Spain – European Champions 2012.
Myself and a thousand other writers currently sit at their desks this morning with a stream of egg yolk running shamelessly down their face. ‘Italy will win’, so I said, as did countless others. Italy play with two strikers, Spain with zero strikers, there could only be one winner!
Maybe it’s that view that makes football in England seem so archaic, in that if something isn’t done how it usually should be, then it’s automatically a bad thing. Maybe that’s why since winning a World Cup once in 1966, we’re reluctant to move away from a model that should now be confined to a dusty book. Try telling Spain that playing without a striker is the root of all evil. Spain have just beaten a very good Italy side by four goals without a striker, so how do we respond to that?
Much laughing had been directed at Spain’s formation of ’4-6-0′. Vincente Del Bosque claims that Spain play a 4-3-3 as always, it’s just the players that are different. Personally, I’d still play with a designated striker, but it seems there is nothing wrong in playing with six incredibly talented central midfielders. For Spain’s first, David Silva scored with a bullet header, then Jordi Alba, a full-back, put Spain two ahead with a strong run from left-back. Spain are good enough with the ball to not actually need a striker, even though I’m sure they’d play David Villa if he were fit, or Fernando Torres when back in full form. Read more
I’m sorry if this post is late reaching you, in fact, I know it will be late, there is no ‘if’ about it. Give me a dial-up connection over wireless Internet any day…
… I kid.
Right, I shan’t beat about the bush this morning as I’m late already, so we’ll speak about Italy beating Germany by two goals to one last night. Talking to Mat after the match, he described it as a, ‘shock, but not a shock’. Of course, we all expected Germany to win (I think) but yet it was no surprise that Italy turned up, scored two goals and qualified for the final of Euro 2012, where they will play Spain in Kiev.
Adam, one of our guest writers for this summer. said that Germany looked vulnerable against Greece and did so all tournament. Before Germany actually packed their bags for Poland/Ukraine, they were stunned and beaten 5-3 by Switzerland. Fair enough, Germany made many changes that day, but it showed they maybe weren’t the finished article we thought the Germans to be. I’d always take a friendly result with a pinch of salt, as England beat Spain a few months ago, but it did show that Germany could be ‘got at’. Read more
Burton, the saviour of English football?
It’s a bit thin on the ground for good news on transfers etc. Okay, there are rumours that Gylfi Sigurdsson may be moving to one of Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur and Pavel Pogrebnyak is apparently nearing a deal to join Reading, but those stories seem so far off completion at the minute, that anything I write on it could well be made redundant, which would be incredibly frustrating. I will say that if Reading manage to capture Pogrebnyak, then I believe they have a genuine ‘international class’ striker.
England and the future
The newspapers this morning are filled with debate over how England can build on Euro 2012. One thing we can take away from the campaign in Ukraine and Poland, is that England put in a lot of graft, leaving everything on the field for the country, I completely appreciate their effort.
Roy Hodgson’s system causes England to be rigid, a 4-4-2 system which leaves little to the imagination and has been the preferred system of English football managers for decades. There’s no question it needs changing, 4-4-2 is easy to plan against, it’s not hard to defend against two banks of four and two strikers if you’re a good team. I don’t think for a second that Hodgson will persevere with 4-4-2, I believe he only selected that formation due to the time in which he had to prepare England; all of our players know 4-4-2 like the back of their hand, so use it, get through the tournament and build afterwards. Roy Hodgson said he was looking beyong Euro 2012, it was never the be all and end all for him, it’s all about the future now, and what we can do in Brazil two years down the line, or in France in 2016. Read more
Once again, the dream has eluded us. Once again, it’s the cruel format of a penalty shoot-out that has seen English hopes shattered. To be fair, we can count ourselves lucky to have reached extra time, such was the inbalance of play between the two sides.
Before Euro 2012 had even kicked off, Roy Hodgson made a comment on some radio station or another, cryptically speaking the words, ‘we have to try to get back to putting the church back into the village’. This saying is of Swedish origin, relating to notions of organisation, discipline, values and priorities. Roy Hodgson has indeed restored the church to the village, as even when Andrea Pirlo was suffocating England with his passing, there was no hint of panic from the England ranks. There seemed to be more blue shirts than white for large periods of the match and way the way in which John Terry was defending against the mass ranks of the Italians, was reminiscent of Michael Caine’s performance in Zulu. Read more
‘I know what would look good – a comb-over.’
