Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Top 10 bummers of Euro 2008

It is not because I feel it was a bad tournament, quite on the contrary, but I can unfortunately think of a number of things that were a bit of bummers in this tournament – on the other hand, some of these things are also what made the tournament memorable!
So here comes the top then bummers of Euro 2008:

10) Boring teams: It has been a great tournament, with great matches and good football. And although the winning team, Spain, swore for the beautiful and attacking football, a few teams seem to be stuck with their defensive style.
9) Austrian football association: An Austrian brewery promised free beer for life to any Austrian player who scored. But when Vastic scored for Austria against Poland, the Austrian FA said no to the price…
No to free beer!!?? Please…!
8) UEFA referee rules: Inconsistency in the implementation of rules seems the most consistent thing in international football. This Euro 2008 was no exception, mostly during Ruud Van Nistelrooi’s first goal against Italy: everyone thought it should have been off-side, since the last Italian player was outside the pitch. However, rules say that he was still “in play” – shattering what everybody else thought.
Now, why should such a rule be kept secret…?
7) David Villa’s injury: David Villa became the top-scorer of the tournament with four goals in only two matches. He could have gotten many more.
6) Gomes: The German striker was a complete flop. I think nobody even got scared when he was put in in the final against Spain, and his missed goal against Austria was one of the biggest misses I have ever seen.
5) Czech Republic: The ageing Czechs were not so much a disappointment because of their mistakes (like Peter Cech’s against Turkey – he still is a great goalkeeper), but more because of the lacking capacity in closing off a match. The Czech team seems to be arrogant: we saw some of the same in the 2006 World Cup, and think a game is finished before the 90th minute.
Fortunately the Turks proved them wrong.
4) Portuguese spirit: While the Turks showed incredible fighting spirit, the Portuguese super stars were completely opposite. While rightfully hailed as favourites when the tournament started, it took only an organised and efficient German side to take away their arrogant confidence. In the last half hour of the quarterfinal the Portuguese players seemed like tired and defeated old ladies.
Portugal didn’t win because they lacked winner-mentality.
3) Greece: The defending champions of 2004 were poor to say the least.
2) France & Domeneqc: France was a huge disappointment. With the players they have their performance bordered the pathetic in spite of good moments against the Netherlands. And here, I must blame a coach which seemed too arrogant, superstitious and disrespected to lead a top-rate team of super-stars to anything.
France was hugely disappointing and that is a pity for football.
1) Swiss TV: It was completely unproper when Swiss TV used a text from the old Nazi lyrics to the German national song for the Germany-Austria game. Not only unproper I guess, but also disgusting and an insult to the great German team and people (and please, this does not mean I will support them!)

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