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UEFA Nations League - Resounding Success or Glorified Friendlies?


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3 hours ago, Smiley Culture said:

Opinions please Ladies, Gents and Brian. 

With the first campaign coming to a close, what are people’s opinions on this?

Never had a problem with the competition as it is until now. My main problem with it will be when it comes to deciding qualification for Euro 2020.

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1 hour ago, ScoRoss said:

Never had a problem with the competition as it is until now. My main problem with it will be when it comes to deciding qualification for Euro 2020.

Probably in the minority but I welcome it. It gives “lesser” nations an opportunity at achieving a dream  of reaching a major tournament. Personally, I quite enjoy seeing “new” nations or nations that don’t often take  part in tournaments make it to a tournament, I suppose it’s the “romance of Football” if you want to coin a clichè. 

As for the Nations League, I went to watch England v Spain based on the premise that this wasn’t a friendly and that both would take it seriously and thankfully for me, both did. I also went because it was a competitive game for England against nations of a similar or slightly better standing than ourself. Qualifiers are hard to get motivated for as an English person as we’re more often than not top seeds and thus, treated to games against the likes of San Marino, Lithuania, Slovenia and the like. I’m going again on Sunday for the Croatia game because it’s a chance to watch the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and the like in a competitive game at Wembley, which is basically on my doorstep, in comparison to the rest of the country. 

As I said, I went to the Spain game. I then a few days later put the Switzerland friendly at Leicester on the box. The difference between the two was staggering. You could quite easily see the difference in terms of tempo and competitiveness between the two games.

What I noted from the Spain game compared the previous England games I’ve watched (Italy in Feb/March and Portugal pre-Euro 2016) was the flow of the game wasn’t interrupted by countless subs that you lose track of and that England at 2-1 down were searching for an equaliser (and got one that was wrongfully dismissed). 

It does seem though that unless you have an interest in England, most probably don’t still quite “get” the Nations League and realise it’s a serious game on Sunday. I’ve been asked a few times this week when telling people what I was doing this weekend if this was a friendly or not. I still don’t think it’s caught the imagination of the public or been taken in yet. That will probably come with time as this is the inaugural tournament. 

I think on the whole this has been a success. The aspect of promotion and relegation is interesting, countries are pitted against similar standing nations and there’s a reward for everyone at different levels, if they’re successful, which makes it quite inclusive. 

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Just now, ScoRoss said:

To me, there is not jeopardy to make these games actually competitive. If Croatia are 'relegated', will it actually do much damage to them?

Potentially, yes. The worst two of the top seeds (the Group A) lot are then second seeds for the Euro 2020 Qualification Draw which could then see them drawn against a France, Spain etc in that.

However, since moving up to 24 teams, you’ve got to be pretty bad to not qualify. Under the old set-up of 16 teams, this would have had a bigger effect IMO. 

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I'm a fan of it so far. People don't like it but would they rather see more pointless 'marquee' friendlies with endless substitutions etc? Obviously the ideal is less international breaks for most people but that's not going to happen.

Let's see how it all shakes out after a full cycle. Hard to make a real judgement until then.

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7 minutes ago, Harvsky said:

It's started well.

Problem could come next time as Ukraine, Russia and Bosnia & Herzegovina are getting promoted. Germany and Croatia are getting relegated.

Denmark should be a good addition though. 

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1 minute ago, ScoRoss said:

It hasn't ended friendlies though. Teams in groups with only three team are forced to arrange friendly matches to fill in the other 'missing' matchday.

It at least provides some entertainment for international breaks though. I was getting bored watching friendlies or qualifiers against minnows or just pointless friendlies with nothing at stake. 

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It was never designed to do away with Friendlies and Nations’ Football Associations will not pass up the opportunity to play a friendly, especially a Home one, to make a bit more money. 

I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m a bit sad that is every couple of years and not annually, but I say that as a fan. 

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7 hours ago, Stan said:

Problem could come next time as Ukraine, Russia and Bosnia & Herzegovina are getting promoted.

Didn't think of that. It does pose an interesting question. 

As others posted, will take a few seasons for the tournament to gain steam and better understanding as it affects qualifying for euro.  Does it also affect World Cup qualifying other than ranking?

Still not clear how qualifying for euro works. If someone could help me out, that'd be great:

Regular qualifying begins next year with 10 Groups. Based on seeding of Nations league. 

 Only group winners and second  placed teams qualify.  20 of the 24 tournament is decided as a result  

(So even though Croatia and Germany got relegated they should still finish in at least 2nd in a qualifying group...so no big ramifications)

the final 4 spots will be determined by Nations league.  

Now Here is where I'm not clear:

1 spot for each league. 

So in league A it should happen that all 12 teams are successful via normal qualifying path. So then does that spot then move down to league B?

does Croatia and Germany still "belong" to league A at that point ?

suppose that Germany still belongs to league A and all the other teams in that league qualified normally and  Germany continued its poor play and doesn't qualify normally. Since the other teams did would they automatically qualify via the Nations league?

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I think it's been extremely good. Given every team a reason to think they can be competitive in matches as they're playing teams on a similar level. Definitely think people will miss international breaks involving the Nations League when we have international breaks involving Euro qualifying as most of the games will fail to be interesting.

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