dimanche 26 juin 2016

England XI at World Cups and Euros

England participated for the first time in a World Cup in 1950. In Brazil. Here they beat Chile 2-0 before to be beaten by... The United States (damn posts!) then by Spain 1-0. For its first major international tournament,  the Three Lions team can't go through the group stage (second behind Spain).

And here's the England XI at the 1950 World Cup :

England 1950
Eckersley, Baily and Milburn played in the last game against Spain. Like Matthews, obviously lined up on the right wing instead of Finney who replaced Mullen (starter in the first two games) on the left.
Mannion played the first match at the inside right position before to repositioned inside left for the game against the U.S.A. He did not play the last game, Baily did. Mortensen started the tournament at the inside leftt position and played the two following games as the inside right of the team , so alongside his best teammate (Matthews, Blckpool) against Spain. Matthews (35 years old) was unfit for the two first games which had to be only a formality. But were not.

Four years later, in Switzerland, the XI of England goes through the group stage. What means they reached the quarter-finals. Where they're beaten by Uruguay (4-2).

The England XI at the 1954 World Cup (Owen only played in the first match, Taylor in the two firsts, first as inside left then as centre forward in the second instead of Lofthouse, a match into which the two wings were Finney on the right ad Mullen on the left, one match in all for Mullen, Wilshaw played against the Swiss and the Uruguayans) :

England 1954
They had qualified after a draw-game with Belgium and a win over the hosting nation team Switerland (Italy and England, even though they were in the same group, did not have to meet in  a game as top seed teams, 2 matches by country at the group stage). Lofthouse and Broadis were the best scorers of the team with 3 and 2 goals (2 each against Belgium in a 4-4). The stars of the team, Matthews and Finney  did not displayed the expected performances (Matthews was injured in the second game). Finney scored one goal however. Him who was probably diminsihed physically too finally scored one against Uruguay into a match during which he gave all what he could.

In 1958, no Matthews anymore. It is now Finney the old guy of the team. It stopsafter one single match for Finney and it stops for England after three draw-games with Soviet Union (2-2, with one pen. by Finney), Brazil (0-0), Austria (2-2) and a tie-break match with Soviet Union (0-1).

The 1958 XI :

England 1958
The team that is presented is the usual XI in the first three matches.
Finney only played in the first match. He was replaced by A'ACourt.
In the fourth and last match against the Soviet Union (tie-break match), A'Court played inside left, Kevan inside right, Haynes, in the middle, centre-forward, and the wings were Brabrook on the right, Broadbent on the left.

We're now in 1960 and it is the first European Nations Cup. England did not enter the competition. Soviet Union won this.

1962, World Cup in Chile. England is quarter-finalist again. This time, they're beaten by Brazil, the champion in title and eventual double-winner. Here's the XI of England :

England 1962
Peacock and Hitchens played two matches each. Hitchens was preferred to Peacock in the quarter-finals.

England knows an early exit in the 1964 European Nations Cup qualifiers, since the preliminary round. That was against France with the following results : 1-1 in Wembley (Oct. '62),  2-5 in Parc des Princes (Feb. '63).

Here are the teams that England aligned (player match 1/ player match 2) :

England in the 1964 Euro Qual. (1962-63)

2 years after this Euro held in Spain into which England did not participate, it is the 1966 World Cup. England is the host. And the winner of its first major international tournament, on home soil. It is also the last, up to now.

The legendary World champion XI is :


In the continuity of this success, two years after, Manchester United (with Charlton) wins the first English Clubs' European Cup. And England ranks 3rd in the 1968 Euro, in Italy.

With this XI (player s-f's against Yugoslavia, 0-1/ player 3rd place match against USSR, 2-0) :

England 1968

It is now the legendary 1970 World Cup. In Mexico, the title holder was beaten in the quarter-finals by 3 to 2 after they had lead by 2-nil. That was against the West German team.

The XI :

England 1970
This Three Lions team was seen as a better side than the one that won the World Cup four years earlier. Yes, maybe.

Euro 1972 : eliminated in the qualifying play-offs, i.e the quarter-finals, played in two legs, home and away, in the spring '72, deciding of who to participate in the final tournament held in one country (in Belgium) in June. By West Germany : 1-3 loss in Wembley, 0-0 at Olympiastadion.

Here's the Wembley loosing team :

England 1972
In the second leg played away, the defensive players Storey (defensive midfielder) and McFarland (central back) replaced Peters  (midfielder) and Lee (midfielder, forward). Marsh (Tony, forward) started instead of Hurst but was replaced by Todd (defender) since the 20th minute. At last, Hunter (defender) was replaced by McDonald (Forward) at the 57th minute. So in the 0-0 that definitively qualified West Germany after its win in England.

England did not qualified for the 1974 World Cup, held in West Germany (the WM 74) : second of the group 5 in the qualifiers, behind Poland ((Poland-England 2-0, England-Poland 1-1 with a great Tomaszewski...the third team of the group was Wales. Poland finsihed 3rd at the World Cup).

