Tag Archives: International

Football’s Coming Home: Oh no, and a Few Goals

After the big win against Slovakia last time out, the Three Lions are looking to all but secure our spot in Russia with the June game against Slovenia, followed by a double header of whipping boys Malta and Rugby team, Scotland. After that, we will face the perhaps crucial games against Lithuania and Slovakia. Today we will face Slovenia and a friendly against a bunch of guys from some place.

In other news Jose Mourinho doesn’t like me due to apparently ignoring his request – I have no idea what he’s talking about, but I also care very little.

Also, I have yet to attend a game to watch any England players. I mean… why bother when I can illegally stream it online. This, however, did not go down to well with the journalist.

The media are also starting to mention Crouch and Defore in contention for call-ups. I thought football manager was meant to be realistic? This is so…

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Ah, well… you win this time FM… but not call up is coming to either of them barring a massive injury crisis (fingers crossed).

In the world rankings, we are now above Wales who have slipped to 15th as we have held onto 12th. These rankings are soo pointless. What isn’t pointless is the premier league, and at the end of the season the table looks like this:

 

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God freaking damn it.

I rescind my previous point, the premier league is pointless and all that matters now is international football. Also, the fact Tottenham didn’t bottle it is completely unrealistic…  this is truly the darkest of timelines.

Enough nonsense, into the important stuff – international football.

Alongside our games against Slovenia and the team I have not yet named, and will not yet name, and will ultimately disappoint you when I say it, the U21 team are playing in the championships, so we will see how the young’uns get on.

Getting to our squad, my assistant tried to call up Charlie Austin over Theo Walcott… is he looking to get that sack? Because that’s how you end up getting the boot around here. Blasphemy.

Into the game against Slovenia, here is the squad:

 

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Slovenia draw a lot…

 

 

We have gone with our more attacking setup, not repeating our previous mistake against Slovenia. Walcott is on the bench for Oxlade-Chamberlain after the impressive performance against Slovakia has earnt him a place in the team. Kane is in for Vardy because at some point he has to become prolific for me. Also, Butland is in for Hart. The team looks good, we should have comfortably more than enough. Let’s do this.

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I guess we can call this one a success.

An excellent win, and an excellent performance. Our full backs really seem to be growing into this system and that showed with Clyne notching up a goal and an assist, and Rose grabbing a goal and two assists and the man of the match award. Elsewhere, my selection of Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed justified as he put out a strong performance, similar story for Kane.

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We could have gone three points clear if Scotland held onto Slovakia, they had been holding them to 1-1, and of course screwed it up – thanks, Scotland. We do however have a +18 goal difference compared to Slovakia’s +4.

Now a friendly against the mystery men… VENEZUELA! I told you you’d be disappointed. They were yellow like brazil… and have… Rondon maybe? Let’s hope they don’t come here and have a go at our parks and film it for Hugo Chavez… I won’t be accepting no cheques (on camera).

As I intend to do for all our smaller friendlies I will just bring you the result and explain my changes. Pretty much, we will just be playing the same shape as last game, very exciting. If we lose, right to jail, if we draw, believe it or not, jail.

 

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No jail

 

Another friendly, another interesting game. I should really cover them in more depth, but ultimately they are pretty irrelevant. Daniel Sturridge impressed with four goals, a mixture of finishes, I hope to see more of this from him as he, Vardy and Kane battle for the starting striker spot. Another assist from the fullback position is promising, and Walcott had a decent game. Defensively, we were often caught out by Venezuela’s 4-4-2, with both our centre-backs being dragged by their two strikers. Also, the direct style of Venezuela caused us issues in the first half, conceding early. Ultimately though, our style pulled through.

For only two games, there was a lot to get through today. Next time out, we will be playing Malta and Scotland, hopefully, this will mean a lot of goals to bring you. After that, we have crunch time as we go up against Slovakia, away, and Lithuania at Wembley. Until next time.

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Football’s Coming Home: Qualifying Begins

Off the back of a less than convincing friendly against Isreal, we roll into Slovenia for our first World Cup qualifying game. Being a little unsure of our quality, and rating Slovenia as a half decent team I have decided to start cautious in order to weigh up the game in the first half.

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Lack of faith?

There are a few changes to tactics in there to make the shape a little more attacking whilst retaining most of its robustness. For example, John Stones is playing as a Ball Playing Defender, but Eric Dier will be playing as an Anchor to allow the Full Backs to push wide and deep. Jordan Henderson will also be allowed a more adventurous role as a box-to-box midfielder following on from his impressive performance in the last fixture.

So let’s see how they get on in sunny Ljubljana.

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Well… could be worse

Ahh… not the result I was hoping for. The cautious start backfired as Slovenia scored a scrappy goal from a corner following shaky defending from Phil Jones (who I started for unknown reasons, maybe from writing the starting eleven on a pack of fags). We quickly equalised from a wildly deflected free kick from Eric Dier. I then at half time switched things up to a more controlling strategy and dominated the game, creating three clear cut chances, and missed them all. Oh well, at least Scotland lost.

A draw in Slovenia is not the end of the world, I still am fully convinced we will top the group comfortably. Next up Malta and Scotland in a minnows double header (oh god I hope I don’t fuck it up now).

As I wait the thirty-three days till we play Malta I have to wonder, what non-sense would Glenn Hoddle be saying about me? Answers on a postcard, or in the comments, you do you.

Malta at Wembley, not too much thought going into this one. Just going to look to control the game, and hopefully get some of the squad firing before the main event – Scotland away.

The team has been slightly rotated for this one with appearances for Lallana, Sturridge, Rooney, Wilshere and Rose plus Dier dropping back to play alongside Stones.

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John Stones?!?!

The most surprising thing about this result is that John Stones scored two. Performance was exactly as you’d expect, Malta managed a shot which was nice for them. The whole back line picking up yellows is somewhat of a concern but could maybe be put down to a lack of concentration after scoring four in the first half. We are also now top of the group. Next up, Scotland, a match John Stones has managed to pick up a suspension for.

It’s somehow seventeen Celsius in Scotland, in October, my immersion has been broken. The team for the game will be again rotated with Kane, Alli , Sterling and Shaw coming in for Sturridge, Rooney, Lallana and Rose, with Stones missing out Cahill steps in at the back. We will approach the game looking to dominate from the off, let’s get into this.

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I’m Shaw we won’t be Dier.

Seeing the strength of Scotland, this approach and this line-up should be sufficient as there appears to be a significant gulf in quality. Scotland are expected to line up in a similar shape and so I hope to just overpower them with our technical quality. See you after the match.

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Scotland have a player called Ziggy Gordon?

As expected, we just had too much for Scotland. Jordan Henderson scored a curler from the edge of the box in the first half, followed by a scrappy Gary Cahill goal from a corner and a neatly worked goal by Daniel Sturridge following an excellent pass from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Worth noting, Scotland at home had as many shots as Malta did against us at Wembley. Malta also earned a draw away at Slovenia… the same outcome we achieved… maybe I overestimated Slovenia…

This win leaves us joint top with Slovakia who are emerging as our main rivals for top spot in the group. Slovenia and Scotland both have only three points, quickly turning this into a two horse race.

So two wins against two minnows leaves us firmly on course. Next two games are against Lithuania and a friendly against Northern Ireland. I’ll be taking Theo to the giant’s causeway, says he’s always wanted to go, will make him right happy.