Whilst I will watch most of the matches I'm less excited about this tournament than I usually am. Partly because the years delay has meant neither Ings nor JWP will represent England. That devalues England in my eyes. The other thing that has changed thanks to Covid is the sheer volume of football I've been able to watch in the last year. International football is no longer the pinnacle of the professional game and I can imagine several club sides that are capable of beating any national team.
That said I am fascinated by Group F (the Group of deF). Here we have the winners of the last 2 world cups (Germany and France) and the current holders of both the last Euros and the Nations League (Portugal and, er, Portugal) plus the Magyars. The qualification system may allow all the big 3 to reach the knockout stage but they will all be trying to prevent that from happening. Getting shot of a major rival early on would help those who progress.
The last few nights I've watched none football stuff. Found a brilliant series on Sky Nature about the evolution of the Big Cats (sponsored by The Z too!) It shows how today's big cats evolved and replaced the sabre-tooths in the last 2 million years. Superb TV and cutting edge use of low light photography shows night hunting as it happens. The shots of a snow leopard bundling a goat off a cliff edge and landing, unhurt, with the prey's neck in its mouth is fantastic. Also learned that the Jaguar evolved in the forests of Eurasia and migrated across the ice age land bridge to the Americas. I knew they hunted caiman but the sheer power used to crush crocodilian skulls is frightening. Brilliant television.
I'm off out early in case it heats up later. Keep safe out there!
24 team tournaments are always a bit of a mess with those best 3rd placed teams in limbo and it also messes up the seedings as some group winners play 2nd placed teams and some playing 3rd placed teams. It will particularly mess with England's head as finishing 1st or 2nd still gets a 2nd placed opponent: Win the group and we will have one of France, Portugal or Germany. Finish 2nd and we will probably get Sweden or Poland (followed by France, Portugal or Germany). A tough draw either way and illustrating the fine margins that 3 years of work is going to be judged on, most unfair really.
But people often argue that tournaments like the CL only become interesting at the end because seeding keeps the good teams apart, so from a neutral perspective we'll avoid that and get some big matches in the last 16.
A Brazilian Court has ruled that it has no power to halt the Copa America in that country so that too begins this weekend.
Most games will be played after my bedtime so I'm hoping for some sort of "highlights" to keep in touch. If you think the Euros format is dodgy, the Copa has 2 groups of 5 after which the top 4 in each group progress to the 1/4 finals. Matches will be played in empty stadia in 4 cities with players tested every 48 hours and flown between venues on charter flights.
The Brazil team have decided they will take part after all.
Post by Furry Frank The Combat Wombat on Jun 11, 2021 9:31:02 GMT
The forecast heat hasn't transpired here, instead we're under a thick duvet of fog. It was quite spectacular last night as I went for a stroll after work, though... bright sun on one side and thick soup blowing in on the other at ground level, so it looked like there was a big fire somewhere off that way. Hopefully it'll clear by the weekend though so can get some beach/bbq activites in as planned.
Not sure what I'll watch of the Euros.. I suspect not that much due to outdoor activities / work. May be consumed largely in highlights.. England being first on in the middle of a sunny day (when we've had such crap weather for the last few months) doesn't help much.
I am also not really interested into the tournament and I still do not get the benefits of playing it in several countries (and I was even questioning the benefits of this before Covid). While I enjoyed by now to have a look at the highlights I also look forward to watch a few games in the evening and enjoy a beer with friends. But I do not care to much about who wins it as long as I can see some good games.