Unprofessional Foul


June 9, 2008

Euro Trash Day 3: "Clockwork Oranje"

Immutable Laws of Euro 2008 (after three days):

1)Only one team is allowed to score in each match.

2)At least one pre tournament favorite will s**t the bed and fail to make it out of the group stages.

3)The host countries are going to be complimented by idiot ESPN halftime analyst(s) as “plucky” and “determined,” but neither will actually score a goal in the tournament, much less win a game.

Today was the first day of play for Group C, aka the Group of Death. We saw some good (the Dutch), some bad (Nicolas Anelka), and some really bad (Italy giving up three goals in a major tournament for the first time since 1970). More scintillating insight after the jump.

The first game was a turgid nil nil between France and Romania. It was so bad that our liveblogger, LB, disappeared to the bathroom for long stretches of the second half. France controlled play, but sticking Anelka up top as the lone striker turned out to be a tactical error on the part of France manager Raymond Domenech. Anelka is incredibly selfish, and he doesn’t work well with France’s gifted wide players like Ribery. Somewhere, Trezegol is laughing his ass off. Presumably while in bed with le boss’s wife. Suddenly the game on Friday against the Dutch is looking very tricky. I’m well past the point where I expect much from TH14, but perhaps he can overcome his injury and find a way back into the squad. Because with Anelka as the lone striker France look pretty bad. However, they can take heart in the fact that they did not put in the worst performance by a tournament favorite today.

That honor goes to the Italians, who lost 3-0 to the Netherlands thanks to a somewhat dodgy goal from Van horseyface and two rather sweet goals from Sneijder and Van Bronckhorst. On the first goal Ruud was miles offside, but Panucci, who was off injured behind the goal, was apparently considered in play. Or something. See the post below for more on this. Ultimately though it doesn’t really matter as the Dutch put two more past the Italian defense on counterattacks. I suppose the media will blame the absence of Cannavaro, but it really came down to the Dutch taking their chances, which Italy failed to do on the other end. Italy are lucky that France were almost as terrible today, and they still have a good chance to get out of the group. The Netherlands, meanwhile, will now rocket up everyone’s boards as a tournament favorite. As an Arsenal fan, I’m just hoping Van Persie can avoid breaking a metatarsal at some point in this tournament.

Tomorrow brings us our first glimpse of El Nino and Spain. The UF Scouse contingent will hopefully not be disappointed. The Gunners amongst us wonder why the hell Aragones won’t give Cesc the keys to the midfield. Their opponents will be Russia, masterminded by Gus Hiddink, future Chelsea manager. Also Greece and Sweden will play one of the ugliest, most long ball-filled games of the whole tournament. We will have you covered with liveblogs all day at UF.

Finally here are links for your reading pleasure, while I attempt to cleanse the Meadowlands stench off of my clothes.

Former Cosmos groupie writes for the WWL.

Celtic like damaged goods, still interested in Frei.

Real Madrid and Man U feud over a girl C. Ronaldo.

Polish, German fans test Clausewitz’s theories on total warfare.

A Czech with gambling advice.

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