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Euro 2012 predictions thread

by DoDo Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 05:08:45 AM EST

Upon popular request, here is a predictions thread for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Poland and the Ukraine.

Make your bets on who advances from the groups, you can also bet on the knockout stage. For reference, the groups and the knockout round order of pairing is below the fold.


Group A:

  • Poland
  • Greece
  • Russia
  • Czech Republic

Group B:
  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Portugal

Group C:
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Croatia

Group D:
  • Ukraine
  • Sweden
  • France
  • England
Quarterfinals pairings:
  • A1 - B2
  • B1 - A2
  • C1 - D2
  • D1 - C2
Semifinals pairings:
  • Q1 - Q3
  • Q2 - Q4

Display:
Prediction feels more difficult than ever... and my success rate in predictions isn't that good anyway, but I'll try again:

A1: Russia
A2: Poland

(Poland because of the home advantage and enthusiasm, Russia not because of anything impressive recently but players being less tired)

B1: Germany
B2: Netherlands

(I estimate this to be the Group of Death. Prediction assumes that Germany's captain focuses on Özil & Müller instead of Klose & Gomez, and that Ronaldo is tired after the club season and not on best terms with teammates)

C1: Spain
C2: Italy

(Olić is injured so I expect Croatia to be even weaker, even a sub-par Italy should pull through)

D1: England
D2: France

(If England & France underperform as I expect them to, this group should be even more levelled out than Group B, but I still see the former as favourites.)

Q1: Russia
Q2: Germany
Q3: Spain
Q4: Italy

(Dammit, I think Italy is sub-par, but can win against England...)

S1: Spain
S2: Germany

F: Spain

Heh, I ended up predicting a re-run of the final and one of the semifinals from 2008...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 05:28:27 AM EST
As for the biggest unknown, for me that's Denmark. Their recent wins of significance were at home, and I don't recognise any of the players except for Rommedahl. Low expectations could help them to shock Europe another time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 05:38:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
English tabloids will predict victory, and once England collapses the tabloids will blame it on having a team of spoiled professional players.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 06:21:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, wrong, wrong, wrong.

We've been resigned to ignominious early departure for months. rubbish team, can't defend, can't create, can't score goals. Half our best players are injured and the new manager is playing a rigid, outdated 4-4-2 system which even a county league team would skip through.

The nearest thing to hope we've got is that we won't be taken seriously and can surprise people. The last time England surprised anyone at football we lost 1-0 to the USA in 1950.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 08:23:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does "we" include English tabloids?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 08:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I genuinely don't know, I don't see em, don't read 'em.

However, the telly, which responds to tabloid narratives, is distinctly downbeat, even if disturbingly england-centric.

The "big", ie not big at all, story now is about Rio Ferdinand whining about not being picked. The tabloids are trying to make it into an issue, but I get no sense anyone really cares. I think the story is that there's no story about england at all so the tabloids are having to run with a non-story.

But there's no sense in pubs or anywhere that England are gonna make a challenge. We'll all get behind 'em and I'm sure the streets will be pretty quiet during games, but there's no hum of expectation. Just interest in watching some good games (and a lot of bad ones)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 09:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah Ferdinand... the narrative about how he's allegedly not picked because he's allegedly black?

The England team has always been a rich source of black humour, and there's good pickings this year. One hopes they get through to the knock-out stages, for the slapstick opportunities.

How about Looney Rooney, the boy wonder who never grew up? I remember his first big tournament, he wasn't old enough to tie his bootlaces, and knocked himself out in the opening minutes by falling over his feet. This time he's supended for the first two matches, having committed a nasty foul against a Montenegro player. Sorry, did I say Negro? A Monteafroyugoslav player.

Stand-up comedy is what the English do best.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 10:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you really mean to say "black" humour?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 10:25:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Close, but cigar.

Ferdinand wasn't picked cos he was crap for most of last season. He has been carrying an injury and looks in desperate need of rest.

That said, his brother. Anton, has been involved in a situation with John Terry where it was alleged (by a fan, not Anton) that Terry called him a "bl@ck c..t". This allegation is currently subject to a police investigation. Rio, a man who could extend his international career by swapping football for idiocy, has weighed in and declared he cannot imagine playing alongside Terry.

