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NoGame
(acolyte)
06/07/05 12:31 PM
Marco van Basten, Tough Guy new [re: EJSunday]  

Good to see our 'old words' up there EJ, thanks for making the overview.

What can I say about the Dutch thusfar? They have, with the most recent win over Romania last Saturday, accomplished an unique score. Never before has a coach of the national team established a series like Marco van Basten did. He is unbeaten for ten games in a row, and surpassed the legendary Rinus Michels (trainer of magic teams in 1974 and 1988). Of course ten games are played much quicker these days than they were back then, but still, it stands as a fact. And goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, playing his 100th game for Holland tomorrow against Finland, has kept his goal clean for five games in a row now.

I have high hopes for 'my side' next year. Van Basten plays the underdog, saying he's focussing on Euro 2008. He indeed has brought in 15 new players since he took the job. But there is potential. Youngster devoid of arrongance, like there were too many of in the team. Notice that all the recent results are booked without Clarence Seedorf, who recently made the final with AC Milan, his fourth, in the Champions League. Edgar Davids still hasn't returned, and will he ever? Patrick Kluivert (just as old as Van Nisterrooij) seems to be down and out, let's see how he does with Valencia next season. Major players, and results come in without them... Holland is a team again.

We have a little bump in the road at the moment. Mark van Bommel, former PSV leader and now gone to Barcelona, is thrown out of the team. Not good enough at doing his job... Van Basten is tough. Real tough. Who's going to stop him, and his team? It might as well be Brazil or Argentina, because I really don't fear England nor Germany.

NoGame
I see your thing alright.

Sam_X
(grinning soul)
06/07/05 02:21 PM
Re: Marco van Basten, Tough Guy new [re: NoGame]  

In reply to:

Never before has a coach of the national team established a series like Marco van Basten did. He is unbeaten for ten games in a row, and surpassed the legendary Rinus Michels (trainer of magic teams in 1974 and 1988).


What about Bruckner? Czech Republic went unbeaten for 20 games in a row during 2002-03 (if friendly matches count - otherwise, you're right).

Coin-Operated Boy

EJSundayModerator
(heroic dolphin)
06/07/05 03:12 PM
More Tough Guys new [re: Sam_X]  

In reply to:

What about Bruckner? Czech Republic went unbeaten for 20 games in a row during 2002-03 (if friendly matches count - otherwise, you're right).


I am sure there are loads of other coaches world wide who have surpassed the 10 games record. Even Germany's dreadful Jupp Derwall had a string of 23 unbeaten games in the late 70s/early 80s. German best.

But I am sure that NoGame was referring to the Dutch record history and that's indeed where van Basten has achieved something.

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


Arlequino
(cracked actor)
06/07/05 04:42 PM
Dutch Menace new [re: NoGame]  

The Dutch, it must be said, are looking as much like true contenders as any of the other European sides at the moment.

I like what van Basten seems to have been doing with the team - they've got a very apparent discipline, a great creative streak - Robben, despite the fact he's as brittle as a Ryvita and a Blue to boot, is a terrifyingly good player - and a crop of young talent a mile long.

Of course, the Dutch do appear to have a talent to self-destruct, or even disappear completely when a big game comes along. But, van Basten appears to be ironing out certain creases from the Dutch arsenal - who's to say he can't get shot of those too, and turn the Netherlands into a real world force again?

later,
Chris...

I could stay if you asked me,
So for God's sake don't ask me to stay



NoGame
(acolyte)
06/08/05 05:29 AM
HSV new [re: EJSunday]  

I was indeed talking about the Dutch record.

How about national player and former Ajax talent Rafael van der Vaart going to Hamburger SV, EJ? Don't know much about that team, besides that Khalid Boularouzh plays there, also a Dutchman and since recent in the national team.

NoGame
I see your thing alright.

decibel
(stardust savant)
06/08/05 07:48 PM
Re: HSV new [re: NoGame]  

I was meeting this boy earlier this evening and he accidentally (he claims) arranged for us to meet in a bar with a projection of the Denmark-Albania game on the back wall. I had a bit of trouble keeping his attention where it ought to be (on me) are so I'm not at all surprised to find the same thing going on here (football getting all the attention, not me) But what I wanted to say - I ended up watching the game too and...
We are so going to the championships!


Still perfecting imperfection

EJSundayModerator
(heroic dolphin)
10/13/05 09:38 AM
Winners & Losers new [re: decibel]  

The last group games of the qualifying have been played, some are left in tears (the Irish) others will march in pride (the Dutch) and still others have gone trough albeit a weak performance - due to a weak group (the English).

Let's check again how well we fared in our predictions when the Future Legend 2006 started.

