Thursday, 28 June 2012

Alea Jacta Est

Surprise, Spain is in the final and awaits the winner of tonight’s game. The last two matches have produced four hours of foot ball without a goal. This is the reason that our American cousins do not warm to football, they would cut straight to the penalties. The Portuguese stopped the Spanish from playing their usual game, which meant the fare on show was more dire than usual.

There is one thing about the penalties that I do not understand. Have you noticed how many defenders take penalties? One would have assumed, that it would be the role of strikers or midfielders, the players usually charged with scoring and considered more skillful, to take the responsibility. Last night as Alves, strode forward, I said to an empty room that he was going to miss, as I had said to a rather more full room as Ashley Cole strode forward for England, before he missed as well.

I suppose it must be to do with the fragile state of mind of the so called gifted players who crack under the thought of having to take a penalty as opposed to the mindless donkey of a defender who it does not occur to, that he will probably blast the ball into row Z, until it happens and then he is disconsolate as he is comforted by his more skillful teammates, who are thinking thank god is was not me.

Germany Verses Italy, two titans of European football, Germany three times winners of the Euro and three times the world cup against Italy four times world cup winners and once the Euros.  Italy have a very good record against Germany in these games stretching back to Mexcio in 1970.

If you are old enough to remember, who can forget the image of Marco Tardelli after scoring the second Italian goal in the 1982 world cup, as he ran towards the touchline looking like a screaming berserker, or Gentile the mustachioed Italian Assassin, who despite his name was far from gentle.

It is a contest that interests football fans round the world and this one should be no exception. The Shermans have been the most exciting team so far, but now they have to break down an opponent with a strong defence, very good on the counter attack and most important of all, without an inferiority complex.
There is also the statistic which I mentioned before the England game, that the Italians have only lost two knockout games in the last 25 they have played in major tournaments, which includes their victory over the Shermans in the 2006 world cup semi finals which by the way was played in Germany.

The NationalMannSchaft, is however very young and powerful, and will probably welcome back Gomez and Mueller who were “rested” for the game against Greece. The Shermans have made it look easy so far, but tonight could be a cracker.  As long as it is not another nil-nil draw anything will seem good.

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