Which, given that Terry has had a pretty useful season, would, in other circumstnces, leave any manager with no choice but to leave him out. But the actual circumstances is that Rio has been crap and doesn't deserve to be picked. Especially if he's gonna whine all over the press about it. The one thing you don't need in a dressing room is a big baby.

He certainly wouldn't do that with his club manager, Alex ferguson. If he tried moaning to the press like that about being picked, Fergie would be round his house with a few Govan hardnuts who'd teach him the meaning of respect. Nice racehorse you got Rio, wanna sleep with his head ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 10:35:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]

This, a computer prediction, is tuly delusional nd a classic example of GIGO

Guardian - England will meet Germany in semi-finals, claims stats guru

They might be riven with injuries, friendless with punters and without their best player for the first two matches but, according to the chair of the Royal Statistical Society's sports section, England fans should not be surprised if their team reaches the Euro 2012 semi‑finals - where they could be beaten by Germany. Again.

After running a million computer simulations of the tournament, Dr Ian McHale, a senior lecturer in statistics at Salford University, says the data suggests that England are the third best team at the championship - behind Spain and Germany - and that they will face Ireland in the quarter-finals before losing to Germany. France and Italy, meanwhile, are statistically unlikely to get out of the group stages.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 10:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... and raise you a silly market-based valuation, based on the transfer price of players :

FT Alphaville » This one is for you, sports fans

Based on this analysis and the composition of the groups, the semi-finals will be two classics: Portugal versus Spain and Germany versus England. The final will Spain versus Germany.*



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 10:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They have the crappiest team ever - with the lowest valuation in the finals - and an octogenarian Italian manager who can't speak English. Therefore they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They play honest unskilful football and have great fans.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 05:46:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh. Going out on a limb, top scorer: Arshavin.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While being knocked out in the quarter-finals?

That's a lot of goals in the group phase.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Semis, not quarterfinals (my prediction is for Russia to win the Q1 match against the Netherlands and lose the S1 match to Spain). But to be top scorer, being good in a single match is enough. David Villa was top scorer last time with a meagre 4, of which he scored three in a single match (incidentally, against Russia).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 01:12:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the last World Cup, I entered a pool with predictions that had France meet New Zealand in the final. I was right... but a year early (and with the wrong shape of ball).

In that spirit, here's my wishful thinking :

A1: Poland
A2: Greece

(Home advantage for the first, having something to prove for the second.)

B1: Germany
B2: Portugal

(Ronaldo ronaldo ronaldo.)

C1: Spain
C2: Ireland

(Completely unable to justify this. Just because.)

D1: France
D2: Ukraine

(Elimination in the group stages is not an option for the Ukraine. They may not be subtle, but they will go through. Think : opponents waking up with boils all over their bodies on the day of the match.)

Q1: Portugal
Q2: Germany
Q3: Spain
Q4: France

(Easy.)

S1: Spain
S2: France

(France are always capable of beating Germany, on a good day.)

F: Spain
(Credulity has been strained far enough.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 09:02:04 AM EST
(France are always capable of beating Germany, on a good day.)

I agree, the team most likely to beat Germany other than Spain is France. Both on ability and on Ribéry's familiarity with the Bundesliga players.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A2 : Greece
B2 : Ronaldo ronaldo ronaldo.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 04:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A1: Poland
A2: Czech Republic

I'm going to assume that the fact that pretty much none of the Russian lineup play in a foreign league means they're not up to standard.

B1: Netherlands
B2: Germany

Group B seems rather hard to call, but I drop Portugal.

C1: Spain
C2: Croatia

I'm assuming Croatia scores an upset against Italy. Sorry, Ireland.

D1: France
D2: Ukraine

Ukraine should qualify as a host nation, and France beat England.

For the knockout stages, qualifiers are bolded:

Q1: Poland - Germany
Q2: Netherlands - Czech Republic
Q3: Spain - Ukraine
Q4: France - Croatia

The quarterfinals seem clear-cut, but who knows. There could be an upset. The Germany-Poland game should be fun to read about in the respective nationalistic tabloids.

