England trying to make amends for Euro 2016 failure, says Eric Dier

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Eric Dier believes England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals has been fuelled by a desire to make amends for their Euro 2016 humiliation.

England crashed out of the European Championships two years ago with a shock loss to Iceland at the last-16 stage.

Much has changed since then with new manager Gareth Southgate leading a revamped and re-energised squad on an impressive run through this summer’s tournament in Russia.

England will now play Croatia on Wednesday for a chance to secure a place in the final for the first time since 1966.

Speaking at a press conference, midfielder Dier said: “After the Iceland game we knew that things needed to change. There have been a lot of changes since that moment.

“It was a moment where we were extremely disappointed and couldn’t let that happen again. We knew we could only make amends for that moment here at this World Cup. Nothing else would fix what happened.

“That is what we have been trying to do. We have learned from our mistakes.”

England reached the last four with victory over Sweden on Saturday. It is the furthest they have progressed in the tournament since 1990 but Dier insists nobody is congratulating themselves yet.

The 24-year-old said: “I don’t think we have succeeded yet. Success is hard to define but in my eyes, and everyone’s back at the hotel, this isn’t success yet. We’re hungry for more.

Ashley Young speaks to the media

“Hopefully we can continue to show that on Wednesday. After the game against Sweden we switched our attention to Wednesday and we are focused on that game.

“We know there can be even better nights the longer we go in the tournament. We have loved every minute, every game, but we know there can be a lot more enjoyment if we continue on this path.”

Team-mate Ashley Young, who carried out media duties on Monday along with Dier, believes England have put themselves in an excellent position but insists nobody is getting carried away.

The left wing-back said: “I think we have got a great chance. We have put ourselves in a great position to go on and win it.

“I said before the start of the tournament we’re not going out there not to win the World Cup.

“But we haven’t won anything yet. There is no point in celebrating. Obviously it was nice to get the victory and the celebrations were muted just because we know there are still big games to come. We know there is a lot to play for.”

Young is preparing for a tough encounter against Croatia.

He said: “Croatia are a very good team. They are not in the semi-final for no reason. We have got to be prepared for them.

“Luka Modric is a fantastic player but they have players around the squad who are going to be difficult opponents.”

Most popular

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic says his team doesn't fear England

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Zlatko Dalic's men will face England on Wednesday.

Croatia will face England in the semi-finals of World Cup 2018 on Wednesday.

And ahead of what promises to be a thrilling encounter, coach Zlatko Dalic has discussed what his team thinks of their opponents and their campaign so far in the tournament.

Find out what the Croatian boss had to say about Gareth Southgate‘s Three Lions and their clash in Moscow.

Most popular

How Paul Pogba has been unlocked and why Belgium's tactics against Brazil can't bring down France

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
World Cup winner: France and Manchester United star Paul Pogba.

No disrespect to the other semi-finals clash but if it’s a generous sprinkling of stardust you’re after, then this is the encounter you’re waiting for.

The world-class players from both Belgium and France will do battle on Tuesday for a place in the World Cup final.

But what good are top quality players if they aren’t deployed in the right way?

Here’s the tactical breakdown.

FORMATION SWITCH A NO-GO

Roberto Martinez will dine out on his systematic dismantling of Brazil in the semi-finals for some time to come. It was a tactical masterclass from the Catalan which left pundits trying to decipher the formation he used. Was it a 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-3-2-1 or something entirely different?

The general bewilderment is testament to the fluidity of his team, something which shone through for their second goal as Romelu Lukaku’s brilliant play on the counter set up Kevin De Bruyne’s finish. In its simplest form though, it was both a 4-3-3 and a 3-4-3 with the Belgians switching seamlessly between both formations.

They defended with a back four, denying Brazil’s dangerous wingers freedom of space, but with possession, they shifted to a three-man defence with Jan Vertonghen holding back while Nacer Chadli shuttled out from central midfield to the left flank.

Not only did this allow the West Brom player to use his pace out wide, but ensured De Bruyne had enough space through the middle in his false nine role. Meanwhile, Lukaku was deployed on the right of a front three to take advantage of Marcelo’s tendency to go forward.

However, this ploy may not work as well against France as Lucas Hernandez is more disciplined in defence while Blaise Matuidi will patrol that side as well. With Thomas Meunier suspended the use of wingbacks seems unfeasible.

A more orthodox 4-3-3 may instead be the order of the day with Chadli stepping in at right-back. De Bruyne will still retain an advanced role though, and Belgium can rely on his link-up play with Eden Hazard and Lukaku to create chances.

POGBA UNLOCKED

Despite the wealth of attacking players at his disposal and the immense technical ability they possess, Didier Deschamps has been determined to keep things simple. France are bound to set up in their usual 4-2-3-1 system.

The use of a central midfielder on the left has been his most innovative ploy and he deserves credit for it but his subtle tweak which unlocked Paul Pogba is also worthy of praise. The left of a three-man central midfield has widely been accepted as the Manchester United star’s best position, one he flourished in at Juventus.

However, Deschamps has moved him to the right to good effect. Matuidi taking up the left flank means the penetration down that side is limited. If Pogba were to play on the left of a three, he’d naturally try to compensate for that by attempting to dribble the ball forward himself or look for a diagonal switch to the right, which can become predictable.

His role on the right side – while rendering France a little lopsided – sees his vision, flair and quick passing complimented by the trickery and pace of Kylian Mbappe.

This also serves to free-up Antoine Griezmann as he can come short and exchange passes in a triangle also involving Mbappe and Pogba or pull wide into space, which is how France’s second goal against Uruguay was scored. Pogba drove forward into the space vacated by Griezmann before laying it off for Corentin Tolisso who in turn assisted the Atletico Madrid forward after he drifted into a wide position on the left.

With a helping hand from Fernando Muslera, he fired France into the semi-finals. This ploy may be key against Belgium depending on who replaces Meunier at right-back.

Most popular