Some things I was right about in my terribly inadequate Euro “preview”:
- Six of the eight quarterfinalists.
- The Dutch winning their group — and their generally having a team that had the ability to do some damage.
Some things I was wrong about:
- Fabregas making this his tournament, since his manager refuses to start him. (Thought he did score the clinching goal in the Spain/Italy shootout.)
- Worrying about the French’s younger generation. Manager Raymond Domenech is terrible. I mean, I’m no tactician, but his starting selections across the board seemed akin to Van Basten benching the likes of Sneijder, VanderVaart, and Robben in favor of Davids, Cocu, and Kluivert. For those of you who don’t know who the hell I’m talking about, the French basically trotted out the team that won the 2000 European championship. Eight soccer years is a really, really long time.
- Christiano Ronaldo doing anything of note. Well, I suppose he did have one of the harsher injuries of the tournament. Yep. Here it is. I mean, how can you blame him for being so ineffective against Germany with that terrible injury to deal with?
Anyway, we’re down to four teams. The Spain/Russia matchup should be a watchable, fast-paced affair. Russia will likely try to defensively play Spain similar to the Italians, but the Russians will be sure to throw more men forward. Also, the Russian’s lack of size should open things up some more for Spain’s offense. If Aragones starts Cesc Fabregas on the bench again I am going to shit.
Turkey’s comebacks and last minute insanity have been one of the more improbable displays in all of sport in recent memory, but they can’t possibly compete with Germany as the Turks are going to missing a shit ton of players due to injury/suspension (six regulars, to be exact), can they? I mean, Turkey might be forced to play their backup to the backup goalie in the field.
Anyway, my prediction is worth fuck all but if you’re wondering (you aren’t) I’m taking Germany over Russia in the final. I’m typically hesitant to jump on bandwagons of teams like Russia at this point, but it’s hard for me to imagine Spain beating them for the second time in a couple weeks. However, I would like to see Spain win it, though. Fernando Torres is just so pretty. Wait, what?
So yeah. Just a few more matches until the Andrei Arshavin bidding war can begin. Don’t worry, if Arshavin can’t be had by your team, Schweinsteiger, Podolski, and David Villa look to be on the move as well.
Anyway, most of the reason why I made another soccer post is so that I can post a picture of this unnamed Italian fan. As much as I hate the Italian soccer team, wow, just, ok, I’m going now.