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Euro 2012 Insomnia preivew: Denmark’s three water boundaries threaten attack on German boarder; yearn for Island status. December 5, 2011

Posted by michaeltomlinson in Euro 2012.
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Peninsula just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Apparently the Fédération Internationale de Football Association  or (Fifa) didn’t get the memo about trying to have a real chill tatted up ballin’ ass Denmark team sneak through to the knockout stages. Instead they put the sweet, succulent pastries in the group of death with Euro crushing queens, Portugal and the speed skating enthusiasts who speak a weird brand of German known as Dutch? I think. Also the real German speaking Germans are involved as well, but they have far too many talented central attacking midfielders to be any good in this tournament, so I’ll leave them out of this.

I knew Sepp Blatter was a racist and a fool but I thought that also came with a side of silliness and childish fun, ala Don Imus. BOY was I wrong. Shit I forgot, More after the break….

Just kidding there is no break, its bedtime, write in the  morning goodnig….

EURO 2012 Preview #4: Del Bosque tries to add even more central midfielders November 16, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Euro 2012, Spanish soccer.
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Spain is a team for purists. I’m not having this participation by the likes of Sergio Ramos and David Villa. Look it up: they are not central midfielders. For the pure expression of Spain’s style, you need more than they’ve been playing. Pep Guardiola’s experiments with six central midfielders are brave, but they’re not enough. Spain needs more. Vicente Del Bosque knows this. This is what he has in store:

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EURO 2012 Preview #2 & 3: Which of Denmark and Sweden will be more fun at Euro 2012? November 15, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Euro 2012.
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It’s pretty obvious that either Denmark or Sweden will be the most fun team at the coming European championships. Spain basically tries to pass teams to sleep. France, England, Poland, Ukraine and Russia are too deeply enveloped by self-loathing to be truly enjoyable. As I’ve already said, Holland is punching well below its weight.

So we need to turn to either Denmark or Sweden for enjoyment. Every logical indicator points to Denmark:

  • More crafty vets (this is the Jacob Welcker category). Dennis Rommedahl is a 33-year-old speed merchant. Lars Jacobsen, 32, is a fixture in the team at right-back despite never really having been good. Martin Jorgensen is 36 and Thomas Sorensen is 35. Christian Poulsen doesn’t qualify because nobody would accuse him of being crafty, but there’s no logical explanation for a 31-year-old who does not know how to play soccer still being a fixture for the Danes. If Per Kroldrup, a 32-year-old center back who does not know how to head the ball comes in too, so much the better. Sweden only really has Anders Svensson and the creaky center back pairing of Olof Mellberg and Daniel Majstorovic, all of whom have, let’s face it, been in their mid-thirties for a decade anyway.
  • Christian Eriksen. Just look at how much fun he is.
  • Far more fun in the center of defense. Majstorovic and Mellberg are your traditional Scandinavian center-half pairing. One is bald, one is hairy, both are extremely slow. Hulking, consistent, journeymen. Yawn. Daniel Agger and Simon Kjaer are the improbable central defenders the whirring disorientation of the 21st century promised us. Cultured left feet. Enough bad tattoos to fill an entire coffee table book of questionable Nordic body art. Unfeasible sweatiness. Bad hair. Despite the fact that each is the size of a small rhinoceros, both of them look like tousel-headed schoolboys up to no good. Any team with those two at the back is going to be an utter thrill ride.
  • Nicklas Bendtner. At some point, he will be crushed under the weight of his own hubris. That will make for wonderful viewing.
  • No Zlatan.

Nonetheless, I can’t avoid the impression that I will like Sweden more

EURO 2012 Preview #1: Holland. Dutch team not ridiculous enough. Here’s my suggestion. November 14, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Dutch soccer, Euro 2012.
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These are some things I don’t really care about in a Holland team: Winning games, tradition, picking the best players in every position, consistency, sanity.

These are some things I like in a Holland team: As many ridiculous players as possible, complete arrogance, losing the run of themselves, Clarence Seedorf, hopefully a complete meltdown or two.

This is how Bert van Maarvijk should line up if he wants my support at Euro 2012.

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Capdevila no longer fit? When did this happen? October 16, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Portuguese soccer, Spanish soccer.
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I was alarmed to discover that Joan Capdevila’s nosedive in fortunes has evidently been brought on not just by a loss of form but also by a “lack of fitness” in Sid Lowe’s Sports Illustrated column from Wednesday.

Evidently “Benfica coach Jorge Jesus is not a fan of Capdevila.” Why did he buy him then?

Before Euro 2008, I thought Capdevila was a pretty poor player, but he’s kind of won me over. I like watching him. I hope he can make a move that will get him going again. Juventus and Napoli, the teams seemingly linked most closely with him, don’t seem promising. If he wants a chance to go to Euro 2012, he needs to get back to Spain.

Lowe also appears to think Valencia midfielder Jordi Alba’s performance at left-back for Spain against Scotland has pretty much ensured he’ll be at Euro 2012 if fit.

Seems like a risky move, considering it will mean Spain has no natural left-back in its squad (Alba’s cover is likely to be Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Arbeloa). Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque would be crazy not to give Liverpool’s Jose Enrique at least a look.

Halftime thoughts thoughts on Armenia-Ireland October 11, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in European soccer, Uncategorized.
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1. The comparisons between Armenia and 80s Denmark are not that far-fetched. When Jonathan Wilson called Armenia “probably the most potentially exciting side to emerge since Denmark in the early 80s,” I wanted to believe him simply because having any team as exciting as Denmark in that era rattling around Europe these days would be tremendous fun, but I was skeptical. However, one half of football is enough to show that the Lernakanner are impressively well-drilled on defense, impressively technical and exhilarating going forward. To go away in a crucial qualifier and have a Barcelona-esque share of the possession, even if it is against Ireland, is impressive. If this team is around for another ten years, I’ll keep tuning in.

2. ESPN3’s commentators are embarrassing. I tuned in a little late, so I didn’t catch their names, but they’ve both got Irish accents and both refer to the Republic as “we.” Not only that, but they have an aggravating habit of instantly intimating that the Armenian players are time-wasting. Why would they waste time? They need to win. ESPN is an American network and America is a diverse country, containing as many as 1.2 million Armenians, many of whom are probably very passionate soccer fans who are not really being done a service here.