What country do you tip for national success over the next ten years?

TheReligion

Abusive
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
27,301
Location
Manchester
England have nearly always had great squads on paper. I don't see what's different about now other than they had an easy run to a world cup semi final and even then managed to lose to every half decent team they played.
I guess what's different is England have dominated at youth level and now those players are gradually filtering through to the first team. They should have a better mentality although you are right in the sense we've had golden generations in the past and it's never amounted to much.
 

FootballHQ

Full Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
10,546
Supports
Aston Villa
True. Postponing the Euro's also didn't work in our favor. The back three consisting of Vertonghen-Vermaelen(or Kompany)-Toby is already a problem. Remember, Boyata had to play the three group games at the WC and that was two years ago. Everybody's still waiting on Denayer to make that final step.

After the Euro's the days of being contenders are probably over. I don't think we'll fall back to the truly dark days we had after the 2002 WC (which almost lasted ten years) though. There's more young talent now than there was then.
I quite liked that 98-2002 Belgian team. Had Marc Wilmots who was an incredibly underrated box to box midfielder on the world stage but always turned up for tournaments and was very good at Schalke. Reminded me of the late Gary Speed. Joos Valgaraen, Eric Deflandre and Leonard were all decent defenders in european football.

Upfront you had nice range of forwards aswell. Emile Mpenza was a really promising forward around 2000 (not the fatter version that later player at Man. City and Plymouth) likewise Wesley Snock and you also had Luc Nilis before his terrible injury and Branko Strupar.

That was a good generation but that was only good enough to reach last 16 of a tournament once (should've made it in 2000 aswell but for that awful keeper) which shows the difference between a normal generation and the one that has served Belgium since 2012 with expectation to reach at least SFs of tournaments.
 

FootballHQ

Full Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
10,546
Supports
Aston Villa
England can win at penalty shoot outs aswell now. Got to factor in a couple of those for next three tournaments.

Actually think postponing euros for a year could help England given the injuries to Kane and Rashford that mean neither would've been 100% going into the tournament. Does mean Spain, Germany and Italy all get an extra year themselves to rebuild so think the first two could well be bigger threats than if tournament was held this summer.
 

IRELANDUNITED

Full Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
1,210
A lot of people saying England, just be careful you don't start to sound like Liverpool fans! ;)
 

hmchan

Full Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Hong Kong
I guess what's different is England have dominated at youth level and now those players are gradually filtering through to the first team. They should have a better mentality although you are right in the sense we've had golden generations in the past and it's never amounted to much.
I wouldn't say England have dominated at youth level at all. The U21 were terrible from back to front in the Euro last year and they were knocked out in the group stage. The U20 failed to qualify for the World Cup. Yes the other youth teams may have won a tournament or two previously but I wouldn't call it as a domination. As a matter of fact, many of the youth prospects have failed to meet the expectation as they're filtering through to the first team, for example our 2017 U20 World Cup Golden Ball winner Solanke.
 

Ramos

Full Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
356
I quite liked that 98-2002 Belgian team. Had Marc Wilmots who was an incredibly underrated box to box midfielder on the world stage but always turned up for tournaments and was very good at Schalke. Reminded me of the late Gary Speed. Joos Valgaraen, Eric Deflandre and Leonard were all decent defenders in european football.

Upfront you had nice range of forwards aswell. Emile Mpenza was a really promising forward around 2000 (not the fatter version that later player at Man. City and Plymouth) likewise Wesley Snock and you also had Luc Nilis before his terrible injury and Branko Strupar.

That was a good generation but that was only good enough to reach last 16 of a tournament once (should've made it in 2000 aswell but for that awful keeper) which shows the difference between a normal generation and the one that has served Belgium since 2012 with expectation to reach at least SFs of tournaments.
Yeah, me too. Like you said, expectations were lower. But at least they still made the tournaments (unlike what followed). They were pretty hard to break down. Kept the Czechs out of the WC. Even held their own against that formidable Brazil 2002 team.

