The UEFA European Football Championship 2024

I’m sure a few of you out there will be watching. Deutschland off to an absolute flier in front of their own, although tbf Scotland were laughably bad.


Well, the first game was a good one from the German point of view. From the Scottish point of view it’ll be another story… Like they say, it’s all perspective…

I knew Scotland wasn’t a top team, but I would have expected a bit more from them, they looked almost completely harmless. The red card was a bit harsh, imo. It was a foul, but it looked rather clumsy than evil-spirited. Anyway, the Scots still have to games against Hungary and Switzerland to score a few points.


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It’s a shame really, tonight’s match. I mean a team can only beat the team they’re up against and Germany certainly did that, attempting I’m sure to lay down a marker, a statement of intent. But Scotland were so very toothless I’m not sure the result has told me much if anything about Germany’s stomach for going all the way.

I think (hope) it’s a pretty open tournament this year. At the last Euros it was clear from the very start that Italy were the team to beat. But none of the usual suspects - France, Germany, Spain, Italy; Portugal to a lesser extent - are quite as obviously dominant as they’ve been in recent(ish) years (obviously that could completely change once these teams get underway).

England (the pre-tournament favourites, somehow), Belgium and The Netherlands have all demonstrated that they could win a tournament, this tournament, but there remains a difference in mental strength and belief between those teams who could, and those who do. Those three nations are always justifiably fancied, and always flatter to deceive.

Then there are a couple of sides who mightn’t be obvious potential winners but who could definitely spring a surprise or three: Denmark, Croatia, maybe even Turkey or Switzerland.


As for Holland and Belgium, the two teams I know best: Belgium has top class in attack and in midfield, but they have no competent defense (Verthongen and Witsel are, respectively, 37 and 35 and the younger defenders are not up to the scratch) and due to a conflict between the coach and Courtois, they left one of the best goal keepers in the world at home. Doku will no doubt win a lot of hearts, but I don’t see them getting past the quarter finals. Holland has a good group of decent players, but there’s no Robben, no Sneyder or Bergkamp, let alone a Van Basten or Cruijff. A lot is expected from the two midfielders Veerman-Schouten, they both play for PSV and dominated the Dutch League completely, but a EURO is of course not the Dutch League. Up-front the Dutch still rely on Memphis Depay, a player who never really lived up to his potential. Will he do it this time? I doubt it. And the same can be said about Liverpool player Gakpo: talented player, but lacking that bit of extra that’s needed to be a top class player. Quarter finals for the Dutch as well.


Well, England the great favorite scraped together the first three points, but it wasn’t easy. I’ve seen only the second half and on Belgian TV they said England dominated the first 45 minutes, so I guess the victory is deserved, but in the second half the Serbs more or less deserved an equalizer.

Tomorrow we’ll have the second great favorite, France. Let’s see what they can do.

In the meantime Holland beat Poland in a quite attractive game. To me Oranje is not among the favorites, they lack top class players, but the team seems to function well, the players willing to work for each other, so you never know what they will be capable of.


Honestly, I’d say England dominated the first twenty minutes. Looked majestic and supremely confident, right up until the goal less than fifteen minutes in. From there, England’s dominance was like a tyre with a slow puncture. Down, down, down, doowwnn…

Still, once a tournament starts it’s really all about the results. Three points and a clean sheet, that’ll do. And West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen made an immediate impact when he came on :heart:. Serbia were no pushovers. Very good side, I thought.

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Tonight Belgium. Hopes are not too high this time around, but I guess they will be able to beat Slovakia otherwise my wife and a large part of my family will be very sad.

There are but three certainties in life:



-Belgium imploding, sooner or later, at every major tournament in which they’ll ever play

Of course, this was pretty early in the proceedings even for them! :slightly_smiling_face:

They are an eternal riddle. So much talent. The managers of every other side in international football would kill their own grandmas to have some of those individuals at their disposal.

Still, there’s time. Spain lost their opener at the 2010 WC, as did Argentina in Qatar.


Unbelievable. I saw the game along with 30-40 Belgians in a bar. Atmosphere went from 100 (boiling point) to below zero.

I know Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia in heir first game and became world champions, but Argentina is a nation of winners while Belgium is a nation of … well, fill in yourself.

