Sunday 4 December 2011

Euro 2012 Draw: England will do well to get out of the group

Call me cynical if you want, but England's draw in Friday's Euro 2012 draw is far from easy. Remember this is England we're talking about.

Admittedly it could have been a lot worse, we've avoided playing the likes of Spain and Holland in the group stages, but a group containing Sweden, France, and Ukraine could still cause England lots of problems.

On paper we should get out of the group, but lets look back at last year's World Cup in South Africa. We couldn't even top a group featuring the football 'heavyweights' of Algeria, Slovenia and the USA!

Group D in next year's Euro's is much tougher than that. When have we ever beaten France in a competitive match? I can't remember.

We all know we never beat Sweden, despite last month's friendly result. That will end in a draw as it always does. And finally there's the co-hosts Ukraine. The weakest team in the group but with home support you can't take anything for granted.

Even if England get out of the group, we're probably looking at a potential quarter final with either Spain or Italy. Ideally you'd prefer to play Italy, but again it would require England to knock out one of the games major powers which we simply never do!

I really enjoy football's European Championships. The standard's better than the World Cup. There's no messing about - you get heavyweight clashes straight away. Holland/Germany, Spain/Italy I can't wait. It's ridiculous that Uefa has decided to increase the number of teams to 24 for 2016, thereby increasing the level of mediocrity.

England getting out the group will be acceptable followed by a respectable defeat in the Quarter finals.

My advice to England fans is don't be fooled again, we know we're not good enough. A few entertaining games and a honorable defeat will be enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. First time i've commented for a while - apologies! But you've galvanised me into action. Agree with most of what you've said of course, i'm always happy to agree that england are overrated.
    France and England don't play each other 'competitively' very often, but England's two victories (out of 6 by my reckoning?) were fairly memorable. 30 years ago Bryan Robson's goal after 27 seconds set England on their way to a 3-1 victory in Bilbao. However it was France who were to make their mark on the '82 tournament, while for years Robson's early strike was WRONGLY quoted as the world cup's fastest ever (don't get me started). England's other victory was of more real significance - a 2-0 win in the 1966 group stages where Jimmy Greaves picked up a leg injury and lost his place to a certain Geoff Hurst.
    France have the upper hand in the Euros though. No doubt you remember the late drama in 2004, but they also triumphed over two legs in the preliminaries for the '64 tournament, including a 5-2 battering in Paris. Who'd have thought that 3 years later the tables would have turned so far?
    And yes, the 1992 finals are best forgotten for both teams.
    Enough stats. Is it too early to ask you for 2012 Euro predictions? Can Spain be stopped? I've a feeling they won't triumph again, but i can't justify that as anything other than a hunch!