Results for World Cup

England system

8:30 pm

England System


Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier
Manchester City: Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Fabian Delph
Liverpool: Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold


The difficulty England have is that their are very few English playmakers, if any, in the top 5 leagues in Europe. Gareth Southgate had to find another way, a way where if one player was missing, another could seamlessly slip into the system. Statistically, there isn't one in the top 30 players in Europe, the highest is Jack Wilshere, ranked 31st.

His answer was to devise a system that a large proportion of the squad were already playing at club level. In the England squad there are 11 players who regularly play a high pressing game and it was this that Gareth Southgate adopted.

We have learnt a lot about him at this World Cup, not least that he totally embraces sports science and pays close attention to the tiniest detail. The is something the England Rugby team did to win the Rugby World Cup under Clive Woodward, who was then knighted. British cycling adopted the same approach an did Team Sky.

Where the England rugby team went wrong when Sir Clive Woodward left, was not to carry on in the same detailed way. They didn't look forward, they were not constantly planning for continued success, hence a one-off success and a fight to get back to the same level.

Spurs have the same issue. A one-off success is no good, it can even send the team backwards, if a side is built to obtain one short-term success. Mauricio Pochettino isn't falling into that trap, he planning to regularly compete and win trophies, that's the aim and thus that is what's being worked towards.

Fans may not like it, but it's the right thing to do for the long-term success of the club.

England now have a system to play that needs to be kept and not discarded after one tournament as is often the case.

I couldn't believe people were suggesting we should try and make our route harder in the World Cup, that simply didn't make any sense. Thank goodness Southgate thought so too and picked a second XI. The result is that there is now real optimism that we can beat anyone in our half of the draw, especially now that Spain are out.

Southgate highlighted set plays are a major factor at WorldCups, thus England have had more shots from set-pieces than anyone else in the tournament (30). We have had 17 shots from free-kicks, more than anyone else. One of our objectives is to win free-kicks around the penalty box, something we have been excellent at this summer.

If you look at the graphic below, from Opta Stats, you can see the fouls are primarily on the left, where Dele Alli operates and Raheem Sterling drifts to (prior to Sweden game).

England-system

COYS

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England system England system Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

World Cup Takeaways

12:30 pm

World Cup Takeaways

THBN-World-Cup-Takeaways

A few games in the World Cup 2018 have been played now and the initial group games are almost completed. Here are a few takeaways from those games.

Toni Kroos

Mexico stopped the German engine, Toni Kroos from playing football, he was only able to complete 13 passes in the Mexico half. It shows that a destructive or negative tactic can have a positive effect.

It isn't something fans watching the game would take much notice of, but it had a significant impact on the game, arguably decided it. His marker was arguably the player of the game, although he went unnoticed.

Marcelo Brozović

Tottenham have been linked with 25-year-old (26 in September) Marcelo Brozović, the Inter Milan and Croatian international midfielder. Stats from the recent Croatia vs Nigeria game.

Croatia before the entry of Brozović (60 mins): 37 passes completed in the last 30 metres (59% success).
With Brozović (34 mins): 37 passes completed in the last 30 metres (71% success).

France Problems

France had problems taking the ball into danger areas.
Completed passes to last 30 metres for France: 
Pavard + Lucas + Varane: 22 passes
Tolisso + Pogba + Kante: 21 passes
First 10 minutes: 4 shots 
From 10 minutes to 45 minutes: 1 shot

Like many games, there has been a lack of quality in the final third at this World Cup with many games being played in midfield.

Spain Problem

Spain struggled to win the ball back.
Spain allowed a 73% pass success rate to the last 30 metres against Portugal and ended the game with only 23 recoveries of the ball in their own half of the field. That gives the opposition confidence that they will get plenty of ball in the Spanish half and an opportunity to make something of it.
World Cup Takeaways World Cup Takeaways Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Brazil may well fail to qualify for the World Cup

7:00 pm

Brazil not qualifying for a World Cup. It is something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime, having grown up on great Brazilian and South American teams. The unknown always adds excitement to a tournament and the 1978 World Cup in Argentina with all the ticker tape coming down was quite apart from any other.

To imagine one without Brazil there was unthinkable, but it is a very real possibility that they will not qualify from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) section.

Ten teams fight out qualification. They play each other home and away. That makes 18 games so you can see it is a long drawn out affair to qualify. The top 4 qualify automatically, the 5th placed side advance to the inter-confederation play-offs. The rest don't make it.

As it stands 6 games have been played and Brazil sit sixth behind Uruguay (4/1/1 - 13pts), Ecuador (4/1/1 - 13pts), Argentina (3/2/1 - 11pts), Chile (3/1/2 - 10pts) and Colombia (3/1/2 - 10pts).

Brazil have won 2, drawn 3 and lost 1 so have 9 points. They have beaten Peru (8th - 4pts) and Venexuela (10th - 1pt) at home while drawing with Uruguay (1st). Away from home they have drawn with Argentina (3rd), lost to Chile (4th) and drawn with Paraguay (7th - 9pts) after a last gasp 92nd minute equalizer.

Brazil have gone backwards as a footballing nation while countries like Chile, Colombia and Ecuador have advanced, which of course adds to the difficulty. With 12 games to go Brazil will have to improve and managed Dunga isn't a popular figure now. The football mad country don't forgive failure and they don't take to a poor national team. The lack of victories is a worry, especially as one of their wins was against the whipping boys.

The team continues to look as if it doesn't know what it is doing, it's the Roy Hodgson scenario all over again. Hodgson was clueless when it came to creating a playing system and we now know the FA knew his coaching was poor after Steven Gerrard told the FA after the last World Cup. We now know the coaching staff disagreed with his methods and the players didn't know what they were supposed to do, even asking during a game where someone was supposed to be playing!

You can not just throw 11 men onto a pitch and expect them to sort it out, an organised side will beat a bunch of 11 any day. You are just relying on someone doing something brilliant to get you out of trouble all the time, exactly the problem we have and why we have so many foreign coaches in the Premier League. They harness talent in a system, not just say go out and get on with it, whatever it is.

Against Paraguay Brazil were saved by their goalkeeper and that injury time goal, things would be even worse otherwise. It is a place they haven't won in 31 years though. Neymar is currently carrying Brazil, when he doesn't play they are there for the taking, especially if you adopt a counter-attacking approach.

