Grading out Group B
The extent to which each team has met expectations.
Germany, B- – Yes, they went through group perfect, but there are still some unanswered questions. They didn’t seem to hit top gear against Portugal or Denmark, which might recommend them. What will they do once they start trying? Then again, what if they are trying?
Portugal, A- – You couldn’t have expected more than this from Portugal, and given how much trouble they were having scoring goals ahead of this tournament, their five group stage goals give fans reason to thing Paulo Bento’s team is catching a run of form going into the quarterfinals.
Denmark, C – They talked up their chances to get out of group, but missing out on the quarterfinals can’t be a shock. Having upsetting the Netherlands in round one, they take a memory home from Ukraine.
Netherlands, F – Amongst reasonable predictions, this wasn’t even a scenario. Three games and three losses was unpredictable.
Crystal Ball: What Needs to Happen Next Round
There’s a huge danger Germany will overlook Greece. While you’ll hear a lot about Germany not being the type of team that stumbles in these spots, they’re still a very young team, and questions surrounding their mentality have been asked since Bayern lost to Chelsea. Germany needs to avoid the type of lapses that befell Russia and Poland, and they’ll likely need a moment of precise execution to score their first goal.
For Portugal, it really is a fortunate draw. That will be a talking point between now and Thursday, but think about the Czech Republic’s attack. They’re getting nothing from Milan Baros. Tomas Rosicky needs to be reintegrated. Their strength is on the outside, but who do Portugal have there? Probably the tournament’s best fullback tandem (to date): Joao Periera and Fabio Coentrao. And where we saw the Czech so vulnerable to Russian counters, it worth asking how they’ll deal with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
PST’s Euro 2012 “More Powerful” Rankings
Taking a long term look, toward teams’ title hopes.
1 (–). Germany
2 (–). Spain
3 (+3). Portugal
4 (–1). Italy
5 (-1). France
6 (-1). Croatia
7 (-). England
8 (NR). Czech Republic
… and PST’s Player of the Tournament Wunderlist
1. Andres Iniesta, Spain
2. Andrea Pirlo, Italy
3. Daniele de Rossi, Italy
4. Mario Gómez, Germany
5. Mesut Ozil, Germany
6. Alan Dzagoev, Russia
7. Fabio Coentrão, Portugal
8. Xavi Hernandez, Spain
9. Sami Khedira, Germany
10. Nani, Portugal
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