Euro 2012 is upon us. I for one can’t wait. Even though Scotland have been forced to respond ‘Not attending’ to their party invitation, this tournament has me more stoked than a Rory Delap long throw. Not even the notion that I will be subjected to Adrian Chiles’ patter for 3 weeks can put me off. And that’s saying something as he’s about as funny as piles. In fact thats probably harsh on piles. A more fitting assessment is that Chiles is as funny as Miranda Hart was at the Diamond Jubilee concert.
A number of sides look to be in imperious form. Spain are one of the best sides ever although the injury to David Villa could cause them problems. His replacement Fernando Torres still struggles to convince me that he is ‘back’. At times he looks as though he has forgotten how to run with a ball at his feet, never mind score goals, which seems absurd for someone blessed with such undoubted talent. Cue him scoring the tournament winner with a peach after dribbling past German defenders as if they were cones.
Germany will be there or thereabouts come the final as they always are. Couple that with a talented squad boasting the likes of Neuer, Lahm and Schweinsteiger and you would be a fool to write them off. However, Laurent Blanc has performed some miraculous CPR on a France side that was flat lining just a couple of years ago so Les Bleus also have a chance. Furthermore, Holland also have some exceptional forward players capable of breaking down any back four. Even the mighty Hibs centre half James McPake struggled to keep them at bay in a recent friendly. Portugal will also fancy their chances if Ronaldo turns up, as on his day he is unplayable. A tough group and ropey defence though point to an early flight home for the Real Madrid star.
On the flip side, Italy look to have hit the self destruct button just before the tournament kicks off and England seem a bit of a shambles. The decision to leave Rio Ferdinand at home is laughable. OK, Terry and Ferdinand may not be a compatible central defensive partnership anymore but that Ferdinand’s Euro hopes have been tarnished due to his brother accusing Terry of racism is scandalous.
Nevertheless, Roy Hodgson has instilled a ‘1-0 to the Engerland’ defensive philosophy in the squad which may improve their chances. Ive never understood the whole idea of this England squad lacking ‘technical ability’, which seems to be the go to reason for inept performances. The squad is crammed full of City, Chelsea and United stars who never seem to struggle to pass the ball to a teammate for their clubs. The problem seems more mental than technical in my opinion. At the end of the day, England are bottlers.