Euro 2012 open thread

by Chris Bertram on June 7, 2012

I have no idea how this one will go. Germany will probably do well, but that’s the extent of my predictions. Traditionally, it has been a competition where no-hoper teams (Denmark 92, Greece 04) can spring a surprise. Predictions? Golden boot? Fire away.



aretino 06.07.12 at 7:57 pm

Spain will win. England will fail to advance out of their group.


Jacob Christensen 06.07.12 at 8:15 pm

Unfortunately, I didn’t come up with this one originally (Ben Stanley did) but expect a new series of Nordic Noir this June

The Kicking. DCI Platini investigates the slaughter of eleven Danish men at three different places in the Ukraine.

Expecting? Well. Hoping for Spain.


Substance McGravitas 06.07.12 at 8:15 pm

I have no idea why you would ask people when there are so many excellent animals to consult.


piglet 06.07.12 at 8:22 pm



Dave 06.07.12 at 8:29 pm

“Traditionally, it has been a competition where no-hoper teams (Denmark 92, Greece 04) can spring a surprise.”

So you think England have a shot?


rf 06.07.12 at 8:30 pm

Second both of aretino’s predictions, although the 46 year anniversary of 1966 so who knows, with Ireland being there or thereabouts. Just to clarify, I’ve called every competition since 98 correctly, with the exception of Greece, so this isn’t so much a prediction as a dead cert.


Drunkeynesian 06.07.12 at 8:32 pm

Theory is Germany always wins the edition after losing the previous final match.

Here’s a nice and smart report from UniCredit’s research team:


JCE 06.07.12 at 8:33 pm

germany, spain and holland are favorites. but russia and denmark have potential to surprise.
i don’t think a spaniar will bee golden boot; they score few goals per game. mario gomez of germany or van persie could win it


js. 06.07.12 at 8:37 pm

Italian football’s been recently plagued with scandal and crisis. Last time Italian football was plagued by scandal and crisis? 2006. Just sayin’.

More realistically, I’d say Germany, though maybe Holland. And I’d pick England sooner than Spain (David Villa out, Puyol out?, Torres in horrific form, etc. Also, they’re kind of due a loss.)


LeftAtTheCross 06.07.12 at 8:38 pm

Germany vs Greece in the final.

Nil all after extra time.

Merkel pulls rank from the VIP box and substitutes herself on just before it goes to penalties.

Tsipras, caught on the hop, delegates responsibility to the heroic grassroots of the Greek national team. The KKE send an immediate telegram of support for this brave pro-people decision which gives power to the popular strata at this moment of crisis.

Greece win on penalties. No more to be said.


Leinad 06.07.12 at 8:39 pm

France are another dark horse.


aei31 06.07.12 at 8:40 pm

Germany, but hopefully a Russian or English shocker.


Kieran 06.07.12 at 8:43 pm

For transatlantic exiles, I don’t suppose there’s any sort of legit streaming setup?


Substance McGravitas 06.07.12 at 8:46 pm

Thank you piglet.


BlueRidge 06.07.12 at 8:48 pm

If you pay for services that allow you to get ESPN3 online (or the WatchESPN app), I think some and perhaps all the games will be available that way since ESPN is carrying the Euros in the US.
No love for Croatia here? Go Modric!


Andrew Smith 06.07.12 at 8:49 pm

England will score exactly one goal in a 1-1 draw against the Ukraine and will not make it out of the group.


Arredro 06.07.12 at 8:51 pm

Spain scores a few goals only because all the rival teams park the bus in his defend area.
I’m not seeing the Spanish National Team with the hunger and the motivation of the last years, but they’re still one of the favourites.

Germany is a young squad with a lot of flair and a growing experience playing together. I’ll pick them to be the absolute frontrunner.
And Russia is in good shape too, almost to do a good competition.

Özil, Schweinsteiger, Xavi and Iniesta for the Golden Boot.


J— 06.07.12 at 9:10 pm

For streaming, try here.


js. 06.07.12 at 9:11 pm

For transatlantic exiles, I don’t suppose there’s any sort of legit streaming setup?

It looks like they’re streaming on ESPN3? Maybe not all the matches though? Not sure. I can’t remember but I think all or most of the World Cup matches (2010) were streaming on ESPN3.


