Pickford tastes victory in World Cup bow

Monday, 18 June, 2018 55comments  |  Jump to most recent
Tunisia 1 - 2 England

Jordan Pickford was named in England's starting XI as Gareth Southgate's side ground out a narrow victory over Tunisia in their group stage opener.

Everton's No.1 was deployed behind former Blue John Stones in what was only his fourth appearance foe the senior side.

England started on the front foot and almost scored through Jessie Lingard but his shot from in front of goal was diverted wide by Mouez Hassen.

The Lions did get the opening goal shortly afterwards, however, from a corner. Stones powered a header goalwards that Hassen saved well but could only push straight to Harry Kane and he slotted in from close range.

Tunisia were awarded a penalty in the 34th minute, however, when Kyle Walker caught Fakhreddine Ben Youssef around the head in a tussle in the box, handing Pickford the chance to be a hero for his country.

Pickford guessed the right way and got a hand to it but the penalty was well-struck by Ferjani Sassi and he couldn't keep it out.

England had a great chance a couple of minutes later when a downward header from a corner was cleared off the line and fell invitingly for Stones. He flapped at the chance, however, and sliced it wide of goal while a penalty claim on Kane was ignored even after a VAR check.

Lingard then twice went close, first seeing a half-volley deflect over and then clipping the ball over the onrushing 'keeper and onto the outside of the post.

The Tunisians made things very difficult for England in the second half, sitting deep and breaking things up at every opportunity while their opponents laboured to carve out clear chances.

Their suffocating resilience was broken in stoppage time, however, from another set piece. Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane stooped to whip a header in at the far post to make it 2-1.


Reader Comments (55)

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Dermot Byrne
1 Posted 18/06/2018 at 19:34:09
Well this is getting all excited!
Michael Lynch
2 Posted 18/06/2018 at 19:57:16
What is the point of VAR when a ridiculously soft pen is given at one end, and the clearest pen I've ever seen is missed at the other end.

England's finishing is schoolboy stuff. They should be at least three or four up.

Michael Burke
3 Posted 18/06/2018 at 20:22:28
A little ironic that Stones has been the most stable of the 3 defenders, Maguire and Walker have been a little ropey.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 18/06/2018 at 20:55:45
Where would England be without Kane?

I see a lot of sleek athletes in the side now but I’m still not convinced there’s what you’d call a football brain there in the squad.

Michael Lynch
5 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:04:50
Pleased for Kane and the rest of the England set up that justice was done in the end. Real old fashioned World Cup game that - cynical team parking the bus and time-wasting, useless ref, England team huffing and puffing. You might as well stick your VAR up your arse if refs are that crap and nobody bothers to intervene. Massive win though - should mean England go through to the knock-out stages.

Also - I'm assuming Chelsea won't send Loftus-Cheek out on loan again next season? Potential superstar there in my opinion. But if they dont want him, we should buy him.

Bill Watson
6 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:11:14
Very laboured performance from England and a distinct lack of guile in midfield.
Lev Vellene
7 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:29:02
The important thing is that Pickford never got injured, and that the one goal he let in was a penalty! He'll just be angry about that, from what I've seen so far! It'll keep him stoked, I hope!
John Boon
8 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:31:45
Pickford has never had such an easy game. The only shot was the penalty and he was very close to saving it. He showed just how good he is with the ball at his feet. Unsure how England's defence would be against a decent team, although I wish we had signed Mc Guire instead of Keane. Lousy scouting once again.
Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:37:16
Good point about a real football brain Jim. I think Stones, has got one but it’s in the middle of the park where we are probably going to fall a little bit short in this department, unless it’s possible the kid Loftus Cheek, can provide it?

I would like to see Cahill, and Rose, replace Maguire and Young, but England have got a young team so the late deserved win should really help them.

They kept playing, and got their reward in the end, because goalscorers win games, which is something they have now got with Harry Kane?

Jay Wood

10 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:38:14
Strewth! How differently people view the same game.

Apart from the finishing, Walker and Sterling, England were excellent in the first half.

On the triple centre backs, what I saw was Stones being too ponderous on the ball - he slowed the game down when there were clear out balls to immediately carry the game to Tunisia again. He is usually sharper and quicker than this. Walker looked the least assured and had already been caught in possession twice before he coughed up a cheap pen.

The most dynamic of them was Maguire. He regularly and tellingly carried the ball out of defence to confuse the Tunisian midfield and defence: to stick or twist, to hold position or go to close him down. He can also claim 2 assists for Kane's goals.