Completely different style of football though compared to the current gen.

And yeah Nilis, loved that guy. Could have had such a nice story at Villa. Rewatched that one goal against Chelsea so many times.
 

Andycoleno9

Full Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
10,317
Location
Croatia
Ten years is too much to use. But in next world Euro and WC France is no1 team for me. Strong in every area, world class players all around.

From the rest i think England and Holland are strongest. Holland has amazing defence and look great as a team. England because of amazing attack and pretty good defence. But midfield and gk are weak(ish). Nevertheless with little bit of luck England and Holland can do big things on next two competitions.
 

paraguayo

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
621
Supports
neutral
I quite liked that 98-2002 Belgian team. Had Marc Wilmots who was an incredibly underrated box to box midfielder on the world stage but always turned up for tournaments and was very good at Schalke. Reminded me of the late Gary Speed. Joos Valgaraen, Eric Deflandre and Leonard were all decent defenders in european football.
Yes it was a solid team. We robbed the crap out of them in 2002. I guess 2018 was karma for that

Ukraine won the U20 World Cup last year.

Brazil won the U17 World Cup last year
Also in the U17 in 2017, brazil lost to england in the semis but did not take Vinicius who was 60% of the team
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
Just remembered that Rafael Leão exists, he has potential to be a decent striker for us actually as he is doing ok at Milan. Pretty much guaranteed he'll be the best one since Pauleta. Here's a under 25 team:

Nelson Semedo---Ruben Dias----Ferro?????----Rapha Guerreiro

Renato Sanches------Ruben Neves----Bruno Fernandes

Bernardo Silva-----------Rafael Leão---------João Félix

Looks pretty good, definitely has a lot less weaknesses than we've had in the past decade.
I haven't seen Leao much, but he doesn't have a very good goalscoring record. Very young obviously.

But maybe you can get away from crossing and dominate possession and play more like the Spanish is my general point, and a player like Jota who can score goals from out wide and link up and dribble and is unselfish is the sort of Pedro type player who did well for Spain.

Could also play 4-2-2-2 like the French did in the 80s or Pellegrini liked at City or Villareal. Neves gets a partner to make up for his athleticism issues, presumably Sanches or Gedson (there's another highly rated deep midfielder, right? Luis?) then Bruno and Bernardo Silva are in front of them creating and Joao Felix is partnered with whoever fits best with him, whether that's a target man, winger or someone, it's too early to say, though presumably Bernardo Silva drifting right and Bruno more central means you want someone who can really impact the game from the left, whether that's Felix cutting in or a traditional winger it's again too early to say.
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
After the Euro's the days of being contenders are probably over. I don't think we'll fall back to the truly dark days we had after the 2002 WC (which almost lasted ten years) though. There's more young talent now than there was then.
I thought you were exaggerating but is Tielemans the only under 25 player already definitely good enough to start in a world cup Semi-final? I figured it would have been 3 or 4 names.
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
I wouldn't say England have dominated at youth level at all. The U21 were terrible from back to front in the Euro last year and they were knocked out in the group stage. The U20 failed to qualify for the World Cup. Yes the other youth teams may have won a tournament or two previously but I wouldn't call it as a domination. As a matter of fact, many of the youth prospects have failed to meet the expectation as they're filtering through to the first team, for example our 2017 U20 World Cup Golden Ball winner Solanke.
I think the case for England is that they are much stronger out wide (Sancho, Sterling, Rashford and Hudson-Odoi up front and Chillwell, TAA, Wan-Bissaka and James in defence) than normal and English 9s and CBs generally end up being good or even great.

The big question is deep in midfield. Is there a Carrick level midfielder? Can someone become a boring but effective Dunga or Deschamps for them? Rice or Skipp? Phillips? Ideally James would become a #6 since TAA and Wan-Bissaka are already at RB, but that seems unlikely since he's at Chelsea and not a smaller club that would play him in midfield because they need him at the center of things.
 