S1: Germany - Spain
S2: Netherlands - France

The first semifinal is best described by the recent jab from the national team coach to the political class: "winning the Eurocup won't solve Spain's problems". I'm predicting that Germany would have lost to Spain in the last 3 major tournaments (Euro 2008, FIFA 2010 and Euro 2012) which seems interesting in and of itself.

F: Spain - Netherlands

Has anyone won the Eurocup twice in a row? Anyway, Spain should win the Fair play award like last time.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 09:24:43 AM EST
I'm going to assume that the fact that pretty much none of the Russian lineup play in a foreign league means they're not up to standard.

IMHO it has more to do with the Russian league being awash with money, and improving in quality. In the last Champions League season, Russia's association ranking was 6th, right after France. Unlike last season, both teams participating in group stage advanced to the knockout phase, though they lost in its first round (on aggregate, not losing at home).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:28:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though, checking, for ther next Champions League season, Russia slps down one place in the association ranking as Portugal moved up three places.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So it's the worse Russian players that play abroad?

In any case, Spain's league was always awash with money and doing very well in international club competitions but, maybe coincidentally, the recent years of success have coincided with the first time players go abroad to other leagues when they're young and not at the end of their careers to retire.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:41:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that Russia's defence is reasonably solid - the big question is whether Arshavin can overcome his lack of fitness in form for Zenit and display his top form. If not, then they are going to find it hard to score enough to win many games.

Still - and this feels like it applies to a lot of teams in the tournament - in this ultra-defensive age I think that between brave defenders and a good goalkeeper (Akinfeev seems to be back on form) they could well muddle through the group phase.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, no, Russia failed to muddle through. And what happened to the ultra-defensive age? The goal average is 2.7 per match – against 2.15, 2.55, 2.5 resp. 2.4 in the previous 16-team tournaments at this stage; in fact you have to go back to 1984 for a higher goal average at 2½ rounds through the group stage (3.0). What's more there has been no 0-0! This is unprecedented in the 16-team era, and 1988 was the last tournament without a 0-0 in the group stage.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 04:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All true.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 10:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My simple theory is that we are not out of the ultra-defensive age, but that most major national teams have had simultaneous difficulties putting together a good defense (be it due to player or trainer replacement).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 02:36:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A1 * Russia
A2 * Greece

B1 * Germany
B2 * Netherlands

C1 * Spain
C2 * Italy

D1 * France
D2 * England

Quarterfinals

Q1 * Russia
Q2 * Germany
Q3 * Spain
Q4 * France

Semifinals
S1 * Spain
S2 * Germany

Winners : Spain, but it could be Germany

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:53:26 PM EST
As I've noted, my feeling on permutations is that we're in a defensive era of football and a lot of teams could muddle through to the group stage, because there may well be a lot of draws.

Netherlands, Germany, Spain and France look like the strongest teams - I feel like Italy will be under-par given injuries.

My guess is that Ukraine will not gain much from home advantage, but it may propel Poland to the semi-finals.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 01:25:55 PM EST
What makes you think France is one of the strongest four? The team played only draws against a number of opponents over the past season (though they beat Germany in an away match, but I said I believe they are specially disposed for that) and playmaker Ribéry seemed worn-out towards the end of the Champions League.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 02:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I may be over-optimistic on their behalf, but I feel like Gourcuff will finally fulfil some of his potential and do so by sending some passes for Benzema to streak on to. I have a feeling this is where Benzema lives up to expectations too.

I think you're right about Ribery, but he will still draw defensive cover, at least for a while...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 04:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Before I read your reply I just wanted to add a disclaimer with Benzema. Even in his best season he was in Ronaldo's shadow in Real, but this could be his chance to shine brighter.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 04:35:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to mention M'Vila - if he's fit to play, he should make a difference to the French defensive alignment.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 05:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal in the semis. Who wins? All of them.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 01:27:18 PM EST
ha !! I'm not sure Germany share such sentiment

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 01:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We will give the answer on the field. (With our stahlhelms.)
by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  There will be football played.

