So here we are at the dawn of the Euro 2012 championships, full of hope optimism and … well, to be honest, if you are English you may be dreading it. So it reserve the optimism for other nationalities.
This must be the first tournament where universal optimism for England from English fans has vanished. Each tournament England fans generally go from skeptical to optimistic as the tournament approaches and the generally feeling on day one is ‘You know what, we could win this’.
If you look at Englands record though it’s pretty rubbish to be honest. Which hints at an underlying issue with the national game. With a new manager, new team, injuries and all the other stuff thrown in it’s easy to see why people don’t expect this record to improve. This may be the first tournament where the best trade was before the start. England have drifted from 10′s to 15.5 after Capello’s reign ended.
There is a lot of tipping for France as they may be the benefactors from England’s perceived expected lack of progress into the latter stages. Football’s a funny game though and you only need to look at Greece’s remarkable victory to see that anything can happen. The curious thing about Greece’s victory is the way it was achieved. All of Greece’s wins in the knockout stages came in an identical manner a 1-0 victory, with the goal being a header off a cross from the right wing.
It’s clear that confidence and belief are key elements in sport and can carry you far beyond your perceived potential so that it what I will look for in the early rounds, rather than stats. On the flip side lack of it can crush you and many a team has sagged under the weight of that psychology. We will only get some decent clues once the tournament is underway.
For me Spain are a little short, Germany should progress and France could benefit if England sag. I’m currently undecided on the outsiders but watching things closely to get some decent clues. The trouble with seeded tournaments is they are geared to deliver popular teams to the latter stages. So backing or covering swathes of outsides often doesn’t work very well as a trading strategy.
Good luck, which ever team you are supporting. The summer of sport goes up a another level this evening!
Category: Football / Soccer