Euro2008 Final Preview

by Dexy Longshot

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Vienna tomorrow night, hopefully without a storm cutting out the power.

At last the Final is here and I’m gutted about it. I want this tournament to go on forever but on Monday morning, I’m going to be down in the doldrums on the way to work as if I’ve just been dumped by Cheryl Cole for a womanizing Chelsea defender. This Euros has been the most thrilling ever and in the Ernst Happel Stadion tomorrow, it’s going to be Goodnight Vienna with either Spain or Germany lifting the prize in the greatest Euros of all time.

There are far too many highlights to mention here, although we’ll do another blog about that later in the week. For me, the main ones were The Dutch teams total dominance of Group C. Mauling Italy, France and Romania and in the style they did it was out of this world. Wesley Snieijers breakaway goal will long live in the memory. Also the form of Turkey who defied the odds 3 times with the exceptional comeback against The Czechs the pick of a fine bunch with the fantastic Arda, Nihat & even our Leyton Born Kazim Richards becoming a national hero in his adopted country and Kebab shops world wide?



Super Slavs Croatia win over Germany was very nice too, especially from an English point of view…SO HOW THE **** HAVE THEY SNEAKED INTO THE FINAL AGAIN??? I mean, talk about a team playing hot & cold.?


Poland – Hot
Croatia – Freezing
Austria – Lukewarm
Portugal – Bernie Winters
Turkey – Brass monkeys but slowly came to boil in the last minutes.

So, can Joachim Lows Germany do it again? it looks like it’s there turn to hit the hot spot again & history favours them massively; just take a butchers at The Germany article at the bottom. I got the right needle taking in all those stats; they are as Mystical said “A Tournament Machine”. It’s the biggest cliché of the tournament but you never write them off.


After the poor show against supposed cannon fodder Austria, Beckenbauer said that Joachim Low’s team won’t even get past the quarters and this is the most respected man in German Football with 2 World Cups of his own as player & manager. Yet, still they bounced back with a 3-2 triumph over Big Phil’s Portugal. Little Podolski who started the tournament on the left soon took over main striking duties from gormless Gomez who was starting to make Luca Toni look frightening in front of goal. Schweinstieger, a face that looks frightening in front of anything was another who proved his worth to the team after starting earlier games on the bench. Along with Captain Fantastic Ballack who had a poor game against the Turks, these 3 players will have to be bang up for it tomorrow night going forward because they will be getting untold trouble at the other end. I said earlier in the tournament that the back line is weak and that Lahm’s attacking instincts leave them vulnerable at times. The M&M centre backs have been all over the shop at times and half fit rib-injured Torsten can only do so much in front of the back four. Oh Shiza, I nearly forget Lens Lehman in goal, Ollie Kahn’s bestest mate!. The ex-gooner put in another terrible performance against the Turks, I bet Kahn is having a right old chuckle, ch! ch! chuckle Kahn! chuckle Kahn! Lens will become the oldest player to appear in The Final at 38 years and 232 days, I doubt he’ll be chuckling when he picks his 1st ball out of the net?



Spain by contrast to Germany are on par with our own when it comes to under-achievement. They haven’t won a major prize since 1964 and their last final was 24 years ago but I think they have the edge this time. With the exception of Holland, Spain have played the best football of the tournament and have the top scorer in Villa, well had – After the 1st half thigh injury on Thursday night, he has been ruled out of the final but one mans loss is another’s gain. When Cesc replaced Villa in the 34th minute, Aragones had to change tactics. The Russians were proving hard to break down and after 30 minutes, a Spain of yester-year would have hit the panic button, like many of their previous teams have done over the years, when it comes to the crunch, they have imploded, mostly in quarterfinals. To have their talisman striker pull up after a free kick, I fully expected them to do the usual and let Guus’s boys do a Holland on them. Not this time, not this Spain. Aragones gave Fabregas his instructions & looked on confidently as he entered the bullring, excelling in giving a passing & movement master class. Put up just behind Torres linking the 4 in midfield to the lone El Nino, Cesc began to play in the position Steven Gerrard forged so successfully with Fernando at Anfield last season. The Arsenal star was magnificent providing a series of beautiful pass’s that eventually resulted in 2 of the goals for Diamond Guiza and Hi Ho Silva. Iniesta was fantastic too twisting and turning before an assist for Xavi to volley home. With masterful Marcos Senna absorbing the Russian attacks and then playing keep-ball was a joy to watch, their possession play was the best of the Championship. Russia simply could not get the ball from the midfield 5 piece.


