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Dara
(acolyte)
07/14/04 10:01 AM
Taking the middle road new [re: EJSunday]  

In reply to:

You're kidding? That was one of the best tournaments ever. Wonderful attacking and skillful football in many games, especially at the group stages


I agree the group stages were great, maybe the best ever, with some classic games. But most of the knockout games left a lot to be desired, so overall I'm not sure I'd consider it to be the best ever.

The best European championships I can remember overall is 1988. Not just because they were the only ones Ireland made (we didn't get past the group stage), but the knockout games were great too, and there was that classic Van Basten goal to crown it all.

These Championships were hampered to a large degree by the big countries underperforming. It's always nice to see the underdogs do well, but not by default. Germany looked nothing like the dominant Germans of old, the English played like minnows, the Italians, French and Dutch were shadows of their former selves. The last two infuriatingly so since they had the personnel.

In reply to:

The ugly teams were filtered off early (unlucky exception: Spain),


Indeed. We were unfortunate Spain went out when they did. Had they got going, the knockout stages could have been much better.

Slan libh,

Dara

There is no word so short, that an Australian will not make it shorter. So, poker machine becomes pokey. Wetsuit becomes wettie. Tasmania becomes Tassie.Heldencrow

Strawman
(stardust savant)
07/14/04 10:12 AM
Re: Taking the middle road new [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

I agree the group stages were great, maybe the best ever, with some classic games. But most of the knockout games left a lot to be desired, so overall I'm not sure I'd consider it to be the best ever.


Now you're being silly.

In reply to:

The best European championships I can remember overall is 1988.


Now you're being sensible.

In reply to:

These Championships were hampered to a large degree by the big countries underperforming. It's always nice to see the underdogs do well, but not by default. Germany looked nothing like the dominant Germans of old, the English played like minnows, the Italians, French and Dutch were shadows of their former selves. The last two infuriatingly so since they had the personnel.


Now there is a mixture of silliness & sensibleness.

But overall you're still being your usual dismissive self.

Q: What do you call an Arsenal fan in a suit?
A: The accused.


Dara
(acolyte)
07/14/04 10:21 AM
Should welshing on a bet be calling englishing? new [re: Strawman]  

In reply to:

there is a mixture of silliness & sensibleness


I think we all deduced a long time ago your definition of silliness ("anything which disagrees with me") and sensibleness ("anything which agrees with me"), so this point was pretty redundant. Actually, the whole post.

In reply to:

overall you're still being your usual dismissive self.


And who are you being today? DiamondDogz with slightly better grammar and punctuation?

Slan libh,

Dara

There is no word so short, that an Australian will not make it shorter. So, poker machine becomes pokey. Wetsuit becomes wettie. Tasmania becomes Tassie.Heldencrow

NoGame
(acolyte)
07/14/04 10:24 AM
EURO 2000 was best new [re: Strawman]  

I think I have to agree that this tournament let me down in some respects. I think the EURO 2000 tournament was a lot fresher, with fantastic games from Holland (remember the Yugoslavia game), England and Portugal (against each other, 3-2 for Portugal) and England-Germany, a, excellent Zidane during France-Denmark and thrilling semifinals, both decided by shoot outs. Only a few games disappointed back in 2000. Now, this last tournament had a lot more weak spots, maybe because of the absence of teams that perform decently on tournaments like Ireland, Belgium and most of all Turkey.

But Dara makes a strong point as well. The big countries of 1998, 2000 and 2002 (I'm talking of France, Germany and Holland) all didn't perform good enough. I know the Germans were bad, the French were uninspired but the Dutch suffered under weak coaching. There were some youngsters that really wanted to prove themselves. And thanks to that youngsters, Wesley Sneijder of Ajax in particular, we made it to Portugal in the first place. The coach should have made changes, instead of trusting upon the failing players who missed out WC 2002.

The new Dutch coaches will most probably be Marco van Basten (chief) and John van 't Schip (assistent), both players of the 1988 golden era. They were recommended by Johan Cruijff, now we wait for the final word on them.

NoGame

Strawman
(stardust savant)
07/14/04 10:48 AM
Re: Should welshing on a bet be calling englishing? new [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

I think we all deduced a long time ago your definition of silliness ("anything which disagrees with me") and sensibleness ("anything which agrees with me")


That's both an inaccurate & extremely unfair estimation of my character, Dara. I'm always the first to admit when I'm in the wrong, however rare the occurrence.

In reply to:

so this point was pretty redundant. Actually, the whole post


Not when taken into context with the last few posts in the thread.

In reply to:

And who are you being today? DiamondDogz with slightly better grammar and punctuation?


Is this comparison with DDz74, truly your perception of me?


