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Thread: Euro 2020

  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    One thing that cannot be overlooked is the coaching staff (or really just the coach). Important to note Italy did not make the 2018 World Cup. Now, they are a top 3 favorite to win the more difficult Euro.
    Out of curiosity, is that a commonly held belief? Euro is more difficult than WC?

    I'm a supremely casual fan.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Out of curiosity, is that a commonly held belief? Euro is more difficult than WC?

    I'm a supremely casual fan.
    With limited knowledge of futbol, I would assume it has to do with just an overall better pool of teams. All Europe is a much better field. Whatís better to win though? What do their fans want more?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Out of curiosity, is that a commonly held belief? Euro is more difficult than WC?

    I'm a supremely casual fan.
    From a European standpoint, yes. The beauty of the World Cup is it global, so it's a much bigger event. But, truth be told, the best teams are from South America and Europe, and increasingly more Europe. The last time a non-European won the WC was 2002. 10 of the 12 semi-finalists in the last 3 WCs are European.

    During the group stages, teams from Asia, Africa, and Northern Latin America (CONCACAF) often get beaten up on by the South American and European teams. The group stages are soooooo much easier in the WC than in the Euros.

    Hopefully, that changes with CONCACAF getting better, but international soccer is owned - arguably more than ever - by Europe. And that's why the Euros are so difficult. There aren't that many 'easy' games.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegas View Post
    With limited knowledge of futbol, I would assume it has to do with just an overall better pool of teams. All Europe is a much better field. Whatís better to win though? What do their fans want more?
    World Cup. No questions asked. Better competition doesn't mean more glory. Glory comes with the fact that you won the most publicized and international tournament that's only held every 4 years.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    World Cup. No questions asked. Better competition doesn't mean more glory. Glory comes with the fact that you won the most publicized and international tournament that's only held every 4 years.
    There have been years when it had felt ACC tournaments have been more hotly contested than NCAA tournaments. Yet, I'm pretty sure it's unanimous what fans would prefer to win.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Out of curiosity, is that a commonly held belief? Euro is more difficult than WC?

    I'm a supremely casual fan.
    I think that's a tricky question to answer. It's almost certainly harder to reach the group stages of the Euro, and the earlier rounds of the knockout stages are also tougher. But the later rounds of the World Cup are typically more challenging because you introduce not only the best of Europe but also Argentina/Brazil and in certain years Uruguay/Colombia.

    So on aggregate? It's probably pretty close.

    But agree with FDD, everyone would rather win the World Cup if they had to choose.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    One thing that cannot be overlooked is the coaching staff (or really just the coach). Important to note Italy did not make the 2018 World Cup. Now, they are a top 3 favorite to win the more difficult Euro.

    Did Italy's talent change? Not really. Players got older (a good thing if you're in your 20s, a bad thing if you're in your 30s). Did Italy's luck change? Possibly, but I think beating Turkey and Switzerland 3-0 - two okay/good teams - isn't luck. Did Serie A get better? Possibly, but some of the best teams (Inter, Milan, Juventus, Atalanta) got better due to an influx of foreign talent, not domestic. Did Italy's economy / culture change? With COVID, undoubtedly, but that has nothing to do with the team improvement.

    The change is Robert Mancini, who has coached Inter Milan and Man City to domestic titles. He replaced Gian Piero Ventura, the man responsible for Italy's WC qualifying failure. Ventura, I kid you not, has changed managerial positions 22 times in his career. 22!

    Do not underestimate coaching in international soccer. It's not about teaching the players new tricks but rather a) team selection, b) managing egos, c) managing substitutions. Mancini has nailed all three.
    I think Mancini deserves a TON of credit. That said, I will say that the talent has gotten better. Some of their young players (Chiesa, Barella, Locatelli, Donnarumma) have really emerged as international level players. Berardi and Immobile have hit their strides as attacking players. They've fully committed to Insigne on the left, which has strengthened their attack as well. And Spinazzola has been a revelation at left back. They also are better equipped in central defense, as they don't have to rely entirely on the Juve back line anymore.

    I think they also caught some bad luck in World Cup qualifying in that they were paired with Spain, which meant that they were always likely to finish a close second. And that left them at the mercy of a one-off upset in the playoffs (which happened). So while they are clearly better now than 3-4 years ago, I think the missed WC is a bit of an overstatement of how much better they are.

    But where Mancini has really made a difference is that he's committed to attacking football. Italy has historically been ultra conservative, happy to win 1-0. But the talent level emerging is a sort of potential golden generation of offensively oriented middies and wingers. This talent is a great pairing with the type of strikers they have: Immobile and Belotti are high work-rate players and solid goal scorers, but they are not as technical as typical world-class strikers. Previous coaches might have made the mistake of trying to stick to the old Italian principles, and doing so would have really highlighted the limitations of the Italian strikers. But Mancini's vision was to have a ton of pace and creativity on the wings (Insigne, Berardi, and Chiesa bring that in spades) and to develop a dominant midfield with an attacking mindset. And in doing so, it takes a ton of pressure off the strikers. So while they don't have a dominant presence up front like they have had in past iterations with Vieri or Balotelli, they are still a potent offensive threat thanks to their versatility, passing, and pace.

    So I do think it is a combination of all 3: great coach, improving talent, and better luck (or more specifically less bad luck).

