Euro 2008

Opening match between Switzerland and the Czech Republic is going on right now. The other Group A opening match is later today. Should be a great tournament!

Croatia FTW!!!

Keep the faith, Ryan!

Since England figured they had better things to do this summer, I guess I'm supporting Russia. Though I like a few other nations, including Germany, Holland, and Spain.

Opening wins by the Czech Republic and Portugal. Nothing really surprising there. Was impressed by how well Switzerland played in the loss, but losing is still losing. Going to be tough for them to advance. But at least they won't be an embarrassment... Austria, on the other hand...

Germany will take it, IMO. I had a blast cheering for them yesterday. My Polish neighbours were less than impressed.

 hehe

Extendo - Germany will take it, IMO. I had a blast cheering for them yesterday. My Polish neighbours were less than impressed.


If they are actual fans, they are probably even less impressed since two of Germany's top players were born in Poland and could have represented Poland. Including Podolski, who scored both goals. That has to be a bit more of a kick in the teeth in what is already a heated rivalry.

Oh yeah, everyone was well aware of that fact.I egged them on by saying not even their own countrymen wanted to play for Poland.

Scoreless draw between Romania and France. That makes the Group of Death a little bit more interesting.

Croatia looked very average yesterday. They better man up or Germany will walk over them on Thursday. They'll still get out of that group though

I think Germany could have vulnerabilities in defense to quicker attacks. They have size at the back, so I don't think they are too vulnerable in the air, but on the ground... I don't know that Croatia has enough pace in attack, but they seem to have more than Poland.

Something of an upset brewing in the 2nd Group C match. With the earlier draw, it could leave the Group wide open.

Hopefully not spoiling results for anyone, so be warned...

Very nice win by Spain over Russia. I both teams, so I was kinda hoping it would be close. But Spain showed some quality there. Maybe this will be the tournament where they finally perform up to their quality...? Nah, probably not.

Spain was my pick to win it before the tournament started and they made me look good today.  I was following the game on the ESPNsoccernet GameCast while at work, check out this gem of a comment by the person doing the live commentary for ESPN on there from around the 93rd minute:

 

"And to think this Russian shambles are there because they knocked England out. My word we must have been truly terrible. Thanks Steve McClaren - you clown."

I will often follow online on Soccernet as well. The match commentary is often quite amusing. UEFA.com has good match-casts as well, but without commentary - its just a straight-up event description.

This guy on commentary for the GameCast is fantastic.  Some highlights from Greece/Sweden:

 

28'

Greece have managed to stifle the game and dampen some of the early sparkle Sweden displayed. They are looking very ordinary going forward too. Get set for a long night people.

35'

Ten minutes left for a goal in the opening half. Don't count on it

39'

This is ridiculous. Sweden are sitting in formation and the three Greek defenders knock it between themselves in their own half to a crescendo of boos from the Swedish fans. Amazing. Even for Greece.




 40'


How on earth did this side win the thing in 2004? Astonishing. They should be thrown out of the tournament on the strength of that passage of play alone.


45'

If you are Greek I apologise, but your team is a disgrace. Come on Sweden!


Can't blame the commentator - immensely negative football is tough to watch. Especially at a tournament like this. I know that Greece is hardly the only side that will use this approach, but that really doesn't make it more watchable.

Greece winning in 2004 was one of the least likely victories in a major tournament. Not only were they massive underdogs, but they had no notable to caliber players in the squad. At least Denmark in 1992 had Laudrup and Schmeichel. In some ways, Greece winning wasn't a particularly good thing, as it essentially justifies an overtly negative approach.

Oh, and I do think there is a big difference between being defensive-minded and being outrightly negative.

CROATIA FTW!!!!!

Impressive win for Croatia.

Two very interesting matches today. Group C is great and today will go a long way to determing how things play out.

Wow... Italy is in serious trouble after a 1-1 draw with Romania. And France is losing 1-0 right now to The Netherlands, and not getting the better of the match at all. Group C isn't going at all like most people predicted so far...

David Villa has doubled his value already!