Like Hodgson, Dunga is a cautious manager who hasn't learnt to harness the talent within the side, there is enough there to qualify easily, yet they are struggling and the pressure will only mount. As we saw against Germany Brazil are poor at the back and they haven't improved. Dunga has a feud with probably his best defender Thiago Silva. It was he who was holding the defence together and without him Germany ran riot, David Luiz didn't know what he was doing, not sure Dunga does at the moment.

Marquinhos is one of the most sought after central defenders in the world and PSG don't want to enter any negotiation with Barcelona who have been trying to buy his for 2 years. He hasn't even got a look in yet, which just demonstrates the no risk approach of Dunga, alien to what we expect from Brazilian football.

Dunga could make a place in history for  himself for all the wrong reasons, it is a very real possibility.



Brazil may well fail to qualify for the World Cup Brazil may well fail to qualify for the World Cup Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:00 pm Rating: 5

How did our World Cup predictions fare?

2:30 pm
How did we do with our Group Assessments and predictions for the next round?


How did our World Cup predictions fare?

A quick look at the pre-tournament picks reveal a correct prediction of 11 of the 16 teams going through to the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup.

World Champions Spain correctly predicted to not get out the group and Algeria to qualify were the picks, Ecuador conceding a late goal to Switzerland preventing them going through.

Group A - Brazil & Mexico - both went through
Group B - Holland and Chile - both went through
Group C - Ivory Coast & Colombia - Columbia went through, Ivory Coast gave away a penalty with seconds left to go out.
Group D - Italy and Uruguay - only Uruguay went through
Group E - France and Ecuador - only France went through
Group F - Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina - only Argentina went through
Group G - Germany and Portugal - only Germany went through
Group H - Belgium and Algeria - both went through

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Knockout stage predictions
Top Half

Brazil vs Chile - Brazil
Columbia vs Uruguay - Colombia
France vs Nigeria - France
Germany vs Algeria - Germany

Bottom Half
Holland vs Mexico - Holland
Costa Rica vs Greece - Costa Rica
Argentina vs Switzerland - Argentina
Belgium vs USA - Belgium


The predicted quarter-final line up
Brazil vs Colombia
France vs Germany

Holland vs Costa Rica
Argentina vs Belgium

The pre-tournament prediction was for an Argentina and Germany final with Argentina winning.




How did our World Cup predictions fare? How did our World Cup predictions fare? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:30 pm Rating: 5

Parker didn't refuse Hopeless Hogdson

7:30 am

Scott Parker is the second ex Spurs player who has had to come out and try to clear his name after Harry Redknapp's crazy outburst.


Parker didn't refuse Hopeless Hogdsom


 He has been in the game long enough and worked with the media long enough to know how they would deal with his remarks to create sensationalist journalism.

It's a sorry state of affairs when former Spurs players now have to defend themselves and show how important playing for their country is.

"I probably speak for every boy and everyone out there: playing for your country, replicating the players in the World Cup is something you dream of.

"I remember Italia '90, being 10 and playing outside in the garden, thinking I was Gazza (Paul Gascoigne) and my friends thinking the same.

"I can only speak from a personal level - obviously you get some people in life who'll be different - but I think the majority of players who put on an England shirt are very proud.

"I hear people say that other countries are more passionate and have more desire but whenever I've been involved in the England set-up, the players have been committed.

"It's a boy's dream; I can't contemplate not wanting to play for England. It's something I will always remember, the pinnacle of my career."


What is far more out of order than Harry Redknapp though, is Roy Hodgson picking Ben Foster and playing him at the World Cup when he has previously refused his country.

Handing out caps as a thank you for turning makes a mockery of international football, especially when you pick someone like Chris Smalling, who promptly showed England fans how inept he has been for Manchester United.

For them, when he can get a game it's usually at right-back but the right-sided centre-half is played on the left side by Hodgson. His passing was inept. Phil Jones another centre-half who can't get into the Manchester United team and plays in midfield when he can is shunted out to right-back. Crazy.

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As for taking Ricky Lambert, having a policy of trying to give everyone game time and only giving him 5 minutes you have to ask why was he there?

He was Plan B, so if you are not going to use Plan B why have you got it?

The worst England World Cup ever thanks to the hopeless Hodgson. Wrong squad, wrong preparation, wrong tactics, wrong substitutions, wrong game management planning, wrong appointment.

Still the FA are happy, they are saving £4 million a year with him there so naturally after two hopeless major championship performances naturally they will want to keep him.

His after game interview showed he was clearly watching a different game to the rest of us, perhaps he had a TV with him and was watching Italy Uruguay. Football is about winning, not looking nice in defeat or being so inept you can't score against a team not even trying.

He has had 2 years of qualifying to determine a style and pattern of play. In 2 years he has figured out nothing and taken the country backwards. There were 2 games before the next qualification starts and international managers don't get many games with their players so instead of building you simply hand caps out to the boys.

That is the action of a loser, not a winner.

Well done Roy, some achievement. You were the wrong choice when selected and you remain the wrong choice.



Parker didn't refuse Hopeless Hogdson Parker didn't refuse Hopeless Hogdson Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:30 am Rating: 5

Should Redknapp face an FA disrepute charge? Remember Sutton?

8:00 am
Unsurprisingly Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard were not impressed with Harry Redknapp's comments that some Spurs players tried to avoid international duty.

Should Redknapp face an FA disrepute charge?


The former Tottenham bosses comments on BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme raised plenty of questions the FA should require answers to. I have assumed Redknapp was only talking about friendlies and not competitive internationals, that needs clarification.

"I can tell you that, when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around there were two or three players who did not want to play for England.

"They would come to me 10 days before the game and say: 'Gaffer, get me out of that game, I don't want to play in that game' - that was how it was.

"That is the truth, so it makes you wonder ... and I think it's only going to get worse. You see the stick the England players get. They're earning fantastic money at their clubs, they're all playing in the Champions League. They wonder: 'Do I need the aggro?'"

The full article: Redknapp - Some players don't want to play for England

The FA should now be having a word with Redknapp to ask him to explain his comments. During a World Cup this is effectively bringing the game into disrepute.