Ramos

Full Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
356
I thought you were exaggerating but is Tielemans the only under 25 player already definitely good enough to start in a world cup Semi-final? I figured it would have been 3 or 4 names.
Oh without a doubt. Just him at that level. There's only two players born 1996 or later besides him that even have caps for Belgium and both still play over here.

The generation born in the late nineties is a bit underwhelming, sadly. The U21 still managed to make the Euro's last year, but they lost all their group games. There's a couple of talented kids from the early 00's though. One of them, Doku, seems to be a real prospect. Could make it into Martinez his final squad next year.
 

hmchan

Full Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Hong Kong
I think the case for England is that they are much stronger out wide (Sancho, Sterling, Rashford and Hudson-Odoi up front and Chillwell, TAA, Wan-Bissaka and James in defence) than normal and English 9s and CBs generally end up being good or even great.

The big question is deep in midfield. Is there a Carrick level midfielder? Can someone become a boring but effective Dunga or Deschamps for them? Rice or Skipp? Phillips? Ideally James would become a #6 since TAA and Wan-Bissaka are already at RB, but that seems unlikely since he's at Chelsea and not a smaller club that would play him in midfield because they need him at the center of things.
Despite my pessimism on young players, I personally have high hopes in Rice though. He reads the game and sniffs out danger so well, and he stops plenty of counter attacks from the opposition. Only things he has to improve are consistency and use of the ball to make himself more useful when the team is in possession.

I don't rate the other candidates, however. For me, Skipp and Dowell are nothing more than an ordinary hardworking midfielder, and I don't see potential in them.
 

FootballHQ

Full Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
10,546
Supports
Aston Villa
Foden will be the one surely if he can actually play week in week out sometime soon. More Box to box than a pure DM of course but hopefully he could develop into a deep tempo player which pretty much every nation that has reached a major final in last few tournaments has and something that England always lack.
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
Despite my pessimism on young players, I personally have high hopes in Rice though. He reads the game and sniffs out danger so well, and he stops plenty of counter attacks from the opposition. Only things he has to improve are consistency and use of the ball to make himself more useful when the team is in possession.

I don't rate the other candidates, however. For me, Skipp and Dowell are nothing more than an ordinary hardworking midfielder, and I don't see potential in them.
I like Rice more than most here but I think he's a center back. Doesn't have a natural midfielder's desire to get open and get on the ball. Though I guess he could develop into a Fabinho type with good size and mobility as a 6, though 2021 and 2022 might be to soon. But for 2024 and 2026. Or as I've said, he could be part of a 3 man backline to let Chilwell and especially Alexander-Arnold get forward where they are good as opposed to having to do a lot of defending where not so much.

I thought Dowell was more of an offensive midfielder? Skipp I've seen little of but if he gets time for Spurs...
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
Foden will be the one surely if he can actually play week in week out sometime soon. More Box to box than a pure DM of course but hopefully he could develop into a deep tempo player which pretty much every nation that has reached a major final in last few tournaments has and something that England always lack.
Yeah, England fans have to be desperate for signs that Pep is going to keep Bernardo at RW and get Foden more minutes as one of the 3 CMs (basically David Silva's replacement) rather than the other way around.
 

Rasendori

Full Member
Joined
May 30, 2016
Messages
1,033
-----------Osimhen---------------
Onyekuru---------Chukweze
---------Iwobi----CM-------------
--------------Ndidi-----------------

looks great if they can find a decent passer to play there, or just use Iwobi deeper and throw Dennis or another promising attacker in, but the defense still looks real weak, no? Aina at RB promising, but then it's lot of 12-15th placed center backs like Troost-Ekong and Omeruo and keeper is even worse.
Looks like they finally have a decent coach in Rohr after scrambling from one manager to another between 2014 and 2016, and going from reigning AFCON Champions to consecutively failing to qualify for AFCON was quite the falling grace. Etebo had a good tournament at AFCON 2019, playing alongside Ndidi. Now the question is, do Nigeria look to destabilise that.

