Euro 2016

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Euro 2016

Postby BMCCOLL » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:30 pm

Anyone else think that playing 72 matches to eliminate just 8 teams is daft? Why not be done with it and just let everyone through to the KO stage! :lol:
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Alan McCabe » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:04 pm

Hmmm....I think this upcoming wedding is playing with your grey matter Brian.
6 games in 6 groups = 36 matches!
Agree with your general thought, though. Too many cautious matches thus far.
16 is more than enough Euro finalists.
Got to question whose daft idea this expansion was!
Oh, wait a minute....
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby BMCCOLL » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:31 am

:oops:
I think I was anticipating all those 'doubles' the guests will be lining up for me as Father of the Bride, Alan! :lol:

Too many teams in the Finals, there should of course be only 16. But you have to admit that it did lead to the last round still having everything to play for.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby bluedragon » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:23 am

My initial view was that 24 clubs were too many for the final stages. However, I am slowly changing my mind. First, all the games are being played in front of full or almost full grounds. Second, it spices up the competition and gives the smaller nations a real chance of progressing to the round of 16 and gives another chance to those nations that are only just in third place in their group. What would really make it interesting is if the Round of 16 - and onwards - was drawn rather than pre-organised. I am sure that the travel logistics would not be a problem.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Alan McCabe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:32 am

I would prefer some kind of half-way house, to be honest.
16 is maybe a bit shy given the 50-odd UEFA membership but I think 24 is too many and led to the lowest ever scoring figures for any major competition during the opening two rounds of group fixtures.
I'd like to see 20 finalists competing in 4 groups of 5, given every nation 4 matches. Group winners straight to the quarter-finals with all 2nd and 3rd finishers in a Play-off round. Would allow for plenty to play for and also give every country a free day on the fixture roster during the group stages.
Of course it will never happen. The money men, TV and sponsors drive the game nowadays and the finalists will only ever increase in number rather than fall. Indeed, there's regular talk of the WC going to 40 teams while you only need to see the English Premiership's reluctance to cut their numbers to see it ain't going to happen.
Aside from that, the draw has opened up the tournament quite unexpectedly and will guarantee probably Belgium, Croatia, Poland or Wales could very well be a finalist. Imagine a Germany v Poland final...we could absolutely claim we were in the 'group of death' in the qualifiers!
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Alan Brown » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:31 pm

From what I have saw of the tournament so far it has been to a high standard. I have been delighted to see the progress made by the 'smaller' nations such as Iceland and Albania. The 2020 Euros should be even better with the games spread throughout 13 countries and even if Scotland don't qualify there will still be a great deal of interest in the four matches hosted at Hampden.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Rob R » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:02 pm

I was watching the Northern Ireland V Wales match, when the commentator was musing over the referendum result and made a comment about how the subject of one international team for Britain might raise its ugly head again, and he said it would mean the end of international football for Northern Ireland,Scotland & Wales. I dont think for a minute that it crossed his mind that would have been the end of England too , or would we all be,thought of as English, just like many who called the USSR team Russians.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Vasco » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:28 am

Have to disagree with Alan about the standard of football. I'm just back after watching 10 games, in most of which the football was appalling. Similar systems used by both teams negating each other. The goalie to full-back to centre-half to central midfielder to full-back to goalie or centre half who then pumps it up the park, when the goalie could have done it in the first place. The ability of players able to turn and run with ball like Modric, Joe Allen, Dzsudzsak and a handful of others is what changes games.

Ukraine, Czech Republic, British Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Ireland and Belgium in their first match against Italy were all dire to watch. Portugal, despite drawing all three group games just kept piling forward and were somewhat unlucky not to top their group. The game against Austria was a proper football match, albeit ending in a scoreless draw. In that match Portugal had more shots at goal than in all the other games up to that point put together. I see no reason why they should fear Poland. Admittedly Lewandowski has not kicked a ball yet. Then probably Belgium in the semi-final, if Hazard plays for his team and not himself against Wales (remember the Red Devils failed to score against the Taffies in qualifying). Portugal, however, have to accommodate Renato Sanchez and Quaresma in their side and not use them as substitutes.

