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North London Red

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  1. I read online that Huddersfield last finished a season with a positive goal difference in 2011-12, in league one. That’s a remarkable stat given they’ve had 2 seasons in the premier league since then.
  2. Last team to start a European Cup final with 11 players of the same nationality were Steaua Bucharest in 1989. Steaua also won it in 1986 with an all Romanian starting 11 and 2 Romanian subs. Not sure how many of those 13 players were born in or close to Bucharest, but it’s still a remarkable achievement.
  3. Yes, it’s easier for English top flight clubs to qualify for Europe now than it used to be, but the same is true for Spanish, Italian and German clubs too. (And those four leagues were the main four in terms of trophies both before and after the expansion of the Champions League). Before the Champions League was extended, we may only have had one representative, but it was often possible to reach a semi final or final with a relatively kind run, depending on how favourable the draw was (and especially if the champions of two of the other stronger leagues drew each other in an early round). These days to win it you probably have to beat at least two or more of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Atlético Madrid or Juventus (plus another decent team from your own league) - so it may be easier to qualify these days, but once you’re in it I’d argue it’s harder to win now than it was pre expansion. As for the premier league not winning it last year if the old rules had applied (ie only national champions plus the defending winners from the previous season)...Manchester City would have stood a pretty good chance in my humble view. Impossible to say.
  4. 61 available European trophies since the start of the premier league (counting the 3 main trophies, but not counting e.g. the European super cup). The 11 Premier League wins that you mention is more than twice as many as Germany (5) and only one fewer than Italy (12, most of which were in the 90s). I wouldn’t say that’s piss poor...but each to their own. If you’re comparing to Spain, then maybe, but they’re miles out in front of everyone else on 22. Does your ‘22 English club wins in the comparable period before the premier league’ count the same number of finals, i.e. 61? The discontinuation of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1999 makes it a slightly unfair comparison if it’s just based on the number of years, as there were 3 trophies to play for every season until 1999, but only 2 per season in the 20 years since. EDIT: if you’ve counted 27 years back from 1992, the 20 years without the CWC since 1999 are mostly offset by the 16 European trophies that English clubs couldn’t compete for between 1986 and 1991 due to the post Heysel ban, so it probably is a broadly fair comparison. Also just re-read your post and in fairness you did say it was in comparison to the performance pre premier league. Either way, yes, English clubs were more dominant before the inception of the premier league, and Spanish clubs have shown a similar level of dominance since.
  5. The last time I can remember us losing a home pre season friendly 5-0 was against Borussia Mönchengladbach, just before season 1998-99. Hopefully it’s not an omen, because we were relegated that season! (Incidentally, Borussia Mönchengladbach finished bottom of the Bundesliga in 1998-99).
  6. They overlapped briefly, for example they both played against France in February 1992 at Wembley: https://www.11v11.com/matches/england-v-france-19-february-1992-243462/
  7. Couple of pics from the game below. Absolutely incredible atmosphere in the stadium that night, and probably still just about the most dramatic game I've been to. It was good to go back to St Etienne 18 years later during the Euros three years ago. Time flies.
  8. This one in Monterrey (Mexico) is one I'd love to visit:
  9. The pressure was on in Seville in October and the players didn’t fold - they won 3-2 against Spain in their own back yard, which very few teams do. The pressure was on at 1-0 down to Croatia (World Cup finalists) at Wembley in November. The players didn’t fold. They fought back to win 2-1. Just back at my hotel in Porto after a couple of post game beers. It was disappointing tonight - far too many bad mistakes all over the pitch, and arguably only one really impressive moment of quality (the move that led to the disallowed VAR goal - shows what England can be capable of in patches, but we didn’t see anywhere near enough of it tonight). Holland’s first goal was preventable, and the other three goals in the game all came from absolutely awful defending. And why did Southgate decide against starting any of the Tottenham or Liverpool players? Wijnaldum and Van Dijk both managed 120 minutes for Holland.
  10. Yes, there were Swiss fans directly in front and to the left. The area I was in seemed to be a mix of nationalities - there were 4 England fans in the row behind and an American family of 4 next to me, as well as a few locals. I only bought the ticket late on Tuesday night - UEFA were still selling them for all four games. The atmosphere was decent. First visit to the Dragao; in Euro 2004 the furthest north we got was Coimbra, for England v Switzerland. I’m hoping today is the only visit to Guimaraes on this trip. The thought of the third place game there v Switzerland on Sunday isn’t too appealing - as much as I’ve heard it’s a nice place, spending the whole day in Porto would be better. The final on Sunday will be a great occasion given Portugal’s win last night. Fingers crossed for tonight.
  11. The FA can only control who gets tickets through our official allocation - and for most away games (qualifiers, friendlies) it’s generally only the members, who are vetted before being allowed into the supporters club, who get tickets. The FA can’t control who else decides to travel to a city England are playing in, or who else decided to buy tickets through UEFA for tomorrow’s game - they were still on sale through the UEFA website yesterday. At some recent away games in ‘easier to get to’ places (Amsterdam, Seville) there have been large groups of mostly younger blokes who’ve travelled and caused problems - I couldn’t tell you if they’re members of the supporters club (if they are, they’ll soon end up getting banned). In Volgograd, Samara and Podgorica, no such issues as it tends to be only the diehards who travel to such places. As for the comment above about 33% of England fans fitting this description - sorry, can’t agree with that at all. Tomorrow will be my 174th England game. To say 33% of fans behave like that is miles wide of the mark in my humble view.
  12. Flying out to Porto on Tuesday. Looking forward to England matches 174 and 175 - and hoping that 175 is in Porto (for the final) rather than Guimaraes (for the third place game). The weather forecast looks decent and as mentioned above, it’ll be hot, but not ‘off the scale’ hot. Certainly not as hot as Volgograd and Samara were last summer.
  13. That would seem to be the implication, although as noted above I wasn't in the meeting, and of course the club may have a different viewpoint.
  14. There was an England Supporters Club meeting in Birmingham last night, with a representative from the FA present. I wasn't at the meeting but a very detailed summary of the discussion points was posted on the England Supporters Club Facebook page a couple of hours ago. The following caught my eye: "Kosovo - Bristol City was a front runner to host the game but the FA couldn't agree it with them, so Southampton was the second choice. The FA said they cannot stop rumours but they confirmed the game once the contract had been 100% signed and all agreed with Kosovo FA."
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