Now we have seen all Quarter Finals, and the Semis are played by the usual suspects:
Portugal - Spain
Germany - Italy
With the exception of Portugal, all teams are former winners, and Portugal also made it to the Semis and even the Final before, and has done great performances in the last World Cups and EUROs.
Itlay were clearly the better team against a very defensive English team, but though they created chance over chance they did not score. However, England, as ususal, could not play a relaxed and determined penalty shoot-out on internatinal level. Chelsea won on club level, but England seems to be a very good example of self-fullfilling prophecy.
The Italians on the other hand looked in control. England needs to try to win in 90 or 120 minutes, or they will never make it.
I was surprised that Hodgson after the England-Sweden game did not try to let Walbeck and Walcott play together. It was only their joint effort that gives a glimpse of hope.
These two can play high-speed combinations, but the rest of the team was static like Germany in 2000 and 2004. Hire a coach that had no merits in the Premier League, but knows how to sort out players with low speed and lack of ball control, and who plays something else then 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.
Even in this old formations the Italians or the Ukraine outplayed them, so why are they the last to play like that? They are not even good in that systrems!
Portugal - Spain: Equal chances. Portugal is much stronger then France or Croatia, and Italy already outplayed Spain. Portugal may do the same, and against their neighbours they are highly motivated. Spain may however win, if Christiano Ronaldo and Nani again miss so many chances.
Germany - Italy: Germany favorite, but Italy can make a fight like they did against Spain. And against Portugal Germany scored, but could not display dominance. Italy has recovered from the 2010 fiasco. However, the German team has matured since 2006 and look now good enough to grab their first title in this century. Note: Germany never won an elimination match against Italy, but they are all old enough for their first time.
Quote of the week: "I always try to bring out the best in myself", when in the end of a press conference Marco Reus was asked by a japanese journalist if he knew that his haircut was nicer then Mario Gomez`s.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_eYj8Txq_0
Greetinx from old Europe,