Interesting take on your assessment of Nigeria's CB's. I think they should give another chance to Ajayi. I'm not sure if he'll make an entrance to the EPL with the covid situation, but he was on course to be promoted with West Brom. Failing that, I'd look to pair Ndidi with Phillip Billing as the latter is insurmountable in the air. This might seem overly defensive, but potentially a robust foil for Aribo.


They also have the option of playing Ejaria alongside Ndidi which would be a more adventurous set up.
 

SportingCP96

Full Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
6,031
Supports
Sporting Clube de Portugal
I think it will be England vs France at the very top end for the next decade.

Beneath them, I think Nigeria are building another top generation, and South Korea/Japan I think have been doing well at youth level.

Norway are potentially one or two more players away from really doing something too.
Not a chance in hell for Norway.

I think it would be a huge and feasible achievement for them to qualify for a major tournament.

Belgium for example had/has there best generation ever and have not won anything with it. They have done decent but were never a threat in any competition.
 

Rasendori

Full Member
Joined
May 30, 2016
Messages
1,033
And what lesser known nation do we predict to really develop in the next few years and deliver a South Korea, Senegal, Iceland moment in the near future?
Estonia
In 2017, Man United had a 13 y/o striker on trial from Estonia.


He managed 35 goals in 25 appearances at senior level in the 3rd division of the Estonian league. Representing Hellas, at the U17 Championships he scored a hat trick against Inter, who are no mugs themselves being the reigning Italian U17 age group champion. He's now a Roma player. It's not often someone from Estonia is able to player for a team of this calibre, I can only think of Liverpool's Klavan, and the goalkeeper Mart Poom who famously scored a header for Sunderland, and not so famously saved a penalty from Man Utd's Sheringham after making a comical mistake in the first place.

If he becomes a good player, perhaps he could make Estonia a one man team in the best possible respect. He's a striker, so if going forward Estonia can cede the majority of possession in a resolute defensive performance, bolstered by the raucous atmosphere from their passionate fans that would welcome them as heroes if they were to even make it to the knock
out stages. In this way, I can see them having a role similar to that of Iceland in the foreseeable future albeit it is exceedingly unlikely they will qualify for a major tournament.

Turkey

Some national sides seem to have an outpouring of talent in a particular position, in the case of Turkey, that can be saidof the centre halves at their disposal. Söyüncü was a name being thrown about as a contender for making the EPL Team of the Season, as Leicester are third in the league for least goals conceded. Similarly, on the international stage, it was Turkey that had a commendable defensive record with no team conceding fewer goals during the qualifying games. Apart from Söyüncü, Turkey have Demiral who arrived to Juventus in somewhat similar circumstances to De Light. Of course, he didn't come with the huge reputation, however, both 21 years of age to my knowledge, and 19/20 would be their first season at Juve.
Demiral made a better account of himself in the Juve colours thus far, and that's testament to his ability. A pity about his injury, but perhaps the break would have done him some good for his recovery, as he would have missed the Euros. Ozan Kabak is arguably as good of talent, if not greater and it won't be long before he makes a lucurative move. Turkey seem to have
high hopes for Cengiz Ünder, but I'm not familiar with him myself.

Algeria

Belmadi has had a galvanising influence on Algeria. In 2016 alone, ALgeria had four different managers, a real tumulturous period, and almost a 30 year time span since Algeria won the most prestigious international trophy for Africans. Now, Belmadi since taking over from 2018 had transformed the fortunes of the club, its nearly 2 years since they lost a game. He had the balls to drop the likes of Brahimi for an alternative in Belaïli who has limited exposure on the European stage. They recently beat Columbia albeit a friendly with relative ease.

Mahrez have some talented players ... Atal is a mauruding full back with excellent dribbling ability which aids him tremendously in his offensive endeavours. They also have Bensabaini on the opposite side, his highlight of the season at club level being his 2 goals in the win against Bayern Munich. Bennacer had a fantastic tournament, and his performances at club level are
making him linked to other elite clubs than the sleeping giants of Milan. There's something aesthetic about the way he dismantles the shape of opposition with his exuberance. Furthermore, they have Hicham Boudaoui who recently won the award for Young Player of the Year award for Nice respectively. Speaking of ...

