Euro 2016 Tactical Analysis: France 5-2 Iceland | France overpower incoherent Iceland

July 8, 2016

“The sharks meet the minnows, David meets Goliath, underdog meets the host nation. Of the quarter finals, this was certainly the matchup with a greater disparity. France, a football powerhouse, facing Iceland, in their first major tournament. Although many thought that Iceland had an outside chance to keep their fairy tale alive, France crushed those dreams. It was a dominant performance from the French from start to finish.” Outside of the Boot

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Wales exceeded expectations at Euro 2016 – but must now deal with them

July 8, 2016

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“Commiserations to Wales, whose exhilarating Euro 2016 journey came to an end at the semi-final stage in Lyon, but congratulations to all concerned for lighting up the tournament – particularly from a British point of view – and showing what is possible when a team functions as a team and takes a strong mentality and deep reserves of self-belief out on to the pitch. This is not intended as veiled criticism of England, though some may read it that way, for the Welsh and the English narratives have been inextricably entwined in France. They were drawn in the same group, and though England won the head-to-head battle – just – they lost the war by finishing second to a team with two victories.” Guardian


Zinedine Zidane’s World Cup final headbutt recalled, 10 years later

July 8, 2016

“Berlin’s Olympiastadion was hot and humid on July 9, 2006. There had been storms all week. Zinedine Zidane had converted a penalty early in the World Cup final. Marco Materazzi had headed an equalizer. Italy had hit the bar. France had been denied another penalty. The game went into extra time and seemed to be heading for penalties. Then, with 10 minutes to go, a France attack was thwarted. As the ball was cleared, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a blue-shirted figure collapse. Something clearly had happened. The game stopped.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)


Euro 2016 Tactical Analysis: Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland | Northern Ireland’s high press and Wales’ reliance on crosses

July 8, 2016

“The work begun by John Toshack was pushed forward by the late Gary Speed, and now Chris Coleman seems to be putting the final touches on a talented group of players. Wales have looked a calm and confident team so far, with two very good results for them against Slovakia and Russia sandwiched between a blip against England. Coleman said he felt that this blip would certainly not end the ‘journey’ Wales were on, and when one observes the togetherness of the players on the field, it would take a difficult result to send them home. Northern Ireland managed to concede a single goal to Wales and were looking to improve on a solid defensive but toothless offensive showing against the world champions Germany. This 1-0 defeat was enough to put them through to the last 16, but there were question marks over how they would fare against a hungry, young Welsh side.” Outside of the Boot


Euro 2016 Tactical Analysis: Germany 1–1 Italy (6-5 Pens) | Germany and Italy play almost similar systems

July 8, 2016

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“Joachim Low, in order to tackle Antonio Conte’s almost unbeatable 3-5-2 formation, decided to change his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation to 3-5-2. Germany took the lead through Mesut Ozil and Italy equalized through Leonardo Bonucci’s penalty. In the penalty shootout after the extra-time, 7 kicks failed to end up in the back of the net. Finally, it was Germany that managed to sneak through to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 just like Jonas Hector’s shot slipped under Gianluigi Buffon in the ultimate and decisive kick of the match. Here’s my tactical analysis of the game.” Outside of the Boot


Euro 2016 Tactical Analysis: Germany 3-0 Slovakia | Germans outplay Slovakia

July 8, 2016

Germany’s dominant display against a resilient Northern Ireland team suggested that the signs were indeed present that they would be able to mount a challenge for the European championship. While this victory by a single goal was enough and certainly efficient by German standards, they will need more goals as they face sterner tests. It is promising that there is a strong core and continuity from their World Cup success, that will provide invaluable experience to help them progress in the tournament.” Outside of the Boot


Portugal rides its defending, Ronaldo’s heroics to Euro 2016 final

July 8, 2016

“With a goal and an assist, suddenly everything is right in the world of Cristiano Ronaldo. This may be the least entertaining of the seven Portugal sides to reach the semifinals of a major tournament, but it is only the second to reach a final, after a comfortable 2-0 win over Wales, and if Ronaldo’s role is simply to provide a cutting edge ahead of the hard-tackling midfield that is the true strength of the side, neither he nor they will mind. It’s a remarkable sleight of tactical hand that Fernando Santos has pulled to create a situation in which one of the greatest players of all time is a sort of bolt-on to the main body of the side, but Ronaldo is not the reason Portugal is in the final of Euro 2016. He played excellently against Hungary, but if Portugal had continued to defend as it did in that 3-3 draw, it would not have got this far.” SI – Jonathan Wilson