In reply to:

(NoGame) I think I have to agree that this tournament let me down in some respects. I think the EURO 2000 tournament was a lot fresher, with fantastic games from Holland (remember the Yugoslavia game), England and Portugal (against each other, 3-2 for Portugal) and England-Germany, a, excellent Zidane during France-Denmark and thrilling semifinals, both decided by shoot outs. Only a few games disappointed back in 2000. Now, this last tournament had a lot more weak spots, maybe because of the absence of teams that perform decently on tournaments like Ireland, Belgium and most of all Turkey.


A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Q: What do you call an Arsenal fan in a suit?
A: The accused.


Emilio
(crash course raver)
07/14/04 10:57 AM
Re: Any surprises from the rest of the world? new [re: NoGame]  

"* Brazil is on top in the South America competition. I thought the title defender was automatically placed?"

It used to be like this, but not anymore.



EJSundayModerator
(acolyte)
07/14/04 10:59 AM
The Euro-Ranking new [re: Strawman]  

I have followed all ECs since 1976. And while it is almost impossible to compare them with each other as football has been changing over the years I would rather judge them by themselves, especially the quality of attacking football.

1976, Yugoslavia:
It was so-so. At the group stages only Holland scored 5 goals agains Belgium. All other games had fairly low scores. Germany and the Czechs played a decent final. No big star to shine or rise from that tournament.

1980, Italy:
Fairly poor. Loads of results like 1:0, 1:1 or 0:0. Germany beating Belgium in a final that was as exciting as the two teams would promise. Star: Germany's Bernd Schuster showed at least some extravagant football, but not enough to have his name on the tournament.

1984:
Excellent tournament. France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal showed some wonderful football with great attacking abilities. Great atmosphere in France throughout the games. Superstar: Michel Platini. Tremendous player. Scored 9 (!) goals in five games and lead his team to a highly deserved triumph.

1988, Germany:
A mediocre tournament. Few goals scored. England, Spain and Denmark failed completely. Germany and Italy won their group with normal football but lost to the winners of the other group. Ireland made history for themselves, the Russians were good but it was down to the Dutch to deliver the great moments. But they were the only ones. Stars: Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Reykaard.

1992, Sweden:
Poor tournament. Nine sad goals were scored in the six games of the group which contained Sweden, Denmark, France, England. The other group faired slightly better but then again it contained born losers like the Scots and an extremely weak Russian side. A very average German team got through to the final and lost to the Danes, who had just come back from the beach. Says it all. Stars: The Danes, for being cool enough to exploit the weakness of Europe.

1996, England:
A good tournament. Not necessarily for the overall quality of football, but certainly for the diverse characters included and for all those tight matches from the quarterfinal onwards. Atmosphere was good too. Characters: Gazza, Shearer, Klinsmann, Sammer, Bergkamp, Djorkaeff, Poborsky, Joao Pinto, the Laudrups, Zubizarreta.

2000, Holland and Belgium:
Good Tournament. Many goals scored (remember Yugoslavia - Spain?!). Some good attacking football with France certainly being the best. The high scores were largely part due to the bad performances by the weaker teams. Germany, England, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Slovenia, Czechs, and Denmark were too inferior to make this tournament an overall excitement. Still a good one. Star: Zidane.

2004, Portugal:
Very good tournament. Teams like the Czechs, Portugal, Denmark and Sweden showed some great skills and the will to always go forward. They did not win the tournament due to the Greeks determination, concentration and organisation. But still they gave us some cracking games. Also the Dutch and to a lesser extend the English showed at least partly what great fun football can be. With Latvia another outsider showed some good spirit and even Croatia tried to play football. Excellent atmosphere. Stars: Charisteas, Nedved, Ronaldo, Rooney.

So I still stickk to my assessment: Euro 2004 was a wonderful tournament.

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'


NoGame
(acolyte)
07/14/04 12:56 PM
Football came home alright new [re: EJSunday]  

In reply to:

1996, England:
A good tournament.



Do you remember which player got the dubious title Player of the Tournament? I forgot his name, but I think thát choice said it all for Euro 1996. I can't even remember anything Bergkamp has done at that tournament. I believe he scored against Switzerland... The son of Cruijff did too, that was the only thing that stuck in my mind about 1996. In your post you seem to acknowledge that there were no stars to shine at this tournament, because you, when you named the players that you remembered, actually call them 'characters'. Intentionally?

I have to correct myself about my previous post. I said that the semifinals of EURO 2000 were both decided by shoot outs. That's not true. France won after a dubious penalty against Portugal. They should have gone out then, but then again, so should have Italy.

NoGame

Emilio
(crash course raver)
07/14/04 04:27 PM
Re: Any surprises from the rest of the world? new [re: Emilio]  

For me at least, the next World Cup will be different from most of the ones I've watched. I think most Brazilians share my feelings, even if they won't admit it.

