Cures for insomniac supporters

Sleepy-headed coverage of Euros 2012

Semi-final 1

Spain 0 – 0 Portugal
(Spain trudge forward on penalties 4-2)

This very stalemate would’ve whittled the edges from the even the keenest footballing enthusiasm. We were right to expect a show. Portugal and Ronaldo were improving with each performance. They’ve played exciting, attractive, passing, attacking football; the kind invented by the Scots – though they’ve long since forgotten it themselves. Spain, capable of an equally stylish game, have sprinkled their panache with handfuls of grit and cement.

This game had blockbuster all over it. Stars, tensions, something to play for, but the ball is round. In the same way football can lift a body out of its seat with a delicate caress, such an onslaught of its monotony can crush the carcass. Del Bosque, the Socrates of Soccer, used three substitutes and didn’t play Torres or Llorente. This offers insight into the nature of his game plan. Through mitigation of risk – the domain of anti-football – the midfield battle’s suffocation of any creativity illustrates his plan’s effectiveness. Until extra-time both keepers were perched in deckchairs, a blanket and folded broadsheet in their lap, a table of drinks by their side. There was little of interest for the neutral fan.

Extra-time picked up and the penalty shoot-out was exciting. Really, they could’ve cut to the chase and put it all to bed in an hour. Hopefully we’ll see more goals, more spark and more football in the Germany/Italy game tonight.

For the sake of football, I’ve been more than happy to see Spain dominate the beautiful game. For the sake of football, I hope they lose the final.



  1. Dennis Gedling says

    CRonaldo’s wimping out of the shootout (or wanting to be the fifth in the shootout to take all the glory) shows once more why he’s always going to be more of an individual than anything else. He’ll always be the Oats to the Messi’s Hall. Speaknig of Messi, he’s been quiet in this tournament, it’s like he’s not even there.

  2. I agree. He couldn’t (wouldn’t) tie Messi’s laces.
    I love the 70s/80s middle of the road rock analogy though. Given Ronaldo’s interest in his appearance – and the latest Nike ad proving his incredible lack of self-awareness – he’d be more a George Michael to an Messi’s Andrew Ridgely.

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