Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reflections on the first round of Euro 2016

All teams have now been in action in Euro 2016, and I have some initial reflections:
  • Italy have been the most impressive team so far. Their ice-cold victory against the Belgians was what can make a team champions. Emanuele Giacherinni's and Graziano Pelle's goals were fantastic.
  • Belgium is not bad, and still has a chance, but needs to show much more commitment from their highly paid superstars.
  • Germany also looked in complete control against Ukraine, and with Italy, seems like the other team to beat after the first round.
  • Spain were good, but lack striking force. Then on the other hand, they have the splendid Andres Iniesta! Croatia, with their incredible midfield and an inspired Luka Modric, will certainly be able to challenge the Spaniards
  • England in the first half against Russia is one of the best England sides we have seen for a long time, but as so many Spanish fans, they seem unable to keep their heads cool.
  • Wales has been one of the best surprises in their 2-1 victory over Slovakia, and they should be able to defeat both England and Russia.
  • The biggest surprise has been Iceland after their tie against Portugal.
  • The biggest disappointment has been Austria, but not a big disappointment, as there have not been many.
  • France managed their obligatory opening victory against a hard-fighting Romania. That said, Romania would not have deserved a tie, and Dimitri Payet's goal remains the best of the tournament (with very hard competition from Emanuele Giacherinni's incredible control in his goal against the Belgians).
  • Northern Ireland has been the poorest side of the tournament. Poland should have scored more than their lone goal.
  • Much has been made of the hooligans. But there are also some great fans, and the best are Sweden's and Ireland's (who needs to be champions with fans like this?):

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