Kieran 06.07.12 at 9:15 pm

Yeah, it’s ESPN3. Crap. The trouble is that I only pay Time Warner for Internet access, not for any TV channels, and that doesn’t qualify you to stream ESPN3.


J— 06.07.12 at 9:20 pm

Golden Boot is for top goal scorer. UEFA also has a Player of the Tournament award.


js. 06.07.12 at 9:22 pm

Weird. I remember streaming WC 2010 matches and I didn’t even own a TV. (Unless I’m amazingly confused.)


Kieran 06.07.12 at 9:24 pm

Illegal streams abound, I guess.


Neville Morley 06.07.12 at 10:14 pm

Germany, as long as they stop playing bloody Gomez and stick with Klose, Podolski as occasional impact substitution. Neither Holland nor Spain seem as imposing as they did at the WC – and surely referees will be just waiting for Holland to start kicking opponents again, and stamp down hard on them.

Apparently England are being predicted to make it out of their group, beat Ireland and then meet Germany. Which could be very funny indeed, but on the whole, as a Germany supporter in the depths of Somerset, I’d prefer it not to happen like that.


Nine 06.07.12 at 10:24 pm

Denmark 92 were were not no-hopers, certainly not not on the order of Greece 04, even if they did qualify only due to the fubar state of affairs in Yugoslavia. They had Peter Schmeichel & Brian Laudrup – that ain’t a roster sans hope.

Holland for the win.


William Timberman 06.07.12 at 10:29 pm

I get all the games in high def here in the AZ backwoods on my cable system’s DVR. I’m humbly grateful, as I still remember the awful satellite broadcasts of the Eighties, and running home from work at lunch (in CA) during the 94 World Cup to switch tapes for the afternoon match, then staying up till an ungodly hour to watch both.

Injuries, scandals, too many Bavarians still in shock, Ukrainian skinheads, an all-new French team that was pretty good when I last saw it (too long ago), Eastern European teams likewise. I really haven’t a clue, but I’m gonna love it anyway.


ciaran 06.07.12 at 10:32 pm

Look up expat shield


CPM 06.07.12 at 11:02 pm

Nadal over Ferrer in straights, Djokovic over Federer in a back-and-forth five-setter.

Wait, what are we talking about?


P O'Neill 06.07.12 at 11:30 pm

The tournament will be a dud. To the extent they didn’t know it already, teams saw from the Champions League that penalties are the great leveller. Concede one in regular play and the star on the other team might miss. Play for penalties as the decider in the knock-out, same story. Or catch them on the Route 1 break and you just might win. It’ll be ugly to watch. Spain have aged past their prime (Iniesta in particular had a below-par season), and against teams with a bit of adventure like Germany, the other team will just use the double line of 4 in their half to cope. Also, that well-known leading indicator of the Eurovision song contest predicts that a non-Eurozone country will win.


TheSophist 06.07.12 at 11:35 pm

LeftAtTheCross suggests a Germany vs Greece final…

Didn’t that happen once before?

After the winning Greek goal:- “The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.”


ben in el cajon 06.08.12 at 12:28 am


You should also be able to find the matches in sports bars / pubs. Even hear on the west coast, where the matches will start in the morning, you should be able to find a place.


ben in el cajon 06.08.12 at 12:35 am

I predict Germany over The Netherlannds in the final. I suspect either England or France will collaps in the first round.


Bill Murray 06.08.12 at 12:50 am

Kieran, Many Universities have ESPN 3 free for their students, so you might be able to stream it at your university

From Wikipedia

“Since 2008, ESPN3 has also been available to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers with college/university (.edu) and U.S. military (.mil) IP addresses.”


ben in el cajon 06.08.12 at 12:58 am

Moderator(s): feel free to remove this post if it might derail the football discussion, but I ask only because I’m confused.

What power does an aging, mistake-prone, increasingly slow center back like Terry do to inspire such loyalty in the England national team system? I just don’t get it. I won’t rehearse the litany of his proven and suspected misdemeanors, but I don’t understand what he brings to the side that even at the hight of his talent that would allow him so many excuses and second chances. Oh, and I ask in peace, and promise not to challenge any responders.


