So into the deep end at Euro 2012 we go. Not a goal-less game to speak of, despite the vain attempts of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland (I get the feeling three 0-0s would’ve suited him just grand). Greece have provided the shock of the tournament so far. Now where and when did we hear that before? Any hopes of a reprisal will surely come to nothing against a far superior Germany side. The Germans will be well aware of the potential for upset, given the Euro 2004 miracle. There will be absolutely no complacency I can assure you of that.
On a similar note, Roy Hodgson will be ensuring there will be no slouching and patting on the back going on in the England camp. His side have done pretty well so far, although I don’t buy into this myth that England have over-achieved to get this far. The side is ranked sixth in the world, and is the fourth highest ranked European team. By that logic, the semi-finals are about par. The England football team is either amazing or awful it seems. Realistically, with sensible management and an ability to shut out the media’s over-expectant nature, they can compete with the best in the world. They cannot expect to win tournaments. But with a bit of luck it is possible.
The Italians will be no easy pickings. Time and time again, they have ground their way to the latter stages of tournaments. The 2006 World Cup victory is proof of that. Andrea Pirlo will be drawing on all his experience to drag this comparatively limited Italy side that one step closer to glory. My money will be on a penalty shoot-out, before England’s legendary generous nature kicks in and they end up flying themselves home. I would love to see Balotelli slot home the winning penalty. He will turn from the darling of the English press to an assassin overnight.
In other news, I’m starting to miss the Premier League. It’s startlingly not long to go!