Euro 2008- Group C matches

France VS Romania

Nothing much to say for this one,except two things:

1) Benzema is damn good.

2) Romania is not spelled R-O-M-A-N-I-A, but D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Not an easy team to beat.

The Netherlands VS Italia

I’m in deep pain and mourning as I’m typing this. I know I cannot go on. I must say that it was very painful to watch the match, and every goal hurt like a blade plunged through my heart; although,objectively speaking, Sneijder’s second goal was a very beautiful one. But not like aesthetics matter in times when your beloved team is trailing behind.

Where did we go wrong? In a million ways,it seems. I’m in two minds to give Donadoni a good talking to,so here’s an open letter. We love you and the team,that’s why we criticise you, because we really don’t want to see such a disappointing performance again. It’s really not what we’re capable of. Come on.

Dear Roberto,

I must say that when I saw your line up, I was not particularly impressed. As a fan of the Azzuri for the past ten years, I’ve seen my fair share of heartbreaking moments for the team, and each and every time we fall to which other team, my heart has ached with a pain that I believe not many can empathise with and understand. I went with great faith in you and the boys to watch the game; honestly speaking, I did not consciously psycho myself that we’d definitely beat The Netherlands. All I’ve said to anyone who would listen in this period of time leading up to the game is that,’I have great faith in my boys, and I will be praying very hard for them’. That’s it. I never went around boasting to anyone that just because we are Campioni del mondo,we’d most certainly secure that victory. In two years, the squad has seen some changes. Other teams have improved, and how we’d fare against them remains a great mystery, until we play them, that is.

And last night was one of the worst nights in all my ten years of fan-girling of the Azzuri. I’m telling you, Roberto, that you might be inexperienced as a coach, but you really can’t use that as an excuse. The fans love the team, we want to see some results, and seeing lacklustre performance from nearly everyone on the team is just extremely disappointing. Now,I must say that I don’t bet on soccer,because (it may sound silly), but I always think that we should not let the value of our mighty team be reduced to being equivalent to some base measurement such as money. This is why winning or losing, to me, is really a matter of pride and honour. As an Italian fan, I have revelled in many moments of wonderul football from the boys, and that has brought me great pleasure and satisfaction. I hope to relive those moments soon enough. We don’t have much time left, if you realise.

Now back to where we messed up. In very general terms, a few things: Nature of the team, Strategic bulnders, and lack of Divine intervention.

Nature of the team: Roberto, I undestand that losing Canna was a terrible terrible blow to every single one of us. So who do we have left to use? You started with Panucci, Barzagli, Zambrotta and Materazzi. It doesn’t take a fan or an astute strategist to see that our defence was slow. Extremely slow. We couldn’t get back fast enough when the young and energetic Dutch forwards came up on counter-attack. And it just showed when we couldn’t even out-run the first goal-scorer (controversial goal!) van Nistelrooy. It was rather shocking to see how slow we were.

Strategic blunders: I know Luca Toni is the top scorer in the Bundesliga this season. Is that why you chose to depend so much on him? You chose to play 4-3-3, with Camoranesi and Di Natale flanking him and hoping to provide him with potential goal-scoring opportunities. It didn’t work out that way, Roberto, much as all of us would have liked to. And you chose to carry on playing Toni until so late into the game when it seemed like getting back is as hard as Austria beating Germany. I’m really curious about what you told the boys during the half time team talk. Maybe it’s a bit late to say all these, but you should have either started with Del Piero or introduced him right after half time. Next match against Romania, it would be a nice change to try that out, ok? It breaks my heart to see Zambrotta trying so hard to feed the ball to the centre, but always being met with nobody to convert that into a goal.

Lack of Divine Intervention: And plenty of unfair human intervention, I must say. The referee is a major dumb ass. Controversial decisions on the first goal. More fouls from the Dutch but guess what,more yellow cards for us! Every shot that we took either flew way higher than the post or right into van der Sar’s arms. It just wasn’t our night.

Of course, I have to add that, very sadly, I didn’t expect the dynamics of your friendship with van Basten to come into play, but I seriously suspect that his knowledge of Italian football from having played in Milan and with you, contributed substantially to his shrewd tactical arrangements in this match. And that’s not forgetting that he has very talented young players in (those sods) Kuyt, Sneijder and van Bronckhorst (who broke my freaking heart three times by either setting up or scoring). It must have been his secret desire all these years to beat Italia, didn’t you realise that when you were on the phone with him two months ago?

Dear Roberto, I know you probably realised all the things I’ve mentioned, perhaps right from the start. I need you to realise that millions of Azzuri fans are awaiting with bated breath to see some magic touch the team again. We want to see the life back in our boys. You have some time left, not much, to do what you have to do. It’s time to be brave.

A very devoted and heartbroken Milan and Azzuri fan.

 

Next up: Group D: Spain VS Russia; Greece VS Sweden

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