Kieran 06.08.12 at 12:58 am

Bill—Right! I’d forgotten that. NOT THAT I’D DO THAT SORT OF THING.


ben in el cajon 06.08.12 at 1:00 am

@31 Doh! ‘here’


Frank Ashe 06.08.12 at 5:24 am

I don’t follow sport but this struck me as interesting from a Euro (currency) perspective. @24 “Germany, as long as they stop playing bloody Gomez and stick with Klose, Podolski as occasional impact substitution. ”

With at 2 players out of 3 named in this quote about the German team with non-Teutonic names, who said there’s limited labour mobility in Europe? :-)


js. 06.08.12 at 6:12 am

as a Germany supporter in the depths of Somerset

This sounds unpleasant?


Chris Bertram 06.08.12 at 6:21 am

_2 players out of 3_

With Mirosław Klose as the Teuton?


Neville Morley 06.08.12 at 6:39 am

@Frank Ashe #37: actually that’s three out of three, as Klose is also of Polish parentage. That’s not so new or unusual – a couple of key players in the team from the late 20s into the 30s were the sons of Polish immigrants into the Gelsenkirchen area, for example. What’s been striking more recently has been the advent of players with Turkish and (in the case of Sami Khedira) Tunisian ancestry, not least because the sons of Turkish Gastaerbeitern used to aspire to play for Turkey even when qualified to play for Germany.

@ js. #38: it has to remain a very private thing; I don’t think my neighbours would really understand. It was bad enough when I proposed adding a European flag to the display in the main square for the jubilee celebrations…


Niall McAuley 06.08.12 at 7:53 am

Germany rubbish Greece in the pre-tournament press conference. Greece threaten to pull out unless they get better treatment. Germany dare them to pull out, since they are going to lose anyhow. Screaming, fights, polarization of UEFA into Northern and Southern nations.

Ireland unsure which side to join.

Riots, baton charges, collapse of the EU, armies marching across Europe, tactical nukes, WWIII, Armageddon.

But the Euro to survive as currency at the new Moon colony.


Neville Morley 06.08.12 at 8:02 am

Southern nations insist that Germans and Dutch should score more own goals in order to even things up?


Chris Bertram 06.08.12 at 8:26 am

Actually if you want a good analogy with the Eurozone crisis, it is probably between UEFA and the ECB and their propensity to deny what everyone else can see plain as day. In UEFA’s case, racism.


Chris Bertram 06.08.12 at 8:29 am

ben @34 … who knows? He’s the most hated player in British football and everyone I know (including Liverpool fans like me) would pick Rio over Terry. He must have polaroids of Hodgson doing something unspeakable.


William Timberman 06.08.12 at 9:21 am

Chris, it seems to me that Ferdinand is as afflicted with chronic injuries and age-related lack of pace as Terry is, and he’s also less aggressive. Sometimes being too much the bulldog gets Terry into trouble, but often it allows him to handle situations that Ferdinand gives up on. Just my tuppence, which, coming from an American, is probably worth less than a new drachma….


Alex 06.08.12 at 9:52 am

Can’t see the point of keeping Terry – the Germans made him look like a wheelybin full of bricks last time out…


rf 06.08.12 at 10:19 am

I have to agree with Ferdinand not being much better than Terry. Also I’m not so sure Terry’s misdemeanors, suspected ot otherwise, are that much worse than the general divilment young footballers get up to (Remember Rio’s drug ban, holidays in Marbella?) – perhaps with the exception of being a bit racist. (Although Di Canio spent a career getting away with being a fully signed up fascist)
I don’t particularly like Terry, but I’m not sure its an entirely rational reaction – Though, sure, he’s always been overrated, but who on the English team hasn’t?


Andreas Moser 06.08.12 at 10:28 am

I will be distracted by watching these Ukrainian protesters:


GW 06.08.12 at 10:41 am

Although born in Poland, with a Polish mother, Klose immigrated as a child on the basis of his father’s German ethnicity. Podolski also immigrated as a child and, while an ethnic Pole, his paternal grandparents were German citizens before WWII, living in the multi-ethnic town of Gleiwitz which chose to remain in Germany even after the third Silesian uprising. Mario Gomez’s father is Spanish and mother is German, he was born and raised in Upper Swabia. All three players maintained language and cultural ties and had the option to play for their “other” home country but chose to play for the country that they were raised in. If anything, the success of these three players illustrates the success typical of a large number of children who immigrate or children of first generation immigrants and of the broadly successful post ’68 assimilation of immigrants into West Germany.


