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  1. That been true of every tournament i can remember , with stats pointing out the last 4 or five previous world cup winners havent got out the group stage of the following tournament. The new world cup winners still went on and played many of the top ranked teams on route to winning the new tournament though. Paul the hard fact is England unlike any other team i can remember at the world cup , havent played a meaningfull match against a team in the top 15 fifa rankings and they are in the semi final of the world cup , including their semi final opponents. When has that happened before in modern world cup football? i agree see my earlier posts. I also said i blame fifa for the tournament layout and poor quality of the teams involved using italy as an example , who didnt qualify from the tough euro qualifiers but are ranked higher than all but one of the thirteen teams from africa asia and central america. Finally many of us non english are simply urging caution , and restraining the over reaction to your team of so called world beaters in case you do get spanked when you eventually face a quality team. I said i already agreed with toms earlier post with similar thoughts that he would be the first to congratulate the english if they do win it and beat a quality team in the final despite similar reservations of the quality of teams faced so far. Which is why i use fifas very own rankings which rely on form gaining points rather than a big name as you put it , and england havent faced any of the top fifteen teams in the world in a serious game at this tournament.
  2. The point of a competition , especially at the finals , is having the best teams competing , hopefully producing fantastic and entertaining football in the process , with teams able to compete with each other and as closely matched as they can be , eventually to produce a worthy winner. well aye i have , and germany faced the likes of the yanks , portugal and ghana in the group stages , then algeria france brazil and argentina on route to winning the world cup in 2014. Or what about the spanish in 2010 , they faced chile switzerland and honduras in the group stages , then went on to beat portugal , paraguay germany then holland on route to winning it. Contrast that with england who have played tunisia , panama and belgium in the group stage , then colombia sweden and croatia then either france or belgium in the final. in 2014 , germany were ranked second , and played three out of the other four top five ranked in the world on route to winning it. in 2010 , spain were ranked 10th , and played four teams on route to winning it who were all ranked higher than them at the time , chile switzerland portugal and germany. Contrast that with england who have so far played one team ranked higher than them in a meaningless b team training match in the group stage and will only play another if they get to the final. Many of us have congratulated the english and i have even said yer name is on the cup , what more do you want? What does it say markyo , does it force you to come to terms that your beloved "UK" isnt a country , but a multi national state made up of different people with their own national identity and fierce rivalry in sporting terms like football? So you wouldnt take any notice of what a scotsman like alex ferguson , one of the most decorated managers in scottish english and european football had to say , who dominated english football with his team over the best part of the last twenty years despite scotland not qualifying for a major football tournament in that time? We are all entitled to our opinions markyo , some folk talk sense , some nonsense. The facts are there markyo , you are in a world cup semi final without playing a higher ranked team and personally i blame the corrupt fifa for the shambles of a competition layout and as i have repeatedly said the extreme poor quality of teams allowed in this competition.
  3. Good post tom. After my team Scotland , and my second team Ireland failed to qualify , i was saddened to see the italians fail too. Always had a soft spot for italy , growing up in paisley/glasgow among many scottish italians and one of my childhood mates is still to this day a juventus fan. Serie A was the main league outside of scottish football many of us took an interest in , long before most of us had heard of many of the english teams. I think henrik larsson might have fancied his chances against the walking disaster that is kyle walker the other day for sweden against england in his heyday , but sadly the swedes just werent good enough.I thought they were pretty tame to be honest. I think the english will beat croatia , you never know if the croats are going to turn up. Your final paragraph is spot on . best wishes.
  4. Your a wind up merchant cheese.?
  5. Well , two things have struck me about this world cup. The first thing is how the poisonous whispers by western media and governments about Russia , violence racism etc encouraging many european fans not to travel in the earlier stages and being outnumbered by the south americans have proved to be nothing more than blatant propaganda and absolute nonsense. Dont know about anyone else but from the reports and what i have seen , Russia looks an absolutely stunning country and the people seem lovely. I was expecting grim faced locals and dilapidated grey ex communist cities , and the exact opposite has been the case. Well done russia and its people , you have hosted a great world cup so far and russia is definetly somewhere now on my radar to visit. As for the football , congratulations to the english. I agree with many of the earlier sentiments , you can only beat what is in front of you , and so far the english have done exactly that. I say though what i have said at the start of the tournament , i have never seen so many poor quality teams getting a safe passage into the group stages from poor quality footballing regions at the expense of the south american and europeans teams. In my opinion the thirteen teams representing asia africa and central america is way too much and has had a detrimental effect in lowering the quality of the competition.Mexico and japan were the only two half decent sides out of the thirteen , with the five african teams barely able to win a game never mind qualify from the groups. Instead some quality european teams and to a lesser extent south american teams didnt qualify from the difficult qualifiers they face in their regions. Why?In the champions league the smaller nations have to pre qualify for the group stages , you dont see the champions of san marino or andorra being allowed in to make up the numbers so that every area of europe is represented , so why is it different in the world cup? Italy should have played off against one of these teams for example instead of a fellow european side. The football has been poor , there has been no outstanding teams nor individual players we have had in the past , and at times its been painfull to watch.Luck is with england certainly , through no fault of their own , they have stood at the edge of the ocean in the group stage and the sea has parted for them and walked through without getting their toes wet. I will say no more in case i get accused of being a kill joy , but Englands name is on this trophy without a doubt.
