Monday, 18 June 2012

What have we learnt so far in Euro 2012?

I’m Callum Rivett, and this week I’m reflecting on the current situation in the Euros. Twists and turns galore, we can expect plenty more exciting, intriguing and defensive football - and that’s just England! The Group of Death has lived up to its name, with no team guaranteed to go through approaching the last game of the group stage. A draw would send England through, Greece and the Czechs are in the last 16, Ireland and Sweden are out and in the remaining groups no one has already qualified. Should be an exciting round three then!

Spain need to be more direct
Everyone knows that Spain play some of the most attractive football on the planet (along with Barcelona) but sometimes lack the cutting edge. They have the tools needed with Torres, Llorente, Negredo and any midfielders they have, yet fail to utilise them enough. Spain pass the ball all the way up to the opposition box, pass it some more, then when they finally have the chance to shoot… they pass again. They try and walk the ball into the net. With the quality they have in midfield, there can be no harm in having a shot from outside the box once in a while. Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Silva, we’ve seen them smash a few into the top corner before - why not have another go at it?

England have a real chance (only if we sort out our defence)
A draw against the best team in our group goes a long way to help us go far in this tournament, and the comeback victory over Sweden will certainly boost morale. We have Carroll and Welbeck who are now scoring, and Rooney is about to come back. Our squad is filled with youth with a sprinkling of experience, and only two players are arguably world-class -- Hart and Rooney. I’d say Hart is the most vital, he’s made quality saves throughout the qualifiers and the tournament, most notably from France’s Alou Diarra in the opening match. We would miss Hart so much if we didn’t have him.

Germany are a force to be reckoned with
I predicted Germany to win the Euros not that long ago, and they look well on their way to fulfilling that prediction. A 1-0 win over Portugal then a 2-1 win against Holland that never really looked in doubt means they are sitting pretty, top of their group and it would take a shock Denmark win over the Germans and a Portugal win over the Dutch to send them home. To think that a talent like Mario Gotze is sitting on the bench is astonishing, and you can really see the strength in depth they have. Experienced veteran Miroslav Klose can come on if they are in need of a goal, and that is not a bad sub to make! I’m sticking with Germany to win it, they seem unstoppable at the moment.

Expect more shocks
Denmark 1 Holland 0. Russia and Poland being knocked out. Croatia snatching a draw against Italy. England winners? It could happen. All we know is that there will be plenty more shocks, upsets and early trips home for some. Ireland might even support England, but then again we have more chance of winning the Euros than them supporting us. Russia and Holland are already gone, which I’m shocked at, and so are Poland. One of Italy, Croatia and Spain are going out, , expect the unexpected. You never know in this game.

Follow Callum on twitter: @CJRivett12. You can find more of Callum's work here.

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