bert 06.08.12 at 12:23 pm

Rio Ferdinand’s constant use of a personal retinue of media management professionals meets the standard pre-tournament dead zone where massive-anticipation-of-football meets no-football-yet. Result: hugely inflated nonstory. He got dropped because he’s knackered.
If there’s any more to it, how’s this: I’ve seen a total of two extended bits of telly with Ferdinand over the years, both of them suggesting a repellent personality. The first involved him taking the soul deejay Trevor Nelson VIP clothes shopping at the northern branch of Harvey Nichols. Fawning from Nelson, self-regard from Ferdinand, the whole thing nauseating. The second was a Sky show where he pranked other footballers with elaborate windups (the one I saw involved conning Wayne Rooney into telling a tearful child that its puppy had died). Ferdinand’s involvement seemed to involve high-pitched giggling at the monitor feeds coming from the hidden cameras, then swanning in with a massive smirk when the prank was revealed. It made you realise that until that point you hadn’t appreciated the charm and warmth of Jeremy Beedle.
Yes, footballers in general can be stupid, vain and petulant. But Ferdinand combines all those traits, and not in a good way. Has he been left out because having him around has proved in the past to be bad for squad morale? It wouldn’t surprise me.

Btw, to the people on this thread dismissing England, I think we’ve got a good chance this year. If you think that’s just the usual moronic optimism, you’re missing the important fact that the lads are really up for it. Really, really up for it.


Ed 06.08.12 at 3:13 pm

Bundle a few quid on Robert Lewandowski for top scorer. France will probably do well. I think there’s a very good chance England will get knocked out in the group stage with a measly three points (from Ukraine).


Andrew Edwards 06.08.12 at 4:00 pm

Can we stop to discuss briefly how Portugal got completely screwed in the Group assignments?


ben in el cajon 06.08.12 at 4:30 pm

@ 53: I agree that Portugal is in a world of hurt, but are you implying that their situation is unfair, or is it just unlucky?

Regarding Ferdinand v Terry, I think they are both over rated. It wasn’t only Robert Green who cost England first place in their last World Cup finals group stage.

As for the newly diverse German Mannschaft, interesting exceptions are most of the half-Americans, many of whom are now playing on the US team. This isn’t a new thing either: Thomas Dooley was an important midfielder for us in the 90s. His mother is German and his father a US serviceman. The same pattern holds for three current members of the USMNT, leading some American association football fans to call for a US military base in Brazil.


Sebastian H 06.08.12 at 5:01 pm

Funny thing is when I read the title I thought it was an open thread about the currency.


ben in el cajon 06.08.12 at 5:14 pm

Wow, this is an interesting first match. I’m never going to get my papers graded.


Mrs Tilton 06.08.12 at 5:14 pm

Neville and GW,

re: the Gomezes, Özils, Kloses, Podolskis, Khediras usw. usf. of the Germany team, I think these days the explanation is pretty simple. National sentiment, in most cases, has little to do with it. Players able to qualify for more than one nation will play for the strongest nation they can get selected for.

Hargreaves was eligible for Canada, Wales and England. England were willing to give him a shot, so he played for England. A similarly situated player unable to get the call-up from England would have gone with Canada or Wales, happy for the cap even if slightly less likely to win any important competition. The Turkish national side is full of Almancılar who’d have played alongside Özil if they’d been given the chance. I imagine that, as a technical matter, Zidane could have qualified for Algeria; but for a player of his calibre sentimental attachment to the ancestral homeland would have had to be very powerful indeed to make him forgo playing for France.

My indirect, two-degrees-of-separation brush with greatness: my elder son played for a half-decent local side here through D-Jugend (at which point he came to realise that he was not Brazilian after all). One of his teammates, born here but of Turkish descent, was acquired by our city’s Bundesliga club as a pre-teen and, later, by Bayern Munich. He now plays in their reserves and, barring injury or screw-up, will likely turn out for their first 11 in the next season or so. He has played for Germany at youth level but thus far has not had to make a binding decision. My not exactly daring prediction: if selected, he’ll play for Germany and be delighted about it; if not, Turkey will select him, and he’ll be delighted about it and play for them. (He is that good that I do not think he will escape being selected by the one or the other.)

