September 22, 2023
World Cup 2022 briefing: Enterprise time for England towards Senegal | World Cup

The principle occasion

In any case that noise – the enjoyment, the triumphalism, the entitlement, the schadenfreude, the self-loathing – England had the very best document of any crew within the group stage at Qatar 2022. It exhibits how far they’ve come underneath Gareth Southgate that seven factors and 9 objectives, the latter a document for England at a significant match, was not sufficient to please Twitter’s best.

Even within the hysterical world of the England nationwide crew, it’s exhausting to recollect the final time that the steadiness between on-field achievement and off-field angst was up to now out of whack, and that’s unlikely to vary except England win handsomely towards Senegal tonight. After a semi-final in 2018 and a last final yr, the louder components of the media, conventional and social, have come to a close to unanimous conclusion: Southgate is holding England again.

The acquired knowledge is that England have a humiliation of riches in attacking areas. Superb gamers although they’re, we is likely to be complicated the excellence of the Premier League with that of the nationwide crew. Since England grew to become good once more in 2018, a complete of 10,158 voting factors have been obtainable on the Ballon d’Or. (Bear with us, this isn’t as boring because it sounds.) Premier League gamers picked up 3,431 of them, or 33.78%. However English gamers acquired solely 86, or 0.85%. That’s lower than Eden Hazard, and he has barely performed within the final three years. For all his imperfections, most clearly his indecisive in-game administration, Southgate has considerably overachieved with a squad that isn’t as proficient because the “golden technology” of the mid-2000s.

Senegal, who they face tonight, have been filed underneath “awkward opponent however one England ought to beat”. England have by no means misplaced to an African crew, a statistic that has been cited steadily within the buildup. Regardless of 30 years of watching gamers as stylistically various as Nwankwo Kanu, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Jay-Jay Okocha and Yaya Touré within the Premier League, there’s a perceived homogeneity to African soccer that doesn’t replicate nicely on English soccer’s unconscious.

France are additionally in motion right this moment, taking up a Poland aspect who certified for the final 16 with their tail between their legs. It needs to be a joyous event, Poland’s first knockout recreation on the World Cup since a closer-than-it-sounds 4-0 defeat by Brazil in 1986, however their pitiful efficiency towards Argentina – no pictures heading in the right direction, no ambition, however just one yellow card – has modified the temper. It relies on what occurs towards France, however when the story of Poland’s 2022 marketing campaign is written, historians might conclude that it could have been higher to exit with a bang than by way of with a whimper.

England don’t have any such selection. Until they undergo with a bang towards Senegal, the knives – and the hashtags – will most likely be out. RS

Speaking factors

Netherlands ease into final eight
Since Louis van Gaal took cost the Netherlands are unbeaten in 19 matches. In yesterday’s ruthless 3-1 dismissal of the USA they seemed to be a crew taking part in inside themselves, nonetheless with loads of room for enchancment of their quarter-final towards Argentina – and maybe past. There was a smidgen of defensive vulnerability to be seen when the USA fought again to 2-1 within the second half, however that restoration was swiftly squashed by a 3rd Dutch objective, scored by the distinctive Denzel Dumfries. If nothing else, neutrals ought to hope the Netherlands keep within the match for the psychological stimulation being provided by Van Gaal. Each time he speaks it appears to be one thing amusing, insightful or each. “Yesterday I gave him a giant, fats kiss,” Van Gaal mentioned of Dumfries, who was sitting beside him within the press convention. “And I’m going to offer him one other large, fats kiss.” As at all times, he meant what he mentioned. LMc

