Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Germans Have A Word For It

"I had a funny feeling about the penalties and I was thinking about them this afternoon. They told me initially to take the second one but I said 'no, give me the fifth' as I had this premonition. When I stepped up to take the penalty I said to the ball that we had to make history and it shouldn't let me down. I talked to the ball four years ago (when I scored the winning penalty against Italy) and it didn't let me down." Cesc Fabregas -

When I read that I couldn't help thinking of the scene in Happy Gilmore where Happy has just joined the Professional Tour and his having trouble putting out, he's given advice by a fellow pro who believes in karma and energy. "Happy, the ball has its own energy, or Life force, if you will. Its naturaI environnent is in the hoIe. Why don't you send him home? His bags are packed. He has his pIane ticket. Bring him to the airport. Send him home."

Of course the big question wasn't Cesc and his talking balls but whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo had any. My first reaction whilst watching it live was that he wanted, and not for the first time, all the attention to be on him at the final whilstle, but perhaps it wasn't that at all. Think back to the Champions League Final in 2008 when he had the chance to put Man Utd 3-2 up on penalties and he fluffs his chance and sees Petr Cech save his shot, or this seasons Champions League semi-final when he missed the first of his teams five against Bayern Munich in the shoot-out as Real lost 1-3 to Bayern on penalties. Perhaps he simply didn't want go earlier to put pressure on his team mates, as it was it didn't matter because two of his team mates did miss and Spain went through.

Of course one of the fallouts from Spain's win hasn't been sympathy for the Portuguese but a certain antagonism towards the Spanish who in the space of four years have gone from being the exciting new kids on the block to a team whose every pass was booed last night during the first ninety minutes. How quickly we can get bored with success, a team who are the tournaments top scorers and have the best defensive record are chided for not being exciting enough. How can any side that leaves out Torres be classed as great I saw one person ask online to which the answer would normally be David Villa. Unfortunately Villa isn't fit and Vincente Del Bosque clearly doesn't trust Fernando Llorente who I personally would pick everyday of the week. He has control, brings players into the game, can score with either foot and was one of the top five centre forwards anywhere in Europe last season for my money when it comes to heading - Gomez, Lewandowski, Ibrahimovic and Drogba since you are asking.

It's only two years since every pundit was asking, why can't we be like Spain or Barcelona or both, now it seems they are yesterdays men and we must move on, but nobody seems quite sure what we should be moving on to.  


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