It was an emphatic victory and finally Spain are playing to their full potential in a major Final, OLAY!!. With this in mind, Germany will try to stop them playing, Frings and Ballack will be coming in hard trying to break up the pretty triangles that the little Spanish Midfield Matadors make so easily. It might get a tad tasty and I expect a few yellows, especially if things don’t go Germanys way. Spain have similarities with their foes at the back, Sergio Ramos who was excellent on Thursday does like to get forward on the right like Lahm but the difference is the solid Puyol & Marchena pairing in the centre mopping up when it matters. Also, unlike his opposite number, Cassillas in goal for Spain is the major factor for me in determining the final outcome, I think both keepers will come under pressure and I think the Real Madrid keeper will come up trumps, so I’m going for Spain, like I did at the start. That’s it kiss of death, Germany losing a final, what was that old cliché again????



The Golden boot award will also be settled tomorrow night and Villa will be looking on from the bench hoping for a Spain clean sheet and praying for an early Podolski leg break. The thing is, I think it could be a high scoring match and Ballack, Schweinsteiger and Guiza who are all on 2 goals apiece could yet match him. Player of the tournament time as well, I fancied Ballack at the start and a German win will probably seal it for him unless Poldoski comes up with some goals. For Spain, it would probably be Villa if he played and won but maybe it will go to someone like Senna who has not put a foot wrong. Wesley is a good outsider as well.

At least whoever gets it will be able to say that they won it in the greatest tournament of all.

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  • Darren

    Viva La Espansa!!! Ballack might not make it though, I’ve heard he’s got chu-chu-chuckle vision!

    I totally agree though, it has been a fantastic tournament, I almost forgot about England not being there, in fact that’s probably why it’s been so good. We haven’t had to sit through all those long ball boring displays with the inevitable penalty horror show.

    My top 3 moments would have to be…

    1) Spains 2nd half performance against Russia, beautiful, simply beautiful

    2) Turkey’s comeback against Czech

    3) Turkey’s comeback against Croatia

    In fact, I’ve loved watching them, they epitomize everything that is wrong with England. They have proven that no matter who plays, the team element is the most important aspect of football.

    I would love to Spain win tomorrow, simply because they play the game the way it should be played.

  • Brian Smith

    Spain vs Germany will be just like Russia vs Holland I’m afraid, the average Germans will win if they break down the Spanish midfielders.

    Capdevila hasn’t really been tested in this tournament, I feel that Schweinsteiger has been one of the players of the comp, this will be a key battle for me.

    As Daren said, for the sake of football I really hope Spain win, and win in style, but for me, the Germans will have a game plan, they’ve been here so many times where as Spain will be very nervous.

    German 1 Spain 0

  • dexylongshot

    Go on Spain!!!!

  • Darren

    Half time Spain 1 Germany 0, Spain are totally dominant, their passing is crisp. Germany have yet to have a shot on target, so what on earth is Marcel Desailly talking about? the man is a total fool, his analysis has been total shambolic all tournament.

  • dexylongshot

    Viva, Viva! Good old Spain, good old Torres, and good old boy Aragones, I thought his ticker was gonna give out when the bumps kicked it in. Another masterclass, it could have been 5-0, Torres couldn’t have put it anywhere else except the corner of the goal & Casilllas had nought to do apart from lift the cup at the end. Well deserved, the camera shot of of Lens at the end was priceless!. Well don Spain, beautiful football is back on the world agenda, watch out Brazil & Argentina, The Spanish Armada are gunning for you in 2010!

  • Brian Smith

    Football justice for the world! Good bye to negative football (Italy, France, Germany & England take note) That’s how to win a tournament!

    Viva Espana for sure!

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