November 30, 2003

Euro 2004 finals draw: While the matches are months away, today's draw made for some interesting matchups. France and England, Spain and Portugal, Sweden and Denmark, Germany and Holland give each of the groups a natural rivalry. Will France recover from last year's dismal showing in Asia? Will any of the lesser-regarded teams like Greece or Switzerland make it to the semi-finals? Let's talk some trash!

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 12:38 PM - 28 comments

Come on, England (also, the Germnay, Holland, Czech Republic group looks like a good one. Especially considering that the Czechs beat Holland in qualifying, and they both hate Germany (everyone hates Germany, though, I suppose, when it comes to football. Nice grudge matches, hopefully.)

posted by dng at 01:02 PM on November 30

Probably just an artifact of my being in the US and mainly reading Soccernet and BBC for such news but Germany seems to be getting a lot less love than I expect after their showing last year in the World Cup. Hated or not. Or are Kahn, Ballack and the gang just getting too old to compete?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:18 PM on November 30

The general opinion of Germany, in England at least, is that they were exceedingly lucky to get to the world cup final last year, and bloody awful in qualifying. Even the Germans think they're shit. But, apart from Euro2000, when they were so embarrassing even England managed to beat them, Germany always do well at the championships. Its just that, I don't know anyone who can really bring themselves to admit Germany are good. They're just lucky. In every match. Ever. (Yes, yes, yes, I am in denial)

posted by dng at 02:55 PM on November 30

An anglocentric look at the draw, but a pretty fair and considered one, too.

posted by dng at 05:19 PM on November 30

Ballack isn't that old...

posted by StarFucker at 09:36 PM on November 30

SF, that was a question, not a statement. Learn English!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:51 PM on November 30

I don't like Germany. Boring, rough and tough juggernaut.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:54 AM on December 01

Let's just hope England get to play Germany at some stage in the tournament, thereby allowing their well-educated and cultured fans to chant "Two world wars and one world cup!" for ninety minutes before packing their bags for an early departure from yet another major championship...

posted by JJ at 09:07 AM on December 01

Was that trashy enough?

posted by JJ at 09:07 AM on December 01

No! Me wants more trashy! Waahh!

posted by BigCalm at 09:32 AM on December 01

"Two world wars and one world cup!" We'll only get the pleasure of that if they can stop chanting "No surrender to the IRA" for more than five minutes...

posted by dng at 09:39 AM on December 01

Germany didn't clinch the top spot in their Euro group until their victory in their final game (3-0 over Iceland). With a group that included Iceland, Lithuania, Scotland and the Faroe Islands I think the idea was the Germany's strong showing the World Cup would suggest they would have had an easier time in the group. Held to a draw at home by Lithuania in their third match made the path a little more difficult. Further draws at Scotland and Iceland meant nothing was guaranteed until they won their final match. The lack of respect may have to do with the lacklustre (considering the opposition) qualifying campaign.

posted by gspm at 10:15 AM on December 01

Who do you think Sven will start up front? Will he stick with the Liverpool duo? Plus, Rio Ferdinand may well not be available for the D!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:13 AM on December 01

I don't care how crap Germany were in qualifying (they nearly always are) - Victor Chandler is offering 18-1 on them winning the tournament - that's worth 10 of anyone's money.

posted by JJ at 11:27 AM on December 01

Has it been determined who's going to be carrying these matches on USTV yet? The early Iberian matchup should be fun.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:37 AM on December 01

I, for one, would watch that while drinking sangria and port. Ole ole ole ole!

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:12 PM on December 01

It won't be on TV here Ufez... I had to pay per view 4 years ago, at least i doubt it will be. And they didn't even offer all the games. Just the ones with England and then the Final!! HEY!! How come when i press the space bar twice at the end of a period in a sentence it disappears?!

posted by StarFucker at 01:00 PM on December 01

FSW has been showing a lot more soccer lately and even has a bit of the UEFA Cup, so I wouldn't count out the possibility completely.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:52 PM on December 01

According to Euro 2004 November 20. 2003 Euro 2004 is expected to be available on pay-per-view in the US. Details to be announced. The Sports Network (TSN) will offer complete coverage in Canada. According to me: England! (will probably not win, but what the hell)

posted by kafkaesque at 03:25 PM on December 01

kafkaesque, that does suck much! Wonder if Comcast will offer it and how much the charge'll be.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:00 PM on December 01

I am moving to Canada. Or Europe.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:42 PM on December 01

Australia, WC, let's convince the wives the time is write to open a consultancy Down Under.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:55 PM on December 01

Back on topic, FSW's Nick Webster has a column this week begging Sven to recall Alan Shearer to partner Owen up front. SF, you'll especially appreciate his characterization of Heskey!

posted by billsaysthis at 08:04 PM on December 01

Yes, i did appreciate that bill... He didn't even mention Alan Smith who i think is pretty good too, so is Ameobi.

posted by StarFucker at 09:26 PM on December 01

I thought Shearer retired from the National Team of his own volition. Am I mistaken, was he "encouraged" out?

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:02 PM on December 01

I think Alan bottle-thrower Smith is more of a liability than an asset. Maybe he could play for the rugby team.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:44 AM on December 02

I'd love to see Shearer in an England shirt again. But sadly I don't think he's the kind of man to change his mind. Newcastle's gain is England's loss, and I can't see us achieving much with the dearth of quality strikers we have.

posted by squealy at 04:22 AM on December 02

Rio Ferdinand may well not be available John Terry's better anyway.

posted by walrus at 06:16 AM on December 02

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