  2.  Red Cards will appear causing anger and ranting among some fans/viewers.

  3.  Red Cards will not appear causing anger and ranting among some fans/viewers.

  4.  Yellow cards will ... & see Item 2.

  5.  Yellow cards will ... & see Item 3.

  6.  Goals that should not be counted will be.

  7.  Goals that should be counted won't be.

  8.  One Head Coach will demonstrate beyond a doubt he should be fired.

  9.  Silly things will happen.

  10.  An Oscar for "Most Dramatic Non-Contact Penalty" will not be awarded, even tho' it should.

  11.  At least one announcer will say, "That is the greatest goal I've seen since ____ in __."  This person will not be strangled.  Alas.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 02:00:45 PM EST
12.  At least one player, during an interview, will cause people to wonder if his brain was transplanted from a bonobo.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 02:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are England players for whom tat would be an improvement

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 02:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a Portuguese player that once said: "Prognostications only at the end". And people laughed.

I am starting to believe that that was one of the wisest things ever said.

by cagatacos on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 02:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
13. A black belt in kung-fu will not be awarded, even though it should.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 11:24:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Group A:

   1 Poland
   2 Russia

Group B:

  2  Netherlands
  1  Germany

Group C:

   1 Spain
   2 Ireland

Group D:

  2  Ukraine
  1  France  

Having announced non attendance by UK politicians at first stage, It has to be either an embarassing early exit or an embarassing repeated game and that could only happen in the finals, so France and the home team through in this group

Quarterfinals pairings:
Russia - netherlands
Germany - Poland
Spain - France
Ukraine - Ireland

Semifinals pairings:

    Netherlands - Spain
    Germany - Ireland

Final

   Netherlands - Germany

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 08:06:37 PM EST
Germany win

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 08:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first match was some drama, with send-offs on both sides and Poland's substitute goalie holding a penalty, ending in a 1:1 draw. In the first half, Poland played the ethusiastic attacking game I expected, especially on the right wing, with Dortmund striker Lewandowski scoring. But they wasted too many chances. Greece on the other hand surprised me: the famed defense was full of holes, while the strikers created constant danger on the Polish side.

The second match confirmed my expectations for both teams: Russia found its 2004 super-attacking form again, while the Czech Republic is not the nineties Golden Generation anymore. The midfield with Rosicky can do only so much without a good striker, and Cech can't do much without a good defense line – hence the crushing 4:1 win for Russia. The last goal, Pavlyuchenko's, was the most spectacular so far: feint left, feint right, run from the right to center, then shoot left top corner without facing the goal as two more defenders closed the angle... but maybe better defenders would have stopped him after the second feint.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 05:04:48 PM EST
Yea, Russia are off to the races, such an emphatic win will give them a boost. But given that CR were quite lightweight, Russia didn't really create too many chances. I wonder how they will fare against better organised opposition ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, Russia wasted several more chances they created (or specifically Kerzhakov who, according to The Guardian, broke the Euro record with seven missed shots in one match).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 12:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia did strike against ageism. Oldest team and all that. Is probably an advantage to have a team that has cooperated for years already.
by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, what do you make of the two 1-0 matches today?

I'm not sure what's wrong with the Netherlands. They created 28 chances but converted none! Could be some mental block. I noticed that the team wasn't too coherent in the attack, with players failing to pass to a teammate standing free. When the coach did the unthinkable and sent in Huntelaar while keeping van Persie on the pitch, nothing much improved, perhaps because such a double head was never trained... So I see the match result as primarily the result of Oranje failure. Denmark on the other hand didn't impress that much: their defense can thank football fortune for the bad aim of the opposing strikers, while in their attacks, lots of passes failed to find the teammate. But Krohn-Dehli's goal was beautiful (the very first serious attack), and preceded by an equally beautiful precise backwards pass from the left edge.

