Euro 2008

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby Gas1883 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:06 am

As much as I hate Turkey and am a fan of the Czech Republic's style of football I have to give credit to Turkey, they have done very well to qualify. Can't believe they turned it around last night though. A great tournament so far. Tonight should provide plenty more drama between Austria and Germany, anything could happen in this one!
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Re: Euro 2008

Postby nzfooty » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:03 pm

Agree 100% with the above.

As for the Group B matches, Croatia are resting a few players for the match v Poland. While Poland are not in the same class as Croatia, strange results can happen under such circumstances (like last night when Switzerland defeated Portugal 2-0). So if Austria do beat Germany (big if), Poland could still sneak through. If it does happen, it will be extremely undeserved but I won't be complaining... :-D

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby eujin » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:26 pm

I'm going to stick my neck out on this one and predict that Germany will beat Austria. It can only blow up in my face and I'll get no credit for being right, but I'll do it anyway.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby Holyjoe » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:53 pm

nzfooty wrote:Yes, it has been done before but often when teams play for less than a win, they lose their momentum and that is a risk they have to factor in.


It's a risk for any team, but it seems to be especially more so for the Dutch. I was listening to a radio show at the weekend (might have been BBC 5live's "Fighting Talk", which doesn't say much for the quality of the punditry ;) ) where someone pointed out that the Dutch camp seems to be in perfect harmony at the moment, witnessed by the big group celebrations even including the substitutes and coaching staff after goals and games. This is something of a rarity with them given what's happened at previous tournaments, and they'll be wanting to do their damndest to keep it that way.

I don't think they would have been expecting to be in the position of being able to discount the Romania game completely, and whilst 'throwing' the game (or at least fielding a team of reserves) is a possibility, doing it could well screw things up with the squad. Not doing it too could also cause problems, as there will be players in the squad who want it handled in different ways and it only takes one of them to throw a hissy fit before the whole thing comes undone and they go home empty-handed. Again.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby eujin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:33 am

Still, it worked out well for the West Germans in 1986, throwing the game against Denmark. They went to the final, whilst Denmark got thumped 5-1 by Spain in the second round.

It perhaps didn't work so well for England in 2002. But at least they got to the quarter-finals. Sweden did not.

It doesn't take much to throw a game. Just 95% effort, two or three reserves in key places and taking stars off early would probably be enough. Romania will be pumped up, going for every 50-50 ball like their lives depended on it. Winning the game will make them heroes in Romania. The Dutch will want to avoid injury. I don't think it takes much.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby nzfooty » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:12 am

Are you sure England threw their match against Nigeria? They would've ended up in an easier part of the draw had they beaten them.

Denmark looked solid in the first round and then of course England got to play Brazil in the QF.

Had they ended up playing Senegal, it is a good bet they would've made the semis. Instead Turkey emerged as the semi-finalists from that part of the draw. It still amazes me that Turkey "achieved" a top-3 finish after:

losing to Brazil
drawing with Costa Rica
beating China
beating Japan
beating Senegal
losing to Brazil
beating South Korea

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby eujin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:10 pm

No, I'm not sure they "threw" the game against Nigeria. I have my suspicions though. They were very flat against Nigeria and I remember at the time thinking "they're not trying to win". I can't remember details of player selection and substitutions, but I think England just needed to avoid defeat to go through and a win would've put them top of the group. But you can read the match reports. No yellow cards tells its own story about how intense the game was.

http://www.travelnotes.org/Football/200 ... ngland.htm

It wouldn't surprise me though. They had the option of playing the Africans at 3pm in Kyushu or the Danes in the evening in Niigata (which turned out to be a downpour). Denmark really struggled against Senegal in Daegu at 3pm. I was sitting in the stand in the shade and I was struggling.

Better to go out to Brazil in the quarters (or even Denmark) than go out to Senegal like Sweden did.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby eujin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:18 pm

This raises a topic that could just as well be filed under the Peace Queen Cup. One of my friends in Japan told me that Europeans have ten times more sweat glands than East Asians. I don't know if it is true but it would explain why deodorant is so hard to find in Japan or Korea. The locals don't need it!

Now transfer this to a sporting scenario. You run around for 45 minutes sweating like a pig in the East Asian summer, dehydrating rapidly and losing lots of salts. It's bound to affect your performance and the only thing to do is constantly sip Pocari or similar. But it's dangerous because you can overdo it, underdo it, take too much fluid, not enough salt, too much salt not enough sugar etc etc. Meanwhile the East Asians aren't sweating nearly as much and don't have the same problems. Plausible?

Might explain why some of the lesser nations did so well in 2002 (USA included) and slid back into obscurity in 2006. It would also suggest that the Europeans aren't going to do too well in Beijing.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby nzfooty » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:41 pm

Yes, they were certain of progressing with a 0-0 draw (but it did mean they could not finish first).

You might be right. I did re-read the BBC reports from that game:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup20 ... 038767.stm

Captain Beckham said he had never experienced heat and humidity such as England had to endure in Osaka.

And he expressed his relief that the game against the Danes in Niigata will be played in the evening.


It seems England were really afraid more of the heat than anything else at that stage and having eliminated Argentina (who were considered the top South American team going into the tournament) were probably not too fussed about meeting Brazil in the QF. I do recall now that Brazil struggled to qualify for that World Cup.

I guess the conditions go a long way to explaining one or two shocks at that World Cup. Things were very different in Germany in 2006.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby Cyclops » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:21 pm

I remember wondering that at the time. A lot of England fans I spoke to out there reckoned that playing Denmark in the evening was a winnable fixture, and once you get to the quarters you have to play big teams anyway. But that doesn't mean we deliberately didn't try to win v Nigeria, although the game plan seemed essentially to make sure we didn't lose. The Brazil game was very hot and England completely ran out of steam with half an hour left, which might explain why they didn't go full pelt against Nigeria.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby Gas1883 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:53 pm

I think there is definitely weight to the argument about upsetting the balance in a team by resting several players. I would like to see the Dutch do this too and knock out both Italy and France, but this can still be done by giving their big guns a run out for 30 or 60 minutes and keeping everyone happy. I don't think wholesale changes like Croatia or Portugal are needed and a more balanced approach is possible.

Going watch the Italy France game, watching these two aged heavyweights try to look convincing should be interesting.
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Re: Euro 2008

Postby nzfooty » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:26 pm


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Re: Euro 2008

Postby Gas1883 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:32 am

Interesting blog from the BBC.

France deservedly are out and I was wrong with my prediction about Romania, from the sounds of it they were not ambitious enough against Holland who as others said have a pretty strong second string.

What odds on a Holland V Italy semi-final? A big test of Spain's credentials when they play the world champions even if Itally are over the hilll with a striker that couldn't score to save his life.
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Re: Euro 2008

Postby eujin » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:36 am

Are you talking about Luca Toni? There's a lot of hype about him, but I thought he was overrated at the World Cup and I still think he's overrated. He always looks so disconsolate whenever he misses as well, which happens often enough.

Let's hope the Dutch don't regret not putting the Italians out.

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Re: Euro 2008

Postby Gas1883 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:24 pm

Yep I talking about Toni, I know he has been a little unlcuky but he is starting to remind me of Hakan Suker of Turkey from 2002, the donkey of that tournament.

You know before Euro 2008 I looked at Toni's record for Bayern Munich last season and thought he'd be half decent bet to be top scorer, but despite his domestic record, which looks great over the last 4/5 years his international record isn't so great. Seems most of his goals have come against poorer teams.

...que a hat-trick against Spain.

A big contrast from Podolski who I understand struggled to get many games at Bayern last season but is banging them in for Germany.
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