All Spurs players have now been tainted. During his time as Spurs boss Harry Redknapp worked with 12 England players - Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon, Darren Bent, Scott Parker, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King and Kyle Walker.

Is he talking only about full internationals or does this include Under 21 games and other age groups. Are players like Andros Townsend, Tom Carroll or Harry Kane involved for instance?

The general public will be wondering if England regulars Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker are among the players he is talking about, they won't start associating and working out who was playing under him they will just tar all Spurs players with the same brush. Certainly if I were Walker or Townsend I would want my name publicly cleared.

Roy Hodgson certainly needs to know who they are, he also feels Redknapp should name them.

"In the two years I've been here, I've seen a greater interest in playing for England, so Harry's comments come as a bit of a surprise to me.
"I've spoken to Jermain and he's devastated [not to be in Brazil].

"We need names. It's not been the case here. I can guarantee it's not been the case here.

"If you make comments like that, you have to name them."

England captain Steven Gerrard also feels the players should be named and shamed. Personally I feel very strongly that any who ever turns down their country should never play for them again, to me it's scandalous that goalkeeper Ben Foster is at the World Cup after he refused to play for his country.

It's disgusting that he was not prepared to be in England squads but then when a World Cup in Brazil is approaching he makes himself available. Roy Hodgson should never have asked him.

"I'd be interested to find out who those players are.

"If Harry is making a comment like that, he should name them and embarrass them. No one in this group wants to go home. No one wants to go home.

"If what he says is right it's disgusting. For me, if a player doesn't want to be, he doesn't deserve to be here at a World Cup.

"But the comment is not clear. 'They' didn't want to play for England. Who? Name them. Is it Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend? I don't know who he means. Was it five years ago? 10 years ago? Should Harry not name them?" 

Of course Harry Redknapp won't name the players because without proof they sue him for defamation of character but he has put question marks over some tremendous former players and current England players.

Will the FA now do it's duty, interview him and let the public know that Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend have never refused to play for their country, assuming they are not guilty of course.

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Do you remember what happened to Chris Sutton when he refused England? What happened after was the right approach.

In February 1998 Sutton refused a call up to an England B game when Glenn Hoddle was England manager. He never played for England again, never got near a squad.

In 2011 he recalled that moment as the biggest regret of his career when promoting his autobiography, which Hoddle didn't contribute to.

“It’s a pity Glenn Hoddle did not contribute to my book just to give it a bit of twist, but I don’t know why he did not want to.

“The England thing is a big regret. I should not have done it and I really regret it.”

Obviously Mr Sutton Hoddle didn't want to promote your book, you refused your country and then want help to improve a product so you can make more sales and make yourself more money. Me me me.

When your country calls, you answer, if you refuse, you should never be picked in a squad again at any level. So who are they Harry?



Should Redknapp face an FA disrepute charge? Remember Sutton? Should Redknapp face an FA disrepute charge? Remember Sutton? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:00 am Rating: 5

Assou-Ekotto explains headbutt

6:30 pm
Benoit Assou-Ekotto was seen headbutting teammate Benjamin Moukandjo after Cameroon's 4-0 drubbing against Croatia in Manaus on Wednesday.

Assou-Ekotto explains headbutt


The Tottenham left-back, on loan at QPR last season after a fall-out with Andre Villas-Boas, was angry during injury time and had an altercation with his teammate before putting his head into his face.

Still angry the fracas was set to continue in the tunnel but Samuel Eto'o stepped in between them to cool the situation and keep them from starting again. Assou-Ekotto has now explained the reason behind their exchange and it is much as expected.

"It all started with the first match against Mexico. Moukandjo was on my flank, he tried to dribble past two opponents and lost the ball.

"I told him he should pass it to me. He replied I was right. The same situation happened against Croatia again. Everyone can make a mistake. But when I told him again, he replied: 'Get off my back!'

"I could not accept his reaction. There was so much frustration in that match."

In the first game against Mexico which Cameroon lost 1-0, although with a half decent linesman 3-0, the UK commentators were clearly pointing out that Assou-Ekotto was shouting at Moukandjo who was leaving him stranded.

The midfielder was not dropping back to do his defensive duties leaving Assou-Ekotto to handle sometimes two players on his own. Benny was clearly not happy with Moukandjo's performance in that game and it didn't improve in the next game either.

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There have been too many glory hunters in this World Cup, we saw it again with Ghana last night. When a player should pass a ball for a teammate to have an easy goal he tries to beat men and have a shot himself. Players who play for themselves and not the team in this manner are a liability, unless they have the ability of a Ronaldo, Messi or Bale.

The 25 year-old Benjamin Moukandjo does not possess that ability you'll be surprised to hear.

"Now people take me for an idiot. I could not control my temper. If the score was 0-0, it would have not happened.

"When we went back to the changing-room, Samuel Eto'o talked to me, but I was so angry that I didn't admit I was wrong.

"The next day, we met with Moukandjo again during breakfast and we shook hands.

"That kind of thing can happen when a team doesn't work right. I didn't think. Millions of people were watching at the match, and a lot of kids."

Yes I'm afraid the red mist came down Benny, I can understand your reaction though. Samuel Et0'o will now be seeking employment with a UN peace keeping force. Clearly he has some diplomacy skills.




Assou-Ekotto explains headbutt Assou-Ekotto explains headbutt Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:30 pm Rating: 5

Fixturest in Group H from a Spurs viewpoint

2:30 pm
Completing the series looking at all the World Cup groups fixtures from a Tottenham prespective is Group H.


Fixturest in Group H from a Spurs viewpoint

The winners of Group H play the runners-up of Group G and the runners-up of Group H play the winners of Group G which could be either Germany, Ghana, Portugal or USA.

