Thursday, 14 June 2012

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition

Well both games today were very exciting, Denmark clawing back a two goal deficit only to fall to a late great strike from the substitute. Before that the most expensive player in the world missed an absolute sitter, and he is a very relieved man at the moment.

In the late game it was a case of “a Gomez to far” for the Dutch, the ease and the nonchalance with which the Sherman striker took his two chances had to be seen to be believed. The Sherman Badstuber also had an appalling miss, where it was easier to score. Check it all out on

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, except perhaps the Holy Ghost, i.e. The Republic of Ireland. After getting caught with their pants down three times against the Croatian altar boys, the Holy Ghost has its back up against the wall as they prepare to face the “prodigal son” Spain.

The sketch by the immortal Monty Python continues thus, amongst our weapons are fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency. “Fear”, yes I reckon the Irish are afraid, “surprise”, well I think the Irish know what to expect, “ruthless efficiency “, now that might be harder for the Spanish to prove.

In fact even surprise may be on the side of the Irish. The Irish have nothing to lose, they are under no pressure to win, so maybe they can pull off the type of surprise that Northern Ireland conjured up in the 1982 world cup held in Spain, when Gerry Armstrong scored with a header to stun the Spanish in a 1-0 defeat.

The Spanish will need to be more lethal in front of goal, in fact show more menace than they did in their first game against Italy. As the ruthless Grand Inquisitor Torquemada has been dead for around 500 years perhaps they should, as I wrote last time, turn to the Basque Llorente, to provide the killer touch, they so badly need in front of goal.

One has too think that Spain have too much for Ireland to cope with, but the Irish by their very nature are so unpredictable, it should male for a very interesting game.

The Italians were much better than expected against Spain, and Italy like a good vino always mature as the tournament goes on. Croatia has had their moment, but I think they will struggle today. Twelve games in and still at least one goal in every game, I don’t think that is going to change today.

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