Bear Grylls needed hotel rooms; alcoholics need a sip of porter and Frank Lampard apparently needs Jose Mourinho. We all need our little comforts to keep us going but the passing of Euro 2008 will leave one gaping football-shaped hole in our lives that will be hard to fill. Even two days without games have been difficult such has been our luck in the previous two weeks.
The end of two matches a day after the second round of first phase games was difficult enough, the end of the quarter finals was just plain horrific. But the end? The real, actual end? What are we supposed to do? Watch
Anyway, before we get to Sunday’s final and the death knell of a fine, fine tournament, let’s go through the first semi final.
Germany v Turkey: Turkey are, so the stories say anyway, a team with only 14 players, several of which play in mid table in the Turkish league while another was once coached by Neil Warnock. Then there’s the third choice keeper who may come on as a striker. This team, under no circumstances, should be here, face to face with the final, but here they are.
I should preface this by saying that ever since the Turkey v Ireland play off for Euro 2000 I’ve hated the Turkish national side. Anyone else remember that dodgy Star TV prick who wouldn’t sell the rights to their home game to RTE (forcing me and many others into the shithole of choice for Dublin Celtic fans, Frasers, to watch a hazy satellite feed of the second leg)? Just as dodgy were the Turk officials who punched Tony Cascarino. Then to top it all off they had Hakan Sukur, the most instantly dislikeable footballer of our time, up front. Steven Gerrard and Ronaldo wish they could be as instantly hate worthy as this guy, but sorry lads, he was just born with it.
Anyway, begrudgingly I will have to admit that they deserve their place here simply for the frenetic, insanely late entertainment they have provided in their last three games. The equaliser against
While Germany do possess a resurgent Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lucas Podolski in top form, Michael Ballack doing his usual pre-final heroics in the early stages as well as some other solid performers throughout the side, they still have the air of a team that could be found out. Their coach for one, just looks like a guy who will be discovered as the charlatan he is any minute. Not, that I know Joachim Low is a charlatan, I just know that he looks like an actor in a bad American soap opera and those guys always have secrets… anybody else getting the impression I’m finding it hard to pick out weaknesses for Germany? Thought so.
So logic and sense point to the northern Europeans and away from the frankly un-European Turks (come on, even if
I’ll be back to go over the far more difficult to predict Spain v Russia game tomorrow, and before any of you ask, yes I will address writing off the Rooskies earlier on in the tournament.
‘Til then folks,