Paradou academy is bearing fruit, and paramount in the process of players making the transition to European shores, Atal, Boudaoui, and Bensabini played for them as well as El Melali, Loucif who both play for Angers. Perhaps Naidji will be the next. The impressive thing is that the academy was only established in 2008, and the senior side is almost like an Algerian
version of A.Bilbao as the senior team is predominantly those from the academy. I say almost loosely here, as it isn't a rule so to speak.

Mali


I reckon Mali may surprise people, they having an interesting midfield to boot.

They were runners up in 2015 during the U17 World Cup losing to Nigeria. 2 years later, they had a goal wrongly disallowed against Spain in the semi-final. In the U20 World Cup, they played no friendlies leading up to the tournament which led to them having a sluggish start, despite that, they were entertaining to watch.Mali won AFCON at U19 just last year, featuring pretty much the same players that won AFCON U17 twice in a row in years 2015 and 2017. In the senior 2019 AFCON, they were for me the most impressive side to watch from an aesthetic standpoint.

Players to look out for in 2021 AFCON:
Diadie Samassékou, Sékou Koïta and Cheick Doucouré.

*Diadie Samassékou:
Very strong showing in the Europa League last season. And was also impressive
in the past AFCON tournament. Made a seamless transition from box to box midfielder to the deepest defensive linchpin. His spacial awareness to disrupt the rhythm of the opposition is perhaps his greatest quality.


*Cheick Doucoure:
A defensive midfielder both diminutive in stature, and an elusive dribbler. Progressive in his ball distribution and exuberant in movement. I would like to see Magassouba give him a start in an admittedly stacked Mali midfield. At club level, I think a manager similar to Arsene Wenger could really have a galvanising influence on him. A manager with an affinity to technical players who're somewhat obscure. Could potentially reach the heights Alex Song achieved under Wenger, and for a greater longevity.


*Sékou Koïta:
Dynamic, extremely direct goalscorer. Needs to work on his decision making, but has the versatility to cause problems when running the channels.
Look at the locomotion here :


Other players that may have an impact, albeit considerably less, I suspect, than the aforementioned three.
Moussa Djenepo
Yves Bissouma
Haidara
Youba Diarra


Adama Traore from Wolves has committed to Mali, and he'll cause problems

In contrast, the Doucoure from Watford is still eligible to represent Mali. He's rejected them in the past, and has publically declared his preference to play for France.
He's played for France at youth level, and given he's yet to play a game at senior level, he may be willing to change his mind. I don't think he will, in all honesty. In any case, midfield is Mali's strong point.
 

E-mal

Full Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
677
I think they will even be okay in the 3 and 8 positions. Saka looks a monstrous LB talent, and I’d expect him to move past everyone else and cement that role. Regarding the 8 role, I think Foden will play there for the national team, and then there is Bellingham coming through as a more traditional version.
I read somewhere that Saka was contemplating representing Nigeria, will be quite happy if he did but won't begrudge him if he goes with England.
Nigeria has a good group of players coming through, hopefully they continue to make progress.
 

Mickson

Full Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
1,310
Location
Vidal's knee
:lol::lol::lol:

England might be up there, but I think they lack a few things and one of these things is a really great CM who can dictate the play. They wouldn't be hurt with a great GK and a CB as well. IF so? Yeah, they might win something. I don't see the great player at Holland just yet, but they will certainly be better than the last couple of years. France will surely be up there. I don't have a great feeling about Spain, Germany or Italy. Brazil, Argentina, well always hard to tell.
 

