How Euro 2004 changed football (1 Viewer)

Roverbhoy

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2002
1,840
#1
Just read this on Aunti and thought it hit the nail right on the head.



By Tom Fordyce (BBC)


Has the face of football changed forever?

With the dust settling on Euro 2004, the lessons of the last three weeks are gradually becoming clearer.

But what exactly have we learned from the Portuguese party?


WEAK BECOME HEROES

An obvious point to make when the celebrations in Greece are still going on, but Euro 2004 underlined one of the lessons of the World Cup in 2002 - that the gap between the traditional football powers and the minnow has all but disappeared.


Then, it was Turkey and South Korea who reached the semi-final. At the time it appeared to be a fluke, but the results in Portugal suggest a permanent shift in the balance of power.

It has also been going on for longer that you might think.

Denmark's triumph at the 1992 European Championships is proof that the small nations have been on the rise for some time.

There was also the appearance of Bulgaria in the semi-finals of the 1994 World Cup, and Croatia finishing third at the 1998 World Cup.

Back then, the super-powers were still dominating the actual finals. The underdog had his day most often when a one-off generation of talented individuals came to their peak together.

Now, not only are there more and more former also-rans making the running, but the super-powers are stagnating.

Germany have not won a match at the Euro finals since 1996. France have not looked likely winners of anything for four years, while it has been a decade since Italy last flourished.


Greece's win was not the flowering of some golden generation. Yet they matched and then beat France and the Czech Republic and Portugal twice.

Fluke? It was nothing of the sort.


PRAGMATISM RULES OK
It is possible to draw a line straight from the South Korea of 2002 to today's Greece.

Both sides employed a foreign coach from the old footballing world to marshal and utilise a hard-working group of players who were all competent in the basic skills without being extravagantly talented.

Neither side succeeded by playing an innovative brand of football that was likely to be picked up by other coaches around the world.

This was no Wingless Wonders or Total Football - but who cares? It worked.

The Greek team of 2004 will never be talked about in the same manner as the Hungary's Magical Magyars in the '50s, Brazil 1970 or the Dutch of 1974 and 1978.

It doesn't matter. Their style was simple and unglamorous, but successful.


BRILLIANT OR BLAND?

Ready for a big theory?

Globalisation is not just blanding out your local high street, but also the face of football.

Just as the same stores and companies can be found on high streets from Southampton to Saitama to San Salvador, so the same style of football is played from Rio to Riga.

Gone are the days when countries played a recognisable brand of football depending on which region of the world they hailed from.

These days, players and coaches travel across the globe to work. Brazilians play in Europe, Dutchmen manage in Korea and Chinese play in north-west England.

Information - on players' strengths and weaknesses, skills and conditioning - flows around the world.

No longer are there many surprise packages by the time you get to the major tournaments. Coaches know how their opponents play because they can watch them on satellite or tape for months in advance.

Cross-pollenisation breeds out the kinks, the variations, the unusual.

The result? South Koreans play like Europeans. Greece play like Germany. Brazil have holding midfielders.

The modern football team is super-fit, can pass the ball around and plays the percentages.

Football is more dominant globally than it has ever been before.

But has it become more humdrum as a result?
 

BigIzz

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2002
1,088
#5
I think is very much the case. Entering a tounrmanet these days a team can watch tons of film...all the ntaional team games, their players club teams games, etc. Good coaches can put all of this knowledge to work. In the past, even a decade ago before satellite tv and the internet were so pervasive, teams didn't have nearly as much info about their opponet before the match.
 

Seven

In bocca al lupo, Fabio.
Jun 25, 2003
35,881
#7
It didn't change football. Sometimes underdogs win, mostly they get trashed. It's only natural that a country like Greece is going to win something.
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,096
#8
It's only natural for them to win? We're not talking about the chaos theory here, whereby a freak accident has to happen eventually. Maybe we shouldn't carry on the hard work versus talent discussion here, but it's as clear as mud on a brick wall that the 'superior' European superpowers couldn't break down the resilient Greek defence and effective (nonetheless boring) tactics
 

Seven

In bocca al lupo, Fabio.
Jun 25, 2003
35,881
#9
It's bound to happen that a weaker team will win of a stronger team at a certain moment. You can't expect Italy of France to win every tournament. Eternity is quite long and everything is possible in it. If it hasn't happened yet, you should wait a bit longer. So, eventually, Azerbaijan will win a World Cup.
 

Seven

In bocca al lupo, Fabio.
Jun 25, 2003
35,881
#13
I say it's an absolute certainty they someday will.
I mean, they've got FOREVER. So it's bound to happen someday. Think about it, gray. This is philosophy, perhaps a little too hard for the average football fan, but you should try.
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,096
#14
++ [ originally posted by AndriesGobert ] ++
I say it's an absolute certainty they someday will. I mean, they've got FOREVER. So it's bound to happen someday. Think about it, gray.
Maybe it's because I don't agree that they've got 'forever' that I think it won't happen.
++ [ originally posted by AndriesGobert ] ++
This is philosophy, perhaps a little too hard for the average football fan, but you should try.
And please kindly stop patronising me and undermining my intelligence, you don't know me.
 

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,096
#16
Nah, it's much needed at this time; all this serious discussion is making me dizzy :stress:
 

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