UEFA Nations League

unification

Active member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#1
I guess it's easier to post this after England navigated their way to the semi-finals in Portugal next year, but even if they had drawn or lost, I'm a convert to this mini-tournament.

Big teams playing the big teams in meaningful matches, opportunities for lesser sides who have the occasional 'golden generation' to make inroads, well balanced teams playing fellow teams of equalling stature. (Almost) gone are the days of pointless friendlies with high player drop out rates (a friendly in 2010 against France saw me not watch England for two years until Euro 2012. My protest was purely down to seeing Jay Bothroyd in an England shirt. JAY BOTHROYD!) and in their place are exciting finishes like today's England v Croatia game where any result and combo could have seen either team relegated, staying up or progressing to the finals.

Sure, it's a bit like EFL Trophy, it's not the World Cup nor the Euros and I guess my view may change a bit when as a result of this tournament Belarus and Finland sneak in through the playoffs to Euro 2020 and stink out the place by being crap, but for the time being I think the tournament is a good one.

Hopefully the Beeb and ITV will have it for next summer.
 

Sarge

Well-known member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#2
pleased (to hear) England got the 2-1 win and progressed

I don't subscribe to sky sport ( don't want to encourage the monied elites paymaster or add to the multi millions of £ they share amongst themselves)

I too hope that terrestrial TV channels get to broadcast live England games from 'this' and other tournaments in the future @unification ..... Murdoch's monopoly of sport has been allowed to go on far far too long IMO
 

mooro

Active member
#3
I think it is a good idea - as you say, getting like for like teams playing each other, rather than the crafty ones (step up Switzerland), climbing the rankings by only playing weaker teams. The other thing is that with more like for like games, the smaller nations actually have more opportunity to develop attacking styles to win games that they might just be able to carry over into the bigger qualifying tournaments, rather than just sticking 10 men behind the ball in every game...
 

Johnf

Junior Member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#4
Yes I think its a very good idea and there have been some very good competitive games to watch.
I must say England under Gareth Southgate are a breath of fresh air and very good to watch. Some exciting young players and the future looks bright for our national team.
 

unification

Active member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#5
pleased (to hear) England got the 2-1 win and progressed

I don't subscribe to sky sport ( don't want to encourage the monied elites paymaster or add to the multi millions of £ they share amongst themselves)

I too hope that terrestrial TV channels get to broadcast live England games from 'this' and other tournaments in the future @unification ..... Murdoch's monopoly of sport has been allowed to go on far far too long IMO
So do I, @Sarge, but I wouldn't hold my breath. It's not a jewel in the crown event like the World Cup so I imagine it'll go to the highest bidder. That said, ITV often have coverage of the Confederations Cup so there could be a chance.
 

Foley

Well-known member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#8
England were very good at times yesterday. They could have been more clinical but have A really good group of youngsters coming through.
To have Alli, Lingard, Wilson, Maguire, Alexander-Arnold, Sancho, Trippier on the bench or injured shows some strength in depth. Then the younger players coming through as well.
I agree with other comments above. The Nations League has been good for the smaller Countries as well as the bigger ones.
 
#9
I was sceptical at first but have been converted, it’s such an improvement on playing friendlys. Helps that England qualified, but yesterday was a genuinely exciting, interesting and good game, pub I watched it in was busy.

I think the future of international football is to do away with friendly games and have mini tournaments like this.
 
#10
The competition is certainly better than meaningless friendlies. The thing I like at the moment is that it is not seen as 'important' in the way the Euros or the World Cup are, which has given Southgate more freedom to try things out. I do wonder if (as it gets more familiar) the relegation/promotion/finals mechanic will mean that it becomes more highly rated and therefore managers will be less inclined to be adventurous? But certainly for now, it a big thumbs up from me.
 

Malc

Senior moderator
Staff member
#11
And my second team, The Netherlands, play Germany tonight. Win that, after beating France 2-0 Friday, then they are off to the finals in Portugal.

The Dutch, like England, are getting a completely new team together, and doing very well with Ronald Koeman at the helm. Perhaps his problem at Everton was his English!
 

mooro

Active member
#12
What was that about Switzerland?
Switzerland basically avoided playing any top sides in friendlies for years, and thus by beating weaker opposition amassed more ranking points than some better teams that took on bigger sides but didnt always win, and therefore worked their way into the top ten of the world rankings and got seeded better as a result.
This was one of the reasons why the Nations League was introduced to avoid this happening again
 

Foley

Well-known member
2018-19 shirt sponsor for Jamie Hanson
#13
Switzerland basically avoided playing any top sides in friendlies for years, and thus by beating weaker opposition amassed more ranking points than some better teams that took on bigger sides but didnt always win, and therefore worked their way into the top ten of the world rankings and got seeded better as a result.
This was one of the reasons why the Nations League was introduced to avoid this happening again
I think the comment may have been more about beating Belgium 5 2 having been 2 0 down.
 

tonyw

Active member
#17
Why are we laughing - if they are put into the second qualifying pot, we are bound to draw them aren't we??!!
Maybe, but:
a) They'll only be in Pot 2 if Poland avoid defeat today (away to Portugal). Otherwise, they'll be #10 seed and there's 10 groups.
b) Even if we do end up in the same group in qualifying, there's two that qualify from each group
c) Even if we somehow screw up the group and don't finish in the top two, there's still another chance through the Nations League second-chance playoff.

Basically the Nations League has been disguised as a way to give one of the smaller nations a chance to play in Euro 2020 but in reality it's also been structured to make it as difficult as possible for a 'big' team to miss the Euro finals ever again. And we're still a 'big' team.

Although don't get me wrong - the Nations League is a million times more fun than pointless friendlies, and a glorious new competition for a sad old statto like me......
 

warksox

Junior Member
#18
pleased (to hear) England got the 2-1 win and progressed

I don't subscribe to sky sport ( don't want to encourage the monied elites paymaster or add to the multi millions of £ they share amongst themselves)

I too hope that terrestrial TV channels get to broadcast live England games from 'this' and other tournaments in the future @unification ..... Murdoch's monopoly of sport has been allowed to go on far far too long IMO
Strictly speaking, the Murdoch monopoly ended when Sky was sold to Comcast. Murdoch and his family no longer have any connection to Sky.
 

tonyw

Active member
#20
Just realized an extra benefit to getting into the Nations League playoffs (apart from the possibility of a trophy).....

It means that we're guaranteed to be in a five-team rather than a six-team group for Euro 2020 qualifying. That's because those playoffs take place over a week that is otherwise set aside for qualifying games.

So rather than playing two additional pointless games against incompetent minnows like San Marino, we're going to be playing in a fun mini-tournament with the Swiss, Dutch and Portuguese for some silverware. Bonzer!
 
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