Friday, June 27, 2008

Euro Eulogy: Portugal

Note: I would have been posting earlier today, but I only just finished masturba-I mean, working, after seeing Fowler and Macca playing on the same pitch again for the first time in ages

Well, Cristiano. You were knocked out of the tournament days ago, and it's still hilarious to me. You and your gelled, flamboyant collective of footballing talent couldn't get it done against the efficient Germans.

Might this be a good moment to talk about your move to Spain now?

Portugal were enjoyable to watch, for the most part. Some of the showboating late in the game against Turkey was a bit much, but then again, that's the role Portugal plays in tournaments. You're the older brother of the family, the guy who knows he's good and lets his charm ruin him at the most inopportune time.

You ever try to date two or more girls at the same time? For the first month or so, everything is going swimmingly well; you have seen them all a couple of times and managed to explain away your disappearances to each of them when you've been seeing one of the others on the side. And then, you take one to dinner, and the others show up separately for a bite to eat at the same restaurant, and you end up walking home covered in soup, spittle, and with a couple of buttons missing from your shirt.

That, my friends, is Portugal. Blessed beyond God's will with talent at all positions, they are apt to a brainfart when it counts the most.

Deco was masterful at times, and downright ordinary in others. C-Ron seems to think that his natural gift and avalanche of accolades is enough to win matches, but it's really not. Even when the Dallas Cowboys were ridiculously loaded with talent in the 90s, they still lost from time to time. Remember this.

Boswinga is off to Chelsea, as is the now-finished manager, Big Phil. How many others will follow them? Could we see the Algarve transplanted to Stamford Bridge? Heck, he's already got 3/4 of the backline, what's another 2 or 3 matter? Deco's been linked, as has the pacy but greedy Quaresma.

Drogba's going to need to learn how to say "fuck you" in yet another language if this carnival keeps up!

In all seriousness, it's hard for any of us to say that we didn't see this coming. The quintessential counter-attack team, like many within pissing distance of the Mediterranean; they're a nightmare moving forward, but an embarrassment at the back. It's fun to watch when the scenario keeps repeating itself: C-Ron, Carvalho and co losing in the knockout stages to a far more disciplined team. Sure, Portugal got back into it as the clock ticked down, and Germany looked rather rattled, but it amounted to little.

You have to wonder when Portugal will learn. Could they pull a Russia and bring in the ultimate ball-breaker tactician to finally get them over the hump? Charisma is clearly not something needed in management there, as the players have more than enough to go around.

No, the only way for them to move forward is to strip their coaching candidates of a sense of humor, and pick the most miserable, irritable one. It's the only hope they've got: in a team full of petulant children, who's going to enforce the law?

There's only really one option: Avram Grant.

Seriously though... C-Ron might well pack a bag for the Costa del Sol and spend his seasons in the Bernabeu, but constant failure at the international level is never something that sits well.

And if a real ornery bastard isn't given the job, well, we know where to bet our money when South Africa '10 rolls around.


Ian said...

Dunga is looking for work, I think, and he speaks Portugese. Then again I'm not sure he would be an improvement over Big Phil. This team really needs....Jose

Sarah said...

I was really hoping to see C-Ron cry like a little child again. Few things in life give me as much satisfaction as seeing a good Ronaldo temper tantrum after a loss.

Andrew said...

He's presenting!!!

Goat said...

Notice the elaborate plumage and the submissive position.