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11 Dec 22 06:11
Date Joined: 13 Jun 06
| Topic/replies: 4,495 | Blogger: REDROB's blog
Best England team since 66 ? Really ?
I doubt any of the current crop would even make the squad of the combined best over the those 56 years.

First World Cup I watched was the 66 one, and this years competition has been the worst I’ve ever seen. No outstanding team, no outstanding individual performances. Brazil had a good 45 mins against Korea when everything clicked for them, but that was a one off.

So decided to try and select my best English 11 from those 56 years. Midfield was a nightmare, struggled to come up with a right back, then remembered George Best saying that the best full back he ever played against was George Cohen.

John Barnes
Bryan Robson
Beckham (purely on delivery)

Hard to not include Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Charlton, Le Tissier,  Gaza. Slight Utd bias across the middle but were the best at what they did.
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Report thelatarps December 11, 2022 8:57 AM GMT
The stark reality is that since the 1970 side I should think Ashley Cole is the only modern English player worthy of any sort of consideration into an all time English xi.
Report steerforth December 11, 2022 9:59 AM GMT
Why do we have to suffer this hype every World Cup? FFS can someone not just tell the truth as it is patently obvious.

The media would have you believe this was the best team in the competition. That's just ridiculous. France did not play at their best yet were always "travelling that bit better". The winning goal was coming for the previous 10 minutes as they had just slipped into a higher gear and you could smell it.

The media would have you believe that this is the best England squad ever. It's NOT. The previous posts explain this quite adequately.

The pundits and many on here would have it that Saka was England's best player. Not sure what they're seeing. He's a talented young player but lost the ball often and was weak when challenged.

England played reasonably well and gave the French a decent game. But going into it I was totally convinced that we would do very well to stay with them and would find it very difficult to match their class. The game itself and the result, confirmed that view and I wouldn't change it if they started again today.

So again, why can we not just tell it as it is. None of this means that we can't improve, and continue to be competitive. It's not all negative, and I just feel we'd enjoy it more if people were realistic and accepted where we are. Other decent teams are out of the WC. There is just no need for all this self-flagellation and no natural entitlement.

Now back to the PL. Move on - we got to exactly where form and class predicted we should.
Report Kriskin December 11, 2022 10:26 AM GMT
All u need to look at is Croatia.  A small country who have now done better than England at 2 consecutive World Cups.  Lets put things in perspective here
Report Slicer December 11, 2022 10:37 AM GMT
Population of Croatia- 4 million. Population of UK 68 million!
Report stu December 11, 2022 10:59 AM GMT
Population only has a weak connection to football side strength internationally - Indonesia are one of the biggest populations, as are China. France are way smaller than USA.

It only really matters when you get down to the tiny level of population (e.g. San Marino), above a few million it becomes about the ability and input of nations into the game - we do ok in that respect, fairly well.
Report stu December 11, 2022 11:02 AM GMT
Uraguay has less than 3.5 million for another example.
Report thelatarps December 11, 2022 7:53 PM GMT
Since Uruguay  won their 2nd world title (1950) This is the wc roll of honour
Brazil 5
Germany 4
Italy 4
France 2
Arg 2
Spain 1
Eng 1

Not one single nation with less than 40m people..

The implication is clear. you need a large pool of players to win.
Report RothmanMike December 11, 2022 8:53 PM GMT
Enjoy the undeserved hype and do what I did.
Lay them for every competition at skinny odds.
Report stu December 12, 2022 12:42 AM GMT
That's a fair point for winning thelatarps, but even that shows that nations much bigger fail against moderate populations - Russia is 145 million. Mexico 128 million vs Argentina 45 million.

It is also only about winnners, but teams progress deep without such large populations - Croatia the obvious example at both previous and current WC with only less than 4 million, and Uruguay usually been a dangerous side.
Report stu December 12, 2022 1:24 AM GMT
Basically, population does have correlation with the sides strength, but it's a weak correlation overall across the sample of sides.

Add in other competitions and smaller sides are also shown winning - Denmark, Greece for examples of euro winners against far bigger countries.
Report PorcupineorPineapple December 12, 2022 9:15 AM GMT
It's not population, it's that football is highly established. Look at those countries, they're the biggest international leagues over the years. The leagues with the best grounds, the best coaches and facilities and youth development, the biggest investment in science and nutrition.

It's still a cup competition at the end of the day and that sample remains small (look at semi finalists imo to quadruple the size), and you'll always get over and under performers at a specific time but this England team is now reaping the benefit of Wenger arriving and revolutionising how seriously players took the profession here.

I don't think this is the best collection of players since 66. Far from it. I still maintain that Kane doesn't get a kick in 96, could argue he should be behind Wright and Fowler in the squad even. I'm not sure man to man any of this team knocks out the best 11 from then. But I think if that team had had the professionalism, commitment and team spirit that Southgate has instilled in these then they'd have won it. This isn't the best group of players since 66 but it may well be the best team.
Report thelatarps December 12, 2022 10:08 AM GMT
I just think that the major failure with the Eng Mens team is this obsession with star players...
Or supposed star players.

In 66 Jimmy Greaves got injured and was expected to walk back into the team for the final.
Sir Alf said otherwise.
And won.
There is a famous tale of Gordon Banks offering Sir Alf a throwaway line at the end of an international. 'See you next time ALf..'
'Will you?' was the managers response.

These players need to feel pressure to perform. They need to know that if they dont come up with the goods they get hooked for the next game.
Southgates time latterly, as ENgland Manager has felt as if exists just to ensure that Kane ends up as Englands highest ever scorer...