In the other match, we saw solid defenses at work for the first time, especially on the Portuguese side, resulting in a grinding first half (and an ultimately losing strategy for Portugal). Despite the eventual win, Germany didn't give off the feeling of a tournament favourite. It appeared to me (but I'm not sure, having seen gestures of frustation) that the German team was consciously trying to slow the pace and pull back to loosen the Portuguese defense to have a chance to quickly rush through it, but this didn't suit their style (not to mention their booing fans). This team wasn't too coherent, either, which showed in Müller, Ösil, Khedira flanks not reaching Podolski and Gomez (haven't they trained enough, or have the Bayern losers ruined team morale during training?). All five mentioned were playing sub-par. I still think Gomez is crap despite scoring the single goal: he wasted other chances. As for Portugal, I failed to notice mayor faults, but they suffered through the match with hard work for naught, kind of what I expected. Man of the match for me: Mats Hummels, wo came in for the injured Mertesacker and was the only player from Bundesliga champion Dortmund on the pitch today. He was active both in defense and offense.

With all that said, I wouldn't be surprised if both losers today win in the next round (in Netherlands-Germany and Portugal-Denmark).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 05:27:53 PM EST
I think the Netherlands and Germany had basically the same problem: Both unable to strike a goal and all their domination of the game etc. pretty pointless.
Germany was a bit luckier and so avoided the dutch fate.

And Portugal not being able to strike a goal either is a major fault.

by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 05:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
unable to strike a goal

Duh, but why?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:01:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know what the dutch problem was, but the german offense was to cautious and to slow. Especially Gomez.
by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:06:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This Netherlands team doesn't seem to respond well to being classed as a favourite. So part of it was that psychological trait, I feel.

Another is that there are shots, and shots. The official count is high, but the nature of their system at the moment is that quite a few of those shots were not that dangerous...

This is my theory on the 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-2-1 systems - they are good for winning the league where you can afford some draws, but in cup competitions they are reliant on luck and/or a single ruthless striker hitting top form because they often don't create a lot of good chances. The shot count can be high, but those shots are often from midfielders quite far from goal.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:30:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not a great expert on formations, but IMHO on attack, a 4-2-3-1 can turn into a 2-4-1-3 (see France 2000, 2006), and a 4-3-2-1 can turn into 2-5-3 (see France 1998).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 08:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like the Dutch "thug" midfield of van Bommel and de Jong lacks creativity indeed.
by das monde on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 07:09:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Plenty of drama in the first 2 days of play. Compliments to the Danes and master tacticus Morten Olson, former Ajax coach. The Dutch and Danes know their team quality, however the Orange machine lacked cohesion and brilliance. Robben played poorly as he did in the latter part at Bayern Munich. As a right winger or a left winger he never provides that dangerous cross into the box. Affellay is a better teamplayer. Robin van Persie has not been successful as a striker for the national team, very similar to Messi and Argentina. Two players on the bench (Huntelaar and v.d. Vaart) are frustrated because Bert van Marwijk chose a different starting eleven. Both players got their chance in the match but also failed. Pinch hitting is a quality of its own, mentality is key.

The only goal by the Danes (Krohn-Dehli) was a major fault in the Dutch defense by Heitinga. Krohn-Dehli played in the youth by Ajax and the Dutch defenders should be thoroughly briefed he has only one passing move.

I won't put blame on the referee, however he twice missed a handsbal by the Danes in the penalty box. Especially the second one was very clear. For no reason he blew the whistle when the Dutch attacked the goalkeeper who was outside his box and the Dutch were about to score as the ball was loose. Nevertheless, the Dutch lost the game through their own poor performance in finishing.

Prediction final standing in this poule: 1. Germany (7) 2. Holland (4) 3. Portugal (3) 4. Denmark (3).

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 03:21:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he twice missed a handsbal by the Danes in the penalty box

Do you have a link for an analysis/video? I remember both, but the first one appeared to be completely unintentional, while the second (which was judged a clear handball by my TV commentator) wasn't all that clear to me in the replay I saw.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 08:40:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the one which IMHO is clearly unintentional.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 02:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Fifa Soccer Rules for Handball

A handball should not be awarded if a player is ruled to have handled the ball accidentally. This refers to a player either attempting to protect himself from injury, for example by placing the hands in front of the face and then being hit by the ball, or a player being hit on the arm by the ball without moving towards the ball and without being able to move out of the way. An example might be a snap shot hitting the arm of a defender at point-blank range. However, if a player's arm is in an unnatural position, for example outstretched or above their head, then a foul should be awarded whether accidental or not.