European Nations Cup '76 : did not qualify from the group 1 topped by Czechoslokia (3-0, 1-2 in direct confrontations), the eventual winner of the final tournament held in Yugoslavia. Beating the country that invented football remains a good springboard.

World Cup '78: a second World Cup in a row without England, eliminated by Italy at the general goal difference (+14 against +11, both teams beat each other 2-0 at home). For the anecdot, Italy finished 4th at the final tournament.

Euro 80 (in Italy) : England tracks down the way to a tournament finals. For the first time, the Euro welcomes eight teams, placed in two groups. The two first teams of each group qualify for the semis. Not the case of the English team which finishes third in the Group B behind Belgium and Italy.

A XI-synthesis :

England 1980
Wilkins, the defensive midfielder, is here placed well behind the "number 8" for a matter of space on the draw but that was well that in gross.
England played succesivley against Belgium, Italy and Spain. Anderson, Mills, McDermott, Hoddle played in the decisive day match against the Spaniards, a match during which Keegan played alongside Woodcock. Johnson played only in the first match, Birtles and Kennedy only in the second one. Shilton was the keeper against Italy. Clemence was back in the woods for the last match. Italy and Belgium qualified with a 0-0 when England was beating Spain for nothing (2-1).

That was the first tournament for Keegan and almost the last one.

Spanish World Cup, in 1982 (eliminated in the second group phase, before the semi-finals with two 0-0 with West Germany and Spain):

England 1982
A team captained by Mick Mills in the absence of Keegan (injured) who only played 25 minutes in the last England's game against Spain. If fit, Keegan would have probably played at the starting position of Rix, on the left-side but swapping more often roles with Francis who was really the playmaker of this team even if positionned high on the pitch when Mariner was mostly here to be at the reception of the crosses although he deviated from the axis from time to time, as any "modern forward" had to do.
Young Bryan Robson was more the n°8 and Wilkins the defensive midfielder quite unique in his genre in England and irremovable.

Euro '84 : did not qualify to the finals in France. Second of qualifying group behind Denmark.

1986 World Cup : played the finals. After a complicate start in the group stage (0-1 against Portugal, 0-0 with Morroco) England qualified for the knock-out phase thanks to a Lineker hat-trick and a 3-0 win over Poland. It's a 3-0 win again in the Round of 16 against Paraguay before to lose to the Argentina of Maradona, author this day of two memorable goals, "the hand of god goal" (all is in the name) and some minutes later of the "goal of the century" (a fantastic solo goal, a slalom initiated on the half-way line with a sort of "roulette" and concluded in a face-to-face with the keeper, Shilton, well everybody knows this one if everything is ok). 2-1 for Argentina. The route stops in the quarter-finals for England. England had Lineker and Argentina had Maradona.

The English XI :

England 1986
It is the lineup that played against Argentina and also the default formation, the best 11 possible at the moment of the tourney since Robson was unfit or that Wilkins lost his place at midfield too after being red-carded against Morocco. So Hodge and Reid won their place at the occasion of the last groups stage's match against Poland (3-0).
In the offensive compartiment, Steven was finally preferred to Waddle so it was the choice of a right-midfielder over one more winger type of player who was more at his ease in attack than at midfield.
Hateley started alongside Lineker at the groups stage until Beardsley was chosen over him since the game against Poland - for the good effects that we know and a hat-trick by Lineker - and then for the knockout games.
Side-note : in defence, Alvin Martin replaced Terry Fenwick once due to the latter was suspended. That was against Paraguay in the round of 16.

England at the 1988 European championship (in West Germany) : good last of the group B with three losses, chronologically against Eire, Holland and the Soviet Union.

The team :

England 1988
Once again, Steven was finally preferred to Waddle to occupy the right side of the team. For what would be the two last matches. Here though, Waddle entered instead of Steven against Holland at 20 minutes of the whistle but he did not play against the USSR, nor did Wright, replaced by Watson in order to help Adams.

Italia 90 (World Cup) : semi-finalist, beaten by the eventual champion West Germany in a penalty-shootout after a 1-1. And, for the anecdot, 4th (beaten by Italy in the classification game, 2-1).

Here's the XI that was lead by Gascoigne :

England 1990
Paul Parker quickly took the spot of G.M Stevens who only played in the very first match (could have putted the name of Stevens between parenthesis, and precised it's well G.M and not the other Gary Stevens, G.A Stevens, sorry...the letter A stands for Andrew).
Barnes and Beardsley were globally in balance during the tournament. Beardsley played in the semi-finals (the full-time), Barnes did not play at all. He last appeared in the quarter-finals against other Lions, the ones of Cameroon, where he was replaced at half-time by Beardsley.
Trevor Steven was still in the squad. But in this configuration and due to their respective form of the moment also maybe, this time Waddle was preferred to him (Steven entered at the 70th minute of the semis instead of Butcher).

Euro 92 in Sweden : last in the group 1 (Denmark, Sweden, France with 2 draws and 1 loss to Sweden).

Presented as they in the decisive game against Sweden...