As opposed to Jim Bennings and Bill Watson, I saw plenty of intelligent football and guile. Quick slick passing, movement and running and technical skill all night from England. They also stuck at it the whole game when, in the 2nd half, Tunisia were much improved in closing the gaps and spaces England exploited so well in the 1st half.

Southgate merits praise for going with so many young 'uns who grew up together at international level through the different age groups.

Unlike some in this thread, I was hugely entertained and encouraged by what I saw from England.

Ian Burns
11 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:45:51
Young team - kept going - Loftus-Cheek really looks the part and Harry Kane does what he does best.

I think they deserve credit as does the manager Southgate.

Good on them, a good result against Panama and England are into the knock-out stages when and where anything can happen.

Jay Wood

12 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:51:12
Did you see Belgium - Panama earlier, Ian?

It could have been 3-0 to Belgium in the opening 10 minutes.

If England play as well as they did in the opening 45 minutes tonight against Panama in the next game, with better finishing, anything could be the score.

The key game, of course, will be the final winner-takes-all versus Belgium, but even then, the 1st game results thus far may mean England WON'T meet Brazil or Germany in the quarter finals as the draw - based on historical form - may have predicted.

Derek Taylor
13 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:52:41
I think Walsh had scouted Maquire for Leicester well before he (Walsh) became our "DoF"!

We got his second choice, Keane!

Si Turner
14 Posted 18/06/2018 at 21:55:09
Jay (10) I like you also disagree with others views regarding lack of football brains in midfield. I thought Ali and Lingard made intelligent runs, especially in the first half which is why we were able to carve out so many chances.

I thought our performance was much better than we are used to from previous tournaments and sense a hiding is coming to Panama who were very poor today. If we hit Panama for more than 3 and Belgium only narrowly beat Tunisia a draw will see us win the group...

Ian Burns
15 Posted 18/06/2018 at 22:03:11
Hi Jay, yes I did and you are spot on.

If England turn up and really play to their potential against Panama, I wouldn't be surprised to see them turn Belgium over.

However, that's all for tomorrow but I thought the team did as well as could be expected tonight. No complaints from me!

Jeff Armstrong
16 Posted 18/06/2018 at 22:07:19
I agree with Jay, Stones slows the game down with sideways passing, often short and at the player rather than in front of the player, Rose for Young would be a better option at left wing back, too many right footers on the left side.

Rashford for Lingard or Sterling maybe, and Walker is playing without confidence going forward, he was our best right-sided attacker at the Euros, still Trippier did well enough though.

Southgate was slow with his subs, left Alli on far too long... l felt England got out of jail a bit tonight, still, another win and we should get through.

Anthony Burke
17 Posted 18/06/2018 at 22:32:00
Pickford, in my thoughts, is up there with De Gea, he's that good.

£30 million — what a bargain.

Neil Copeland
18 Posted 18/06/2018 at 22:34:33
Jay 10, spot on. I would go as far as to say this was the best England performance I can remember seeing in an opening group match at a major tournament. A bit more luck, better officiating and improved finishing would have seen them score at least 6 tonight.

Hugely encouraged without getting carried away a very good start.

David Graves
19 Posted 18/06/2018 at 22:38:28
Agree regards Maguire. I thought he played well and was far better than Stones. And I say this through gritted teath but I thought Henderson had a good game!
Jay Wood

20 Posted 18/06/2018 at 22:45:46
I agree with you David @ 19.

Henderson (spit!) played very well in the nuts and bolts holding midfield role. He hit a beaut of a pass 40 metres that completely opened up the Tunisian left flank in the first couple of minutes of the game that led to the first of many great chances.

That pass was excellent in its vision and execution.

David Graves
21 Posted 18/06/2018 at 23:54:13
What odds for Belgium to win the trophy under Martinez and Lukaku to get the Golden Boot? I swear heads will explode on TW 😀


Dean Cooper
22 Posted 19/06/2018 at 00:29:00
Thought Sterling was shite today tbh. Looked a lot better with someone who can finish up front. Strange lineup for me, but watch England be the Netherlands of 2010 or Argentina 2014. Getting to the semis by winning by one goal, giving English supporters unrealistic hope before bowing out in the semis.
Kase Chow
23 Posted 19/06/2018 at 00:43:57
England were very good 1st half and showed grit and perseverance in the 2nd.