Group H

Group H consists of Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

Remaining Fixtures

Sunday 22nd June Belgium v Russia 5pm
Jan Vertonghen,  Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele (all Tottenham Hotspur), transfer targets Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid),  Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
V
Former transfer target Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow)

Sunday 22nd June South Korea v Algeria 8pm
No Tottenham Interest
V
Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur) and transfer target  Yasine Brahimi (Granada)

Thursday 26th June Algeria v Russia 9pm
Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur) and transfer target  Yasine Brahimi (Granada)
V
Former transfer target Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow)

Thursday 25th June South Korea v Belgium 9pm
No Tottenham Interest
V
Jan Vertonghen,  Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele (all Tottenham Hotspur), transfer targets Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid),  Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

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Results
Belgium 2 Algeria 1
Russia 1 South Korea 1

Group Standings
1. Belgium 3pts +1GD
2. Russia 1pt 0GD
2. South Kores 1pt 0GD
4. Algeria 0pts -1GD



Fixturest in Group H from a Spurs viewpoint Fixturest in Group H from a Spurs viewpoint Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:30 pm Rating: 5

Tottenham Transfer Targets Group F

10:30 am
Continuing the series of a Tottenham related World Cup where I list the fixtures by player, former player, transfer target, former transfer target, to give you a guide as to who you may wish to watch.


Tottenham Transfer Targets Group F


Next it is time to look at Group F.

The winners of Group F play the runners-up of Group E and the runners-up of Group F play the winners of Group E. The teams in this group therefore could meet France, Switzerland, Honduras or Ecuador in the next round.

Group F

Group F consists of Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran.

Remaining Fixtures

Saturday 21st June Argentina v Iran 5pm
Transfer targets Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid) and former transfer target Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
V
Former Head Coach candidate Carlos Queiroz

Saturday 21st June Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina 7pm
Transfer target Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce) and former transfer target Victor Moses (Chelsea)
V
Transfer target Sead Kolasinac (Schalke 04), former transfer target Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Miralem Pjanic (Roma)

Wednesday 25th June Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran 5pm
Transfer target Sead Kolasinac (Schalke 04), former transfer target Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Miralem Pjanic (Roma)
V
Former Head Coach candidate Carlos Queiroz

Wednesday 25th June Nigeria v Argentina 5pm
Transfer target Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce) and former transfer target Victor Moses (Chelsea)
V
Transfer targets Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid) and former transfer target Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)

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Results
Argentina 2  Bosnia-Herzegovina 1
Iran 0 Nigeria 0

Group Standings
1. Argentina 3pts +1GD
2. Iran 1pt 0GD
2. Nigeria 1pt 0GD
4. Bosnia-Herzegovina 0pts -1GD




Tottenham Transfer Targets Group F Tottenham Transfer Targets Group F Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

England game plan wrong, not Gerrard, Cahill, Jagielka

12:30 pm
The centre-backs were to blame, Steven Gerrard was to blame, no, a lack of Hodgson game planning was to blame.

England game plan wrong, not Gerrard, Cahill, Jagielka


How many times do we have to have old men make a mistake in South and Central American conditions before we take any notice? Peter Shilton couldn't jump off the floor, David Seaman couldn't jump off the floor, now Steven Gerrard couldn't jump off the floor.

Yet again England underestimate how much the conditions take out of a player. Hodgson should have planned his game management better, there is no excuse.

England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be key

Tony Cascarino wrote in the Times that the England central defence were at fault for the goal.

“I don’t want to keep banging on about John Terry, but Chelsea’s captain would never have been caught like that; he would never have been suckered into that static position where you get caught by the man behind the ball and then, suddenly, the ball is in the net."

That is partially true, yes both Cahill and especially Jagielka are not international standard, but also Gerrard still being on the field to make the mistake was an error and that's down to Roy Hodgson. As a qualified coach I can tell you you look for the route cause of an error and change that, then the error won't occur.

You can still coach what would happen in situations etc but you can't heap all the blame on the poor guy who has to mop up someone else's mistake, even if he made the mistake of not reading the game himself.

Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp simply put it down to the class of Suarez.

“The defence was solid - we just got done by a superb pass and with a fantastic header. These things happen at the highest level."

Sorry Harry if they were solid why did we concede 2 goals? being solid until it matters is not good enough. Were we solid at those corners Joe Hart was bundling off the line? A corner should never get that far, a man should be cutting those out.

A case of sitting on the fence harry and not telling it like it is.

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Steven Gerrard is expected to retire from international football after the tournament and Stan Collymore told talkSPORT he feels he should. Personally I don't believe anyone should retire fro their country just as nobody should refuse to play for them.

“Steven Gerrard has been a wonderful servant to Liverpool football club and for England. We remember the Germany performance, the 5-1, and he has drove our midfield ever since he came into the side at the 2000 European Championship.

“But, for me now, I think he needs to look at himself and say perhaps he wants to extend his club career and retire from the England national scene.”

Stan is being kind and not wanting to say Gerrard made a crucial mistake but Gerrard is not the one to blame for me, Hodgson should have taken him off before that.

A complete lack of planning or the wrong plan to start with. That substitution should have been worked out prior to the game, leaving two other options depending upon who was feeling the conditions, who was playing badly or a change of tactics.



England game plan wrong, not Gerrard, Cahill, Jagielka England game plan wrong, not Gerrard, Cahill, Jagielka Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Tottenham interest in Group G

11:30 am
Two more groups to go as I take a look at the group fixtures from a Tottenham perspective, transfer targets, former transfer targets, players, former players.

Tottenham interest in Group G


Now it is the turn of Group G to be in the limelight.

The winners of Group G play the runners-up from Group H in the next round and the runners-up from Group G play the winners from Group H. That could be either Belgium, Algeria, Russia or South Korea.

Group G

The teams in Group G are Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA.

Saturday 21st June Germany v Ghana 8pm
No Tottenham Interest
V
Former player Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04) and former transfer targets Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Christian Atsu (Vitesse)

Sunday 22nd June USA v Portugal 11pm
Former player Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) and transfer target Julian Green (Bayern Munich)
V
Former player Helder Postiga (Lazio) and former transfer targets Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Moutinho (Monaco)

Wednesday 25th June Portugal v Ghana 5pm
Former player Helder Postiga (Lazio) and former transfer targets Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Moutinho (Monaco)
V
Former player Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04) and former transfer targets Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Christian Atsu (Vitesse)

Wednesday 25th June USA v Germany 5pm
Former player Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) and transfer target Julian Green (Bayern Munich)
V
No Tottenham Interest

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Results
Germany 4 Portugal 0
Ghana 1 USA 2

Group Standings
1. Germany 3pts +4gd
2. USA 3pts +1 GD
3, Ghana 0pts -1 GD
4. Portugal 0pts -4GD








Tottenham interest in Group G Tottenham interest in Group G Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:30 am Rating: 5

Hodgson bottled taking Gerrard off

8:00 am
When it came to the big decisions Roy Hodgson bottled it and as usual with a manager, watched a different game than the rest of us.

