The Midweek Memoirs of Mr Bodell
So, what can we learn from Euro 2008 and in particular the final?
German Efficiency isn't always enough to win you the big games. They scraped past Austria with 'efficiency' but against Portugal they were forced to play some decent stuff, no bad thing, but if that was England, we might as well have given Portugal a bye. Our 'efficiency' stretches as far as passion from the crowd and it sadly, never stretches as far as the players.
A triumph for sexy football. The Spanish were up amongst the best teams in the tournament for eye-catching football and I was pleased that after the shock of Greece in '04, that we got a positive, attacking side win the tournament. You never know, now we are the most success-deprived major nation which crumbles every year, maybe we will finally join the elite who succeed at a major tournament.
Aging giants are nothing to fresh-faced midgets; that was basically the match up in the final. Six foot plus, 38 year-old Jens Lehmann versus twenty-something, scarcely five-foot Iker Casillas, captain of the winning side. I know who I'd rather have between my sticks before and after. The only exemption is perhaps Bastian Schweinstieger who eventually had a good tournament, but would I rather him down the right or the more creative Iniesta....hmmm...Iniesta I'm afraid.
Oldies just don't do it! So Mr Capello, that means goodbye Mr Beckham, Mr Campbell, Mr Neville[s]. And in with the likes of Wes Brown, amazingly, someone who has impressed replacing his mentor at the back for United all season. Look at the oldies at the tournament - Thuram [And basically France], Lehmann, Koller, Rustu, etc etc etc....experience is important, but pensions aren't in the grand scheme of football!
Home nations need to qualify in future! What did Austria or Switzerland bring to the Euros? Nowt I'm afraid, if you're not good enough to be there normally, then why take up a space, or two, by being hosts. Seems they hosted well, but that doesn't give them a right to be there.
Media Coverage is sadly lacking, and not just because Mr Motson has stepped down. I'm not the only one to say the BBC coverage was pretty naff, and here's some self-generated publicity, I'd rather read me than listen to Hansen, Shearer and Linekar, I do however hope Martin O'Neill dabbles in punditry when he retires from football management.
ITV - don't think you got off the hook. Analysis slightly better, but ultimately, Clive Tyldsley and their other manin commentator are let down by David Pleat. If Tyldsley pronounces Costa as Costa, Pleat continutes to say it as Coshta. Sorry Pleat, your're rubbish and not even because of your Hatter's ties.
My Team of the Tournament
Ramos (Spain) Pepe (Portugal) Carvalho (Portugal) Lahm (Germany)
Sabri (Turkey) Engelaar (Holland) Sneijder (Holland) Iniesta (Spain)
Semih (Turkey) Villa (Spain)
Subs: Buffon (Italy), Silva (Spain), Arshavin, Pavluychenko (Both Russia) and Chiellini (Italy)
Keep the faith,