Group 1:
1 Netherlands
2 Czech Republic
3 Romania

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: Czech Republic
Runners up: Netherlands (who will advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Romania

NoGame:
Group 1: Holland is in the worst group imaginable. First of all the Czechs. Those bloody Czechs again. I envision Holland getting only one point from them in the home game, and getting ourselves hammered (again!) in Prague. Finland is not the strongest of teams, but they can prove tricky, and Romania has a good reputation as well. The other countries I don't know, and don't really fear, but that Holland is in a strong group is for sure. winner: Czech Republic.

Arlequino:
Winner - Czech Republic
Runner Up - Netherlands
Banana Skin - Romania

EJSunday:
1 Czechs
2 Netherlands
Romania will certainly have a word in there and also the Finns will certainly not give the big guns an easy pass.

Prediction Quality: Good. The Dutch and the Czechs on top, but we all expected the Czechs to win the group and underestimated Holland's power - even NoGame was more pessimistic. Romania was well judged.

Group 2:
1 Ukraine
2 Turkey
3 Denmark

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: Greece
Runners up: Denmark (who will probably advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Turkey

NoGame:
Group 2: A confrontation between the new European champion Greece and their arch enemy Turkey (came in third at the WC 2002, but missed EURO 2004 due to Latvia) will prove interesting for sure. Of course the Turks are more than willing to prove that they are better than Greece. Honor's at stake here. I'm looking forward to those games between those two countries. Denmark could be the outsider in this group, profiting. Winner: Denmark (hard choice though!).

Arlequino:
Winner - Turkey
Runner Up - Greece
Banana Skin - Ukraine

EJSunday:
Tough call. Can Greece repeat the miracle of Portugal? I have my doubts, the other big teams will have learned their lesson. So I say:
1 Denmark
2 Turkey

Prediction quality: Still not very good. Neither of us had the Ukraine on top, only Arlequino put them in the the Bana Skin category at least. The Greek where vastly overrated, only Greek expert EJ predicted that they wouldn't make it but overestimated Denmark, just as Dara and NoGame. At least Turkey's second place offers some consolation.

Group 3:

1 Portugal
2 Slowakia
3 Russia

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: Portugal
Runners up: Russia (who will probably advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Latvia

NoGame:
Easy one for Portugal. Mind those Russians though.

Arlequino:
Winner - Portugal
Runner Up - Russia
Banana Skin - Portugal - but only to themselves!

EJSunday:
1 Portugal
2 Russia
Latvia will not make it this time.

Prediction quality: Not good. Portugal was an easy tip which we all got right but neither of us opted for Slovakia. We all failed with Russia who looked a safe bet in a not too tough group. Little did we know.

Group 4:
1 France
2 Switzerland
3 Israel

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: France
Runners up: Ireland (who will not advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Swizerland

NoGame:
Easy one for France, although their fame has gone downhill enormously. Again against Cypres... Ireland will have a difficult time, but they should be able to beat Switzerland in the race for second place. Israel, hm, what to think of those guys?

Arlequino:
Winner - France
Runner Up - Republic of Ireland
Banana Skin - Switzerland

EJSunday:
1 France
2 Ireland
Switzerland may cause a few problems but won't be good enough to go through.

Prediction quality: So-so. France finally managed to win a group which in the beginning looked like an easy road for them, but cuased far more problems than expected. Still they made it and we knew it. Neither of us expected the Suiss to be that strong and on a bitter side note it was Dara who here expected them to cause a few headaches. And how they did. Ireland defied all our expectations and only came fourth, even behind Israel.

Group 5:
1 Italy
2 Norway

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: Italy
Runners up: Slovenia (who will not advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Norway

NoGame:
Italy has a win-lose group. They could loose to teams like Scotland and Norway, but beat them just as easily. If they keep focussed, it shouldn't be too hard. Winner: Italy.

Arlequino:
Winner - Italy
Runner U - Norway
Banana Skin - Belarus

EJSunday:
1 Italy
2 Norway
3 Scotland

Prediction quality: Very good. Italy and Norway as expected, only Dara's hopes for Slovakia prevent us from full marks here.

Group 6:
1 England
2 Poland
3 Austria

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: England
Runners up: Poland (who will not advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Wales

NoGame:
I think some of the groups are made up badly. Just take a look at England now. At first sight it seems to be a tricky group, but we all know in the end that they will qualify easily. Even though some 'neighbours' are present in the group, good for some heavy confrontations, I still think England got a fairly easy group. Too easy.

Arlequino:
Winner - England
Runner Up - Wales
Banana Skin - Austria

EJSunday:
Difficult to see who comes second. Number one is of course
1 England
2 Wales

Prediction quality: Very good to bad. England was easy but then Arlequino and EJ failed miserably by overrating Wales who have even fallen behind Northern Ireland. Very good exact evaluation by Dara with Poland on two and Arlequino at least had Austria correctly lurking from behind.