Running around doesn't constitute controlling a game. The idea of the game is to score goals and England once again were didn't create much.

Yes the referee cheated, as so many do, by not sending off Godin for a clear second yellow card, but it was a bog game and he didn't want to send a player off. In the last 10 minutes for instance the Uruguayan team were illegally diving in two footed with both feet off the ground and England players had to jump out the way. They are card offences but the fellow Spanish speaking referee did nothing.

Anyway back to our problem, Roy Hodgson bottling it. England came out for the second half 1-0 down thanks to a midfield mistake that was clinically punished. They were simply awful and Danny Welbeck was anonymous. He should have been taken off after 55 mins and replaced with Lallana. Instead he stayed on and did nothing.

Ross Barkley was put on and instead of going central where he plays was put on playing down the right. This was typical England, these are our best players therefore they must be on the field, albeit in the wrong positions. Sorry but you need a team, not a bunch of individuals to play football.

Pre-game I suggested that Steven Gerrard should be replaced for the last 30 minutes by Frank Lampard.

England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be key

Why because in the heat and humidity they have had out there and two games he will be physically drained, concentration will waiver and mistakes will be made. Result, Gerrard mistake and England will claim they were unlucky and be out.

Roy Hodgson bottled it.

The big decisions he couldn't make. If you bring on Ross Barkley then Rooney had to come off or Sturridge off with Rooney playing centre-forward. To play Barkley out of the way on the right was nonsense, he is a central midfielder. Yet again we are trying to put square pegs in round holes.

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And the big error, not seen in hindsight but called before the game, was not taking off captain Steven Gerrard and putting on Lampard's experienced fresh legs.

Ricky Lambert was taken as a different option when Defoe was a better choice and he was given 5 minutes. If that is how you intend to use him why is he there? You either have faith in a guy and give him time or you don't. Clearly Hodgson doesn't have faith in him. Defoe would have been fresh legs running at defenders, who ran the defence?

Nobody, Stirling ran at them wide and when he came off nobody was left to run against tiring players drawing fouls and bookings. A total lack of game nous.

Games are won and lost on big decisions. The key decisions that needed to be made both the referee and Hodgson bottled. If you haven't got the bottle to make them you are not the man, but then again, you never were.




Hodgson bottled taking Gerrard off Hodgson bottled taking Gerrard off Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:00 am Rating: 5

World Cup Goal-Line Technology

8:30 pm
The 2014 World Cup is the first to use goal line technology after the shambles in South Africa four years ago.

World Cup Goal-Line Technolog


On that day England were taking on Germany and had gone 2-0 behind very early on. England pulled one back and then a Frank Lampard shot hit the bar and bounced a metre over the line only for the referee and linesman to inexplicable not award a goal. That would have toed the game at 2-2 and what the outcome would have been then nobody will ever know.

The system being used in the 2014 Brazil World Cup is from a German-based startup company GoalControl GmbH. High in the stands the company placed 14 cameras in every one of the 12 stadiums being used in Brazil for the tournament. The cameras take 500 pictures a second and triangulate the trajectory of the ball to give precise readers as to it's position.

There are goal line sensors which then allow the system to determine whether the ball has completely crossed the line or not. If it has a signal is sent to a smartwatch the referee wears which vibrates and a visual 'GOAL' message.

World Cup Goal-Line Technolog


It's the same technology the Premier League use but from a different company and like the Premier league the 3D images it's can instantly create are available to the TV companies and for use in the screens within each stadium to show the fans what happened.

GoalControl was called into action for the France against Honduras game when French forward Karim Benzema volleyed a ball against the inside of a post which bounced back across the goal only for the Honduras goalkeeper, Noel Valladares, to fumble the ball over the line.


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The referee had awarded a goal and the 3D image then showed the ball not not crossed the line to boos and whistles from the crowd. However a second image of the second incident showed the ball over the line after the keeper had fumbled it and before he dragged it back.

Normal TV replays however were not conclusive indeed they appeared to show that the ball had not completely crossed the line leading to questions whether the 3D image was  the right one.



World Cup Goal-Line Technology World Cup Goal-Line Technology Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

The Tottenham transfer target World Cup Guide Group E

4:30 pm
Group E

Switzerland snatched a last minute winner against Ecuador in the Group E opener in Brasilia and then France overcame a tough tackling 10 man Honduras 3-0 with the first use of goal-line technology at a World Cup Finals.

The winners of Group E play the runners-up in Group F and the runners-up in Group E play the winners of Group F expected to be Argentina. The other three teams are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria.

France are favourites to top the group and Switzerland second favourites although in my pre-tournament picks I went for Ecuador to win the group and France to come second.

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Group E

Friday 20th June Switzerland v France 8pm
Former player Reto Ziegler, transfer target Fabian Schaer (Basel), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli) and former transfer target Valentin Stocker (Basel)
V
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), transfer target and Loic Remy (QPR) former transfer targets Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Yohan Cabaye (Paris St-Germain),  Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Friday 20th June Honduras v Ecuador 11pm
Former player Wilson Palacios (Stoke City)
V
Transfer target Frickson Erazo (Flamengo)

Wednesday 25th June Honduras v Switzerland 9pm
Former player Wilson Palacios (Stoke City)
V
Former player Reto Ziegler, transfer target Fabian Schaer (Basel), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli) and former transfer target Valentin Stocker (Basel)

Wednesday 25th June Ecuador v France 9pm
Transfer target Frickson Erazo (Flamengo)
V
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), transfer target and Loic Remy (QPR) former transfer targets Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Yohan Cabaye (Paris St-Germain),  Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Group Results
Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1
France 3 Honduras 0

Group Standings
1. France 3pts +3 GD
2. Switzerland 3pts +1 GD
3. Ecuador 0pts -1 GD
4. Honduras 0pts -3 GD



The Tottenham transfer target World Cup Guide Group E The Tottenham transfer target World Cup Guide Group E Reviewed by THBlogNews on 4:30 pm Rating: 5

Uruguay experienced in tough situations

12:00 pm
Energy management is going to be the key to concentration in the vital last 20 minutes and how players react to this pressure cooker environment.

