Day 8 of Euro 2012:
-“France made it rain today with goals, pun intended.” said avid soccer fan Clay Matheny… France finally capitalized on their chances in the second half. Menez, who replaced Malouda on the wing, took his first goal extremely well. I’d still like to see Ben Arfa start over him. Cabaye finally pushed forward and scored the second. I would like Blanc to loosen up the string on him and let him be more creative like he is with Newcastle. He is so much better when he is given a free role and allowed to be involved. Benzema is still drifting outside of the box too much. He setup the two goals, but he should more chances in the box. Instead, he get it from twenty yards out, shifts it onto his right foot, and goes for goal. It’s very predictable and not working.
-Ukraine created some chances, but Sheva didn’t have the same finishing precision as he did in his first match. They have to beat England in order to reach the knockout stages. He has to take one of his rare opportunities next match.
-The Three Lions. Started the match well again. Carroll was really active early and Gerrard delivered one hell of a cross to get him off the mark. I watched the replay and noticed Carroll headed that from the 12-yard box. The ball did not hit the ground before it hit the back of the net- some crazy amount of power from him. They were knocked back when Sweden hit them with two set-pieces. England is usually hard to beat from set-pieces, so I won’t worry too much about those mistakes. There are a few problems that make me wonder what they will do next match. Of course Rooney will be starting next match, but who will he be playing with? Carroll worked his ass off, and it’d be hard not to reward him with a start. Welbeck is more familiar with Rooney because he partnered Rooney at Manchester United. He also scored the goal of the tournament so far, which you can see by clicking on his photo. Even without my United bias, I’ll take Welbeck. HIs link-up play and understanding with Rooney will be a handful for Ukraine. Plus Ukraine will need goals, so Welbeck should be a factor on the counter. Also, Walcott came in and turned the match on its head—scored the goal to tie it at 2-2, then assisted Welbeck to take the lead. Don’t overreact and start him next match. He still lacks consistency to last 90 minutes. He is a killer when he comes on around the 65th-70th minute and takes advantage of a tired defense. England should qualify and might even finish atop the group. Be afraid of the English.
-Ibrahimovic is so much better than his teammates. I feel bad for him. That’s all I have to say.