Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Euro2008 - The Best Soccer Tournament Ever?

It's not even over yet! Clearly something is up.

Let me begin this post by qualifying a few of my upcoming statements. I'm only 23 years old and even worse, my memory is pretty bad. Thus, for me, time in the futbol world begins in 1994 when the US hosted the World Cup. Also, anything short of Champions League, Euro, and the World Cup cannot really qualify as the magnitude of any other tournaments simply cannot compare. CL should probably be dropped from the considerations but I did some research on the CL history so I'm throwing it in there.

Through 26 games, there have been 65 goals - that's 2.5 a game. I've done this before, but that's about as high scoring as any other sport. 16 of these goals have come in the last 10 minutes of play. 14 of these 16 have been dramatic. My definition of, "dramatic" is a goal (in the last 10 minutes) that makes you sit up - I often watch while lounging - and watch the end intently or any that make you call your friends. (I know you're interested - the 2 that didn't make the cut are Cesc's late goal against Russia and Holland's third against Italy)

14 dramatic goals in 26 games! That makes 1 out of every 2 games absolutely worth the watch. And if you're Turkish (and still alive) you know that sometimes you are given more than one dramatic goal per game.

Here is my list of matches in the Euro2008 tourny so far that I would define as, "absolutely worth 2 hours."

  • Netherlands 3, Italy 0 - On paper and on the highlights it deceives as a blow-out, but as I've written before, if you watched this game it wasn't over until the 80th minute when Holland went up by three. At 2 nil I was still perfectly ready to say Italy comes back to tie or win.
  • Spain 4, Russia 1 - Whether you're a "grizzled" sports fan or my offense-loving mother, Spain-Russia covers all bases. The scoring was bountiful and Russia did not play a bad game. I don't know if I documented it, but I'm not surprised Russia advanced.
  • Sweden 2, Greece 0 - The first half wasn't "great" per se, but Zlatan arrived at the business-casual party wearing a cream suit, turquoise gator shoes, and two girls with fake tits on each arm. The Greeks really came out of their shell too.
  • Portugal 3, Czech 1 - I think it was around 20 minutes before Cristiano's goal that Jim and I conversed about how Ronaldo needs to put his "stamp" on a game in this tourny. Hmmm.
  • Switzerland 1, Turkey 2 - If you're keeping track, 4 consecutive matches in 2 days have made this list... it was quite a Tuesday/Wednesday.
  • Croatia 2, Germany 1 - I believe it was Adrian Healey who described this match as when Croatia put Germany to the sword. I like him.
  • Netherlands 4, France 1 - "Well it's a dutch oven... and the French are toast." Again, Adrian Healey. Pending debate, this is the game of the group-stages right now, possibly tournament.
  • Spain 2, Sweden 1 - Spain was actually looking like they might lose this game for awhile. I can actually vividly imagine my conversation with Jim about how Spain would not make it out of the group stages, choke, always does this, etc etc. That was of course, until David Villa quieted me down in the 90th minute.
  • Turkey 3, Czech Republic 2 - You're beginning to realize right now, as you read this, that you are craving a turkey sandwich. Make it a double.
  • France 0, Italy 2 - This felt alot like watching two gorgeous porn stars have sex until one of them dies... so much talent, such bad management... and fu$% Domenech, July 3rd can't come soon enough.
  • Portugal 2, Germany 3 - damnt. Dear Ricardo, learn how to play goalie, sincerely, Juan (and the entire nation of Portugal).
  • Turkey 1, Croatia 1 (pen 3-1) - Turkey needs to seriously stop doing this. Half their fan base must be dead or at least hospitalized by now. If this were Uruguay, I would definitely be dead.
I cited 12 games out of the 26 (33%) and had you avoided obvious snoozers (3rd round games where teams were playing scrubs) this percentage goes up. I've watched just about every WC game and CL game in the past three cycles and I don't think either hits the 1/3 mark for schedule altering matches.

Again, the tourney isn't even over yet...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Let's All Laugh at Domenech

In all seriousness, what did he expect? And yes, I am going to keep flogging this horse's corpse until I'm satisfied that the meat has been sufficiently tenderized, at which point I will eat it (much like the French).

Here, let's have some more fun with this:


GK: Mickael Landreau
RB: Bacary Sagna
CB: Phillippe Mexes
CB: Nicolas Escude
LB: Gael Clichy
RM: Ludovic Giuly
CM: Mathieu Flamini
CM: Alou Diarra
LM: Robert Pires (or Hatem Ben Arfa)
FW: Djibril Cisse
FW: David Trezeguet

Sure, it's not the strongest international lineup ever made and it lacks some creativity in its central midfield, but does anyone want to tell me this team couldn't do better than draw 0-0 with Romania, get beat down by the Netherlands 4-1 and be handled with ease by fellow struggling heavyweight Italy 2-0? The point, as always, is that Domenech failed to select any ONE of the aforementioned players for his humiliatingly bad Euro squad. Of the players he did select, it turned out only Coupet, Ribery, and Henry (kind of) deserved their places. Everyone else crapped the bed in a major way.

As I examine the stars, I see Leo rising, Scorpio waning, Jupiter in the seventh house, and just a whole bunch of complete and utter nonsense which tells me that Raymond Domenech isn't fit to coach in my old Olivette soccer league. Thank goodness everyone else knows it now.