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#185 [url]

Jun 24 16 8:46 PM

It's time to pick a best & worst lineup of the group stage

Golden team (Strokkur Íþróttafélag)

             Sommer
Walker, Boateng, Bonucci, J.Evans
          Gunnarsson [c]
       Modric, Iniesta
 Dzsudzsák,   Bale,    Payet

Super-sub: Schweinsteiger

----

Stinky team  (1.FC Schadenfreude)

            Hart
Ramos, Cana, Dragović [c], Rakytskyi
     Neustädter, Whelan
Yarmolenko, Turan, Konoplianka
           Dzyuba


Sub-sub: Milner

etc

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#187 [url]

Jun 25 16 9:01 AM

Pepe of Portugal does really fit for any respectable anti-football team!
Not properly a stinky player, but I watched both Belgium-Italy and Belgium-Sweden. If one thinks that Kevin De Bruyne was valued £55 million, well, it's logical to expect much more from him.


Among the most convincing left backs, I've been impressed by Jordi Alba of Spain.

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#189 [url]

Jun 26 16 8:40 AM

Neil, a couple of evenings ago, during a post-match report about Iceland, a famous commentator said: «Eiður Guðjohnsen, the only guy to have played with his father in the history of international football». Too bad too many pundits don't follow your suggestions...

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#190 [url]

Jun 26 16 6:10 PM

There's a remarkable data about the 3 European Championships hosted by France and the French National team's results.
L'Équipe de France has played 2 matches in 1960, 5 matches in 1984 and 4 matches in 2016, with 8 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses. Their only losses were in the first edition, but afterwards they have obtained 8 wins and 1 draw.
Surrounded by their fans, Les Bleus have always been dangerous, as proven by their victories in the 2003 Confederations Cup, in the 1998 World Cup and in the less-known 1985 Artemio Franchi Trophy.

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#192 [url]

Jun 27 16 9:19 PM

nfm24 wrote:
nfm24 wrote:
Hodgson : hmm, we are 1-0 up with 3 mins left under zero pressure. Let's take off our fastest outlet and put Milner on.

Hodgson pre-game: hmm, we need to win this game.  Let's drop all our best players.

Hodgson half-time: hmm, so far we have been untroubled but struggled to convert possession into chances & goals against a team camped in its own half, just like the first two games.   Let's make no tactical adjustments whatsoever.

Clownhampton.

Hodgson : hmm, Iceland are really good with aerial set-pieces.  Let's do no defensive marking at all.

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#195 [url]

Jun 28 16 3:31 AM

nfm24 wrote:
Would be interesting to know if the French home advantage is stronger than other countries of similar stature.

You can rely on Luca's keen eye! He mentioned France's particular strength at home already elsewhere.
In general the home advantage for tournaments is bigger than the ‘usual’ home advantage.
Until 1980 in Europe there was actually no ‘final tournament’: one of the last four teams hosted the semifinals, 3rd place matches and the finals. The host was selected near-term - after the playoffs (quarterfinals): thus a long-term preparation was not possible. Therefore, these games are not considered here!

Considered are: World Cup, Confed Cup and continental final tournaments since 1930

 

Pl

W

D

L

result

expected

ci

Bolivia

18

13

2

3

14.0

8.819

3.32

Colombia

14

12

2

0

13.0

8.895

2.98

Uruguay

28

23

5

0

25.5

20.735

2.45

France

23

20

2

1

21.0

17.542

1.96

Japan

14

8

4

2

10.0

7.415

1.88

Ethiopia

10

6

1

3

6.5

4.353

1.84

Chile

32

20

7

5

23.5

19.875

1.74

Mexico

24

17

6

1

20.0

16.879

1.73

Equatorial Guinea

10

4

3

3

5.5

3.637

1.60

South Korea

13

8

2

3

9.0

6.985

1.52

United States

76

55

9

12

59.5

54.985

1.41

Sweden

10

6

2

2

7.0

5.377

1.39

Nigeria

11

8

3

0

9.5

8.007

1.22

Italy

16

11

5

0

13.5

11.816

1.14

Egypt

18

13

3

2

14.5

12.795

1.09

England

11

7

4

0

9.0

8.109

0.73

Paraguay

11

6

4

1

8.0

7.642

0.29

Peru

28

16

4

8

18.0

17.682

0.16

Ghana

18

12

3

3

13.5

13.335

0.11

Germany

23

16

3

4

17.5

17.395

0.06

South Africa

18

8

5

5

10.5

10.671

-0.11

Venezuela

10

1

5

4

3.5

3.655

-0.13

Ecuador

19

5

5

9

7.5

7.871

-0.23

Tunisia

11

5

4

2

7.0

7.562

-0.46

Argentina

33

20

8

5

24.0

25.586

-0.75

Brazil

43

29

9

5

33.5

36.221

-1.13

These are the raw numbers, which must be interpreted. Nice side aspect of your interest: so far I did not know that Uruguay as a host never lost an official tournament match.

