Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hey Look We're Exprets, Too

That was intentional.

Anyway, we're going to milk the Euro for all we can, because once we run out of related posts, we're going to have to think of things to write about.

Sure there's the transfer market, but Liverpool is holding Crouch hostage for a fee that is almost exactly what they need to buy Gareth Barry. So their financial situation is fairly transparent and any move they make will be similarly telegraphed. As for the Gunner contingency among us, we will simply plug our ears—la la la la not listening—place faith in Wenger, and conveniently forget that it hasn't really worked out the last two seasons.

So as futbol's hot stove heats up, we go to eleven and present our best squads from Euro 08.


Of note, only one of us put Xavi, the UEFA player of the tournament, in their starting XI. By our collective accounting, Marcos Senna was probably the Spanish midfielder of choice, as he made every single list.

In fact, I'm just going to call out UEFA's panel of nine technical experts as collectively 'tarded up for their choice. Not that Xavi was at all bad, but it's pretty clear that Senna was the main reason that Spain went through the knock out stages without conceding a goal.

He so disrupted the Russian and German midfields that Casillas didn't even have that much to do; and the reflex kick-save on Camoranesi in the quarters turned out to be the most title-saving save he had to make.

Anyway, David Villa and Carlos Puyol were similarly lauded. The latter made every list but one and the former all but two (and the two he was absent from had striker partner Torres instead).

As for players not from Spain (or naturalized Brazil-born Spaniards) there was lots of love for Andrei Arshavin.

It's tough to poo poo that choice after he riddled the Dutch silly, but I'm going to try anyway. Arshavin only played in three games, and in one of them he was completely shut down—like NYC November '65 shut down—by Senna. So Arshavin had one nice game against Sweden, and a superb game against a Dutch team that, pre-tourney, everyone thought had a suspect back line that was waiting to be exposed. So maybe don't believe the hype.

My personal favorite squad? Not even mine. The NY Kid went genius crazy on us and cooked up a formidable 4-5-2.



20 comments:

Spectator said...

Not to take anything away from the way that Spain shut him down, but rumor is that Arsharvin wasn't fully fit and ran out of steam. The more I think about him, the more I'm convinced that he's destined to have Arjen Robben-esque perpetual fitness problems throughout the rest of his career. In other words, seems like a perfect match for Barca, Real or Chelsea.

The NY Kid said...

I'm telling you, the 4-5-2 is unstoppable!

Goat said...

I'm waiting the worst XI list. I'm fairly certain that Mario Gomez would be the consensus choice for the coveted Worst Player award.

The NY Kid said...

Nope - I would give it to Luca Toni. Because he's Italian, you see. And I'm French.

Mike Georger said...

is that why you speak with the outrageous accent?

i think some people in the media are under the impression that arshavin is 18. ive repeatedly seen him referred to as 'kid'. yeah good luck with him in five years

Keith said...

Pepe, LB? As in Reina? Really? One game makes him the third-best keeper in the tourney?

Precious Roy said...

I think that's Pepe as in this guy.

Unless you know that and are joking. Hard to tell this early in the morning sometimes.

Mike Georger said...

swing and a miss!

Lingering Bursitis said...

Keith, you might also recognize Pepe as a player Villa could never afford

Keith said...

At Rafa's transfer fees, I don't think I'd want him, either. If he's charging 10 million for Butterfingers, I would imagine he'd want over 20 mill for Reina, which is ridiculous money for a keeper.

Lingering Bursitis said...

the other Pepe, silly. Same still applies

Precious Roy said...

Could have been this guy. He was about as effective as any other French player.

Zing!

Lingering Bursitis said...

Frank Pepe does make the best pizza though.

The NY Kid said...

Sadly, Pepe le Pew probably would have scored more often, given that defenders would stay far away from him.

Keith said...

Right. . I was just testing you guys. .

HEYLOOKOVERTHERE!

/runs

chipped red nail polish said...

Most of the places I've read have similarly favoured Senna ahead of Xavi. Any theories as to why the latter was honoured, or is it just subjective?

Lingering Bursitis said...

Who knows... I reckon Xavi just gets the nod for being the established player in the Spanish midfield who's been there the longest, or close to it. One can't help but feel that the awards process is based on 40% performance, and 60% having "earned ones dues" in order to get the nod, especially with something so subjective as you pointed out.

Ian said...

I marked down Xavi because I think he had a really dodgy haircut on a team full of dodgy haircuts.


Seriously, though, Senna pretty much locked down everyone through the whole tournament, and did so in such a manner as to leave no doubt that he has taken over Makalele's throne.

strong like bull smart like tractor said...

Yes, Senna was probably the tournament MVP - but defensive midfielders just aren't likely to get that recognition. Makalele was the most valuable player on Chelsea's first title-winning team, but Lamps, Drogba and Terry got all the credit.

TIET said...

How does one justify Lahm exactly? UEFA needs to explain this as well. Did the technical requirements include DEFENDING? In that respect, I thought he was a bit of a disaster most of the time.

And whoever that was that included Corluka -- good man.