Jul 092012
 

The day after England crashed out of Euro 2012, Daniel Taylor, chief football writer at The Guardian, wrote about England’s inability to keep possession and how this would cost them in the long term. It wasn’t the first time this problem was mentioned though, with an article making exactly the same point following England’s draw with France.

“I don’t regard statistics, especially possession statistics, as being particularly important,” Hodgson said after the game, which was fairly alarming. Whilst too much emphasis can be put on statistics at times, particularly when they are manipulated to prove a particular point, surely it has to be regarded as important to look at how often a player on your team can find another member of his team when picking out a pass.

Still, England are never going to be Spain, so can reaching the quarter finals, after losing to eventual finalist Italy on penalties, be considered an achievement? Taylor shares his thoughts on the matter.

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Jul 062012
 

Another international tournament passes us by and we’re met with another failure from England to even reach the semis. However, unlike previous years, expectations were at an all time low so the players have returned without getting much stick. England reached the quarter-finals, standard, and Roy Hodgson managed to get them playing like a team.

Ollie Holt, Chief Sportswriter at The Mirror, has shared his thoughts on England’s campaign, Euro 2012’s best players and where the title will be this time next year.

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Jul 042012
 

Jordi Alba joined Barcelona when he was just 9-years-old and stayed there for seven years before he was released. He signed for neighbouring UE Cornellà when he was 16-years-old and was soon called up to the Spain U-19 squad. Valencia paid €6,000 for the teenager where he went from strength to strength. He got his first call up to the national team last September and then made his début in October.

At Euro 2012, Alba made 226 successful passes in the opposition half, which was 48 more than any other defender, according to Opta. He assisted Alonso’s goal against France in the quarter-finals and scored a goal for himself in the final, rounding off a brilliant tournament. An agreement between Barcelona and Valencia was reached whilst he was on International duty which will see him return to his former club for €14 million. Barcelona struck such a bargain because the talented full back was in the last year of his contract but it certainly puts in to perspective some of the prices being quoted in England for less talented players!

James Ducker, a Football Correspondent at The Times, reckons Alba was the most impressive player at Euro 2012.

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Jul 032012
 

Spain became the first team to win 3 major International tournaments in a row with a 4-0 win over Italy. Both teams had their moments in the game, with several key chances created, but it was Spain who took theirs and were crowned Champions. Here are my top 5 moments (in the order they occurred):

1. Xavi – Fabregas 1-2, Xavi shot

Xavi plays it into Fabregas, who starting as a False 9, holds the ball and lays it off for Xavi to fire an early warning shot.

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Jul 022012
 

England went to the Euros with little to no expectations of them achieving anything, which seemingly had a positive impact on the results. Two wins and a draw in the group stage set up England nicely for the quarter-finals, although probably too much was made of them scraping past Sweden and Ukraine.

Ahead of England’s game against Italy, Alan Hansen claimed Roy Hodgson was “on the verge of greatness”, complying with the typically substandard punditry that came with the Euros. After two hours of football, where England somehow managed to keep the Italians out, they predictably lost on penalties. All the talk of how well practised they were and all the fuss surrounding Joe Hart’s iPad preparation came to nothing.

However, when Italy went on to convincingly beat former favourites Germany in the semi-finals, suddenly England’s result against them looked pretty good!

Henry Winter, football correspondent for The Telegraph, has given his thoughts on England’s performance at Euro 2012 exclusively for BFTGT.

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