EURO2008 Group Stage Round Up Part 2

by Dexy Longshot

Friday, June 20th, 2008
 

My 2nd instalment reviewing the mind-blowing action so far in the Hills of Austria And Switzerland.

 

France

It was goodnight Vienna on Tuesday for Les Bleus going down in a blaze of over-hyped mediocrity. With tearful Thierry & Benzema on such a run with their own misses during the game, Domenich tried to avert the defeat by proposing to his missus after the game. Nice try Dom, but you are out on your Gay Lick toes.

Dexy’s Diamond

Frank Ribery had a tournament to forget and will want to quickly move on if he can stand up. The tricky winger played Le football magnifique but was let down by an ageing squad and confusing tactics. Les Doughnut!

 

Holland

I hold my hands up to those crashee Dutchees, who would have predicted the maulings of the World Cup Holders and the other finalists? 9 goals scored and just 1 conceded, Van Basten’s best form of defence is attack & these Dutch Masters look unstoppable. The newly installed tournament favourites counter attacking play has been sublime in places, most notably in Wesley Sniejder’s Platt-like round-house against Italy, surely the winner of Goal Of The Tournament. It’s a shame they are on collision course with the other outstanding attackers in Spain in the semis.

Dexy’s Diamond

Van der Vart or Fan der Fart if you saw the BBC’s half-time footage on Tuesday. The midfielder is yet to have a stinker in the orange and his inter-play with Kuyt et all has been the Total Football the Netherlands have craved since 88. One of a cluster of Diamonds in a star studded line up.

 

Italy

The Azzurri have not been at the races and without Cannavaro, they look shakier than the tower of Pisa. Up front, Luca Toni has missed more shots that Mario Gomez, not a good advert for the Bundeliga’s best 2 goal getters. I fear Donadoni may be on borrowed time unless they find goals rather than deflections.

Dexy’s Diamond

Buffon, simply the best & a true diamond in a team of deteriorating gems. The tournament saving penalty against Romania and the 2nd half save from Benzema to keep France at bay on Tuesday made the difference.

 

Romania

The strong Romanian unit were one of my Dark Horses at the start and performed well in the opening 2 games until Mutu’s penalty miss against Italy. A 2-1 victory over the Azzuri would have ensured qualification. It wasn’t to be but this team will be a force in 2010. Mark my words!!!.

Dexy’s Diamond

Adrian Mutu passed the Pepsi challenge with Romania’s only goal of the competition against Italy in the 90 minutes but forgot his lines in the penalty shoot-out to Buffon. A prize doughnut with no sprinkly white bits.

 

Greece

German born Greek God Otto has had a poor tournament that was never going to reach the heights of 2004, (Although I thought they would do better than they did). They scored just the one goal in 3 games and that says everything about the side. If only they took of Otto’s shackles and tried to pass it around a bit, they might have nicked something. Charisteas, the hero of last time round has been crap this time round. As for Samaras, he’s always crap.

Dexy’s Diamond

Gekas hardly had a kick in a team built around hard work & stonewall defending. A stale Greek Doughnut.

 

Russia

No one gave Guus Hiddinks Russia a prayer after the Spanish annihilation but they are in the quarters and are improving with every kick. It was a wonderful team performance full of confidence, speed and belief against the ageing Swedes in Innsbruck and the tactical nous of Hiddink could yet surprise us. With the genius of Arshavin back in the side, drifting in from the wide areas, I’m gonna stick my neck out and say they might give the Oranje machine a game on Saturday night for shure.

Dexy’s Diamond

Pavluchenko was having a top tournament and managed 2 goals before linking up with his preferred strike partner in Arshavin on Wednesday night and providing Guus with another couple for his side. Diamondski!

 

Spain

Aragones matadors kicked of their group games by giving Guus Hiddink a hiding, all 3 goals coming courtesy of David Villa, he added another in the Sweden game making him current favourite for the Golden boot. Still my current favourites, it will take a fine team to stop them, especially with their brilliant midfield supplying non-stop ammo for the strikers and Cat like Casillas in goal. A potential semi with Holland is enough to give anyone a potential semi.

Dexy’s Diamond

With one in the onion bag already, El Nino has been overshadowed by the Villa hatrick but is still a massive goal threat and one half of the best forward line in European Football. His goals could take them all the way to the title, that’s Spain of course, not Liverpool.

 

Sweden

Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally came alive in this tournament with a screamer against Greece and another against Spain. Alongside him was where the problem was for the Swedes. Henrikk Larson was a fine player in his time at Celtic but he is over the hill now and it showed. Sweden just haven’t got enough quality players this time round and it showed resulting in their group stage departure, the first in 4 tournaments.

Dexy’s Diamond

Hairy Olef Melberg tried his best but was always fighting a losing battle with the defence around him. A double horned Viking Helmet Doughnut holder.

So just 7 teams left after the Portugal dive school were sent home last night by Herr Ballack & Co in yet another pulsating tie! Let’s hope the remaining fixtures will live up to the previous fortnights feast of football. Let’s hope Fabio is taking it all in and moulding an England where attacking flair football conquers all and even-numbered summers of under-achievement and self-loathing blossom into the achievements of 66! Bloody hell, I must be still be dreaming!

 

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  • http://aloadofcobblers.blogspot.com Danny Brothers

    It’s hard to see how England would have competed come the latter stages of this compeition if we’d have gone through…the flair of the Dutch and Spaniards would surely have been too much and McDonut would probably have still been in charge to ensure a safe passage out in the group stages. It’s worrying that the other European giants look a million miles better than England at moment.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    I totally agree, imagine the Russian fullbacks running at pace against our static back 4, or the Dutch attacking from all over the pitch, the strength of Germans, the Italians etc…we are so one dimensional it’s become extremely embarrassing, I even think we would have struggled to beat the Swiss, Polish, Greeks & Austrians, hold on mo, we did struggle to beat all those teams in recent qualifiers did we not? says it all really. We are crap, and the sooner we realize that the more chance we have of improving…

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    who would have thought that both Russia and Turkry would make the semi’s.

    I think we are almost looking at a Germany Italy final, I really hope not because Russia deserve to be there.

    The last team to win a tournament after winning all 3 group games was France in 1984, so you should know better then to back the likes of Holland, Croatia and Spain. Spain aren’t out but after tonight they be will.

  • Brian Smith

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz = Italy.

  • dexylongshot

    Dexy wrote about the matadors last week after the group stages:
    “Still my current favourites, it will take a fine team to stop them, especially with their brilliant midfield supplying non-stop ammo for the strikers and Cat like Casillas in goal”
    I Gracias!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Dexy, you der man!!!!!

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