I was nine years-old when Brazil became three-time champion in 1970, thus retaining the Jules Rimet cup for good (until it was stolen, that is - but that's another story). Brazilian football looked unbeatable. Then, in 1971 our greatest player ever, Pelé, bid farewell to the Brazilian team. And Brazil's substandard performance in the 1974 World Cup seemed to confirm our unspoken fears that our glory days were over: without Pelé, Brazil would never be a major force in soccer again. Then other countries began to equal Brazil's three-time champion mark and we began to fear one of them might eventually surpass it. It took 24 years for Brazil to win another World Cup again, 24 long years of anxiety and expectation. When Italian player Baggio missed his penalty kick in 1994, believe me, I couldn't hold back the tears. And I'm not such a big soccer fan, but I had that cry of victory stuck in my throat for 24 years.

But now it's different. Brazil has not only reached its longed for four-time champion mark, but surpassed it. Whatever it is the Brazilian team had to prove has been more than proved. Of course the whole country will be glued to television sets, but deep inside I know we will all be a lot more relaxed than in previous tournaments. And, honestly, I don't think Brazil will win a sixth time so soon. I think even the players will feel less pressured, but also less motivated.



Arlequino
(crash course raver)
07/14/04 04:43 PM
Re: World Cup 2006 - Future Legend [re: NoGame]  

Group 1
Winner - Czech Republic
Runner Up - Netherlands
Banana Skin - Romania

Not a tough group, as far as the Czech Republic will be concerned. They should simply walk this - a maximum points haul is a definite possibility. The Dutch should also make runner-up spot comfortably. However, the Romanians - despite losing their own 'golden generation' - could still prove tricky, particularly in home matches.

Group 2
Winner - Turkey
Runner Up - Greece
Banana Skin - Ukraine

Essentially, this group really should end up between these three teams. There's litte real opposition from the other teams - perhaps with the exception of Georgia - and these three should comfortably occupy the top three spots. Turkey may have disappointed in failing to qualify for Euro 2004, but this was truly a shock result, and they should be back on form next time. Greece, despite obvious strengths, have now won a major tournament - will they still have the same motivation? Or, indeed, the same shock factor? Ukraine have a great centre half in Alexander Holovko, and a first rate strikeforce in Rebrov and Shevchenko. Fear them.

Group 3
Winner - Portugal
Runner Up - Russia
Banana Skin - Portugal - but only to themselves!

This group can't really be anything other than a Portugal-Russia endurance test. However, despite their superb performance in Euro 2004, I still feel that Portugal represent more of a threat to themselves than anyone else does.

Group 4
Winner - France
Runner Up - Republic of Ireland
Banana Skin - Switzerland

France may have underperformed on the international arena over the past 4 or so years, but they can't underperform so badly as to not win this group, surely. The Republic of Ireland have now 'welcomed' back their talisman, and comfortably most talented player, Roy Keane. The fact that the guy's a wanker, and a potentially disruptive influence, along with the fact that Matt Holland and - is it Kevin Kilbane, Dara? - have been a quite satisfactory midfield pairing could prove a double edged sword. Nevertheless, expect the RoI to perform admirably. Switzerland are always a tough side to break down, so there's also hope for them here.

Group 5
Winner - Italy
Runner U - Norway
Banana Skin - Belarus

Italy, like France, really must stroll through their group. Norway may lack real firepower - Sigurd Rushfeldt and John Carew don't really constitue a great strike partnership - but they're a good team, and should rack up some good results. Belarus have always proved a little tricky to teams that underestimate them, so there's a potential World Cup surprise here. And Scotland - living proof that a German manager does not give success!

Group 6
Winner - England
Runner Up - Wales
Banana Skin - Austria

England can't fail to win this group, because, simply put, the opposition is not all that threatening. Wales, under the surprisingly strong management of Sparky, have come on leaps and bounds. Danny Gabbidon is a good defender, and the Cardiff striker, who's name currently eludes me, is a real predator - potentially a true talent on the international arena. Austria, for their part, always turn up and do themselves proud, but they just don't have the excitement factor which, I feel, could push them through. Expect them to possibly grind out some good 1-0 victories, though.

Group 7
Winner - Spain
Runner Up - Belgium
Banana Skin - Bosnia-Herzegovina

Spain are another giant who, despite underperforming streaks, must qualify with ease. I've no idea what happened to Belgium in Euro 2004 qualifying, but expect them to be at the World Cup with little difficulty - there's just too much talent in their ranks for them not to be there. And, as for Bosnia-Herzegovina, they are another former-Soviet-bloc nation, who have emerged as outside contendors internationally. They may lack star names, but they're worth watching out for.

In reply to:

Euro '96 Characters - Alan Shearer


Alan Shearer is possibly the most characterless footballer ever to have lived! They don't avoid him on tv interviews for nothing!

later,
Chris...

I seem that which I am;
And therefore do I ask of thee, if thou
Wouldst be immortal?




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