Uruguay experienced in tough situations


For many of the England players this is new and nobody knows how they will handle it but for Uruguay they have been there before. Uruguay struggled in qualification and it looked as if Venezuela were going to make it but Uruguay when the chips were down started winning home and away. They beat Venezuela away and won 3 of the next 4 games including a defeat of Argentina to put them into a play-ff just to get here.

Uruguay have a history of getting out of tight situations so while Diego Forlan appreciates this will be a tough game the Uruguayans have the experience of handling these situations, England don't. To not be at a World Cup in your own continent would have been unthinkable for Uruguay who won the first ever World Cup, now they are they do not intend going home early.

“Of course it won’t be easy, but this team has been together for a long time and we know what we're capable of. We have to do our work on the pitch, play as we know how, and I believe that will be sufficient to achieve the results we need.

“In the dressing room we were sad after the game against Costa Rica. But we know this is just the beginning and that the rest of story is there to be written.”

As I pointed out in England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be key late in the game is the danger time, the deciding time. How the England full-backs have man managed their energy levels is crucial, Uruguay know how to manage theirs, this is new territory for many of ours including Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill.

Edinson Cavani believes Uruguay know how to produce their best during this vital period when the clock is running down, when the minutes are running out.

“It’s true, people say that a lot about Uruguay. We have gone through a lot and have always survived. Play-offs, difficult matches, extreme situations – and here we are. This generation has won almost everything and knows how to do so."

“Keeping our concentration will be key. We cannot make mistakes because another defeat would be too much against rivals of this quality. But I believe it’s exactly that which will allow us to quickly regain our morale. We face England and then Italy, not just any old teams, and we have to beat them.”

Will Uruguay keep their concentration and how will England's young guns react to the pressure and the unfamiliar conditions? Some players react to FA Cup finals, for some the occasion is too much. You don't know who until the game is underway. England won't know who is going to react and who is going to have a poor game. This is why they play, these games, the all or nothing.

We'll see tonight.

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Uruguay experienced in tough situations Uruguay experienced in tough situations Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:00 pm Rating: 5

England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be the key

10:00 am
The Spanish juggenaut crashed yesterday, time for the England mini bus to sneak a tyre into the next round today.

England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be the key


A shock to some but predicted in my pre-tournament Group analysis the World and Double European Champions are out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This was a tournament to far for an ageing set of players and if truth be told they looked shattered after 30 minutes.

Unless you are from this climate you simply can't play old men and expect them to have the legs, in that respect Roy Hodgson has done the right thing picking a young squad in preparation for the European Championships and the next World Cup.

Uruguay today and while they are South American they are nothing to be feared. As they admit themselves they play an 8-2 formation. The eight do all the work and Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez do the rest. The back to Suárez is 35 year-old Diego Forlán who plays for Cerezo Osaka in Japan.

The media and especially the daft TV presenters seem to have an obsession with Luis Suárez as if he is superhuman or something. Uruguay lost to Costa Rica, the time when they needed him, he wasn't even fit enough to come off the bench. After his surgery he is not fully match fit and in these conditions you have to be.

I'm delighted they are going to pick him because if we can't play against 10 men and a half fit Suárez we don't deserve to be there. As a unit and a central defensive pairing the defence and Jagielka and Cahill in particular need to ensure they don't get caught one-on-one with him.

Any defender who wants to call himself a defender should be able to keep him in his pocket, but then of course we don't have defenders there, we have Jagielka and Cahill. To be fair to Cahill he was one of our better players against Italy and had Johnson been nowhere to be seen in defence then Balotelli would not have had the easy header for their winner.

The BBC claim former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool central defender Mark Lawrenson is a sport expert, I'd question that myself, but he says:

"Much has been made of the damage that Luis Suárez can do to England, but he has not played since 11 May and, although he might now be injury free, he can be nowhere near match fit.

"I am backing England to win, and I don't think they have got to change too much from their defeat by Italy, although I would play Wayne Rooney in the number 10 position because you want his quality involved in crucial areas.

"England need to switch on more when they don't have the ball but, against Italy, they played it around nicely, did not lump it and carried a real attacking threat. I still think they will get out of the group."

Well he and I agree over the Liverpool striker and England have been training as we all know with Rooney playing number 10 and Raheem Stirling playing on the right-wing, with Danny Welbeck on the left.

I'd expect Frank Lampard to come on in this game for Steven Gerrard in the second half. Two games in this heat is going to take it out of the Liverpool captain so the fresh legs and experience of Lampard for the last 30 minutes may be vital in the holding role, assuming England are not losing of course.

This England team is all about attack, as Pirlo accurately said after his Italy had beaten us, they were what we expected, the attack is strong, the midfield moderate, the defence weak.

Diego Godín is a central defender who knows how to defend. He has just won the Spanish La Liga title with Atlético Madrid and finished runner-up in the Champions League, a minute away from winning it until that dramatic late goal. That success was built on solid defence, teamwork and breakaway attacks. Defenders who know how to soak up attacks and not panic are priceless, something Spurs missed last season where we saw mistake after mistake when under pressure.

The experienced duo of Lampard and Gerrard were asked by Hodgson to speak to the players after the Italy defeat to focus the minds of the players to the job still to do.

"It wasn't to scare any of the lads but a wake-up call to everyone - staff and players.

"I have had that feeling of going out of a major tournament. I know what that feeling is about and that is the feeling I don't want come Friday morning.

"That is the reality of where we are. We need everyone focused and right on it to perform individually and collectively on Thursday otherwise it will be a terrible, long summer."

Having gone out on penalties to Portugal in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and then that disaster to Germany in South Africa, both Lampard and Gerrard know the pain of leaving a World Cup. There are a lot of youngsters in the side who haven't experienced that. In sport the importance of games is not a negative but a positive. The more important the game the less chance of complacency so Gerrard made sure they knew the importance of this game before it is too late.

 "A lot of people in the dressing room already know that. But we have a few young lads and it was important for them to realise what is at stake and how important this game is.

"We all need to leave everything on that pitch. If a defeat was to happen it is probably the most difficult place to be as a footballer.

