Euro2012 Semi Final Preview

Before I get to this England and France are out.

England are out. Bulldog spirit and defending can only get you so far. We couldnt keep the ball. Rooney was out of touch, Carroll is raw, Young was poor, MIlner isn’t good enough. Gerrard played reasonably but can’t do it all by himself. The defence were the stars which says a lot. Lescott and Johnson proved themselves to be international class (if not world class), Terry was his usual body on the line and Cole is world class. The endless talk of Joe Hart beocming one of the best goalkeepers in the world sounds like media hype to me. Besides he is 26, not 20. Its about time.

For France the reasons are obvious. The defence is actually weak. Rami is never good enough at this level nor is Mexes in reality. Midfield is average but Benzema hits the goalkeeper all night long. He isnt a real goalscorer. He shows that at Madrid where he still doesnt score enough. Blanc gave up before kick off with that team and tactics. Poor show. The worst two game I have seen here involved France. Similarly with England in 2006 and 2010, it must be hugely frustrating for players to spend two years qualifying for a major event and then go out so pathetically.

I said before the tournament Spain would struggle and they have. Without Villa to put the ball home, they pass the ball all day and lack real incision and pace to get behind the opposition. A bigger blow is losing Puyol but there are few teams who can play with Spain so it doesn’t matter here. In a World Cup it would. Against the pace of Portugal, they will miss his organisational skills and leadership.

They will play Portugal who have finally woken up the the pace they possess. If everyone played to their level, they can really compete. Ronaldo has missed more than he’s scored but the rest need to put a shift in. Its a good thing to lose Postiga too. He’s not good enough. Portugal have the talent to win this if their centre midfield works as a unit.

Germany have the organisation to beat Spain, They too lack pace so the likely final will be a dour-ish affair. I am not convinced by the German centre backs or Boeteng. They have conceded 4 goals so far to average teams but midfield forward, they are a very good team, if not as creatively brilliant as many would say. Schweinsteiger is a German Spaniard (less skill but more presence) and a fine player. Gomez is a goalscorer. Klose will look redundant against the best. But Germany will win this.

Italy were good tonight but they lack real penetration. So many chances tonight and no goals. They are more mobile than in the past but lacking in quality traditionally associated with the Azzurri.The Germans should have too much for them especially after tonight’s game.

Predictions (assuming the teams are as expected)

Spain 0-1 Portugal (that’s right!)

Germany 2-0 Italy


I’m sorry….but who died here?

So Tiger Woods apologises for having sex with numerous women, letting people down especially his wife and kids and generally giving into temptation and having a good time. He lost numerous sponsors including Tag Heuer whose customers, almost exclusively men, seriously don’t approve of being ability to having sex with numerous women while earning millions of dollars and being married to a model. It’s nothing they would ever do. 🙂

The golf world, full of travelling sportsmen like salesmen has loved the exposure.  You have to question Tiger’s mental balance. I was more shocked at how average the women were. I mean he is Tiger Woods. Granted he isn’t George Clooney (who is just dreamy!) but I mean, surely his cash or cache should go further. Hopefully the therapy will help.

While I may sound snide, more of my concern is why Tiger needs to apology to the world in a public admission of his life ‘failings’. I found it laughable. Hand on heart. Looking direct at the camera. Scripted like a school play. He confessed like an eleven year old being humiliated in front of the class. And he admitted nothing we didn’t know already. ‘I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply.’ They don’t Tiger.

It’s moralism gone mad. He needs some better advisors. Maybe they were worried about his corporate standing. Well he has enough cash and prestige anyway. He is a golfer, not a guru. He should have taken the Ronaldo or Hugh Grant route and just admitted it, apologised and taken it on the chin rather than bending over the glasshouse media. As someone posted on the BBC, the only thing missing what Don King standing behind Tiger and shouting “Only in America!”