England 1992
...with Daley instead of Steven on the right of the midfield (in gross, because that was three quite different teams for the three different matches, for no wins, we can say that Graham Taylor never found the good formula). Arsenal players' Alan Smith and Paul Merson (who were starters in the first match against Denmark, 0-0, like Keith Curle by the way who played one hour as the right bck of the team in this tourney) respectively entered the pitch for Lineker (60') and Sinton (76'). A young Alan Shearer only appeared once, in the second match against France, one last time alongside Lineker like for his first cap in a friendly match against the same opponent in Wembley, for great effects at the time (2-0 and an assist by Shearer for Lineker) but that have not repeated.

After this, England did not qualify for the U.S World Cup '94 (3rd in its group behind Norway and The Nertherlands.

But two years later, football's coming home and the team with the three lions on its badge will distinguish with a semi-finalist spot. Well, defeated by a reunified Germany that would win the trophy, this time, 30 years after the 1966 World Cup Final England v West Germany.

Here's a synthesis of the team that reached the semi-finals of its Euro, with Gascoigne back at midfield :

England 1996
In the semi-finals, Venables' England used a 3-5-2 with both Ince and Platt at midfield. And no Gary Neville, suspended anyway, in defense. The 3-5-2 matched with the German formation.

The French World Cup (1998) : 2nd in the group G behind Romania, Round of 16, end of the road. Eliminated by Argentina (2-2, 3-4 in a penalty shoot-out).

With this XI :

England 1998
Crosses and set-pieces specialist new sensation David Beckham was sent-off in this knockout mach against Argentina (47th minute). That was his first participation in an international tournament after that he did not make the squad of Venables in 1996, judged too tender, or not ready.
Most used complementary players were Batty and Southgate...

Euro 2000 : ranked before Gemany but behind Portugal and Romania in the group A.

Here's the XI :

England 2000
Author of the goal of the 2-0 against Portugal in the first match (that ended with a 2-3 loss), McManaman had to leave the team due to injury at the hour of play. Wise replaced him and starterd in the two following matches. Keown replaced Adams at the 8th minute of the same match against Portugal and also started in the next games alongside Campbell.

After a fantastic Euro (not by England but globally) in The Netherlands and in Belgium it is now the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South-Korea, a competition that England qualified to thanks to Beckham in a decisive qualifier against Greece. In Asia, the team of Beck's will reach the...quarter-finals. They would be beaten here by the eventual champion Brazil and its " three R attack" (Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho) on a score of 2 to 1 (Owen opened the score before that Rivaldo scored the equalizer then that Ronaldinho surprised Seaman on free-kick).

Here's the English XI that played the quarter-finals at the Asian World Cup, in 2002 :

England 2002
Euro 2004 : quarter-finalist.

The XI (Gary Neville was back in the team after he missed the 2002 World Cup) :

England 2004
Eliminated by the host Portugal (that will loose to Greece, once more, after an inaugural group stage match in the Final), 2-2, 5-6 in a penalty shootout.

Same fate two years after at the World Cup in Germany with an elimination against Portugal, in a penalty shootout and in the quartr-finals of course.

The XI of England at the 2006 World Cup :

England 2006
2008, Euro : did not qualify. Third in the qualifying group stage, behind Croatia and Russia.

In 2010, England is eliminated by Germany in the round of 16 of the South African World Cup.
Here's the XI that played this match :

England 2010
We'll never know if the ball crossed the line in the 1966 Final on that shoot by Hurst but for sure the goal was allowed. Here, we know that the Lampard's shoot crossed it but it was not allowed. Well, here, that made 4-1 for Germany in the end though. "Terrible defending". Another game for the legend in some way.

England find again the way of the quarter-finals in the next international competition which is the 2012 European championship held in Poland and in Ukraine. The winner of England is this time Italy. A match that ended with a penalty shoootout after a 0-0 within the 120 minutes.

The XI of England at the Euro 2012 :

England 2012
In the other country of football, Brazil, England finishes last of the group D behind Costa-Rica, Uruguay and Italy.

The XI of England at the 2014 World Cup :

England 2014
At last, England is about to play in the round of 16 of the current European championship held in France. It will be against Iceland, tomorrow monday (27.06). If England qualifies, they'll meet France (winner of Ireland) in the quarter-finals.

...and here we are : England has been eliminated by Iceland. Iceland won (2-1).

Here's the XI of England that has been beaten by Iceland in the round of 16 of the Euro 2016 :

England 2016
The detail of the changes made by Hodgson : Wilshere for Vardy at half-time, Vardy for Sterling at the hour of play and Rashford for Rooney at 5 minutes of the end of the full-time.
Starter in the three group games on the right wing, Lallana was not used while being not suspended nor injured (choice of the coach).

The Three Lions team at the 2018 World Cup, in Russia which has beaten England in order to welcome the tournament :

England 2018
Eliminated by Croatia in the last-4. Twice defeated by Belgium (group stage and 3rd place game). One compelling win in the quarter-finals against a good Swedish team.

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