Sunday, June 24, 2012

I hope nobody was surprised

In a result that should have surprised nobody England and Italy played 120+ minutes of football today without scoring a goal in their quarter final match at Euro 2012.

This is not to imply that the game was dull, there were lovely moments throughout but seriously if there had been an over/under line on this match it could have been set at zero and nobody would've bet the over. The Italians, who are as passionate about their football as they are about pasta and red wine have, for the past two decades or so, played the most stifling uncreative defensive football on the planet. This is sad because Italy has always had marvelous talented offensive players but their collective psyche is so fragile that in order to avoid disappointment they play not to lose, a 0-0 draw that goes to penalties being their perfect result whereas English football is so plodding that it's a wonder they ever score.

Earlier in the week, upon finding out the quarter final pairings, we joked at work that without the penalty kicks option the Italy vs. England match would likely require several days to decide, but mercifully kicks were used and the Azzurri will move on to play Germany in the semi-final while England once again goes home early in a major competition.

As a side note England are sort of the international football version of my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs. Once proud teams considered among the legendary franchises in their sport with a fanatic fan base who haven't won anything since the mid '60s, which is sad for both organizations .

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