‘The best footballing experience I have ever had’ – France vs Germany in the Velodrome

What a game. What a fantastic and unreal game.

 

The live experience of football is a very different animal to watching it on the TV. I was in Nice for England/Iceland and it was absolutely clear that England were dreadful but it was only after reading and listening to the various recriminations that it was clear just how much of a steaming pile of faeces England actually were.

 

There can be absolutely no denying in how great a game France vs Germany was. In the Stade Vélodrom it felt like you were watching a spectacle, something more than a semi-final as the stature of both teams resonated with their respective fans. This was their final.  Continue reading “‘The best footballing experience I have ever had’ – France vs Germany in the Velodrome”

Portugal awaits the winner from Marseille

Game of the Day: France vs. Germany, Marseille, 20.00

After a tournament scattered with surprises, Thursday night sees what will be a widely predicted line up for the semi-final in the bottom half of the draw; hosts and favourites France against World Champions Germany. Continue reading “Portugal awaits the winner from Marseille”

Can Iceland sink French hopes?

We’ve had one bore draw, a great team performance, a clash of European footballing giants and now this. If you thought England had to deal with pressure then think again.

Progress has been less than serene for Les Bleus’. They have been expected to win each and every game since the opening fixture comfortably and with stereotypically French levels of panache. Rather than respected foes, the hosts have been portrayed as navigating a slippery river crossing, knowing that one false step will result in total humiliation. Continue reading “Can Iceland sink French hopes?”

Italy vs. Spain – When Powerhouse’s Collide 

Game of the Day: Italy vs. Spain, Paris, 18:00

No one saw this coming. Spain coming second in their group.

After losing their first game in the European Championships since 2004 to Croatia, Spain now found themselves on the sticky side of the draw, and a game against an Italian side that at first impressed but now come into this game with questions against their name.

After a tentative start against the Czech Republic, Spain waltzed past Turkey with more flair than a 70s disco in the second game of the group. Spain appeared to have mojo back. Then came Ivan Perisic and Croatia. Continue reading “Italy vs. Spain – When Powerhouse’s Collide “

Group D Final Round Preview

Games of the Day
Croatia vs. Spain, Bordeaux, 20:00
Czech Republic vs. Turkey, Lens, 20:00

Standings
Spain – 6pts
Croatia – 4pts
Czech Republic – 1pt
Turkey – 0pts

Spain have seemingly managed to make light work of arguably the hardest group of these Championships. After securing qualification with a 3-0 drumming of Turkey, Spain move on to facing a potential Luka Modric-less Croatia.

Against Turkey, something seemed to have finally clicked for the Spanish. The combination of Nolito and Alvaro Morata produced an incisiveness that seemed lacking against the Czech’s in the first game. The glancing header by the Juventus striker was a delicate effort that needed nothing more than guiding into the back of the net after a fantastic in-swinging ball delivered by Nolito.

Whilst the second goal may have came about from a defensive error, the third goal by Spain was a thing of beauty. A simple tap in finish for Morata after a 22 pass move, it was a goal that only the Spanish could have crafted. Out of all 22 passes, the one that shone was the pass from Andres Iniesta to Jordi Alba. It was just sublime. Continue reading “Group D Final Round Preview”

Are goals going to be a problem for Spain?

Game of the Day: Spain vs Turkey, Nice, 20:00

Spain haven’t lost a game in a European Championships since 2004. An obvious fact giving that they are two time reigning champions, it does however just sound very impressive.

When I reviewed Spain’s first game against the Czech Republic, I pointed out the lack of an obvious world class no.9 for Spain and Del Bosque duly gave both Alvaro Morata and Aritz Aduriz air time against Petr Cech and co. Yet it took an 87th minute winner from a certain Gerard Pique to secure the three points. Spain looked good, they dominated possession, played some lovely intricate passing play on the edge of the box but the actual act of scoring seemed that it was going to be too greater ask. So are goals going to be a problem once more down on the Riviera? Continue reading “Are goals going to be a problem for Spain?”

Can Del Bosque make it three Euro’s in a row?

Game of the Day: Spain vs. Czech Republic, Toulouse, 15:00

Is the end of Spanish dominance in the Euro’s ending? Its golden generation is drawing to close with Iker Casillas and Andreas Iniesta making their last appearance in European football’s showpiece event but can Vicente Del Bosque muster one last journey with the players who have delivered so much success? Continue reading “Can Del Bosque make it three Euro’s in a row?”