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  1. Good point. How that relates to Argentina is interesting too. Saudi pressed high and beat them. Poland and Mexico just sat back on their arses and Argentina strolled all over them.
  2. Minging how Mexico were being forced to go haywire at the end there due to the yellow cards nonsense. Should be sorted by corners won or something else relating to attacking play.
  3. From the viewpoint of a neutral just looking for the most "fun" matches, France v Mexico would've been better than what France v Poland is likely going to be. Oh well. Unlucky Mexico, good for Poland and hopefully they'll finally take the shackles off against France.
  4. The reverse might be true also. Poland went into this match seemingly set on just not giving up a 4 goal swing to Mexico. They've been so defensive.
  5. That was a case of "not every contact between players is a foul" for me, regarding the penalty award. Szczesny's second penalty save in the last two matches, some great open play saves too, easily the outstanding keeper of the tournament so far.
  6. Lo Celso was injured before the tournament and his replacement Mac Allister is perfectly functional but lacks the spark of Lo Celso. At least he gets overlapped by the excellent Acuña, though. Then there's De Paul on the right who is more creative but his full back Molina isn't up to much. So both flanks have attacking limitations. Di Maria scrambling over to either wing offers their best chance of wide penetration.
  7. BBC studio analysis is much better than ITV. BBC is dispassionate and informed, correctly highlighting Enzo Fernandez's potential key role for Argentina there. ITV is more just bitchy one-liners and sensationalist statements. I remember Roy Keane slagging the shit out of Di Maria at half time of the last Argentina match. Di Maria then set up Messi's goal with a great pass.
  8. James McAvoy's co-stars in Cyrano de Bergerac were racially abused on a "daily basis" while the play was on tour in Glasgow, the actor has claimed. The star, who was born in the city's Drumchapel area, said the harassment experienced by female cast members left him "delighted to leave" his home town. He told GQ magazine, the experience was "horrible" and he regretted taking the production to Scotland. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-63807748
  9. A man is reported to have been killed by security forces in northern Iran, as anti-government protesters publicly celebrated the national football team's elimination from the World Cup. Activists said Mehran Samak was shot in the head after he honked his car's horn in Bandar Anzali on Tuesday night. Videos from other cities showed crowds cheering and dancing in the streets. Many Iranians refused to support their football team in Qatar, seeing it as a representation of the Islamic Republic. State-affiliated media blamed hostile forces both inside and outside Iran for putting unfair pressure on the players following their 1-0 loss to the USA in the final group game. The players did not sing the national anthem before their first game, a 6-2 defeat by England, in an apparent expression of solidarity with the protesters. But they did sing at the Wales game, which they won 2-0, and at the politically-charged showdown against the USA. Some protesters saw that as a betrayal of their cause even though there were reports that the team came under intense pressure from Iranian authorities. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-63805284
  10. Martindale has honed Longridge into a specialist inverted full back. When Longridge plays we see him position himself very narrow defensively, close to the left centre back. Martindale seems to use Longridge when he wants to force the opposition right attacker into staying out wide. I think Martindale likes to have this option and he subs Longridge on to combat specific opposition threats in the second half of matches. So I expect he'll want Longridge staying and any move would only come from Longridge himself wanting it.
  11. This is largely Qatar's fault. They were so far off the pace this was effectively a three team group. Shockingly bad performance from a host nation side.
  12. Wee shame for Ecuador if they go out here as they've been good value with their 3 performances. Will be well-deserved by Senegal if they hold out here, though. I always admire a team that comes through a must-win scenario with the victory they needed.
  13. Ahh, I see what you've done here. You're trying to make out I'm calling for expulsions even though it was your point and you who brought them up. That's probably what confused Donathan above there. You're a slippery one. My posts in this thread have mostly been to defend the valid criticisms being made of Qatar's hosting. I'm not a boycotter, personally.
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