Sublime Payet sets the stage for the rest of the tournament

Sublime Payet sets the stage for the rest of the tournament

When Dimitri Payet came off the pitch, moments after scoring the gorgeous goal that gave France the 2-1 lead over Romania, he was not hiding his emotions. The West Ham attacker cried tears of joy after having provided the home fans a moment of unadulterated, unabashed joy. It was a goal he would have dreamt of scoring, at the grandest of stages, for his nation for whom he was on the fringes for so long. Payet almost didn't make it for …
Giroud Expects Competition Next Season

Giroud Expects Competition Next Season

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is expecting new competition next season as Arsene Wenger looks to add depth to the centre-forward position. Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner did not offer a substantial enough threat for the Frenchman, and fans felt it was a severe weakness to their squad as they finished 4th place, despite being top of the league longer than any other team. “I can tell you Arsenal will add a striker to the team. “We need another striker. Great …
Anaethetising the opposition: passing & shooting analysis for Euro 2012

Anaethetising the opposition: passing & shooting analysis for Euro 2012

The key is to control the game. If we have the ball, he'll participate less and cause us fewer problems.
The above quote by Gerard Piqué about Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the semi-final with Portugal summed up Spain's approach during Euro 2012. In a typically excellent piece by Sid Lowe for the Guardian (from which the above quote is taken), Spain's approach is described as being anaesthetic rather than aesthetic. The crux is that by controlling the ball, Spain are able to …
Spirited Sweden Sink France - Match stats report

Spirited Sweden Sink France - Match stats report

Sweden began their final game at Euro 2012 looking to exit the competition with some pride salvaged and some hope for the future restored. They faced a French side they had not beaten in a competitive game since October 1949 in Stockholm and a team that was looking to finish the group stages at the top of the group and avoid a game against Spain in the quarter finals. Sweden defended well throughout the game and prevented France from having …
Rain in the Ukraine only adds to their Pain | Ukraine match stats report

Rain in the Ukraine only adds to their Pain | Ukraine match stats report

Following a convincing display in Ukraine's opening fixture versus Sweden, opinions were optimistic going into the match against France. After the attacking minded mentality of the Ukraine and their ability to stretch play, some thought there might be another Denmark vs. Holland on the cards. An achilles heel shown by the Ukraine during the Sweden game was their back four's fragility, a supposed area to work on and take forward to the France game. The match failed to live up …
Les Bleus get the blues from England | Opta Stats Report

Les Bleus get the blues from England | Opta Stats Report

Laurent Blanc’s France team entered Euro 2012 on the back of a 21 unbeaten international run to face an embryonic England side, freshened by the recent arrival of Roy Hodgson, who themselves have looked resilient in their run up to the tournament. France have been far from impressive in recent tournament football, especially when you consider their domination around the turn of the century. They had drawn their last 3 opening games in international competitions, whereas England were looking for …
Euro 2012: Analysing the Winning Formula | Champions Analysis

Euro 2012: Analysing the Winning Formula | Champions Analysis

With Euro 2012 nearly upon us, a lot of money is exchanging hands between punters and bookmakers to predict the outcome of this prestigious event. Favourites to win Euro 2012 include, World Cup '10 winners and current European Championship holders, Spain as well as 3-time Euro winners Germany. Both Spain and Germany posted 100% win percentages during qualification and are seen as hot favourites  to take the 14th European Football Championship. Armed with this information, it would appear to be a …