I hope you enjoyed Adam’s article yesterday. I acknowledge it was published from my author account, one just forgot to switch accounts, like a fool. All the same, you can catch Adam on here, every Thursday morning at nine ‘o clock. If you have the inclination to write for us on a temporary, guest basis, then we’d love to hear from you. You need to be a very good writer and able to give reasoning for your arguments, if you fit that description, then do send over an e-mail.
In further news, today, we will break records on this website for traffic in a month, with over a week to go before the end of this month. If somebody had told me a year and two months ago that ‘Jumpers For Goalposts’ would be receiving X amount of hits, then I’d have laughed. It’s a pleasure writing and I hope you enjoy reading just as much. Read more
In Germany’s fixture against Holland, Mario Gomez touched the ball for all of 22 seconds. Gomez scored two goals that night.
Euro 2012. Wow. Not even the most ardent fan could have believed the quality of the football we have had so far. Let’s get some key statistics in there first. The first major one is that there still hasn’t been a 0-0 draw as of yet, which is a far cry from the 2010 World Cup. There have also been a brilliant 60 goals so far, meaning an average of 2.5 goals per game. It’s a far cry from some of the more recent tournaments and has so far been a feast of football for the neutrals and supporters alike. Unless of course, like me, you have been supporting England and aged significantly. Read more
Crazy England fan continues to believe.
I thought of a good idea this morning whilst I ate my cornflakes. Here me out, but wouldn’t it be a great idea to place a fifth official five yards away from goal in the event of the ball being cleared off the line? Surely that fifth official would be able to see what had happened? Personally, I think it’s a great idea…
… You say that FIFA already did that? Oh…
You’ll have to pardon me for believing the fifth official yesterday to be one very large ITV camera. England’s fortune yesterday should prove to be the catalyst in Michel Platini’s thinking to introduce goal line technology. Platini hates the English, he hates us winning even more, so imagine his displeasure at seeing us escape what was a certain goal. Even from where I was sat, twelve yards away at the back of a pub, watching on the TV, I knew it had gone in by watching in real time. Having watched hundreds upon hundreds of football matches, one obtains a perception for certain angles on the football pitch, it was a definite goal. Read more
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal’s new signing.
First on my agenda this morning, I must say a big thank you to everyone who has been on the site recently. We’ll be breaking hit records for the website this month and the amount of people who linked to yesterday’s article using Facebook and Twitter yesterday was incredible. I take a lot of pride in my writing, so it means the World to me when lots of people are coming to Jumpers For Goalposts to read the latest article.
Anyway, I must not digress, as once again, I’ve left myself limited time in which to write this. I’ll never learn… Read more
Greece. Better than Russia? Give me a moment to laugh…
I trust the weekend was good for you? First of all, a massive congratulations to the sister of a reader of this blog, who entered wedlock on Saturday. I went to their wedding reception and it was a very nice evening, but in the name of football, do you want to know what I spent twenty minutes doing? I was watching Russia v Greece on my iPhone! I am that dedicated to football, I know no social boundaries when football comes into the equation. I would have watched more, but the damn wi-fi disappeared after a bit. I have a feeling the hotel were on to me…
… B*stards. Read more
Happy National Theo Walcott Day!
Happy National Theo Walcott Day!
At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger likes to surmise a performance based on the workings of a handbrake. If Arsenal fail to find their full attacking rhythm, Wenger says Arsenal have played, ‘with the handbrake on’. After a dull, 1-1 draw against France in our opening Euro 2012 match, many people had called for England to be a little more adventurous.
In response to his critics, Roy Hodgson deployed Andy Carroll’s £30 million forehead next to Danny Welbeck as England went to a standard 4-4-2 formation. Carroll replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who dropped to the bench, with Ashley Young stepping into Chamberlain’s shoes on the left wing. After an anonymous performance against France, I was happy to see Young playing in his natural position, rather than trying to swim up a waterfall down the middle. I don’t like Young playing behind the striker, if anything I’d like to see that role reserved for Chamberlain, who looked very good in the brief cameo role he was allowed (if it were not for Steven Gerrard, Chamberlain would have had his first senior goal). Read more