Definitely a penalty. I'll grant the bye on the first handball.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 03:57:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks this was a shot hitting the arm of a defender at point-blank range. The arm is neither unnatural nor outstreched, just moving with the momentum, and no way the defender foresaw that the attacker will shoot the ball backwards.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 05:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Referee Damir Skomina and two three earlier gaffes on a handball in 2012

(Goal) - There was also some criticism levelled at Skomina after the Europa League semi-final second leg between Valencia and Atletico Madrid. The referee awarded a penalty for Valencia in 79th minute for a handball by Tiago, only to quickly reverse his decision.

Replays confirmed the validity of his decision as it turned out that Los Che defender Ricardo Costa committed the offence rather than the Atletico Madrid midfielder. Tiago's relief was short-lived, however, as he was then sent off in the mass confrontation following the spot-kick confusion for slapping Roberto Soldado.

Perhaps Skomina's biggest gaffe to date is his failure to award a clear penalty for a handball in Slovenia's derby between Maribor and Olimpija earlier in 2012. The incident proved to be the only black spot in what has been a good year for the referee, who will be keen to impress at Euro 2012.

Marseille vs Arsenal  0-1

The French side did feel they were denied a penalty when a cross appeared to hit Carl Jenkinson on the arm in the box, but their appeals were waved away by referee Damir Skomina.  

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Mon Jun 11th, 2012 at 08:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Half time in spain v Italy. Italy probably shading it at the moment, Spain look like they need a striker

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:02:28 PM EST
And that is surprising because...?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then Fabregas scores and is substituted.

Torres looks completely out of form, I just feel sorry for him.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:53:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watched a couple of minutes.

Was reminded of the scene in the third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie where the time-traveling samurai are shown a hockey match.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:35:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've not even seen the first, let alone the third, film, I have no idea what that image might be.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:53:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't find a video of it, but basically four samurai are shown a hockey match, while their host is out of the room on a brief errand. When he asks them whether they want to play, they take the sticks, line up in front of each other, bow and begin to beat each other with the sticks.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here you go ...

06 to 1:25

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 02:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Full time 1:1, a fair result. It really could have gone either way; if Spain can just lose a bit of their tiki-taki obsession which is losing them possession needlessly, they'd be much better

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 01:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This was the first match in which both teams appeared to show both proper tactical play and commitment. Italy, and in particular the older players, showed more fire than I expected. Of the younger ones, Balotelli was a no-show (especially when he had a big chance due to a Ramos error with only Casillas in front of him, but went for the goal so slowly Ramos caught up), and one I didn't know before, Marchisio, seemed promising. In Spain's game, Inzagi did a lot but no goal. In Fabregas's goal, what impressed me most was David Silva1s pass – and I didn't get why del Bosque had to replace him right after... As for Torres, IMHO he was less out of form than selfish (he created the chance of the match but then failed to pass to Navas, tried a nice lift but it went above).

Given how good Italy played, it was the more maddening that the ugly side of Italy's style again showed. It1s not just the faults (Spanish players 'excelled' in those towards the end, too). One top contender for an Oscar was Motta, who, upon being hit by the foot of a Spanish defender (admittedly dangerous play), pulled up his legs and landed in the penalty area, to roll on the field as if his injury paralysed his legs... Or there was Chiellini, who wasn't touched by (barely stepped over) the leg of a Spanish opponent, but when he saw that his pass didn't reach the target, suddenly made a painful grimace and fell. Why do they need this?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 03:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Half time Ireland 1 Croatia 2

Just about fair on the run of play, tho' Chorluca looks like he doesnt know how to tackle Doyle without gving him an excuse to fall over. Unless Ireland drastically change their game I can only see Croatia improving their lead

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 03:40:35 PM EST
As predicted, Croatia won 3-1 in the end. Irelnd were reduced to hit and  hope and it wasn't good enough. They're gonna be destroyed by Italy and Spain

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 04:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And thought turns to the England-France game tomorrow. Although my thoughts probably coalesce as dread, France seem to be back on the up after the debacle of 2 years back while England are going backwards. I mean, we're playing 4-4-2 ferchrissakes  !!! England are rigid and unimaginative even at the best of times, and this is nowhere near the best. France are gonna walk all over us.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 04:50:20 PM EST
Capable of frustating the best of teams, and of getting lucky on set pieces. Perhaps there are the foundations of a better team there, we'll have to see if the Waynaroonie can add a missing dimension.