On the other side of the draw you'd expect France, if they would just throw off the shackles and go for it, to beat Iceland. They have a host of brilliant individuals who often fail to play to their potential as a team. Rami's been poor (suspended for next game), as has Evra (too old), but in Lloris, Koscielny, Matuidi, Kante, Griezmann, Giroud, Gignac, Koman and even a guy I don't particularly care for, Paul Pogba, they have players who collectively, but more often than not individually, like Griezmann on Sunday, can make a difference.

I've said since Scotland played them in Dortmund after their World Cup triumph that Germany are not a great team. Having seen them play a couple of times subsequently I have not changed my mind. They've realised that they need a proper centre, and even though it's Mario Gomez, it may not be enough to stop Italy progressing. I was mightily impressed by their display against Belgium, where the two wing-backs Candreva and Darmian hugged the touchline, giving them extra width. The former is expected to be back from injury.

All four quarter-finals look mouth-watering on paper, but how many will be damp squibs, going to extra-time and possibly penalties?
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Alan Brown » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:59 pm

Amazing result for Wales tonight! Heading down there for a weeks holiday on Monday, should be a great atmosphere for the game on Wednesday. I quite fancy Wales for the final now, I haven't been greatly impressed with Portugal. The longer this tournament goes on the more I am wishing it is the 'year of the underdog'. Thinking back to the days of Greece and Denmark.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby BMCCOLL » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:27 pm

I always had an inkling this would be a very open competition, but for Wales, and possibly Iceland, being in the semi-final is incredible. Although I think they both may fall at that stage, who'd bet against them meeting in the final?
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Aten » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:44 pm

Portugal worthy winners? For me I think not. Except for a few very brief flashes in the group stages, their whole philosophy was built around not losing. They did what they needed to do and got away with it - classic smash and grab.

I feel the tournament as a whole was a big disappointment. What started off brightly soon faded and it was not long before the turgid negative "lets stop the opposition playing" raised its ugly head. I am really at a loss as to what can be done about such negativity especially in the big tournaments. The fear of losing is so rife that the game as a spectacle is dying. Money, I believe, is killing the game at the top level. The more money available, the more boring the display.

One pleasing aspect was blatant diving was not as widespread as previously. Unfortunately this was replaced by other forms of cheating namely the cynical foul, and the holding/shirt pulling. In my view the "professional foul" praised by commentators and ex-players as "taking one for the team" should be red carded without question. Ex-players and others in the media who praise such cheating should be criticised.

As for holding/shirt pulling, can any referee or ex-referee who may read these forums, please explain why this activity is penalised anywhere on the park except the penalty area? Clearly the only way this cheating can be stamped out is for it to be penalised correctly. If this means 50 penalties and numerous sending offs during a game then so be it. Holding/shirt pulling is a foul - treat it as such!
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Vasco » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:45 am

I concur with most of what Aten said, but I don't agree about Portugal. In the group stages they went at it hammer and tongs, got suckered by both Iceland and Hungary, and were desperately unlucky against Austria after playing some of the best football of the tournament. Perhaps such circumstances, and playing Ronaldo in the wrong way, contributed to their attitude in the knock-out phase.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby BMCCOLL » Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:31 pm

In my opinion, the tournament was too drawn out, the finals should be short and snappy. Reduced to 16 teams (maybe too drastic to reduce to 8!) with the group winners qualifying for the semi-final. Of course that will never happen unless the 'big' countries were guaranteed a place...
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Vasco » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:26 am

Spot on! 16 teams with 4 groups of 4 or 32 teams in groups of 4 or even 20 teams with groups of 5, but please get rid of this "best placed whatever" team ethos. I remember at the World Cup in 1990 thinking that, despite defeats by Costa Rica and Brazil, that we were one of the best..... It wasn't until later that night that I found out that Daniel Fonseca had scored for Uruguay in injury time to actually put Scotland out. Farcical concept.
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