on Sky.

                                  Though there'a a potentially interesting double header on Sunday with England v Scotland in the Women's World Cup kicking off at 5,

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                                    They are interesting friendlies with a meaningless trophy at the end but they had no chance of being taken seriously given that they kick off only 4 days after a Champions League final that involved some of the key players. How does Virgil van Dijk motivate himself for this, for example (assuming he plays)? Do the Ajax players give a toss following their disappointing in the CL SF? Does Kompany commit to this given his new job?

                                    Do we even know who's going to show up for the squads?

                                    Absence of France and Spain is also a diminishing factor. Can the champions be taken seriously if they never had to beat France? And can we be sure the French and Spanish players wish they were here rather than (presumably) on the beach?

                                    I will be taping the games but have not decided whether to watch them live. I will be travelling during the final in any case.

                                    If England don't win, will anyone here remember the winners ten years from now without Googling? Will the list of past winners become something you can reel off automatically like every WC/Euros winner of the last 40 years?
                                    Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 03-06-2019, 12:01.

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                                      Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                      Does Kompany commit to this given his new job?


                                      Why would Kompany be involved?
                                      Last edited by Ray de Galles; 03-06-2019, 12:06.

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                                        Was it even in your* consciousness that this finals tournament was imminent a week ago?

                                        * - not SD in particular, but a generic 'your'

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                                          Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                          Does Kompany commit to this given his new job?
                                          He'd probably be a bit more committed if Belgium were in it...

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                                            Is Ronaldo likely to play for Portugal? It will certainly add to the appeal of the finals if he is.

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                                              Originally posted by Janik View Post
                                              Was it even in your* consciousness that this finals tournament was imminent a week ago?

                                              * - not SD in particular, but a generic 'your'
                                              I only remembered it was even happening this morning when a BBC Breakfast pundit said Harry Kane "now had to lift himself [after Spurs' CL defeat] for the Nations League Finals".

                                              Suffice to say I don't think we're going to be awash with St George's flags on cars and beer garden renditions of Three Lions by Sunday. Which is a shame in a way (both for Southgate's team, and the women).
                                              Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 03-06-2019, 12:13.

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                                                Originally posted by Kevin S View Post
                                                And it's on Sky.
                                                There was a story in the Times a couple of weeks back saying that Sky were exploring making the final free to air should England reach it.

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                                                  The venue for Thursday is predicted to have a mild temperature of 61 degrees but humidity of 75%. May also piss it down.

                                                  Are we expecting the games to be played at the tempo and aggression levels of a competitive tournament? Motivation may depend on how often the players get big games, so put a fiver on the Swiss to be the most up for it. Portugal have least to prove but are hosts; the Dutch are the most improved. England: Southgate has to motivate a squad with some fatigued very rich players who might want to save it for 2020. But they might want to send a fuck you to the AEB :-)

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                                                    You can get 7-1 Switzerland for the trophy with many bookies. The others are too short - bookies understandably cagey about such a new event with so many unknowns about how the teams will approach it.

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