A second to neglect for Australia’s Ryan
The way of Australia’s exit was notably painful for the goalkeeper Mathew Ryan after his blunder handed Argentina their second objective, slotted in by Julián Álvarez. Kye Rowles’ again cross wasn’t superb, and hindsight is at all times an exquisite factor, however the effectiveness and urgency of Argentina’s urgent at that second meant the Socceroos goalkeeper would have been clever to place his foot by way of the ball and intention for Row Z. As a substitute Ryan misplaced it and Álvarez did the remaining. The margins would have been tight regardless however after they had been chasing the sport, Australia confirmed the vulnerability that clearly exists on the coronary heart of Argentina’s defence. They may surprise what might need been however Ryan, and the Socceroos collectively, might be pleased with how they carried out in Qatar. LMc

World Cup 2022 briefing: Enterprise time for England towards Senegal | World Cup
Julián Álvarez pounces on a Mat Ryan mistake to place Argentina 2-0 up. {Photograph}: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Past the soccer

With drama aplenty within the group stage, tales within the world media have largely centered on the thrilling soccer – precisely as Qatar’s Supreme Committee and Fifa need it. Sean Ingle experiences that the nation is so proud of how the match has gone that it may be a springboard to internet hosting the most important sporting occasion of all, the Olympic Video games. The Guardian understands the nation is able to flex its muscle groups once more and bid to stage the Video games within the autumn of 2036, regardless of having failed with bids thrice previously. Ingle experiences there’s “rising optimism in Doha” that this World Cup will show they’ll host the Olympics. However there will likely be obstacles, from LGBTQ+ rights to business issues from the IOC after Qatar’s Eleventh-hour alcohol ban at stadiums. GB

International media-watch

There was disappointment within the US after the nationwide crew had been brushed apart by the Netherlands. “The subpar play from virtually the whole crew counts as a significant disappointment,” wrote Jeff Carlisle for ESPN. Within the Washington Put up, Steven Goff wrote: “The US males’s crew had reached the knockout stage with a mix of defensive excellence, precocious poise and unflinching confidence – however these items had been lacking [on] Saturday.”

Tim Ream reflects on defeat at the final whistle.
Tim Ream displays on defeat on the last whistle. {Photograph}: Noushad Thekkayil/EPA

In Australia, journalists digesting the Socceroos’ early-morning exit had been extra sanguine. “One piece of genius from the best participant of all time, and a uncommon mistake from considered one of Australia’s most loyal servants. In a sport outlined by razor-thin margins, typically, that’s simply the way in which it goes,” accepted Vince Rugari within the Sydney Morning Herald. The Guardian’s personal Emma Kemp wrote: “This was not a unhealthy efficiency. It was a really good efficiency with all of the makings of one other upset; the shifting mass of blue-and-white stress within the stands confirmed it to be so.”

In the meantime in South Korea, the official World Cup anthem Dreamers, that includes Jungkook of BTS fame, is getting loads of airtime as they savour a spot within the Spherical of 16 following the dramatic late win towards Portugal. Not a patch on Shakira’s 2010 World Cup banger, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), however admittedly that’s a excessive bar. LMc/NMc

The web reacts

No social media put up was extra gratefully acquired by the world of soccer than the one posted by Pelé on Instagram. After a day of experiences that the Brazil legend was receiving end-of-life care, Pelé shared a optimistic replace from his hospital, including that he felt “robust” and “with a number of hope”. The 82-year-old, nonetheless the one participant to win three World Cups in his profession, will proceed therapy, and we want him nicely. NMc

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Elsewhere, loads of folks loved Luis Suárez bawling his eyes out after Uruguay had been dumped out of the World Cup. The previous Liverpool ahead sat on the bench for the ultimate 24 minutes (plus an age of damage time) after being changed by Edinson Cavani. He went by way of a lot of the feelings obtainable to humanity; happiness, worry and finally simply tears, partially hidden behind his gentle blue shirt. Patrice Evra later preferred an Instagram put up of Suárez wanting like his mom had simply thrown a beloved teddy bear right into a skip. It’s not the primary time Suárez has reduce onions after a soccer match, permitting for a intelligent rating system. WU

Rating Luis Suarez crying.

A thread 🧵

Uruguay knocked out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup towards Ghana, crew he prevented from advancing within the QF in 2010 by dealing with a goal-bound header.


— Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) December 2, 2022

Immediately’s matches

France v Poland (Spherical of 16, 3pm GMT, BBC1)
“They [Poland] have a hardcore of gamers with good expertise,” Didier Deschamps mentioned in his pre-match press convention. “There’s [Wojciech] Szczesny, [Kamil] Glik, [Robert] Lewandowski and you must respect what this crew does, they need to be there. Szczesny was decisive.” The France head coach is aware of their last-16 opponents have sufficient high quality to trigger an upset – and a few “hardcore” people with sufficient expertise to rile France. Szczesny has been in wonderful kind in Qatar, whereas Lewandowski has damaged his World Cup duck and will likely be assured of inflicting issues for the French centre-backs. France’s second string had been appalling towards Tunisia, an indication they Deschamps doesn’t have a lot in reserve. If Poland can maintain it tight till deep into the sport, they’ll hope to crank up the strain on the reigning champions. WU

Wojciech Szczesny saves Lionel Messi’s spot-kick against Argentina.
Anybody for penalties? Wojciech Szczesny saves Lionel Messi’s spot-kick towards Argentina. {Photograph}: Ariel Schalit/AP

England v Senegal (Spherical of 16, 7pm GMT, ITV1)
Senegal are lacking various key gamers – and probably their head coach Aliou Cissé attributable to sickness – for this most significant of video games. Sadio Mané, Cheikhou Kouyaté and Idrissa Gueye are all lacking by way of a mix of damage and suspension. Not solely are they high quality gamers however possess unbelievable expertise, which will likely be sorely missed. Their replacements face a tricky job to defeat an England crew in good kind. Sheffield United’s Iliman Ndiaye has already been given an opportunity in Mané’s absence and impressed within the victory over Ecuador. Nampalys Mendy of Leicester Metropolis is one other who has data of the opponents due to his Premier League employers. Though not a daily for membership or nation, he has the talents to annoy England’s midfielders, whereas Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly will likely be strong behind him. It won’t be the optimum Senegal crew however there is sufficient to trigger issues to England, who must keep away from complacency. WU

Fast Information

Qatar: past the soccer


This can be a World Cup like no different. For the final 12 years the Guardian has been reporting on the problems surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the therapy of migrant staff and discriminatory legal guidelines. The perfect of our journalism is gathered on our devoted Qatar: Past the Soccer house web page for many who need to go deeper into the problems past the pitch.

Guardian reporting goes far past what occurs on the pitch. Assist our investigative journalism right this moment.

{Photograph}: Caspar Benson

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Participant to look at

Iliman Ndiaye When England tackle Senegal, they should be careful for the lad from Bramall Lane. A non-league youth participant with Boreham Wooden three years in the past, Ndiaye has come a good distance since signing for Sheffield United in 2019. An unused substitute towards the Netherlands, he made a second-half cameo towards Qatar and, 10 minutes after approaching, danced by way of three tried tackles earlier than laying on an help for Bamba Dieng. Having began the win towards Ecuador and produced a vigorous efficiency, the 22-year-old has grown in stature because the match has gone on. Even when Aliou Cissé decides to make use of him from the bench, he may very well be a risk. WM

And eventually

Japan’s success in topping Group E forward of Spain and Germany has shocked their subsequent opponents as a lot as anybody. “We didn’t count on this,” mentioned the Croatia midfielder Lovro Majer earlier than the last-16 assembly on Monday night. “I believe hardly anybody anticipated that, however hats off to Japan. They confirmed that it isn’t names which are taking part in, however what’s extra necessary is coronary heart and braveness.” Japan defeated Germany regardless of having 29% possession, whereas they overcame Spain with simply 22%. “Possession means nothing in soccer right this moment,” mentioned Josip Juranovic, the Croatia right-back, when these stats had been put to him. “They play very nicely as a crew and they’re quick. However we confirmed towards Canada we will take care of fast groups.” WM

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