Friday, June 18, 2004

Entertainment so far

Before the EURO 2004 started, the legendary Johann Cruyff said it would be a boring tournament with too many overly organized teams, afraid to try something new. Looking at the tournament so far, Mr. Cruyff seems to be right.
After twelve games, we have an average of 2.33 goals per game. Looking at earlier goal averages (, this seems to be heading towards a very low average, and would be lower, were it not for the notable exception of Sweden's 5-0 victory over Bulgaria, and the referee's helping hand to both teams in the Croatia-France match.
I have been amazed by the fact that Greece has played so well, and is likely to win the group. Now, they are not entertaining. They are overly organized, dangerous, and do no more than they have too. Almost like the Italians, who I don't even find worth mentioning after the horrible first half they played against Denmark, with a 63 percentage ball-possession by the Danes.
The English have been a boring thing to look at as well, and will get far by playing more "catennaccio" than the Italians themselves. Seems Mr. Ericsson did learn a lot while coching in Italy.
The Germans surprised by getting a good result. But don't they always? I did think that the biggest disappointment were the Dutch. Just as with other teams we could expect more "entertainment" from, notably Portugal, France and Spain, we have seen little. It remains to be seen if Mr. Cruyff will continue being right. I have just noticed that so far, he seems to be.

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