Hopefully we can give the country the feel-good factor again.

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 19/06/2018 at 01:13:33
Take it from an ‘Mercian. England done good boys. They dominated, for three points. End analysis, that’s it.
John Pierce
25 Posted 19/06/2018 at 01:20:53
It was fitful, good in parts and there was a clear plan. The first 25 we were very good, the team were as a unit and the ball played with a good tempo.
The penalty came out of nowhere, it looked to jolt the three centre backs who were visibly poorer in possession thereafter.

Tunisia having got what they wanted dropped in and to be fair England were laboured but patient. The deeper set defence neutered both Lingard & Sterling and there running game fell off a cliff.

Oddly the best attacking came down the right were there was balance but we persisted in going down the the left. With Young clogging play up it was left to Maguire to move forward with a left foot.

It was a bit like stomping ogre but it started to attract defenders. For me Rose has to play to give us genuine balance, and he also has a relationship with Kane.

For me a plan, albeit only partially executed but I think Southgate will encourage the back three to keep playing, it will be exposed but worth persisting with.

Kane is lethal, that’s what we have so he might just get us out of jail on occasion.

It’s obvious but a ball player instead of either Lingard or Sterling is absolutely necessary.

Jay Wood

26 Posted 19/06/2018 at 01:30:24
Any 'mericans care to comment on this...?

Landon Donovan upsetting his fellow countrymen for lending his support to Mexico at the World Cup.


Ernie Baywood
27 Posted 19/06/2018 at 02:10:59
I thought Stones was very good. Sterling had a bit of a shocker, I don't know Young gets in the team and, somewhat controversially, I thought Kane was abysmal. Goals aside the ball bounces off him and he couldn't play a pass.

But I guess some strikers are just there to score and if they do, they've done their job. We've probably had that conversation to death on this site!

Ed Prytherch
28 Posted 19/06/2018 at 03:38:00
I too am a fan of Harry Maguire but I don't see how Jay can credit him with an assist for the first goal. Their goalie could only parry a great header from the "ponderous" John Stones.

Walker showed that he has a lot to learn about being a center back and I don't see where he is going to get that experience other than when he plays for England.

I would like to see Loftus-Cheek and Rashford start in place of Lingard and Sterling against Panama.

Jamie Crowley
29 Posted 19/06/2018 at 05:35:19
Jay @ 26 -

He did it for the money. End of. Shitbag stance. Americans can't root for Mexico, full stop.

Now an unadulterated opinion of the England game.

Best England performance I've seen in my time following "soccer." They look a proper team. If they could just finish their chances, they win 6-1.

Penalty was just soft and stupid. Otherwise they dominated.

They stand in my mind currently where I thought - second in the group, final 8 finish.

But England fans should be happy. That was a team and a performance you can be proud of. And what a dramatic finish to that game!

Be happy. Good stuff.

So says the American.

Darren Hind
30 Posted 19/06/2018 at 05:41:05
This is something different.

You wont have seen too many teams who play with a three at the back all of whom are more than happy to come out with the ball and carry the counter threat. Personally I've never seen it before at top level and I'm watching how Southgate can develop it, very closely.

A good performance from a set of good young lads. Tunisia were not the greatest opponents, but they were well practiced in the dark arts and that would have been good experience for the young England lads.

I can't claim to be England's greatest fan, but having watched a few games because Pickford was selected, I find myself warming to this group.

It barely registered with me when Southgate was made manager, I didn't particularly rate him, more to the point I didn't care, but he has been a breath of fresh air, a manager who is prepared to ignore the press and do it his way, give youngsters a chance, try fresh ideas and has somehow managed to explain to his players the difference between being confident and being a gobshite.

I'm on board. After being indifferent to the English set up for as long as I can remember, I found myself throwing my arms up when Kane buried the winner. Maybe the fact that I actually like the management and a lot of these players has made me biased and is clouding my judgment, but I said before the tournament started. I think this England team may still be in there once the quarter-finals have been settled.

Despite poor refereeing and cynical tactics employed by the opposition. This was the best football of the tournament so far and (can't believe I'm saying this) I find myself looking forward to the next game.

D Hind
Stony Stratford
Middle England

Jamie Crowley
31 Posted 19/06/2018 at 05:46:06
And you should get behind your national team Darren.

There's nothing to apologize for or be embarrassed about.

This is an England TEAM. Not a group of overpaid dicks (some of them are but bear with me ).

