June 16th, 2008, 04:14 AM #191
Oh and England THINK their talent pool is elite. That's half their problem they go into games assuming they'll win because they're very very arrogant.
I would put them in the top half of the 10-20 bracket in the world. The English press would have them top 3. It only took half a dozen games before various pundits were claiming that no-one in this tournament would have caused England problems......... The fact that they weren't even good enough to qualify from a relatively easy (Croatia excepted) group seemingly passing them by
I should balance this by pointing out I am Scottish
June 16th, 2008, 05:37 AM #192
What I love about Croatia is Bilic as a coach. He is a real character who was up until a short while ago earning around 60000 dollars per year, which is a pitence. He then gets into verbals with the Croatian football federation about his new contract, and half way through the negotiations signs the contract with out a dollar value in the remuneration box and says to the Croatians, "Just pay me what you want." And all of this whilst being chased by some Premiership teams who would have paid through their nose to get him.
June 16th, 2008, 05:42 AM #193
Hey Selmar where in Scotland are you? Edinburgh here.
Originally Posted by Selmar
And you are right about England although I think the biggest issue with them are the press over-hyping them every time and harking back to 1966. All through the Turkish game yesterday the commentators must have mentioned Kazim Richards english heritage 8 or 9 times, as if that means they have a proxy interest in the tournament.
June 16th, 2008, 07:32 AM #194
I live in Leeds but was born in Glasgow. Just to further confuse I'm a Newcastle fan and season ticket holder (my fathers side of the family are all geordies and that was beaten into me at a young age)
The press thing and the arrogance is what I mean. England are a decent team there's no denying it but not a great team and nowhere near as great as they think they are and they believe the hype and press coverage of how amazing they are in the premiership and so assume they just have to turn up to win. You just need to look at Lampard. Amazing in the Premiership awful for England. It's simple why, he's nowhere near as good as he or anyone else thinks he is but is surrounded by excellent foreign players who allow him to be defensively irresponsible and charge forwards and set him up with great chances.
To see how England would have done in this tournament simply look at how average at best France are and then how France played England off the park 3 months ago.....
The Kazim Richards thing was as usual absurd, but then thats ITV for you.......Turkey like Croatia are a team whose sum is way way greater than its parts (so for that matter are Scotland at the moment but how long that will last we'll see!!). England are the exact opposite
June 16th, 2008, 07:34 AM #195
That wasn't my point. My point is that they're better than we are with substantially smaller populations, which negates the football/baseball/basketball excuse(s).
Originally Posted by ASUcruz
I recently read an article in some sports business rag at the gym. I don't remember the title of the magazine, but it dealt with economic issues in American sports. One of the feature articles talked about how the upper levels of US soccer are trying to change the current system of developing talent by identifying gifted players at an earlier age and making sure they play against other kids of their skill level. This is a switch--according to the article--from the current paradigm, which places an emphasis on blanket enrollment above everything else, and which waters down the level of play--in all leagues. Instead of letting kids be big fishes in small ponds, they will be forced to get better by competing against other more gifted kids.
I think that sounds like a step in the right direction, and it shows that people are beginning to tackle the competitive gap. I think a similar approach ought to be taken at the int'l level. I have to disagree with you; I don't think "we're right where we should be." We have the resources, in terms of raw numbers , cultural enthusiasm and $$$, to be a lot better.
June 16th, 2008, 11:04 AM #196
BTW: the replay of the Turkey/Czech Rep. game is on now. 2nd half is about to start.
June 16th, 2008, 12:59 PM #197
I don't think it does, they have smaller populations but 95% of their gifted young athletes are playing soccer. As opposed to maybe 3% of us. Even though we have a bigger population, they're best kids are playing that sport and ours aren't.
Originally Posted by irisher
You said the US should be better, how much better? You don't think the US is at where they're supposed to be? People don't realize this but US soccer is still in it's infancy. 20 years ago it was a major accomplishment just to qualify for the World Cup.
June 16th, 2008, 02:12 PM #198
How about to where it's not a surprise when we reach the final eight of the World Cup, and we don't have to rely on the idea that "you never know what can happen" if you qualify? I don't think, with all our resources, that's an unreasonable goal, the NFL, MLB, and NBA notwithstanding.
Originally Posted by ASUcruz
I'm watching Austria/Germany right now. Comparing this game or Turkey/Czech Rep. to the US/Barbados yesterday, the skill level is noticeably different. It's like watching Prem. League games and contrasting them to MLS. It's brutal to watch the latter after the former.
I guess I should say too that I like Bradley, and we've got some exciting players. I'm just not going to get excited about a victory over Barbados. My suggestion that CONCACAF join up with S. America was tongue-in-cheek, but I think it's clear we're taking the easy way out in terms of competition, and it's going to continue to cost us in the long run.
June 16th, 2008, 08:37 PM #199
I get what your saying about how in the past the US has rarely played stiff competition but in the past year the slate of friendlies have included Sweden, Poland, the Swiss, Mexico and obviously the last big 3 of England, Spain and Argentina. Id say thats some good competition...
Originally Posted by irisher
June 17th, 2008, 12:28 AM #200
And we played in Copa America.
Originally Posted by KBA4life