Rozay

Master of Hindsight
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
17,388
Location
#SmallingPlusOne
I read somewhere that Saka was contemplating representing Nigeria, will be quite happy if he did but won't begrudge him if he goes with England.
Nigeria has a good group of players coming through, hopefully they continue to make progress.
I’d be ecstatic if he opted for Nigeria too, although I doubt he will. He’s a special talent, and I think he’ll be comfortably better than the likes of Chilwell and Williams. Good enough to get the England spot, and those players typically choose England.

Dele Alli is someone who has a decent connection to Nigeria, beyond just blood, but he was always going to choose England given how good he was. The likes of Iwobi, Aina and Moses were not same bracket, and have made the right choice. Jordan Ibe should have done the same when he had the chance. I suspect Fikayo Timori will end up thinking the same.
 

Pablo76

Full Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
3,435
Avoiding the really obvious ones:

Uruguay
Canada
Mali
India
South Korea
Australia
 

FootballHQ

Full Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
10,546
Supports
Aston Villa
Avoiding the really obvious ones:

Uruguay
Canada
Mali
India
South Korea
Australia
For India to even reach a world cup they're going to have to finish ahead of some out of Japan/Australia/Korea/Iran/Saudi/ etc. Really can't see it. Looking at Asia cup they beat Thailand comfortably enough but then lose v Bahrain and UAE, two teams who are usually in contention but never quite make world cups.

Australia selection is really poor compared to 90s and 00s so interested if they've got decent youth bubbling that could make impact at major european clubs again.

Uruguay got some excellent midfielders but think they'll struggle to replace Cavani-Surarez in next few years.
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
Looks like they finally have a decent coach in Rohr after scrambling from one manager to another between 2014 and 2016, and going from reigning AFCON Champions to consecutively failing to qualify for AFCON was quite the falling grace. Etebo had a good tournament at AFCON 2019, playing alongside Ndidi. Now the question is, do Nigeria look to destabilise that.

Interesting take on your assessment of Nigeria's CB's. I think they should give another chance to Ajayi. I'm not sure if he'll make an entrance to the EPL with the covid situation, but he was on course to be promoted with West Brom. Failing that, I'd look to pair Ndidi with Phillip Billing as the latter is insurmountable in the air. This might seem overly defensive, but potentially a robust foil for Aribo.

They also have the option of playing Ejaria alongside Ndidi which would be a more adventurous set up.
Looking it up, seems like West Brom fans really rate Ajayi and his pace, but Rangers fans are not convinced yet by Aribo. Etebo looked decent in the World Cup and he can pass a bit, which you want next to N'Didi.

Billing is going to play for Denmark.

But yeah, looks like a very strong front group of guys 21-24 and then defence not so much.

I've said here I think N'Didi isn't a good enough passer for me to want United to spend 60M on him or whatever, but if you're talking about international football and a guy who can just defend #10s and make his team hard to beat until they get a counter or set-piece in a knockout game, N'Didi could be a guy like Deschamps or Dunga who have even better international than club careers.
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
I’d be ecstatic if he opted for Nigeria too, although I doubt he will. He’s a special talent, and I think he’ll be comfortably better than the likes of Chilwell and Williams. Good enough to get the England spot, and those players typically choose England.

Dele Alli is someone who has a decent connection to Nigeria, beyond just blood, but he was always going to choose England given how good he was. The likes of Iwobi, Aina and Moses were not same bracket, and have made the right choice. Jordan Ibe should have done the same when he had the chance. I suspect Fikayo Timori will end up thinking the same.
Canada lost out on him too. We're definitely worse than Nigeria but we have Davies and David looking like stars and we're generally able to produce a keeper and decent #9s and a #8 (Hutchison was a very solid player and Kaye is developing well as a replacement), but the other 6 spots are basically a perpetual struggle and Tomori would have been huge for us running the backline for 10+ years.
 

Rozay

Master of Hindsight
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
17,388
Location
#SmallingPlusOne
Looking it up, seems like West Brom fans really rate Ajayi and his pace, but Rangers fans are not convinced yet by Aribo. Etebo looked decent in the World Cup and he can pass a bit, which you want next to N'Didi.