There's a squad picked upon talent and how they set up in a system. There's players who are playing for their shirt and their country. There is a coach who is setting up a system to play to collective strengths, not individual egos.

I hope they do well. You have a team. Get behind them.

Paul Ferry
32 Posted 19/06/2018 at 05:51:05
Jamie - He did it for the money. End of. Shitbag stance. Americans can't root for Mexico, full stop.

Straight from Trump's hymn-sheet as Mexican parents are separated from their children at the border under new Trump directives.

FYI Here in Chicago nearly all Americans I know supported Mexico and loved their win v Germany and unlike Jamie had the decency and dignity to respect how well Mexico played as a team.

Darren Hind
33 Posted 19/06/2018 at 05:54:48
That's a difficult one to explain Jamie.

Steve Ferns is far more eloquent than me, but even he got himself into a bit of an awkward situation when he tried the other day.

A huge percentage of this city's inhabitants (for various reasons) don't even consider themselves English – that's too long a story though, for another time.

Jamie Crowley
34 Posted 19/06/2018 at 06:02:46

It's been explained to me. I get it.

But if you have any soft spot in your heart for your national team, I'd argue this is the one and the coach to get behind.

It doesn't diminish your individuality or your independence as a scouser or a Liverpudlian in my opinion. It's your country.

Same country that banded together when threatened in the 1930s / 1940s when they were attacked by an evil empire.

You don't have to sing God Save the Queen, you can keep your identity, but this is an England team you can pull for.

My opinion, from afar, no insult intended in the least. And stated admittedly with a ton of naivety and lack of understanding from the mindset from an American.

Take it or leave it. ;0)

Jamie Crowley
35 Posted 19/06/2018 at 06:19:03
Paul Ferry, I cannot tell you how good it is to hear from you, sir! I hope you are well beyond measure.

I can't root for Mexico. Just can't. If they do well, good for them.

Has nothing to do with Trump. The man is a cunt. Has everything to do with the rivalry, how we beat Panama in 2014 with nothing to play for and saved the Mexican team's ass, then watched them do nothing in 2018 when we needed them to help us out.

We sucked. We don't belong at the Big Dance. But I still harbor a lot of resentment and you'll never see this red, white, and blue fella pulling for El Twat.

Take care of Chicago, friend. And stop being a stranger on these pages.

My best.

Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 19/06/2018 at 06:22:24
And it should be stated for the record, Paul Ferry's observations that a lot of Americans are indeed pulling for Mexico is accurate.

Myself and the Crowley brood of five sons aren't among them. We'd like to see Mexico out.

It's like a Yankee fan pulling for the Red Sox. Or an Evertonian pulling for Liverpool. Shit doesn't add up.

In my mind at least.

Dermot Byrne
37 Posted 19/06/2018 at 06:44:11
Now listen here, Mr Ferry. Here in Ruralshire things have gone to pot without your advice on keeping staff in their place and the best dogs to use for foxes.

Great to see a post from you and hope the colonies are treating you well, mate.

As for your post... usual nonsense!

Bobby Mallon
38 Posted 19/06/2018 at 08:03:05
I would have taken Walker off and replaced him with Vardy then gone to a 4-4-2. Loftus-Cheek and Rashford could still have been involved. I also thought Henderson had his best game for us in an England shirt.
Sam Hoare
39 Posted 19/06/2018 at 08:05:59
Paul Ferry @32, good to hear from you. Come more often!

As for last night and England, I was very encouraged. The first 35 minutes in particular was excellent with pace and movement and energy all over, pretty much what I wish to see from Everton. After that, it was harder and we struggled against an unsympathetic (poor) referee and a team (as Darren puts it) well versed in the dark arts. And yet we were the only team looking remotely like scoring. It must be noted that Tunisia are no mugs, they are ranked 21 in the world above the likes Iceland, Serbia and Sweden and just behind Croatia and Italy. They were ranked 14th a few months ago.

Yes, it required a late winner but we mostly outplayed them and hugely deserved the 3 points.

I love this formation with 3 ball playing centre-backs able to bring the ball out and I think this team can cause problems for any team out there. We've already seen the likes of Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain and France struggle at times so I think the whole lot are there for the taking. The biggest challenge will possibly be the mentality and whether or not they can continue to play this no fear, high energy football once they (hopefully) reach the knockout stages.

