Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Peninsular warfare

A word about the quarterfinals, three out of the four games were a return unfortunately to the type of football, we are too used to seeing in these tournaments. The fear of losing takes over and stifles the game.

A word or two about England, so much had been written that there is little I can add. In all the statistics about foreign players in domestic leagues, for example 70% of players in the premier league are foreign, whereas it is the opposite way round in the Spanish and German leagues, one point has not been made which I think is very telling.

How many Englishmen ply their trade abroad? I can’t think of one player of note. The only type of player who any foreign team might consider buying say a defensive midfielder like Gerrard for example, is still not as good in possession as say Busquets or Meireles, so why bother. Add the fact that the average English player is never going to learn a foreign language and doesn’t like the oily spicy food, and England will never get past the quarter finals in any future tournament apart from via a stroke of luck.

So, to tonight’s game. There is a saying in world which has different versions all around the world, but which basically means the same thing, a derby (a game between neighbouring teams) has its own rules. In this clash of the Iberian peninsular, I want Portugal to win, they have played nice attacking football and Spain is boring to watch. The Spanish players especially those from Barcelona know all about Cristiano Ronaldo and what he can do single handedly if he is on song. Portugal, however are more than just Ronaldo, they have a strong midfield which can match and perhaps overpower the Spanish, they have hard defenders who can also play the ball and Nani is also a player who with the attention focusing on Ronaldo, can utilize the space he will be given to hurt the Spanish.

I can’t believe that del Bosque, will go without a recognized striker again,  he doesn’t seem to like my man Llorente but even Torres will do, maybe he will play Pedro so that he can fall down a couple of times, to win some free kicks.

To sum up, the Portuguese are not afraid of the Spanish, they will attack them and will not let the Spanish dominate possession as much as they usually do. I will stick my neck out and go for Portugal.

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