Oh yes, my prediction. Germany will win, unless they are persuaded by the pessimism of the German sporting press that they cannot. Recall the last World Cup: Despite having effortlessly vivisected England and Argentina on live international television, Germany were told by the press that they hadn’t a hope against Spain; so Germany duly played against Spain cowering as though in fear of their lives. It was clear within minutes of kick-off that Spain would prevail. You will not beat Germany through condition or technique or discipline, but you can beat them through psychology.


bert 06.08.12 at 5:29 pm


bert 06.08.12 at 8:08 pm

Mrs T, I think you’re right about the psychology of that semi against Spain.
I watched the Germany v England match at a village jumbo screen on a blistering hot day just outside Duesseldorf. By the end of it my shit-eating grin was wearing thin. No complaints at all. Back in England, not even the usual suspects were complaining, not even with the gift of a disallowed goal to complain about. England got creamed by a vastly superior team. But maybe it’s worth looking at how good Germany were. It wasn’t just the standard German advantage of being very organised and very fit. They were quick, inventive, visionary, punished every mistake. And maybe because they were excellent in a rather unGermanic way there was room for self-doubt to creep in and undermine them.

I only know from the latter stages of the Champions League what the German players look like coming into the Euros. Gomez was a joke in the final. Schweinsteiger missed a crucial penalty. If Ozil did much for Madrid, I missed it.
The German team was something special two years ago. I’m doubtful that’s the sort of thing that can be repeated.
Don’t get me wrong, if you drew Germany in the sweepstake you’d be happy.
Just like if you drew England you’d kick the cat.


minnesotaj 06.09.12 at 3:19 am

Germany or Netherlands – though I would love to see frumpy, literate Hodgson guide England through to finals (and Oxlade-Chamberlain show Walcott what it means to pay attention/play with heart). Today’s Poland-Greece match was sure disheartening to watch as an Arsenal fan, though: SzczÄ™sny pulled off the miracle of reproducing both the 2011 Carling Cup disaster AND Jens Lehmann red card vs. Barcelona in 2006 Champions League in a 15 minute span. All of which also means: RVP will not be Golden Boot, but will tear an ACL, recover this year on Wenger’s payroll, then sign with Man City in 2013.


bevan 06.09.12 at 8:24 am

I predict Terry and whoever it was that was made captain this time around will come to blows when little Theo inevitably gets targetted with monkey chants. Terry spots an opportunity and rounds up all the off-white players on the feld and attempts to march them off the pitch in protest. Terry, Cole, Johnson, AOC, Walcott and Defoe all get booked before the game eventually restarts minus the England captain who gets a red card for lamping Terry. Suspensions for Hodgson to play Kelly in the final group game and he is found to be the new Cafu and the new Beckenbauer all at once, proving the Ferdinand thing was indeed all for ‘football reasons’.

More realistically, distance and a smidgen of fear lead to a far less embarassing performance than usual by the England ‘fans’ and low expectations allow a dignified early retreat by the team. The tournament looks wide open to me, so I’ll plump for Germany from Italy in the final.


Chris Bertram 06.09.12 at 9:55 am

Historically, people win the Golden Boot at the Euros by scoring only 4/5 goals. Dzagoev has 2 in the bag now and is 14.5 at betfair. Worth a punt.


ben in el cajon 06.09.12 at 5:02 pm

I so hate living in a state (California) and nation that frowns upon betting. It isn’t worth driving out to Vegas for the opportunity.


bert 06.10.12 at 12:17 pm

Is “frowning upon betting” really what’s going on in the US?
The Abramoff/Ralph Reed scandal showed those who genuinely frown upon betting being exploited by an effective (if informal) cartel, to protect existing operations from competition.
It’s possible I’m reading this wrong – there are people far closer to the issue than me. FWIW, I’d say the openness of the political system to the corrupting influence of money helps shore up an obvious market distortion.


ascholl 06.12.12 at 1:31 am

Many US ISPs bundle ESPN3 access (though not the other ESPN channels) in with your regular access. I don’t have any TV service, and was pleasantly surprised last week to learn I had an easy, legal way to watch the games.


ben in el cajon 06.14.12 at 6:19 am

@63 yes and no. Vegas casinos have a history of donating money to moralists who want to limit other forms of gambling, but there isn’t a general betting culture in the US.

Oh, and how about group B? Interesting games and drama!

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