Last Edited By: ctr Jun 28 16 3:43 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#196 [url]

Jun 28 16 9:20 AM

Excellent work, ctr! I have just a minor question. You don't consider the European Championship final tournaments from 1960 to 1976, because they only consisted of four matches - the two semifinals, the third place match and the final. How did you judge the following tournaments, I mean did you count them in your research? As you can see, the champions had to play just two matches to win the Cup:

1987 Copa América: Uruguay won the tournament playing just two matches, the semifinal and the final

1957 African Cup of Nations: Egypt won the title playing just two matches, the semifinal and the final

1959 African Cup of Nations: the United Arab Republic (de facto Egypt) won the title playing just two games in the final round

1962 African Cup of Nations: Ethiopia needed only two games to win the tournament: semifinal and final.

I don't exclude there were other similar examples, involving teams that won a tournament playing just two games, but at the moment I can't remember them.


Coming back to England, I do think the biggest error committed in their football history is the following: their refusal to take part in the first 3 editions of the World Cup (1930, 1934 and 1938). They were the most important football power at that time and they would have probably won those editions. They didn't perceive the increasing popularity and prestige of the World Cup and preferred to lock themselves in their isolation. The result was that when England decided to come into play, they discovered their opponents weren't so inferior, and began to collect disappointments. If they had competed in the first 3 editions of the World Cup, nowadays they would have had 3 or 4 World titles in their roll of honour and all the disappointments of the last 50 years would have been more tolerable, because supported by a wonderful palmarès. On the contrary, now, every non-victory is seen as a failure, even beyond the actual proportions of a normal non-victory.

Last Edited By: Luca Jun 28 16 6:45 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#197 [url]

Jun 28 16 11:48 PM

Luca wrote:
Coming back to England, I do think the biggest error committed in their football history is the following: their refusal to take part in the first 3 editions of the World Cup (1930, 1934 and 1938). They were the most important football power at that time and they would have probably won those editions.

Looks like Wales were stronger (just as in 2016!)

British Champions 1930s
1930-31   Scotland / England (shared)
1931-32   England
1932-33   Wales
1933-34   Wales
1934-35   England / Scotland (shared)
1935-36   Scotland
1936-37   Wales
1937-38   England
1938-39   England / Scotland / Wales (shared)

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#198 [url]

Jun 29 16 8:58 AM

Yes, I said England, but all the British teams, in the 1930s, were probably favorites to win a hypothetical World Cup. We have also to consider an important point. If England had been a FIFA member, FIFA would have probably appointed England as the host country for the first edition of the World Cup, in homage to the country that invented the modern football, and the English national team would have had more chances to be successful. By the way, mine is just a futile discussion.


And now... Italy-Germany smiley: devil

I keep thinking that, from a technical point of view, this is one of the least skilled Italian teams in the last 20 years. But lack of talent is being replaced by a very interesting fitness and by the fact that coach Conte has built a true team, both inside and outside the field. This proves once again the importance of fitness in modern football. Look at Leicester City, Atlético de Madrid and Iceland. Albeit less talented than a lot of teams they faced, they have been able to achieve great results thanks to an impressive agonistic fitness.


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#199 [url]

Jun 29 16 8:44 PM

Luca wrote:

Yes, I said England, but all the British teams, in the 1930s, were probably favorites to win a hypothetical World Cup.

It's possible, but the first three world cups (at least) suffered from a lack of attendance from some of the other top teams.  Not many European teams wanted to visit Uruguay in 1930, and Uruguay did not want to visit Europe, while Argentina had admin issues in that period (in addition to losing many good players to Italy ;-)    In some ways the Olympics was a better measure in that era.

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#200 [url]

Jun 29 16 8:55 PM

About Italy-Germany:
Italy has a good system to counter the tikitak teams, because with a back 3 they can keep possession after winning the ball, and with two strikers they force the opponent to avoid commiting so many men forward. Most opponents of Spain and Germany field very defensive 4-5-1 shapes, and just end up handing possession back very quickly whenever they briefly see the ball. But if teams can escape the initial press, then Spain struggle - we saw that Spain had very limited ability to recover the ball when they lost it against Italy (also against Croatia), and seemed to have a general lack of speed and energy in recovery. This was possibly why Ramos felt compelled to make so many stupid challenges on the half way line - maybe he was still feeling the effects of Robben in 2014.

The biggest difference I think we'll see is that Spain did not have too much width when attacking Italy, as the "wingers" were just more slow midfielders really who floated towards the centre, but Germany will definitely use fast wide attackers like Draxler, so this will be a bigger challenge for the Italian wingbacks. This may force more of the Italian players backwards and make it harder for them to escape. So it could be an interesting tactical game. Also, Germans consider Italy to be their "bogey team".

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