  8. #88
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    FWIW, the Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois looks like a youthful Charles DeGaulle.
    Last edited by sagegrouse; 06-17-2021 at 02:48 PM.
    Sage Grouse

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    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  9. #89
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    A lotta love for Italy getting tossed around in this thread. With all due respect to Turkey and Switzerland, I want to see them play a real team. When the best opposing players you've face so far are Xirdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, I think you still have something to prove.

    Meanwhile, I have mixed feelings about today's Belgium-Denmark result. I love Kevin de Bruyne as a player, and was pleased to see him with two goal involvements, but I think Denmark got the short end of the stick with Finland, and while being stuck with zero points doesn't eliminate them officially, they'll need blast Russia and hope Belgium doesn't rest too many players and/or have an off day against the Finns.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    A lotta love for Italy getting tossed around in this thread. With all due respect to Turkey and Switzerland, I want to see them play a real team. When the best opposing players you've face so far are Xirdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, I think you still have something to prove.
    Oh I completely agree and have said as much. That being said, it's not just those two matches. They've not lost in their last 29, and they made it look really easy in the first two Euro matches against solid but obviously not great sides. I feel pretty comfortable saying that they're a strong threat for the semifinals and one of the best sides in the event. I don't think they're as potent offensively as France or Belgium by any means, but they might be better defensively. And I'd probably take them over almost any other side if we were talking a US-style, "best of 7" format.

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Out of curiosity, is that a commonly held belief? Euro is more difficult than WC?

    I'm a supremely casual fan.
    I love FDDís take on soccer, and I love Europe (grew up there), but I think his claim that winning the Euro is more difficult than winning the World Cup is a pretty big stretch.

    UEFA sends, what, 13 teams to the WC? So youíre getting the cream of the crop, and big teams like Italy only donít make it in down years when it is unlikely they would have made a splash even if they had qualified. Qualifying is a long process designed to really send the best teams, itís not like bad teams get in by a fluke or something.

    Yes, the Euro group stages may not have some of the cupcakes the WC group stages have, but for a contender, neither tournament should be about the group stage, absent placement in a group of death. A Belgium or France should advance past the group stage whether they have to beat Costa Rica or North Macedonia.

    The big difference is the South American teams, who are too good to overlook. Yes, the European teams are better, but currently South America has three of the top ten teams in the world. Mexico is #11, btw.

    Then there is Brazil. Yes, they havenít won in nearly 20 years, but you can pretty much pencil them in for the quarterfinals every WC. The last time they missed the quarters was more than 30 years ago. They might still be the most consistently well performing WC team in the world over the last 19 years, even ignoring their 3 straight finals and two Championships before that.

    So, no, as much as I love the Euro, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico are clearly better than teams like Scotland, Turkey, and Russia. Not having to worry about them in the knock out round is a clear benefit. The WC is harder to win.

  12. #92
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    Getting out of the group stage round is harder in the Euro; willing after that is more difficult in the World Cup.
    ďFķtbol is life!Ē ó Dani Rojas, Richmond Greyhounds

  13. #93
    Very surprised at PK call after ref didnít call it live, looked at VAR, then gave it against Lovren (Croatia). Wrongly, imo.

    Looking forward to halftime discussion of this controversy. Iíll be again surprised if studio analysts agree it deserved a pen.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Very surprised at PK call after ref didnít call it live, looked at VAR, then gave it against Lovren (Croatia). Wrongly, imo.

    Looking forward to halftime discussion of this controversy. Iíll be again surprised if studio analysts agree it deserved a pen.
    Horrible call. Lovren did what 99% of all center backs do; just happened that he caught Patrick in the face.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  15. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Horrible call. Lovren did what 99% of all center backs do; just happened that he caught Patrick in the face.
    Holy crap, I am flabbergasted they called that. Easily one of the worst calls I have ever seen. Has that been my team(s), I would be livid!

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    FWIW, the Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois looks like a youthful Charles DeGaulle.
    does he get to wear Chuck's very cool hat?

  17. #97
    Germany enjoying a few minutes and what really appeared to be two own goals by Portugal.

  18. #98
    This is beginning to feel like the Brazil-Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi.

    Spoke too soon.
    Last edited by YmoBeThere; 06-19-2021 at 01:32 PM.

  19. #99
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    Feb 2010
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    Colorado
    I am a casual and sporadic watcher of soccer. In truth, I only watch soccer during the Euro Cup and World Cup. I always enjoy watching it but it takes me a while to get used to the slow pace of the games. There are very few good shots and very few goals.

    I'm probably a heretic, but I think the game would be better and far more watchable if there were one or two less players on the field. There would be more of a premium on speed and scoring opportunities.

    Anyone agree with me?

    Note: I played club rugby in college many decades ago. It was a great game to play, not so interesting to watch. In recent years I have started watching Rugby 7's. With only 7 players on a side, rugby is a great spectator sport.

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by MartyClark View Post
    I am a casual and sporadic watcher of soccer. In truth, I only watch soccer during the Euro Cup and World Cup. I always enjoy watching it but it takes me a while to get used to the slow pace of the games. There are very few good shots and very few goals.

    I'm probably a heretic, but I think the game would be better and far more watchable if there were one or two less players on the field. There would be more of a premium on speed and scoring opportunities.

    Anyone agree with me?

    Note: I played club rugby in college many decades ago. It was a great game to play, not so interesting to watch. In recent years I have started watching Rugby 7's. With only 7 players on a side, rugby is a great spectator sport.
    Completely agree, and I am a former player, and current coach + fan. There was a long thread about this here on DBR many years ago.

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