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Widely agreed to be the worst Russian team ever and at 71 the worst ranked team in the tournament. Naturally they are going to be the first team into the next round with a game to spare after two heavy wins. I know they are hosts but that is some performance so far.

How the hell Scotland never got past the first stage with quality players like Dalglish, Souness, Hansen, Strachan, etc I have no idea.

Amazingly we never even made it to the 1962 World Cup with Hamilton, Ure, Robertson, Baxter, Law, Crerand and Brand in the team.

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18 hours ago, Cobra said:

Widely agreed to be the worst Russian team ever and at 71 the worst ranked team in the tournament. Naturally they are going to be the first team into the next round with a game to spare after two heavy wins. I know they are hosts but that is some performance so far.

How the hell Scotland never got past the first stage with quality players like Dalglish, Souness, Hansen, Strachan, etc I have no idea.

Amazingly we never even made it to the 1962 World Cup with Hamilton, Ure, Robertson, Baxter, Law, Crerand and Brand in the team.

Played 2 crap teams so far. Really disappointed with Egypt. Can't see Russia getting past the last 16. 

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International football isn't meant to make sense!

On paper, you do look at their squad though and think they wouldn't really be posed a challenge man for man with the teams they've beaten. I think the lack of competitive games (friendlies count less in ranking system) and then also not really been playing for something immediate so not being that motivated to do well are maybe part of the reason why they are maybe artificially low. Qualifying is also another beast entirely IMO, I think some teams are really just suited to fly through groups (e.g. Saudi all domestic players with cohesion who won't drop points against the weak teams in their group while Australia mostly have players at the other side of the world who have a lot of travelling to do international time which is a strain) and you do get good tournament teams who are hard to beat but tend to slip up a lot.

In reality, Scotland (and a lot of Europe and South America even) would batter a few of the world cup finalists every year, even in our poorer periods, but in the spirit of the world cup, we obviously have to give teams some sort of a chance to qualify from every continent.

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2 hours ago, harry94 said:

International football isn't meant to make sense!

On paper, you do look at their squad though and think they wouldn't really be posed a challenge man for man with the teams they've beaten. I think the lack of competitive games (friendlies count less in ranking system) and then also not really been playing for something immediate so not being that motivated to do well are maybe part of the reason why they are maybe artificially low. Qualifying is also another beast entirely IMO, I think some teams are really just suited to fly through groups (e.g. Saudi all domestic players with cohesion who won't drop points against the weak teams in their group while Australia mostly have players at the other side of the world who have a lot of travelling to do international time which is a strain) and you do get good tournament teams who are hard to beat but tend to slip up a lot.

In reality, Scotland (and a lot of Europe and South America even) would batter a few of the world cup finalists every year, even in our poorer periods, but in the spirit of the world cup, we obviously have to give teams some sort of a chance to qualify from every continent.

I had a similar conversation the other day when asked why Egypt were there. It was from a non football fan who was trying to show his 'knowledge' off and it opened the debate to a few other guys who were into their football. That Saudi Arabia, Australia etc are there because it IS the World Cup, while I'm sure FIFA would be happy with all the big European and South American teams making up the numbers it would be a closed shop so not really a 'world' Cup.

Another approach might be to have a UEFA cup version of second string countries, we might even make that. ;)

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9 hours ago, chomp my root said:

I had a similar conversation the other day when asked why Egypt were there. It was from a non football fan who was trying to show his 'knowledge' off and it opened the debate to a few other guys who were into their football. That Saudi Arabia, Australia etc are there because it IS the World Cup, while I'm sure FIFA would be happy with all the big European and South American teams making up the numbers it would be a closed shop so not really a 'world' Cup.

Another approach might be to have a UEFA cup version of second string countries, we might even make that. 

If the format was changed to reduce the number of so-called weaker nations we would end up where we are now with the CL.  I think FIFA have done the right thing by increasing the number of teams to 48 for the 2026 event.  This will help ensure most of the top European teams have a good chance of qualifying.  Who knows, we might even make it! 

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Been very disappointed with the way most games have been played. Seems like commit fouls early, break up play as soon as you can, get 10 men behind the ball every time you lose possession and pull jerseys, stand on opponents ankles at every occasion. The refs need to get a grip of this otherwise it will be the worst Workd Cup ever and a massive step back in the standing of football as a spectator sport.

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1 hour ago, BCram said:

Been very disappointed with the way most games have been played. Seems like commit fouls early, break up play as soon as you can, get 10 men behind the ball every time you lose possession and pull jerseys, stand on opponents ankles at every occasion. The refs need to get a grip of this otherwise it will be the worst Workd Cup ever and a massive step back in the standing of football as a spectator sport.

It's been a curious group stage, so far.....I'm usually bored to death till the knock-outs, but there have been some interesting games, Portugal/Spain being the stand-out, so far. Perhaps the continued rise of the 'lesser' football nations has resulted in tighter matches, if they feel they have to try to 'lock the gate' on bigger opponents, but it's been interesting to see (eg) Iran having a go at Spain, albeit on the break from mass defence.

The part I fully agree with is the continued reluctance/inability of officials to deal with the intrusion in our 'beautiful game' of all the rugby tackles, not just at corners, but spreading all over the place. It's clearly not in the laws, so penalise it, FFS....then it'll soon stop. I can't believe fans of any team really want to see this, especially when we're looking at the 'cream' of world football talent. :rant:  

The red cards need to be exercised, and the grappling exorcised.

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12 hours ago, BCram said:

Been very disappointed with the way most games have been played. Seems like commit fouls early, break up play as soon as you can, get 10 men behind the ball every time you lose possession and pull jerseys, stand on opponents ankles at every occasion. The refs need to get a grip of this otherwise it will be the worst Workd Cup ever and a massive step back in the standing of football as a spectator sport.

Thought it was me ... There was a time when the thought o' three games a day being broadcast, would have me on meltdown.

This year I've watched only 3 Full Games. And bits o some otf the ither ains...Eh blame it on England for scorin in last minute.

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27 minutes ago, Gedee said:

Thought it was me ... There was a time when the thought o' three games a day being broadcast, would have me on meltdown.

This year I've watched only 3 Full Games. And bits o some otf the ither ains...Eh blame it on England for scorin in last minute.

I think that the referees have been told to try to let the game flow. As result the players are doing more and more to physically stop players in the knowledge that they won't get booked. If it was me I'd tell the players that ANY holding of jerseys will be a foul and bookings will follow unless it is cut out. It's common in rugby for the ref to tell the players that the next offence will mean that the player will be sent to the sin bin for 10mins. That isn't an option in football but a yellow card is even more effective in getting a player to clean up his act.

Anyone got stats on the number of yellows issued so far compared with previous competitions.

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