  6. balmaha

    Make us laugh

    A while back, I picked up a lovely young girl at her parents' home. It was our very first date and I was terribly excited. Being a university student money was tight but I had scraped together enough money to take her to a fancy restaurant. But to my horror she ordered the most expensive items on the menu. Oysters. Lobster. Champagne. She was not holding back! I asked her, "Does your mother feed you like that when you eat at home?" "No," she replied, "but my mother's not expecting torrid, wild, uninhibited sex tonight." I said, "Would you care for dessert?
  7. Well it should be ross but the reality is it isnt along with a long long list of subjects outwith football. Imagine the european union took control of all member states broadcasting under one central umbrella broadcasting corporation replacing the BBC , and started pumping pro german or french bias into english living rooms for regional or world cup footballing tournaments with some minor token lip service paid to the mere outlying regions like englandshire what a riot that would be. No point moaning about it though cause we are where we are unfortunately for the minute. come on ross what are you trying to suggest here , that an englishman cheated? You`ll be failing lord tebbits cricket test for colonial natives.? I did laugh at nicks comment earlier on this thread Love the reference to "home " nations. For the purpose of international football , there are no home nations , only independent countries competing with each other in fierce rivalry. England fans singing to panama" are you scotland in disguise" while we are all told to button it.? Thats part of football , the fierce intense rivalry and banter which most football fans love . The idea that scottish irish and welsh have to just button it and get behind england as some are suggesting is an absolute nonsense . My english cousin in lancashire is a man utd fan , long time season ticket holder , and when liverpool got to the champions league final do you think he got the english flag and morris dancing bells out to support his fellow englishmen? like hell he did , he was doing cartwheels when ramos ended salah , and the spanish won , and his facebook feed is constantly full of man utd fans on facebook sites slagging liverpool and city off. Some of it is absolutely brutal stuff. Thats football , and its extremely tribal . What next , will we have people suggesting sellic and sevco fans sit holding hands singing kum by yah at the next old firm match? love this tweet from the swedes.. I will take a wild stab in the dark here and suggest there will be a few sweden fans in scotland ireland and wales for this game.? , never mind the rest of europe. HEJA SVERIGE!!!!
  8. i know markyo but scotland s women lost to icelandic women , your men would lose to the icelandic women too!! heres suggs , telling it better than i ever could how your an embarressment to the uk......... "Keep away from our door! dont come round here no more!"
  9. That bad England , the mighty team of world beaters , average wage 300k per week , struggled on to a draw wae us in qualifying. At least theres the consolation of knowing you arent going to be put out the world cup by a team of part time icelandic dentists. Anyway markyo what do you know about football? You`ve never been to a decent game of football in your life. The last time yorkshire produced a half decent footballing team , the pope was still an altar boy and even sevco managed to pump you home and away.?
  10. While the germans or brazilians , with twenty major footballing titles between them at world and regional level , look to be measuring their success against their major footballing contemporaries in winning titles at international level , its still gratifying to see the englishman measures his success against the barometer of how far the mighty scotland got in the world cup.
