Tag Archives: euro 2008

spain’s win proves my brilliance

Several weeks ago, dear readers, I predicted Spain would win the European cup and that Torres would be responsible, despite my admitted ignorance when it comes to international tournaments. I showed that ignorance with my fantasy team, coming in dead last in my pool. True, I never updated my team after day one, but as Saint likes to point out, that’s not a valid excuse. I accept that. I still think the rules of the ESPN Soccernet game were terrible and confusing.

I also predicted weeks ago that Donadoni was not long for the role as capo di tutti capo. I was joined by about 300 million others in that prediction, so I can’t pat myself on the back too much for that one.

Another prediction that came true was that Bangers would profit from running the pool somehow. Which he did. He didn’t win, but still managed to clear $40 or so by ripping off a bunch of people. Well done asshole.

We are now into the dreaded summer doldrums, where we have to content ourselves with stories about transfers, agents, top-up fees, and bar(ton) fights. When is the Community Shield match????

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Ugliest men in Europe, part 3

Two more from Wednesday’s semifinal. Really hideous. Those of you with weak stomachs may want to turn away.

ouch

Rustu Recher, Goalkeeper, Turkey

This man came on unexpectedly and quickly became one of the most valuable players in the fantasy uglyball league, surpassed only by perennial favorite Ribery in cost.

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Bastian Schweinsteiger, Midfielder, Germany

The pig foreman. Once got beat up by Ralphy in the Chicago suburbs of the 1950s.

Great player,hideous grill.

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Germany on the Lahm, blackouts, and whistles

AHHHHHHHHH!!. What a frustrating spectacle yesterday’s match was. The second-half blackouts were horrible. Thank god the live feed to the “fan zones” weren’t interrupted, though. What would we have done without those shots of random people standing in a park? And Tommy Smyth’s witticisms made it all worthwhile. I could listen to him share his wisdom all day. Thanks Tommy! You fcukng cnut.

Faith Terim is less angry than the viewers in TurkeyAnother gripe: does the guy from UEFA handling the boom mike go out of his way to set up his equipment next to a bunch of guys with whistles? Every time there was any sort of challenge whistles went off in the stands, which the audio feed isolated and made very clear. I was sure Lahm’s late winner was whistled dead before he scored. Really irritating.

I was whole-heartedly pulling for Turkey, mainly because of my trip there last year and the work I did with Digiturk, their satellite TV company, on their HD push. Demand for their HD services has been through the roof as a result of the team’s performance. I hear they were burned by the blackout as well. All the people with the expensive new equipment and services must be furious.

Onto the match, and doesn’t Wenger look brilliant in benching Lehman. Not to take anything away from the Turkish goals, but Lehman looked miserable. Coming out at wrong times, unsure, beaten at his near post. Just terrible. Enjoy, Stuttgart.

Lahm’s winner was incredible. Luckily we got to see it during the 10 minute window of live coverage of the second half. Andy Gray had been justifiably riding him (and Klose, as well) right before then, but he showed his quality there. He also showed why I like right-footers in the left back position. If you use your fullbacks in the attack at all, it’s invaluable to have them attacking the goal with their preferred foot. If that chance had fallen to his left foot he is unlikely to have finished it. These guys can all clear with their weaker foot, so I don’t see it as a liability in defense.

Next match coming up today and I can’t wait. I’m still pulling for Spain, since I had picked them from day 1, but I won’t be upset to see Russia go through if they play like they did against Holland. Can Ashkimov live up to the hype he generated in the previous 2 matches? Unlikely, but I’d like to see it. And I wonder if Cesc will get the start? For me, he’s been Spain’s best player outside of a few splashes of brilliance from Villa. Of course, I can also see the wisdom in bringing him off the bench later in the match, as he is able to dictate the tempo of the match better than anyone. Need to attack? Cesc will get it started and keep the ball in the attacking half. Need to hold onto a lead? He’ll hold the ball in midfield and play out to the wings, keeping his defenders from absorbing too much pressure. Need someone to get stuck in and disrupt an opponents flow with some hard tackles? You get the idea. Fabregas is the real deal.