"There is no hiding place for a player when you go out of a tournament. You go home earlier than you expect. It can be tough as a player and it can take an awful long time to get over it."

The England approach has been a refreshing one, play to our strengths, our attack. In qualifying we have been poor and needed Rooney to rescue us but here we attacked against Italy in an encouraging performance, if intimately a defeat.

Roy Hodgson is making all the right noises about continuing that policy, although it was disguised as caution. 

"We're not going to put any of our weapons down. Any weapon we've got we are going to try to use.

"Against Italy we just set out to play the game we thought we wanted to play. We didn't say 'right, today we're going all-out attack'.

"We certainly won't be saying on Thursday 'we're going all-out defence', but it is very important at this level that you get both aspects right - that when we get the ball we use it, and we use the players we've got who can hurt the opposition." 

 "It is knockout football, even though it is the group stage. Any team that's lost its first game is entering a knockout stage even in the groups.

"I'm certain Uruguay aren't 100% happy with that performance against Costa Rica, but we have so many other videos of Uruguay and so many other recent performances where they have actually been very good.

"We want to stay in the competition, and to stay in the competition we've got to get results in the next two games.

"No-one's going to run away from that but worrying about it is not going to change anything before the game.

"What we worry about is making certain we are right for the game and when the referee blows his whistle we are in the best condition to play and we have got the right players on the field and those players feel very confident we can win the game."

Among England's staff is Gary Neville who has shown himself to be the best pundit on TV. He is part of Roy Hodgson's coaching staff and has seen and done it all. Neville knows this is no pushover.

"You look at Uruguay and you think that Edinson Cavani, Suarez, Diego Forlan, Christian Stuani, Cristian Rodriguez and Gaston Ramirez have got lots of attacking talent.

 "Look at Suarez. You leave him one-on-one with your defender and you're in trouble.

"In some ways this game could be decided by the obvious: how many times can you get the ball into dangerous positions, into the feet, turned in on goal, to our best players and Uruguay's best players?"


Caution at the back with concentration not to get caught in one-on-one situations, then deliver the ball as quickly as possible to our attacking players. Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines are a worry though. They both love to attack and are better going forward than they are as defenders but in South America, getting back takes more out of you, you have to judge the right time to go and the right time to leave it to others.

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Gary Neville was a right-back himself, an England and Manchester United stalwart. he will have been emphasising to Leighton Baines in particular the need for selecting your moments where you can make the most damage, overlapping for the sake of it will have a fitness effect later on.

Gerrard's influence will be vital because you don't want to have worn yourself out as a defender with 20 minutes still to go. It will affect your concentration, your reactions and that's when mistakes happen and attackers have the upper hand.

I think the twp full-backs are going to be key to England winning. If they man manage their game well England have chances but if they don't then England may be in trouble wide in the last 20 minutes. Uruguay attack from wide rather than central, Cavani is a centre-forward who effectively plays wide and cuts in, we have seen Suárez do the same for Liverpool. This is the key battle that will decide the game for me.

In this heat, although tonight is expected to be cooler, there is still humidity that spas you as Spain discovered. It's a tournament where late goals are to be expected, more so that at most tournaments.

Let's hope our young legs are causing the opposition problems in that last 20 minutes and England are not only winning but make the game safe.

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson



England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be the key England Expects - The last 20 minutes will be the key Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:00 am Rating: 5

Suárez v Forster, Foster, Hart

8:30 am
Group D

Former transfer targets Luis Suárez, Maximiliano "Maxi" Pereira and in the dim distant past Diego Forlan give a bit of Uruguayan interest while England have let the side down badly by not including any Spurs players at all. Poor show.

Still we have been linked with the entire squad! Transfer stories suggest we are buying all 3 goalkeepers, Fraser Forster, Ben 'I refuse to play for England' Foster and Joe Hart. Then of course we are apparently splashing the cash on Glen 'out of position' Johnson, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, James Milner and Danny Welbeck.

Let's not forget the former proposed purchases of Leighton 'I can't defend' Baines, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Chris 'I can't believe I'm in the squad' Smalling and Daniel Sturridge.

No Tottenham interest with Costa Rica but Italy help us out with transfer target Mario Balotelli and former transfer target Andrea Pirlo while Cesare Prandelli was a managerial option before signing a new Italian contract.

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Remaining Games

Thursday 19th June Uruguay v England 8pm
Former transfer target Luis Suárez (Liverpool), Maximiliano "Maxi" Pereira (Benfica) and in the dim distant past Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka)
V
Transfer targets Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (WBA), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Adam Lallana (Southampton), James Milner (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) and former transfer targets Leighton Baines (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United) and Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Friday 20th June Italy v Costa Rica 5pm
Transfer target Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), former transfer target Andrea Pirlo (Juventus) and former Head Coach candidate Cesare Prandelli
V
Nobody

Tuesday 24th June Italy v Uruguay 5pm
Transfer target Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), former transfer target Andrea Pirlo (Juventus) and former Head Coach candidate Cesare Prandelli
V
Former transfer target Luis Suárez (Liverpool), Maximiliano "Maxi" Pereira (Benfica) and in the dim distant past Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka)

Tuesday 24th June Costa Rica v England 5pm
Nobody
V
Transfer targets Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (WBA), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Adam Lallana (Southampton), James Milner (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) and former transfer targets Leighton Baines (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United) and Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Results

Uruguay 1 Costa Rica 3
England 1 Italy 2

Group Standings

1. Costa Rica 3pts +2 GD
2. Italy 3pts +1 GD
3. England 0pts -1 GD
4. Uruguay 0pts -2 GD



Suárez v Forster, Foster, Hart Suárez v Forster, Foster, Hart Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

Zokora, Bony, Kalou v Guarín, Rodríguez, Martínez

8:30 pm
Group C

I can't drum up any interest in Greece from a Tottenham perspective, hardly surprising with their desire to play boring football for 0-0 draws or to nick a 1-0 win.

Former player Didier Zokora, former target Martínez and one time rumour Salomon Kalou provide us with some Ivory Coast interest while transfer targets Fredy Guarín, James Rodríguez, Juan Cuadrado and former transfer target Jackson Martínez do likewise for Colombian interest.

Former transfer rumours Yuto Nagatomo and Keisuke Honda do the honours for us with Japan to complete interest in Group C.