Billing is going to play for Denmark.

But yeah, looks like a very strong front group of guys 21-24 and then defence not so much.

I've said here I think N'Didi isn't a good enough passer for me to want United to spend 60M on him or whatever, but if you're talking about international football and a guy who can just defend #10s and make his team hard to beat until they get a counter or set-piece in a knockout game, N'Didi could be a guy like Deschamps or Dunga who have even better international than club careers.
I think we’re stumbling across something of a new Golden Generation personally.

I think Ndidi, Aribo and Iwobi is a good midfield (I am not a fan of Etebo at all, he doesn’t release the ball). In attack there is a wealth of options with a front three Onyekuru, Chuckweze and Oshimen potentially one of the best around if they develop well.

In defence I’m a big fan of Ola Aina. Leon Balogun is okay, and common sense tells me that Tosin Adarabioyo will be a Nigeria player instead of an England one. There are others like Eberechi Eze who may opt for Nigeria due to lack of England chances too, and others in British academies coming through who will face similar choices - like our own Deji Sotona, Shola Shoretire if they turn out to be decent.

Taiwo Awoniyi has joined Mainz on loan and has done well the last couple of games.
 

NoPace

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
5,817
Morocco?

Boufal26-----El Neysri22-------Ziyech27
----------Harit22-----------Hakimi21----
---------------Bennasser23-----------------
Mendyl22-Saiss30-Feddal31-Mazroui22

The Center backs will need replacing in a few years but the rest of it looks promising.
 

paraguayo

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
621
Supports
neutral
Ecuador seem to be doing great in youth level with their farming club Del Valle as spearhead of the project, they have good athleticism too. I wonder if they can finally put it all together, appointing Cruyff as coach seems weird though
 

Spiersey

Full Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
6,780
Location
United Kingdom.
Supports
Chelsea
Ecuador seem to be doing great in youth level with their farming club Del Valle as spearhead of the project, they have good athleticism too. I wonder if they can finally put it all together, appointing Cruyff as coach seems weird though
They were pretty impressive in the u20 Copa. Watched all the games in that. Ecuador youth sides benefit massively from being physically bigger than probably all the other South American sides. Would say only African teams match them.
 

Rasendori

Full Member
Joined
May 30, 2016
Messages
1,033
Looking it up, seems like West Brom fans really rate Ajayi and his pace, but Rangers fans are not convinced yet by Aribo. Etebo looked decent in the World Cup and he can pass a bit, which you want next to N'Didi.

Billing is going to play for Denmark.

But yeah, looks like a very strong front group of guys 21-24 and then defence not so much.

I've said here I think N'Didi isn't a good enough passer for me to want United to spend 60M on him or whatever, but if you're talking about international football and a guy who can just defend #10s and make his team hard to beat until they get a counter or set-piece in a knockout game, N'Didi could be a guy like Deschamps or Dunga who have even better international than club careers.
Aribo's technical ability against Brazil was impressive. At the end of the game, Thiago Silva tried to get tight to him, so Brazil could make one last attack, but clearly underestimated Aribo's technical ability as he was well beaten by an excellent piece of control, and it would've probably led to him scoring the winner too, but alas Silva had no choice but to made a reckless, last ditch challenge that was never going to get the ball. I was looking forward to the spectacle between Bayer Leverkusen and Rangers. Unfortunately, Aribo was marginalised to the touchline, as opposed to operating from a central position. Its very early days, but his goal return for Nigeria is respectable thus far. He didn't shriek from his defensive responsibilities against Brazil either. Yeah, there seemed to be contrasting information coming up, but Billing has put it to bed in which case they should definitely start Ajayi.
 

FootballHQ

Full Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
10,546
Supports
Aston Villa
They were pretty impressive in the u20 Copa. Watched all the games in that. Ecuador youth sides benefit massively from being physically bigger than probably all the other South American sides. Would say only African teams match them.
Ecuador always has the altitude aswell which helps them pick up decent number of home points. It was mad how they completely collapsed in Commebol qualifying last time out. Started off with 4 wins and were top yet barely won after that, finished 6 points off 5th place in the end.

