Euro 2016 Review 8th July

We’ve only seen one really great game at this tournament, when Wales heroically defeated Belgium a week ago. The rest of the quarter finals were insipid, bland affairs. And now the memory of that amazing 3-1 win for the Welsh is fading badly after their subdued and dreadfully disappointing display in the semi-final in Lyon against the despicable Portuguese.

The Germany v France match rescued things a bit with Deschamps opting for a bold attacking line up which made for a lively opening to the match. Griezmann is clearly the star of this European Championship; the most composed and elegant player on the field, he reminds me of the Spanish great, Raul, an elusive left footed player, slight of build, with a Velcro touch.
Let’s hope that the Lord of Light guides France to victory on Sunday, although it will be a difficult match, I think the evil Portuguese will take the game into extra time.

Ronaldo is unbearable most of the time, but if Portugal win I don’t think I could stomach watching the Trophy presentation scenes. Of course, he is a fantastic footballer, the header against Wales was brilliant, nobody can argue, but the way his team played really sucked the life out of the occasion.

Wales choked under the pressure, and their fans were unusually quiet. Apparently most of their supporters had gone home, not expecting to make it that far, and so they had to go back to work.
What we were left with was a more middle class, gentrified Welsh support, who really failed to rally their team. Although, it has to be said, the players gave them nothing to shout about.

Germany v Italy was a huge bore, in a tournament full of tactically neutralised encounters producing slow, sterile football. I have to admit I fell asleep during that one. The Germans also lost a lot of players through suspension or injury in that gruelling game, and I think that was the difference when they faced the French in an incredibly vibrant atmosphere in Marseilles.
Definitely the second best game we’ve seen, and a reminder of why this Les Blues side were many peoples pre-tournament favourites.

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