But still two games to go, against Rumania and Ukraïne. I’ve only seen some highlights, but Rumania seemed quite impressive, so a lot of work to do for the Red Devils.

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On Saturday I did not found the time, but I wanted to write then that I wouldn’t be surprised that one of the half finals would see Switzerland against Austria.

The defeat of Italy was absolutely no surprise.
For England, I expected them to win, but was in the end surprised that they did. If they will not play much better, if they can’t live up to the expectations of their potential, and it seems they are not able in that constellation, and it seems Southgate is not willing to change anything, they will withdraw against Switzerland.

In the other leg, I don’t know, Spain or Germany, both deserve to reach the half finals. And also Portugal.

France or Belgium, I don’t know either. Hmm, I hope for Belgium.

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At half-time still 0-0. France is a bit better, but Belgium seems to be in better form than during the previous games and they have a lot of speed in their team, so they can hurt the French with their counters

Well, 1-0 to France. It was a well-deserved win for Les Bleus, but they haven’t scored a normal field goal during this tournament yet: two own goals (from Austria and Belgium) and one goal from the penalty spot. They were the better team today, but still haven’t found their best form.

Yes, they don’t do much, don’t risk much, but still dominate the game, they are hard to beat.

By the 90th minute in England’s game I was looking forward to us being knocked out so I wouldn’t have to watch another turgid, boring, negative, uninspired performance clutching my head in frustration. It’s almost as if the team could sense my relief and decided to do just enough to get through in order to prolong my suffering. It’s not true of course. It’s not just me, they want to prolong all our suffering. So now we roll on and await Southgate sending out exactly the same team with exactly the same approach expecting somehow a completely different performance. The good news is I’ll be away with the family camping on Saturday so will have to miss it. Oh dear.

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So far it has been a boring tournament. Some like it because - in their words - all teams are competitive (except for the Scots). I understand what they say, most matches are somewhat ‘exciting’ because the outcome is unclear, smaller teams can beat the bigger teams (exempli gratia: Switserland - Italy) and a mouse in football like Georgia can beat a giant like Portugal. Well, the Georgia win over Portugal was fun, but overall I see disappointing favorites like France or England struggling against opponents like Slovakia, Slovenia or Austria. None of the great favorites, except maybe Spain, has really shown what they’re capable of, and this might even not be a big surprise with coaches like Deschamps and Southgate, known for their dull and cautions approach of the game on the bench.

I see it more positive than you, but the usual problems of football occur again, and must occur with more of the less capable teams playing against the stronger teams. It is easier too defend than to make the game, and the less good teams are able to perfect the defending. And this only works because the small amount of goals per game.
We saw that yesterday with Belgium, only after they got behind they showed that they could set France under pressure. Before they risked nothing and hoped for a surprise, and De Bruyne was close to make that. Instead they lost by another unexpected surprise.

But this year Switzerland was in all games the better Team compared to Italy, their win was expected from me.

And Portugal lost in the end with a b-team, that would not happened at the start of the group phase.
But then, yesterday, they were also not really able to snap a well organised defense.

Scherp, do you expect from Spain - Germany?

Germany is vulnerable, but Spain’s defense is also not without flaws.

Actually, I find the games quite exciting this year. So much better than the Copa America or the African Cup of Nations of recent years. Also, I think the smaller countries played with more courage than I expected, especially in the group stages. Now in the knockout stage the difference of skill between teams can be so massive that the “minnows” naturally choose a more cautious approach.

Maybe it’s the generally lower quality of football I’m used to watching from my club, but I really think the group stages were genuinely exciting if you exclude the England games and Scotland v Hungary.

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Starting Friday I may start watching myself… Been staying away from it all (as much as possible considering the entire city being a soccer party zone)

I was moderating on a football forum whilst England-Slovakia was on and people were posting to the dedicated thread in real time, and the vast majority of posters - almost all English - actually felt a little deflated and bad for Slovakia when Bellingham scored that equaliser, and similarly as England retreated once again following Kane’s winner early into ET. We want our country to win, of course, who doesn’t? But we want them to earn it, not fluke it.

Regardless, if England don’t find several more gears, the Swiss will dismantle them.

England’s wretched display aside, I’d love to see Austria go all the way; and I always want France to do well (French heritage). But as things have gone I suspect the winner will come from the Deutschland-España tie.