Well it has to be said that if we didn’t enjoy the football then at least we got to see Ronaldo crying, twice. I’m not sure what we were expecting from the tournament, inevitably a tournament is going to mean a lot of cagey games, especially when the gap between ‘the best’ and ‘the worst’ teams is getting smaller. Hmm, can anyone tell me where England fit in? No.
But what about Wales!!! Their quarter final win over Belgium was bloody brilliant and shows exactly what a team with some spirit can achieve. Unfortunately, by the time they got to the semi-finals vs Portugal, the Welsh were beginning to labour and clearly missed the bleach-haired Aaron Ramsey. Maybe Wales just thought they’d already done enough to get so far as they lacked a spark and were seen off confidently by Portugal 0-2. Portugal have been nothing but consistent through the tournament, not too exciting, not bad, but dogged and doing enough of the right things at the right times. Their performances fit the overall tournament pretty well to be fair.
It was a different story for France who, in the most, were exciting and stylish throughout the tournament. A few commented that the French were lucky to beat Germany 2-0 in the semis, especially considering the German’s injury-ridden squad, but what Payet achieved in the group stage, Griezmann more than matched in the knockouts. Griezmann finishes as top scorer thanks to a penalty and a well taken strike late on to see Germany off.
The final meant one thing, and one thing only. France, the hosts, winning. Wrong.
Christiano Ronaldo majestically shining on the big stage? Wrong again.
Swansea flop Eder winning the Euros for Portugal? No way. Yes way. Ronaldo may have done his best to steal the limelight with his crying but the defining moment of an ‘interesting’ tournament was Eder’s unstoppable extra time strike.
And that’s that.
It wasn’t Brazil but it was a decent tournament with flashes of brilliance. Encouragingly for Chelsea fans, Conte’s Italy looked strong. It was a shame that the Croatians didn’t get further, and in the end the Poles were a bit dull. Spain really should have done better (again) and both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland put on a good show.
Did the extra round work? Maybe, maybe not. It feels a bit odd letting teams that finished in third place through to the next round and I’m not sure if it’s the fairest way of doing things. Let’s just hope that this tournament isn’t remembered for the stupid brawling in the group stages. Or at least, let’s hope that’s prevented in future tournaments.
For the FFUK league these results did mean one thing, a win for Matt Reid! Matt (1st) got it absolutely right, playing the Portugal defence through the tournament, and captaining Griezmann with a twist for the France v Iceland match. Matt had 10 points in the bank from a Hazard captain at that stage but had the balls to switch it which would have either meant dropping points on the chasing pack, or leaving them behind.
It was a masterstroke. I bow to you Mr Reid.
Matt topped this up with a solid semi-final performance, sturdy with a triple Portuguese defence backed with Ronaldo and Griezmann which saw him move pretty much out of reach. It was clear that it was going to be difficult to make up much ground in the latter stage as everyone was choosing their players from just two teams, it would have needed a Nani Captain hat trick or something like that crazy, but alas, even an Eder punt wouldn’t have made a whole lot of difference. Well done Matt!
This puts Chris Galloway firmly in 2nd place. Well done Chris! Yes, this is now another tournament where you have beaten me and I am very glad we didn’t have a wager on this one. Maybe we’ll have one for the new FPL season? In all honesty Chris didn’t really beat me anyway, I was playing Matt Reid, so I took some chances I may not have done in FPL. This handed Chris the route to 2nd place which he gladly took. Griezmann had also done the business for Chris in the quarters and the semis, the points were on the board, job done, but no kudos for you 😉
However, kudos is rightly handed to Steve Cronin (3rd) whose KDB Fan Club in the end did not have to rely on the Ginger Prince. A balanced squad saw Steve through the knockouts with good ground made following the Griezmann haul in the quarters. Fair play Steve, first season in FFUK and he’s taking prizes!
Seriously though, well done to the winners and thanks to everyone who has taken part.
Can Matt & Steve please get in touch with us to let us know their bank details and we will arrange your winnings?
So now all that is left is to get down on the floor and put your ear to the ground. If you do, I am sure you will hear something, something in the distance, something coming your way very very soon. Get ready.