Daily Archives: June 29, 2012
Many will label Italy’s semifinal victory over Germany as an “upset”, but both there was a bit more to the Italian triumph.
Gianluigi Buffon was in inspired form, the defensive combo of Andrea Barzagli and Leandro Bonucci was impregnable, the full backs maintained their balance, Andrea Pirlo was his imperial self and Super Mario was on fire.
However, it started with some German attack as Pirlo spared Buffon’s blushes with a goalline clearance while more miscommunication between the legendary goalie and Barzagli would have resulted in an embarrassing own goal.
Italy drew first blood when Antonio Cassano made mince meat of a couple of German defenders before lofting a cross that was nodded home by Mario Balotelli. Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira stung Buffon’s hands with long-range piledrivers but the goalie was equal to the challenge.
Cassano fashioned another defense-splitting through ball for Riccardo Montolivo but the attacking midfielder dallied on the ball and a good chance went begging.
Montolivo made amends when he supplied a diagonal through ball to the Italian maverick, Balotelli, that beat the offside trap to blast in an emphatic finish that left Manuel Neuer rooted to the spot. The striker showed off his swagger with a celebration that saw him take off his shirt to give a Mr. Olympia-esque pose.
As expected, people went haywire on various social networking platforms but this tweet certainly caught the eye,
Germany’s manager, Joachim Loew, declared his attacking intent by bringing on Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose for Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez. Podolski didn’t light up any fireworks and Gomez was a peripheral figure throughout the first half.
Reus was a thorn in Italy’s flesh making some mazy runs that put the Azzurri defense on the back foot. The new Borussia Dortmund acquisition swerved in a brilliant free kick over the wall but Buffon bellied his years to make a great save.
Germany pushed on for the goal that was going to bring them back in with a shout but they left gaping holes at the back. Claudio Marchisio and Antonio di Natale spurned chances to put the game beyond doubt.
The ref awarded the Germans a penalty late on and it was duly dispatched by Mesut Ozil even though Buffon guessed the right way. The ref’s final whistle was like music to Italian ears as the tournament’s Dark Horses progressed all the way to the final when nobody gave them a chance.
The stage will be set for a mouthwatering final and we all hope to see the new kings of Europe. Just like the UEFA Champions League, teams hardly defend their titles. People have criticized Spain for their boring passing game but it has gotten them to another final.
Besides, Vicente del Bosque will let everyone know when he gives a fledgling fuck.
Moving on to Arsenal news, ex-Gunner, Freddie Ljungberg, has returned to the spotlight, as he had so many nice things to say about the club he notched up 313 appearances for. Good old Freddie declared that Arsenal is a big part of his life and he still keeps in touch with his fellow old hags that donned the Red and White.
He played sweet tunes on Pat Rice, stating how he helped the defensive unit, with Ca$hley Cuntly Cole being one of the benefactors of Rice’s tutelage.
He also talked the current crop of players,
“I enjoy watching the current team – it’s a young side and will hopefully get better and better. With the addition of one or two good signings, things look bright.”
We all know about the newest signing, Olivier Giroud, and I shared some interesting facts about him. However, Giroud hasn’t left the back pages yet, as he remains a talked-about figure in several destinations all over the world.
Respected French football journalist, Philippe Auclair, has decided to give his take on Arsenal’s new signing.,
“He is around 6ft 3in tall, so you would be talking in principle about a typical target man who you can hook the ball to and hope he holds it up. But he is not just that, though. He has huge physical presence, but one of the main characteristics of his game is his intelligence and willingness to find his team-mates in the danger zone. He is very alert to the runs made by his wingers, and is known for his link-up play as much as his finishing.
“He is terrific with his back to goal, at receiving the ball sometimes from awkward angles and, crucially for Arsenal when you think of their style of play, he has the technique and intelligence to play first touch. He doesn’t offer just a physical presence, an aerial presence and a danger in front of goal, but he is also incredibly quick-thinking and quick-footed.”
Auclair went on to say that Giroud should be a 15 to 25 goal per season striker in the Premier League and he’s a very adaptable character, so he’s going to thrive well in the Premier League.
Like Lukas Podolski, many Gooners can’t wait to see Giroud strut his stuff for Arsenal and we’ll witness that for the best part of 10 months next season. If a respected football figurehead like Auclair believes that Giroud can produce 15 to 25 goals, the prospect of watching him play will be mouthwatering to say the least.
Elsewhere, Arseblog News reports that Giroud’s first club, Grenoble Foot 38, is going to receive around €600,000 as part of the transfer deal. Giroud spent seven seasons with the lower division outfit but the club is currently playing in the fifth tier of French football after going bankrupt in 2011.
They will definitely welcome the money with open arms.
That’s today’s bit folks.
Have a great weekend.
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