Les Bleus have the potential to beat any team in the competition, which is no guarantee of anything -- every game is a crapshoot. Benzema needs to create some space; Nasri didn't need any.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 12th, 2012 at 04:33:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
England was all defense (with the two chains of four often perfectly aligned...) while France looked like practising passes in thich defense, but without much motion and intent for scoring. IMHO both teams were betting on defeating the other two in the group, which I think was foolish, seeing how hungry and enthusiastic both Sweden and the Ukraine were.

Speaking of Ukraine-Sweden, thanks to that enthusiasm and attacking play on both sides, IMO it was the most entertaining match so far (Russia-Czech Republic was too one-sided). Old Shevchenko was cured just in time to erect his own memorial – that super-precise second header between the goalpost and the defender guarding it was beautiful (even if Ibrahimović, who was standing next to Shevchenko at the corner shot, forgot to mark him). Then again, Shevchenko shining has the implication that the younger players just aren't worth much. Though the two guys who prepared Shevchenko's two goals (Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka), both 22, could turn into something. There is a next generation problem on Sweden's side, too, with the second oldest layer (Alexandersson) having been the most active.

BTW, Helen can 'look forward' to a match-up of 4-4-2s in the England-Ukraine match.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 12th, 2012 at 05:19:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt the French will find another such accomodating referee. Loads of cynical professional blocks by France, no bookings; any England tackle, booking. Dreadful

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 12th, 2012 at 06:44:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worst performance in 42 years! Shameful for such a talented group. Bert van Marwijk should resign.
See my earlier comment.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Jun 17th, 2012 at 05:03:59 PM EST
I agree, all van Marwijk did was waste talents, he failed to forge a working team.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 03:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dutch team run by the players, not by the manager. As vice world champion the "stars" would easily go for gold at Euro 2012. There was distrust in the team and no "star" accepted a reserve role. Typical failure sets in when contracts have been signed for too much money for the individual.

Too many mistakes by the manager. Playing the matches in Kharkiv (Ukraine) while staying a distant 1,200 km away in Krakow. Too much travel in between games while losing time and the chance for some analysis and training.

The Dutch failed to find any sort of tactic in the last match against Portugal. After their fine start and 1-0 advantage, I would have changed tactic and replaced the offensive midfielder with one in a more defensive role. We were well aware of the weak spot in the Dutch defense, especially in the center to mark Ronaldo. Instead, Portugal adapted their midfield and scored the equalizer at 28' in first half.

Manager van Marwijk should have disciplined his players, especially Huntelaar, van der Vaart and Robben. See my earlier comment, I would have sent Huntelaar home. A total failure as team player for refusing the reserve role and failed miserably as pinch hitter. In the past the Dutch always had an excellent reserve to come off the bench and score that timely goal as we saw with Italy in its match.

Arjen Robben told his manager to STFU.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 08:22:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After their fine start and 1-0 advantage, I would have changed tactic and replaced the offensive midfielder with one in a more defensive role.

But that wouldn't have cut it: the Netherlands needed two more goals to get ahead of Denmark. But the offensive faltered even while the Netherlands still had 59% ball possession somewhere at the end of the first half.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 09:12:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They needed to win by two goals difference. Clamp down on  the defense and play very compact. Create the space behind the Portuguese defenders for a counter-attack goal. Portugal would have been required to push forward. Win the match German-style.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 09:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, our commentators were making similar points at the time, they felt the Dutch were being too cavalier in their attacks, as if they had to win the the match then, there, that actual minute and were giving away possession with bad hurried passing.

Shocking waste of talent

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 10:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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