Les Green
40 Posted 19/06/2018 at 08:09:20
Jim Bennings (#4), I was thinking the same thing. Some incredible athletes but no real footballing character.
Michael Lynch
41 Posted 19/06/2018 at 08:12:03
Darren @ 30,

I agree. Perhaps saying it was the best football of the tournament so far might be stretching it slightly – I think that was probably on show in the Spain-Portugal game – but other than that, I'm with you.

Steve Pugh
42 Posted 19/06/2018 at 09:22:45
England played very well against the worst referee I have ever seen, including Twattenburg.

Apart from penalty decisions, he let the Tunisians time-waste at will and then had the audacity to hurry Jesse Lingard of the pitch when they found themselves behind in injury time. From what I can remember, not a single decision went our way in the penalty area and every time a Tunisian player flopped to the floor they got a free kick.

Brazil have apparently lodged a complaint against the ref in their game against the Swiss and we should do the same just to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Martin Nicholls
43 Posted 19/06/2018 at 09:38:01
Whatever their FIFA ranking, that Tunisian defence was shambolic on many occasions and England should have capitalised more.
James Flynn
44 Posted 19/06/2018 at 10:39:28
Jay (26) - Tempest in a teapot.

Unless they are playing the US (especially Mexico) I always pull for the teams from our conference in the WC.

The thing with Landon is that he was Public Enemy #1 with Mexico supporters since we beat them 2-0 in the 2002 World Cup. He scored the second, clinching goal, but why he was singled-out for their venom I don't know.

It lasted for years after that and Landon responded by having some of his best games against them, especially in Azteca. He could be a moody bugger over his career, but never against them.

He took all of our corners. It was him got all the bags of shit and piss, d-cell batteries, and bottles thrown at his head in Azteca, with the local police doing little to nothing about preventing it.

When it ended, for me, was a friendly down there a few years ago. We actually won the game. During it a Mexican player was down and Landon went over to give him a hand up (surprise). The Mexican player took it (shock). That was the end of it for me. If he was cool with it, so was I.

For whatever reason, the Mexican supporters afford Landon some grudging respect. One reason, I suspect, is that he earned it. Another would be that he can't hurt them anymore, so why be mad at him.

As I said, if he's made his peace with it, that's good enough for me.

And Americans shouting "Fuck him" and calling him scumbag have some damn short memories.

Joe Clitherow
45 Posted 19/06/2018 at 10:57:45
Pickford nearly got his fingers to the pen as well which was very well taken.

Interesting on the Maguire issue. Personally, I thought he was poor and not international quality. We will get exposed by better teams.

I think it is the carry outs from defence, similar to Stones, that catch people's eyes and skew the opinion on his performance. For me, I look to him to defend first and foremost and in that respect I thought he looked decidedly ropey for large periods and better teams will punish that. Belgium will be an interesting test. All three in the central defence, Walker, Stones and Maguire, have a mistake waiting to happen in them IMO and I don't think you can go very far with that against top quality attackers.

Portugal - Spain and Germany - Mexico have been worth my virtual admission so far for different reasons: Portugal - Spain was on a knife edge, whilst Germany - Mexico was classic David and Goliath. Long time since I have cheered as a neutral for a World Cup game but that's what I was doing for Mexico!!

Martin Reppion
46 Posted 19/06/2018 at 10:57:50
Good England performance from the back to the point of shooting. Apart from Harry Kane, we had no player who is a born scorer on the field.

Sterling would be my first choice right winger in a 4-4-2. He might even get into this formation alongside Dele Alli. But as the second striker? No. Vardy or Rashford alongside Kane and this game would have been over before they got their penalty. Lingard works hard and tries, but I'm not convinced yet. And as predicted, Ashley Young cutting back onto his right foot slowed play down.

But if the manager can tweak the team on Sunday and they create the same number of chances. It is at least going to be fun while it lasts. How long since England fans have been able to say that.

Brian Harrison
47 Posted 19/06/2018 at 11:14:50
Gareth Southgate has come in and changed the whole concept of how we should play. He has also promoted players that he worked with at Under-23 level, just like the Germans have been doing successfully for years. Also, he only gets limited time with these players, and to change the system like he has I think has been great.

I had never really thought about Southgate as a manager but if his sides continue to play this way he won't be short of offers after the World Cup is over. But hopefully he will be here for a few more years as England manager first.

Not everybody was at the top of their games last night, but they showed enough to beat a very resolute Tunisia who will be hard to beat. Funny how none of the back 3 play in that system for the clubs, but they seem to settle into the new formation.

