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Oliver Sutton

Euro 2016 - The Football

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Since the other thread is 95% about the violence and petty personal arguments, how about a thread about the actual football?

Thoroughly enjoyed nearly every game so far. All have been competitive till the end and there's been some great goals.

Great to see teamwork prevail over individuals in the Italy v Belgium game.

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I was rooting for Italy to win tonight. Io amo l'Italia. (I'm learning the language)

That said: professional fouls.

The only other sport that I follow is snooker, and it has a rule for dealing with this where the player responsible for the foul may gain an advantage in doing so. It involves the referee calling a "miss" offering the opponent the right to have the shot replayed from the same position.

Italy clearly gained potential advantage from 'professional fouls' in the last 20 minutes.

Much as I wanted them to win, and indeed yellow cards were handed out, I can't help but think that there needs to be a more robust rule in these instances.

This coming from someone who only watches football when International tournaments are televised, so go gently ;)

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I have a bet on Italy for the quarters as I thought their odds were ridiculous.

They should always be in the top 5 favourites. No matter if it's the 'worst' team in 50 years according to many Italian pundits.

****** me if that's true they are rather spoiled.

Belgium as usual fail to add up to the sum of their parts.

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Belguim looked ordinary. So many over hyped players.

Croatia the dark horses? Midfield as good as any.

Always had a soft spot for Italy despite the fouling.

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Damn I hope Belgium improve, I had a fiver on them. They played much better in qualifying. So many quality players in one squad, Belgium will probably never have again.

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For me, Sterling was like a headless chicken down the wing...and as for Kane taking corners? Bit of a puzzler that one...

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Damn I hope Belgium improve, I had a fiver on them. They played much better in qualifying. So many quality players in one squad, Belgium will probably never have again.

Indeed, its odd in the match buildups, you get a comprehensive history lesson on the team that carried the same name.

Nothing at all about the history is relevant to the days game. Nothing.

If it was, every game could be calculably forecast.

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Indeed, its odd in the match buildups, you get a comprehensive history lesson on the team that carried the same name.

Nothing at all about the history is relevant to the days game. Nothing.

If it was, every game could be calculably forecast.

While I agree with the general point, I think nothing is pushing it a bit. Success is about a lot more than the 11 players on the pitch, those 11 players will have got there because of the general football culture in the country in question, lessons learned and handed down. There is a reason why Germany and Italy have won so much at international level, it's less about the individual players and more about the culture.

It's why England won't win anything, our football culture is far too club focused, even now with the influx of foreign players there is still an English style in the league, the top clubs don't want to play that way, it does them no favours at European level but it's dictated by the clubs constantly coming up and down from the lower leagues where it's the style of choice. Fast and very physical. Changing it is pretty much impossible because it's totally embedded at every level, league, non league, Sunday league and most importantly schools.

I would have said England have had a group of players individually capable of winning it, but it just doesn't gel properly, partly because the league is basically a mash of styles and so when they come together there is no underlying football culture. That's sort of contradictory to some degree because a vast majority of the sides at the Euros will have a core of players from the PL, but they have already been developed from their nations culture previously.

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Agree with the above about success. Some teams are well practised in it - becomes second nature even if their players are not up to their standard or not. Hugely important.

Not that it looked very much like the Italian players were 2nd rate last night or anything.

Some of their passing was poor at times though. But rushed and gave the ball away too easy. On the other hand some of their long passing was superb.

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While I agree with the general point, I think nothing is pushing it a bit. Success is about a lot more than the 11 players on the pitch, those 11 players will have got there because of the general football culture in the country in question, lessons learned and handed down. There is a reason why Germany and Italy have won so much at international level, it's less about the individual players and more about the culture.

It's why England won't win anything, our football culture is far too club focused, even now with the influx of foreign players there is still an English style in the league, the top clubs don't want to play that way, it does them no favours at European level but it's dictated by the clubs constantly coming up and down from the lower leagues where it's the style of choice. Fast and very physical. Changing it is pretty much impossible because it's totally embedded at every level, league, non league, Sunday league and most importantly schools.

I would have said England have had a group of players individually capable of winning it, but it just doesn't gel properly, partly because the league is basically a mash of styles and so when they come together there is no underlying football culture. That's sort of contradictory to some degree because a vast majority of the sides at the Euros will have a core of players from the PL, but they have already been developed from their nations culture previously.

At non-league level teams consist of 8 or 9 bruisers with the build of WWE wrestlers, and 2 or 3 normal sized players with some decent ball skills.

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Germany looked exceptional.

Missed their game - just their usual then ?

So far it looks like Germany, Italy, France, Spain or maybe Croatia as outside bets.

With England and maybe Belgium if they get their arses in gear [unlikely as both rarely do]

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Germany looked exceptional.

Against a very average Ukraine side, Ukraine were decent a few years ago but are really nothing special these days.

Not that you ever write off the Germans.

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I thought England's performance was pretty much similar to other performances in recent Euros/World Cups - flattering to deceive. Plenty of interesting play up to around the box but not much real penetration and then the missed chances plus the obligatory decisive error. Reminiscent of that notorious match with Poland and Clough's comments about their goal keeper. Reserving judgement until the end of the group stage of course but I recently saw a video that included some of the late 80s matches and the level then seemed far higher - and more exciting. That was before the introduction of of so many overseas players and managers to the English league.

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Should be pretty easy to qualify from the groups!

I am consulting my newspaper Euro wallchart - There are 6 groups of 4.

Top 2 in each group plus best 4 of the 6 - 3rd placers = 16.

2 points might do it?

Having said that, if England lose against Wales this week it will be squeaky bum time.

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