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WHAT THE JEFF JUST HAPPENED: CRO-FRA Final

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    WHAT THE JEFF JUST HAPPENED: CRO-FRA Final

    Everything is mental around me, everything is mental down there, everything is crazy right now.

    #2
    My order of preference for the final:

    1. Croatia
    2. Mbappe
    3. The rest of the French team

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      #3
      Hmmm, will France have Portugal 2016 flashbacks? If they lose, they'll be going down in history as football's biggest chokers. And as South Africa's cricket team has shown, once you have that in your head, you'll never win a World Cup.

      This is the third final in succession where I don't begrudge the presence of at least one side, though it's the first final of my lifetime in which I don't have a strong view about the outcome. If France win (as I think they will), then well done. If Croatia win, then I'll be delighted to have witnessed a historic event: the first world champion from Eastern Europe.

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        #4
        My preference is for any result that pisses off Putin. So, the multicultural mix of France or the pro-Ukraine group of Croatia. or enlighten me on another option.

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          #5
          France are “home” team for kit choice, yes? I would love it to be blue/white/red v red & white/white/blue but it won’t happen will it? Maybe France will swap blue shorts in which would be OK.
          Last edited by Ray de Galles; 12-07-2018, 17:37.

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            #6
            Admin note: Edited the title as it's NSFW.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Бога Нет View Post
              France are “home” team for kit choice, yes? I would love it to be blue/white/red v red & white/white/blue but it won’r Happen will it? Maybe France will swap blue shorts in which would be OK.
              I would expect Croatia to have white socks too, as in 98, so blue/blue/red vs tablecloth/white/white.

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                #8
                Hope France pump them tbh

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                  #9
                  Really think the pressure is on France to deliver. A moment of trickery could unlock their defence. However, I can't see the Croatia defence being able to smother the French attack as easily.

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                    #10
                    A Croatia win would be great for all the so-called "minnows". Uruguay aside, all the other champions have been the giants of world football. The Czechs, Danes, Greeks and Portuguese have all won the Euros, and Chile, Peru and Paraguay have had their moments in the Copa, but a "small nation" actually winning the World Cup would be something I'd never expected to see.

                    France to win 1-0. Scrappy goal from a free kick out wide after 75 minutes.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Snake Plissken View Post
                      Admin note: Edited the title as it's NSFW.
                      Yeah, sorry, forgot about that in all this euphoria.

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                        #12
                        When was the last time a "minnow" as Rogin puts it, in the final? Could we consider France a minnow in 98? Or Holland in 74? Sweden 58?

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                          #13
                          France have never been a "minnow". They ought to have won it in 1958, 1982 and 1986 and blew Euro 96 where they were unquestionably the best team. Holland in 1974 were a revelation on the international stage, but given that Feyenoord and Ajax had won the last four European Cups they hardly came as a surprise that year. I reckon you have to go back to the Czechs in 1962 to find a less expected finalist.
                          Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 12-07-2018, 09:15.

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                            #14
                            It feels like there has been a pleasing extension of the pool of winners and finalists in recent* years. France were first-time finalists and winners in 1998; Spain were first-time finalists and winners in 2010; Croatia are first-time finalists in 2018. The Spain v Netherlands final of 2010 featured two nations who'd never won it before.

                            * I'm old, 20 years ago feels recent.

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                              #15
                              Croatia have been ordinary for most of the tournament. Once we look past the Not-England factor that skews opinion (for or against), they've delivered: a routine win v Nigeria, with a big slice of luck; a much better performance against Argentina, though still with help from the opposition and unpunished fouls; more good fortune in facing an Iceland who had to win in 90 and therefore opened up the game. So 3 out of 3 in the group, perfect on paper but with a lot of holes.

                              Then the two wins on penalties, against arguably the weakest sides left in the tournament. So while it's fine to say "England, how dare you underrate us?", the rest of the world (bar France) doesn't need to worry about hubris and the arrogant media and all that, and can just call it as it is. The weakest finalists since Argentina 1990, and at a push, post-WW2. Which England would have been too, but so what?

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                                #16
                                Well it was the weakest half of a draw in modern times so a weak finalist was guaranteed after Spain went out. I think Croatia, due to greater experience, will cause France more problems than anyone else in that half except Spain and maybe Colombia.

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                                  #17
                                  Escalate the question. When was a minnow in the final in a World Cup which wasn't played on their home turf.

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                                    #18
                                    I refuse to accept Croatia as a minnow, but agree with the suggestion that the Czechoslovaks in 1962 were the last surprise finalist of this type.

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                                      #19

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                                        #20
                                        But what a horrible surprise! Instead of a smooth fat minnow, Mr. Jeremy landed little Jack Sharp the stickleback...

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                                          #21
                                          So, yeah, that's France being a frog. Which is fine.

                                          Croatia aren't a minnow, surely. They're in the A-League of the UEFA Nations League, have reached two WC semi finals in the last 20 years, and a couple of Euro quarter finals to add to that. You'd mention them in same breath as (say) Belgium or the Netherlands. Stickleback minimum, but probably not a trout.

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                                            #22
                                            Mr. Jeremy Fisher is fun to say with a French accent.

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                                              #23
                                              And the former Yugoslavia team managed two more World Cup semi finals, two Euro finals and a further Euro semi final. Of course Croatia is only a part of that, but that is still surely a part of this team's history?

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                                                #24
                                                They are a more qualified side for Pot 1 than Poland were. Their place in Pot 2 was partly due to being cheated in the 2014 Brazil match.

                                                Were West Germany perhaps a minnow in 1954? Or was the concept of minnow not applicable back then because the era was pre-modern?

                                                Croatia have been a tip for the final since they beat Argentina so it's more a case of them being under-rated coming in.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                                  I refuse to accept Croatia as a minnow, but agree with the suggestion that the Czechoslovaks in 1962 were the last surprise finalist of this type.
                                                  Croatia has a smaller population than Ireland. It's a minnow. The Netherlands is a small country in population terms, and Dutch domestic football has become decidedly minnow like since the 70's. I also think that everyone was surprised by Italy being in the 2006 final. Particularly given their previous two outings, and the fun and games happening in their domestic league over the previous four or five years.

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