Great article in today’s Globe and Mail (Canada) today about ESPN/ABC’s decision to cover the tournament in its entirety, and what it means in the larger scope of things. Jim Rome can suck it.

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Ugliest Men in Europe, part 2b

A few comments/suggestions have come in (OK, one), but its a good one and warrants a separate post, I think.

Servet Cetin, Defender, Turkey

According to Murali Krishnan:
“he’s the scariest of them all. Even scarier than Ribery himself. ”
Now I think that may be a bridge too far, but he’s definitely not a pretty man. Is he one of the dozens suspended/injured for Turkey’s impending 3-1 defeat to Germany?

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Ugliest Men in Europe, part 2

carrying on from Friday’s post, here are a few more hideous faces from the tournament.

the UGLIEST man in EuropeCarlos Puyol, Defender, Spain

Not too much to say here. Pictures speak a thousand words, they say. In this case, I wish they would shut the fuck up. The scary thing is that this is his official team picture from ueafa.com. THIS IS THE BEST HE EVER LOOKS.

who knew italians could be so ugly?Mauro Camoronese, Midfielder, Italy

I didn’t think it was possible for an Italian to be so ugly, and it turns out I’m right. He’s a naturalized Italian, hailing from Argentina via Mexico. Explains a lot.

OK, so he’s not as hideous as Pujol, but his game is certainly ugly. as was that of the rest of the Italia 08 team. 11 men in the box at all times. Good fucking riddance.

Francois Ribery, Midfielder, France.

??????????????????

Hakan Yakin, Midfielder, Switzerland

A little known fact about Hakan is that he used to be the lead singer for Dead or Alive.

At 31, his best playing days are behind him, but he has a long career of abducting children ahead of him.

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The ugliest men in Europe, part 1

Chicks can go on and on about Ronaldo or Ljumberg or Ballack as much as they want, but the new trend in football is clear: ugly.

For your consideration, a fantasy team of the Cup’s ugliest players, starting from the back. Please send any additions/considerations, as this will be updated over the rest of the tournament.

Goalkeeper: Bogdan Lobont, Romania

This man looks exactly like you would think a man named Bogdan Lobont would look. In the offseason, Bogdan bounces at a Bucharest brothel.

The Polish Hills Have Eyes

Defender: Mariusz Jop, Poland

A survivor of a freak industrial accident, Mariusz doubles as an axe-wielding maniac in Polanski films.

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1-0 loth to thpain (US:0, Spain 1)

Well, we certainly looked better today, but still not very good. Spain looked like they couldn’t be bothered,  while the US looked scrappy and disorganized. Still, it was nice to see Freddy Adu playing so well. We need him to have a good 3-5 year run. This is a player who’s not going to last a long time, given his diminutive size and reliance on quickness.  A few years of professional fouls will cost him half a step.

Adu aside, there were few highlights from the US side.  Spain’s goal was well taken by Xavi, but resulted from a total breakdown in the US defence. He beat 5 of our players on that.  5.  that’s absurd.  Of course I was happy Fabregas engineered the goal, and Spain is still my pick to win the Euro, though I have a 100% track record of picking these tournaments incorrectly.

In other news, Josey Altidor is apparently going to Villareal.  Well done, Josey.  Playing for a top Spanish side- even if he rarely makes it off the reserves- will improve his game dramatically.  With any luck he will do well and we won’t see him back in an MLS jersey until he’s in his mid-thirties. Plus I love the idea that he’ll be playing alongside Pires and Riquelme.

In other news, I think I’ve got my fantasy team picked for Euro 2008, teamname: Latveria.  I’m coming off the heels of an amazing, Fulham-like run at the end of my fantasy premiership league to leapfrog the hated Bangers&Mash and escape the drop.  My nemesis just had his third baby, so will either be distracted or intently focused on the tournament in order to avoid thinking about the grim realities of his real life.  If I can nudge him that much closer to complete and utter misery it will have been a successful campaign.

By the way, is Harkes a bad commentator, or the worst commentator ever?  Where is Eric Wynalda? He was the best thing to ever happen to US soccer coverage.  He was opinionated and passionate and real.  We miss you.

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