I would just question, is Walker defensively good enough to play in the back 3. For Man City he bombs down the flanks which is his strength but has to be more disciplined in a 3. I think he might be better used in Trippier's position although you couldn't fault Trippier on last nights performance.

I thought both Rashford and Loftus-Cheek (someone I have been saying for months we should sign) did great when they came on. So there is competition for places which will benefit the team the longer they stay in the competition.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 19/06/2018 at 12:17:15
All opinions, I'd go with Joe@45, with regards Maguire. I thought he done okay with the ball, but I'm sure a better team will expose him defensively, down the side?

Walker, whilst not a centre-half, is never going to be ran, and when Tunisia were trying to break in the last 15 mins, it was Walker's pace that kept retrieving the ball to set England on their way again.

I enjoyed watching England but I've been watching them with interest for a while now because, ever since Southgate changed the system to suit his squad, I've thought they've got a chance.

They might not be good enough to go all the way, but a good team will always beat good individuals, even if I wish England had one in the middle of the park. That said, if they can keep up the intensity for a longer period, then they should be too good for most teams...

Jay Wood

51 Posted 19/06/2018 at 12:26:37
Thanks for the responses from t'other side of the pond about Landon Donovan catching some flack for coming out and supporting Mexico at the World Cup.

They kinda reflect my own reading of the story, namely, depending on your point of view:

* His words were uttered in some paid advertisement
* He is being criticised for uttering such words and taking the money
* He is being criticised for uttering such sentiments, Period! Yanks don't support Mexico – ever!
* Yes, he was paid for uttering the words, but he may also have been sincere in his sentiments, as he explained in a follow up Tweet.

Given the fractious nature of relations between the USA and Mexico, I can see how this can be viewed on partisan political lines, but overall – as James Flynn writes @ 44 – it strikes me as more of a 'Tempest in a Teapot.'

Sam Hoare
52 Posted 19/06/2018 at 12:44:05
I suspect Maguire will be used against the 'weaker' teams when Southgate expects us to have more possession but Cahill may well be drafted in against the better teams on account of his experience. I think Maguire is the better player overall but Cahill is possibly less likely to make a mistake which might decide a close match.
Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 19/06/2018 at 13:41:47
I thought England deserved their victory and could have by two or three more goals, not including the two penalty kicks they should have been awarded, made a mockery of the VAR system in my opinion.

England would have to be judged on beating better teams than their opponents last night and so would the system they used; none of the defenders had anything to defend, especially after Tunisia scored, and there was wasn't much before that, they mostly conceded one half of the field to England so it was easy for the defenders to bring the ball out of defence and spread it around.

I thought England were crying out for someone like the Arsenal player, Wilshere, to open up the Tunisia defence. Nevertheless, England won and deservedly so. Can they repeat that victory against teams that attack them? We will soon find out.

Dermot Byrne
54 Posted 19/06/2018 at 13:51:59
Shit... I am trawling for good Tranmere stories rather than this. The commentators and pundits are, to me done-in head, just useless. That lovely balance between claimed objectivity and the desire to say "We won, the krauts lost" (in jest of course).

It is so weird. I just feel if I get into this my Irish family will come back and haunt me and I may start talking with an Essex accent and start following the health of the monarchy.

Head vs Soul.

Weird for some of us.

Michael Williams
55 Posted 19/06/2018 at 14:22:11
American here fwiw. From a neutral perspective I enjoyed the way this team tried to play Quick passing on the counter and aggressive. Nice to see defenders not afraid to play out the back once Maguire got over his early nerves.

This is not a mature team and a lack of a true #10 to put the scorers in better finishing positions may hurt later in the tournament.

I hope Southgate's style of play, balls when it comes to selection, and the aggressiveness of these young players is the beginning of a new era for England.

Paul Ferry
56 Posted 19/06/2018 at 15:20:53
Sorry Jamie (Crowley), that came across too intemperately. I had just listened to Kellyanne Conway on CNN! Hope you and yours are doing well!

I think that Mexico might be hanging around for another couple of weeks. An odd team. I wouldn't have Hernandez at The Old Lady; Lozano, yes please. But they have something that Brasil with me-me-me-me-me Neymar (and other teams) cannot have: a genuine team spirit that turns a Hammers benchwarmer into a very good player.

James Hill
57 Posted 19/06/2018 at 21:49:39
We won – that's all that matters to me. Should have been six more but we won.

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