My prediction will be Venezuela will finally make a world cup in next 10 years. They have a decent amount of players in europe now although a few of them haven't really progressed in last two years like Penaranda who dosen't seem able to break through at Watford.

Still though they finally have a good keeper and defensively they did well in last year's copa america, kept clean sheets v Brazil and Peru. Got some interesting strikers coming through, Jan Hurtado who Boca Juniors pick up last season and Cadiz who signed for Benfica and has scored a few goals for Dijon this season. One problem might be their best players like Tomas Rincon and Rondon are in their 30s now and they need all the experience they can get.
 

Spiersey

Full Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
6,780
Location
United Kingdom.
Supports
Chelsea
Ecuador always has the altitude aswell which helps them pick up decent number of home points. It was mad how they completely collapsed in Commebol qualifying last time out. Started off with 4 wins and were top yet barely won after that, finished 6 points off 5th place in the end.

My prediction will be Venezuela will finally make a world cup in next 10 years. They have a decent amount of players in europe now although a few of them haven't really progressed in last two years like Penaranda who dosen't seem able to break through at Watford.

Still though they finally have a good keeper and defensively they did well in last year's copa america, kept clean sheets v Brazil and Peru. Got some interesting strikers coming through, Jan Hurtado who Boca Juniors pick up last season and Cadiz who signed for Benfica and has scored a few goals for Dijon this season. One problem might be their best players like Tomas Rincon and Rondon are in their 30s now and they need all the experience they can get.
Yeah Quito a decent advantage but not as big as it used to be. Most of their players play abroad now so they’re just as poor as the away side at altitude these days. Compared to Bolivia who just play 11 local players in the home games and then the couple of foreign based players will play the away games.

Im a massive fan of Farinez for Venezuaela. Mentioned him on here a few times but genuinely believe he’s in the top 3 shot stoppers in the world. Played at altitude for Millionairos regularly so his reactions and shot stopping is really good. Amazed he hasn’t been picked up by a European side yet, can only be due to his height.
Venez youth sides are improving too but think their biggest issue now will be how hard it is to qualify. All the other smaller SA nations are improving as well, it’ll be seriously tough competition to qualify.

On a side note, the u20 World Cup final gen should be coming good over the next couple of years. A couple of them should become regs.
 

FootballHQ

Full Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
10,546
Supports
Aston Villa
Yeah Quito a decent advantage but not as big as it used to be. Most of their players play abroad now so they’re just as poor as the away side at altitude these days. Compared to Bolivia who just play 11 local players in the home games and then the couple of foreign based players will play the away games.

Im a massive fan of Farinez for Venezuaela. Mentioned him on here a few times but genuinely believe he’s in the top 3 shot stoppers in the world. Played at altitude for Millionairos regularly so his reactions and shot stopping is really good. Amazed he hasn’t been picked up by a European side yet, can only be due to his height.
Venez youth sides are improving too but think their biggest issue now will be how hard it is to qualify. All the other smaller SA nations are improving as well, it’ll be seriously tough competition to qualify.

On a side note, the u20 World Cup final gen should be coming good over the next couple of years. A couple of them should become regs.
Yeah South American is very tough for the sheer quality although I assume with 48 team world cup means they'll get another automatic spot and 6th will go in play off with Oceania which is always winnable.

Chile will drop off as they don't seem to have much to replace likes of Alexis, Medel and Vidal who are all creeping up to mid 30s, Uruguay could struggle to score if Suarez and Cavani decline a bit more/get more injuries although they're still very tough to beat and Paraguay have also struggled for decent strikers for a few years. Think Venezuela could certainly get 5th whenever the qualifiers start. Will actually be interesting if internationals don't get played this year whether they'll switch to just having two groups of five as 18 matches is a lot to pack in if the world cup is stil starting in November 2022.