Remaining Games

Thursday 19th June Colombia v Ivory Coast 5pm
Transfer targets Fredy Guarín (Inter Milan), James Rodríguez (Monaco), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina) and former transfer target Jackson Martínez (Porto)
V
Former player Didier Zokora (Unattached), former target Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) and one time transfer rumour Salomon Kalou (Lille)

Thursday 19th June Japan v Greece 11pm
Former transfer rumours Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan) and Keisuke Honda (AC Milan)
V
Nobody

Friday 24th June Japan v Colombia 9pm
Former transfer rumours Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan) and Keisuke Honda (AC Milan)
V
Transfer targets Fredy Guarín (Inter Milan), James Rodríguez (Monaco), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina) and former transfer target Jackson Martínez (Porto)

Friday 24th June Greece v Ivory Coast 9pm
Nobody
V
Former player Didier Zokora (Unattached), former target Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) and one time transfer rumour Salomon Kalou (Lille)

Games Played

Colombia 3 Greece 0
Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1

Group Standings

1. Colombia 3 pts +3 GD
2. Ivory Coast 3pts +1 GD
3. Japan 0pts -1 GD
4. Greece 0pts -3 GD



Zokora, Bony, Kalou v Guarín, Rodríguez, Martínez Zokora, Bony, Kalou v Guarín, Rodríguez, Martínez Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Tottenham players woeful at World Cup

5:00 pm
Having spent the season saving themselves or grudgingly taking to the field to put on half-hearted I can't be bothered I'll go through the motions performances for Spurs the Tottenham players have carred that scintillation approach into the World Cup it seems.i


Tottenham players woeful at World Cup

Paulinho has not played two games and well done nothing, offered nothing going forward, done little in defence and offered his usual sideways passing while running around a bit.

Both Tim Sherwood after the first Group A game and former Dutch star and AC Milan manager Clarence Seedorf after the second fixture, were particularly unimpressed with Paulinho.

Tim Sherwood wrote after Brazil had beaten Croatia 3-1 thanks to a dubious penalty that he was part of a workmanlike up-and-down midfield, one that lacked guile. He likened the problem to the problem at Tottenham last season, having no clever ball-playing midfielder, no Luka Modric.

Clarence Seedorf felt Paulinho was very disappointing in the second Group A game against Mexico, a 0-0 draw.

"Paulinho was very disappointing. He is a midfielder who is not particularly offering an offensive contribution or a defensive contribution, for me that is too much."

Belgium have three Spurs players and Algeria have a 19 year-old just out of the Development Squad. Who was the best of the four? Yep the 19 year-old kid.

Nabil Bentaleb, a Tim Sherwood product, outshone his lack-lustre team mates as stubborn Algeria finally were overcome by Belgium. As some of you will know I have these two to qualify from this group and I saw nothing to put me off the belief Algeria will progress.

Jan Vertonghen was fast asleep at left-back on several occasions and gave away a penalty as a result. Algeria tucked it away to take the lead. Another centre-back was at right-back, the former Ajax player frequently linked with Tottenham, Toby Alderweireld. He didn't do anything to impress potential buyers after sitting on the Atlético Madrid bench most of the season.

Nacer Chadli burst into the box on one occasion and lacked the touch to take advantage, that was about his whole contribution in the hole behind an equally disappointing Romelu Lukaku. Chadli was that poor he was taken off at half-time.

Mousa Dembele did what he does, beat men and pass sideways, as a creative attacker, nothing. He plays the same role as Paulinho, takes the ball from defence to attack and then let's everyone else get on with it.

He caught Bentaleb in the face with a flailing arm so a few minutes later Bentaleb showed the spirit he showed for Tottenham by saying you are not going to push me around. He went up for a header and gave Dembele a forearm.

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Hugo Lloris could have had a kip for France against Hinduras and nobody would have noticed he had that little to do, must be a refreshing change after having to repel all borders on his own at White Hart Lane.

Cameroon were outplayed by a better Mexico side for which former Tottenham player Giovanni Dos Santos should have been rewarded with two goals instead of two offside decisions. Benoit Assou-Ekotto was playing right-back and put in some excellent crosses. He beat two men and found Eto'o with one but the striker hit the post.

He kept having to shout at the man in front of him who clearly was not following team instructions, leaving Benny to deal with situations on his own. After 58 minutes Assou-Ekotto was unlucky himself when a free-kick hit the wall and just went the wrong side of the post with the keeper stranded.

A solid game for Benny, he and Bentaleb being the best of the Spurs bunch so far, albeit that Lloris had nothing to do.



Tottenham players woeful at World Cup Tottenham players woeful at World Cup Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:00 pm Rating: 5

The Hugo Lloris World Cup Report

11:30 am

French captain and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been counselling 21-year-old Paul Pogba to try an ensure he doesn't react to provocation again.

The Hugo Lloris World Cup Report


Former Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios was giving him a torrid time and Pogba kicked out at him.

“We all had a word for Paul to half-time. He is still young ... the message before the game was not to succumb to provocation.

“The referee has shown intelligence. These games are decided on the details and they turned in our favour this time.”

The Juventus striker could easily have been sent off but escaped with a booking as France beat Honduras 3-0 in the opening game for both sides. Palacios then got himself sent off less than 20 minutes later as he charged into Pogba's back to give away a penalty after just 43 minutes.

Hugo Lloris had very little to do against the 10 men and enjoyed a comfortable evening watching the football, much the same as we were.

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Also in the French training camp at the World Cup in Brazil someone sent a drone in to spy on their training Lloris claims.

“It’s a good invention. It was very small and it flew well. It’s a good object for journalists! We heard it and then we saw it. We didn’t see anyone controlling [it]. Maybe they were behind the stand. It didn’t stay over us for a long time. There was nothing we could do to stop it – maybe kick the ball at it. But it’s a big challenge to hit it.”

“Players can do nothing about that. We can’t have control of the drone. Maybe the guy is from the hotel just behind the stand and you can’t see him. Maybe with a good job [from] security we can find him.”

Clearly the French were not best pleased and tried to knock it out of the sky by kicking balls at it.



The Hugo Lloris World Cup Report The Hugo Lloris World Cup Report Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:30 am Rating: 5
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