There is a story of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Getting pelters in the press because he wasnt using the Running Back enough. 'Everytime I go into work I  walk past 5 Lombardi Super Bowl Trophies, not 5 Rushing titles'.

From Keegan, to Bryan Robson, Gazza, Shearer, Owen, Beckham, Rooney now Kane.. These players get a free pass off the English press. And the Manager is too scared to drop them.
The tragedy is that ENgland have such a huge resource of playing talent they could do without them.

The history of world cup success is that by and large these tournaments are won by squad depth.
The player I liken Kane to is late career Francesco Totti. Roma and Italy. Totti is a world champion but the world cup in 2006 he was regularly subbed off for Del Piero. It was forward play by committee.
Allenatore Lippe rotated his forward line with Luca Toni a target man and Inzaghi the whippet for the balls in behind..

Until ENgland learn this lesson they will never win.
ANd now its time for SImon Jordan...
Report PorcupineorPineapple December 12, 2022 10:51 AM GMT
Think I disagree with that. I don't think Kane has ever been considered to be a stellar talent as Gazza would have been. He's not one where we set the team up to service him, such as where Ronaldo gets a free pass from doing any work. I just think we have very limited options. The last few tournament the other strikers have been Wellbeck, Rashford and Calvert-Lewin ffs. Kane never gets injured and was always available so was able to rack up a glut of goals in qualifying but was also top scorer a year ago wasn't he.

I also think Kane has adapted his own game in the last 3 years or so. Plays more like a #10 with Son bombing on, and does the same for England now. I like Wilson as a player but he's not a top tier striker to go into a big comp by any means.

He'd get a load of flak for it but I'd like Southgate to do a Pep and just player attackers rather than a striker. Interchange, swap positions and drag defenders around and create space for Bellingham and maybe the likes of Elliot to run into.
Report LoyalHoncho December 12, 2022 11:11 AM GMT
Great thread with great contributions and even as a Scot I feel justified to offer an opinion, having watched all of the '66 competition and every one since.
Without a shadow of a doubt whatsoever without Bobby Charlton England would not have won any World Cup so he simply has to be in any "best ever" England side.  What happened in Mexico in '70 when he was taken off against West Germany says it all about his huge influence on those England sides. As good as he was I would have to leave out Barnes.  I always feel too that central defenders work best as a partnership and would probably bring in Bob's brother Jackie ( who was a much better footballer than anybody ever gave him credit for being ) for Ferdinand.
With regards to this current side the big drawback is still the same as has handicapped them for decades - not taking gilt-edged chances in the big matches that matter.  Maguire and Kane between them should have buried France and as for Maguire how he gets a place in that side has to one of the great mysteries of Southgate's mindset.  He is absolutely third rate.  What he did the other night could have been done by any other English central defender in existence, and better imo.  Five times he lumped huge punts up the park and England lost possession.  He arm-wrestled and bear hugged Giroud three times, any of which could have conceded a penalty.  He missed an absolute sitter ( for which there is no excuse at that level ) and was posted missing at Giroud's winner.  And it is laughable how he drops like a sack of tatties, trying to claim a penalty, when he misses out at a set-piece cross.  His 100+ ten to fifteen feet cross-field passes in his own half were however top drawer!
As for the criticism of the referee the other night I thought he had a good game.  Other than the foul on Saka which led to the French first goal he twice gave England excellent "advantage", one of which led to them making a corner and the other to a penalty.
Finally VAR came good for England.  It awarded them their second penalty, which is what it was designed for - the referee's view of the incident having been  impaired by another French player.
Report moisok December 12, 2022 11:59 AM GMT
It was kane's fault we went out.   Glad to have helped here.
Report MJK December 12, 2022 3:46 PM GMT
As an outsider looking in I think you need, when a new manager comes in(it looks likely) that he drops a few of the older lads and uses the period up to the Euros to get more experience into the younger ones and ones coming onboard. It seems a pretty obvious thing to do to me. Of course the new manager would have to buy into this and not bottle it and go down the 'experience ' route. It would be much easier for a new boss to do this than Southgate who would no doubt feel he owes his loyalty to the present crop.
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- December 12, 2022 4:19 PM GMT
Wilson is injury prone so only ever stand by.
He's a decent standard, but untested at very
highest level.

Toney looks like he may become a genuine option
if he stops betting.
Report REDROB January 2, 2023 8:46 PM GMT
Revisiting this thread for first time since posting. A couple of good posts since then.

The tarlaps: most remiss of me not to include Ashley Cole, on reflection he replaces Pearce, rarely if ever when he was an out and out winger did I see CR7 get the better of Cole.

loyalhoncho : Great shout for Bobby Charlton too, grieved me to leave him out, was never main striker but for over 40 years was top scorer for England, so again he comes in for Robbo. Only chose Barnes cos couldn’t think of another left winger. Agree about central defensive partnerships but never could I have Jackie over Rio.

All the players who have challenged the goal scoring record of BC were main strikers, Lineker , Rooney, Kane . And all three played against minnows aka San Marino, Fharoe Islands, who weren’t around in Sir Bobbys day. And more interestingly were the penalties taken by each, BC took 4, missed 1 Rooney took 7 100%,  Lineker took 5 missed 1 . Kane took 21 missed 4.   So from open play Bobby,s still top.
Report Racingqueen January 2, 2023 10:36 PM GMT
maybe the likes of Elliot to run into.

low grade bait
Report clacton January 3, 2023 4:04 PM GMT

Dec 11, 2022 -- 4:37AM, Slicer wrote:

Population of Croatia- 4 million. Population of UK 68 million!

68m  But most of these are illegal immigrants.

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