  11. Cheers weiry for taking my post in the spirit it was meant , where i was promoting caution and offering thoughts for those fans of deutschlands germanic little sister ready to get the towels on the world cup final sun loungers before they have kicked a ball in anger in the knockout stages , rather than dismissing it as the obligatory scottish envy and bitterness. Merely posting a note of caution in the same manner as that other well known bitter scotsman , macdougall of the kentish clan in his earlier post. I have been a football fan following my club and country , scotland and celtic , for over three decades , and have seen the euphoric highs of world cups final group stages and european finals and the desperate lows , and anyone with any sense and knowledge of football can realise England havent had to play a game yet. I state gain the shocking amount of poor quality teams allowed to participate in the group stages in these finals makes a mockery of the world cup where they are being allowed to participate merely for topping the regional pub team list in some corrupt fifa postive discrimination action rather than aiming for the top 32 teams in the world serving up quality football we are treated to the spectacle of England spanking a country whose economy was once based on drug trafficking and a team of saharan camel herders. Not one african team qualified for the knockout stage out of a continent of a billion people and most of the teams knocked out come from the poorer quality footballing world regions yet the likes of italy and holland couldnt qualify from the tough european qualifiers. They should have been made to play off against these teams before allowing them there in the first place. I mostly agree with your post and like dougalls earlier one seems level headed and realistic to me without the over exuberance of some of your fellow countrymen.You are spot on about not having a playmaker in your team , a more crude way of putting it would be to say you have many big strong fast running players but no good running around like headless chickens for ninety minutes without a footballing brain between them. Kane needs the ball to score , and sterling as was commented on by the likes of shearer spends more time passing the ball sideways and backwards than making penetrating passes forward. I rate colombia and i think it will be an achievement for england to beat them rather than a foregone conclusion. I think England will do well but the proof will be in their first competitive game at this world cup against someone on their level rather than the two pub teams and a meaningless training match they have had so far. good luck weiry.
  12. No colombia sweden and switzerland are not obviously of the calibre of the teams you earlier mentioned , but then neither are England. Heres some more facts for you. England have the worst international record of any of the major footballing nations in the world , with one world cup to your name and nothing else. Your league , often reputed to be the best in the world , is dominated by foreign money , owners , managers and players which is reflected in the relatively poor historical performance of your national team in various competitions. So far you have played two pubs teams from central america and north africa , and a b team training match against the belgians , when even pundits like the respected martin o neil had to tell the english presenter to pipe down and be realistic after beating panama with a quirky story about his local boys team getting a pre season friendly against panama to get their confidence up. I think from what i have seen colombia will give you a good game , and it will be an achievement for England to progress past them , and certainly sweden are a good team , with only a jammy but superbly hit german goal in the last minute beating them so far. England look to have reasonably good strong fast players , and i particularly like Kane , who in ways reminds me of gary lineker , but technically England are way behind the level of some of the teams still in the competition , and your best players are light years away from the likes of messi ,ronaldo and de bruyne to name but a few. Your manager certainly isnt on the same level as someone like auld bobby robson and none of the players could lace the boots of the likes of gascoigne at the height of his playing career , but if i was an England fan then things look achieveable in terms of progression from where you stand at the minute.
  13. Again lauren you divert the discussion onto minutiae rather than discussing the worth of a degree in England - why? For the record i was generalising , rather than specifically talking about you. Hope that clarifies. We already established that student debt in england isnt treated the same as regular debt might be earlier in the thread havent we? For example the amount you owe though may not be factored into anything as you put it but the repayments are when it comes to a mortgage. Again though we go round in circles , so as you say i 100 % disagree with you , so lets agree to disagree. My final word is that something like half of kids in England are going onto further education , and many are coming out with debts around £57k ,which is being trivialised and dismissed with all sorts of excuses and poor justification , yet a fair amount are going onto earn less than non graduates , you have to question the system that is in place in England and commend parents like Dougal for asking the question are uni degrees now worthless. It shows a certain amount of thinking outside the box rather than the "lets follow the herd " attitude of a group of lemmings jumping over the cliff with the ball and chain of nearly 60k worth of debt before they even go onto getting a 150k plus mortgage. I dont agree with you in the slightest , and all i can say is thank christ its not my kids.
  14. Eh? If you are earning under the threshold or barely paying off the debt over your working lifetime you have to question the value of the degree in terms of your income in the first place surely? Dont know about you but i go to work to earn money , as much as i can otherwise what is the point? Im certainly not there for the fun of it.
  15. Ok we seem to be arguing the semantics of house prices in your area whilst moving away from the nub of the argument , which is the worth and impact of obtaining a degree in England . Well yes you did dismiss student debt and trivialise its impact on obtaining a mortgage. When the uk council of mortgage lenders and many others in the industry are making clear warnings about the impact of student debt on obtaining a mortgage , going as far to say it will possibly lock thousands if not more out of the housing market in the future , which you dismissed as "scaremongering" , i would call that trivialising it. You might want to dismiss its impact , im sure many more will be listening intently to what is being said. If you have done a degree and are in a relatively poorly paid job in a high cost of living area in south east england , saddled with tens of thousands of debt , then i understand why someone would want to put a brave face on it. As i earlier said , i think most sensible parents will now be asking is the cost really worth it?
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