Group 7:
1 Serbia & Montenegro
2 Spain
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina

What we said -
Dara:
Winners: Spain
Runners up: Belgium (who will probably not advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Serbia

NoGame:
Same goes for Spain. Now what exactly did they do to get into a group as easy as this one? The results of the national Spanish team is to cry about, but they are allowed to come to Germany through a wide open door. I hope Belgium can stunt against them.

Arlequino:
Winner - Spain
Runner Up - Belgium
Banana Skin - Bosnia-Herzegovina

EJSunday:
This could be a tight group. Two favourites (Spain, Belgium) but two good outsiders as well (Serbia, Bosnia). As I tend to belive in surprises I say
1 Spain
2 Serbia

Prediction quality: Weak. Noone expected Serbia to win the group and only little EJ had them in the top two and Dara saw them waiting in the dark. We all expected Spain to win this group easily, an expectation which hasn't materialized at all.

Group 8:
1 Croatia
2 Sueden
3 Bulgaria

- What we said -
Dara:
Winners: Sweden
Runners up: Croatia (who will probably advance in playoffs)
Dark horses: Bulgaria

NoGame:
Interesting group. Bulgaria, Sweden and Croatia can all beat each other. But who will do it? Winner: Sweden.

No predictions from Arlequino for this group.

EJSunday:
Noone will stop the Swedish here. But who is second best? If Bulgaria learn their lessons from the EURO they have potentially the best team, but will they defend this time?. Croatia have a new manager and are always a tough beast, but their key players are not getting younger. So I say
1 Sweden
2 Bulgaria

Prediction quality: Mixed. Sweden overrated but still coming second. Noone expected Croatia to win here but especially Dara had them high on his list.

The Czechs, Slovakia, Spain, The Suiss, Turkey and Norway will be in the bowl for the relegation draw on Friday. Let's meet up here again when we know how will meet whom - and then we'll put down our final predictions for the last three Europeans teams who will come to Germany next year.

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


Strawman
(acolyte)
10/13/05 10:13 AM
Re: Winners & Losers new [re: EJSunday]  

In reply to:

The Greek where vastly overrated, only Greek expert EJ predicted that they wouldn't make it but overestimated Denmark, just as Dara and NoGame. At least Turkey's second place offers some consolation.


Yes indeed, the overrated Greek's failure to even qualify for the Finals renders your estimation of the Euro 2004 competition as being one of the finest, an inaccurate one

I notice that nobody predicted that the Serbians & Montenegroes would qualify as I predicted in a thread at the former Hunky Dory

There's Old Wave TW
There's New Wave TW
And there's Strawman


EJSundayModerator
(heroic dolphin)
10/13/05 10:54 AM
Re: Winners & Losers new [re: Strawman]  

In reply to:

I notice that nobody predicted that the Serbians & Montenegroes would qualify as I predicted in thread at the former Hunky Dory


Well, I had them coming in second whicht at least contains the chance of qualifying, so I wasn't that far off.

In reply to:

Yes indeed, the overrated Greek's failure to even qualify for the Finals renders your estimation of the Euro 2004 competition as being one of the finest, an inaccurate one


Which is obviously nonsense unless you admit that England's continuous failure to win anything or to even qualify in numerous cases proves that the Brits were already crap in 1966.

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


Dara
(NiteFlitez643)
10/13/05 02:39 PM
Re: Winners & Losers new [re: EJSunday]  

In reply to:

Ireland defied all our expectations and only came fourth, even behind Israel.


This was the most bizarre group outcome I've ever seen. Not Ireland coming fourth, but the fact that of the 12 games involving the top 4 sides, 11 finished as draws. The odds on that are several million to one. Throw in the fact that all four teams won all four of their games against the weaker sides, and in essence the group came down to the result of one game: Ireland v. France. France won 1-0, thereby winning the group and consigning Ireland to fourth. Had it gone the other way, we'd have topped the group, with France fourth.

It's probably a blessing Ireland didn't advance. In terms of playing personnel, this is the weakest Irish team in living memory. For as long as I've been following football, Ireland have always had at least 4 or 5 players who could get into almost any national side in Europe, or at least the squad. Now there's just two (Given and Duff). The rest of the team is composed of players who would have struggled to make the squad back in the late 80s or early 90s, and players who wouldn't have been even close.

The Swiss are technically good, and they have an unbeaten run that now stretches into the teens, but I'll be surprised if they get through the playoffs.

The news for Ireland is all pretty grim. We'll probably be demoted to being fourth seeds for the next qualifiers, making advancement even more difficult.

Slan libh,

Dara

"Ireland is a great country to go to if you think you're drinking too much. Because it turns out you're not even close"


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