Monday, June 9, 2008

Euro Day 3 Wrapup

The 3rd day of the Euro tournament saw group C, or the "group of death" come into action.

I watched both games and I have to say I'm disgusted with the play of France and Italy.

France and Romania Bore Me To Death 0-0
Usually when the people I know watch a soccer game that ends 0-0 they say what a boring game it was. I am always there to defend a good hard game between two evenly matched teams.

I cannot defend the game that I watched between France and Romania.

France, playing without both Thierry Henry and captain Patrick Vieira could not create any chances against the Romanian defense. Henry's replacement Nicolas Anelka was not good at all, and headed France's best chance to score over the bar from 6 yards away.

Bundasliga player of the Year Franck Ribery was completely shut down the entire first half and played only a little better in the second half.

Replacements Gomis and Nasri for France also contributed little to the French attack during their time in the game. 

Adrian Mutu played well in my opinion for Romania and Rat did a great job shutting down Ribery.

France better hope that Henry can play in the next game or else I cannot see France scoring, or advancing out of the group stage. 

Man of the Match- Thierry Henry for resting

Italy Gets Crushed 3-0

As an Italian I still cannot comprehend what I saw on the field today.

In a fast paced game, Italy was defeated by the Netherlands for the first time since 1978, 3-0.

Italy had the game's momentum early on until Ruud van Nistelrooy  was credited with a goal in the 26th minute despite being about 200 feet offsides. I mean it was closer to 3 yards but if you a referee in the Euro 08 competition, blowing a call like that is inexcusable. 

After that play the Netherlands were in cruise control, scoring against the shell shocked Italian defense only 5 minutes later on what was in my opinion the best goal of the tournament so far by Wesley Sneijder. Sneijder took a perfect header from Dirk Kuyt and squeezed the ball in between Buffon and the post.

Italy looked better in the second half after Italy brought on Del Piero who missed a few close shots. 

Finally in the 80th minute the Netherlands scored again on an Van Bronckhorst header that should have been saved.

Robin van Persie also made an appearance for the Netherlands, despite the team saying earlier in the week that he would be unavailable to play.

Van der Sar was also incredible for the Dutch, saving  a perfect free kick from Pirlo.

I think for Italy in the next games there needs to be a change in the starting lineup. Del Piero did not start even though he is the most creative striker on the team, and De Rossi did not start despite being one of the leading candidates for Serie A player of the year. 

I think Di Natale, Camoranesi, and Ambrosini should be replaced for these two players and Grosso.

Cannavaro's defense was missed a great deal this game.

Hopefully Italy can learn from this embarrassment and win the rest of the group games.

(sorry for the biased reporting on the Italy game but I can't help it).

Man of the Match- Van der Sar (Netherlands)


Lanza said...

Psht he wasn't offsides

Anonymous said...

Hey mad6986, its good to be back. I have to strongly disagree with Ianza's comment. That was one of the worst offside calls I have seen in my short 22 years of watching soccer. I don't care if the injured defender was on the sidelines. Van Nistelrooy was offsides by a mile ! The injured player was out of the action and had no influence. It's a bad call. I don't care if the ref called it according to the "books". If he was so interested in keeping a strict match then he should have carded the Dutch defender who tugged on Luca Toni's shirt in the box and brought him down. The Azzurri lost their focus and never rebounded. We let this match go. It could have been 10-0 for all its worth ! (although we need to tighten up the goal differential to have a good chance of advancing. This match had some life, but all the previous thus far have been dull. I agree, the Romania-France match was terrible and I too don't have problems with tight matches with low scoring. As Serie A fans we see plenty of them.

Anna Italia said...

Mike what a terrible day for Italian football! I cannot believe it took Holland / Netherlands 30 years to beat the Italians by the hand of former Milan player Marco Van Basten!

I was expecting, as almost everybody, Italy's victory!

As for Van Nilsterooy's goal... THAT WAS OFFSIDE!!! I keep watching the replay and it is offside. Still no excuse for our defeat.

Just hope Italy forget this terrible day and learned their lesson. Do you think Donadoni will keep his 4-3-3 formation or will he go back to 4-4-2 to improve the midfield?

Monica 08 said...

I do see France scoring in the next game.

mad6986 said...

Anna, I think it was more of the personnel rather then the formation.

Pirlo after the game said that “If De Rossi had played then I would’ve been further up the field, but there are 23 of us in the squad and the Coach makes his decisions.”

Anna Italia said...

I agree it was more a personal issue on Del Piero. As for Andrea Pirlo's comments, they are right but wrong to say in public in a critical moment. We already know Donadoni blew it but not for players to make it even obvious. Don't you think? Whatever happened to "be united in good and bad moments." Bad things should be discussed in the dressing room / spogliatoio.