Looking at the Euro 2008 groups, aren’t you glad England didn’t qualify?

Ollie Irish

3rd, December 2007


Didier Deschamps (right) tries to fake a smile as Theo Zagorakis draws France in the Euro 2008 Group of Certain Death (see below).
GROUP A Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey Probably the weakest group. I tip Portugal and Switzerland to progress.
GROUP B Austria, Croatia, Germany, Poland Germany and Croatia should go through comfortably.
GROUP C Holland, Italy, Romania, France Ouch. Romania are f**ked, that much I do know – I tip Holland and Italy to go through, with the French missing out.
GROUP D Greece, Sweden, Spain, Russia Spain will be fairly happy with this group, which is perfectly winnable. Any of the other three will fancy their chances of making the quarter finals. Sweden gets my vote.
Each of the four Euro 2008 groups looks competitive, although one stands out like a very sore thumb – the one with France, Italy and Holland in it (and poor Romania, who must be wondering why they bothered to go through the qualifying process if this is their ‘reward’.) That’s some Group of Death. Uefa’s illogical seedings system put world champions Italy among the second seeds and France in the four bottom seeds. Yeah, that makes sense.

No wonder that French coach Raymond Domenech is so pissed off. ‘I have to say the way the seedings are worked out is madness,’ he moanded after the draw. ‘Not to have Italy, as the world champions, in the first pot is crazy. I would also have preferred to have played in Austria and not Switzerland, because we would have been hassled less. I am not happy, nothing I wanted has worked out.’
Domenech should take a leaf out of the book of Romania coach Victor Piturca, who was able to see the funny side of his nation’s terrible luck: ‘For us it’s a very nice, easy group,’ he joked.
I feel bad for the Dutch more than the French. Marco van Basten’s team were one of the top seeds but ended up with the 2006 World Cup winners and runners-up in their group. For them, it couldn’t have been any worse.
(By the way, Croatia boss Slaven Bilic tried to claim that his side’s group is the toughest, but no one buys that – Austria may be at home, but they are utter shite. Poland are no world beaters, either.)

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  1. OmegaSupreme says:

    Makes it interesting, worth getting the beers in now. A true group of death.

  2. Adam says:

    Watching coaches from “good” national teams bitch about having to play other “good” national teams is always amusing

  3. Bleustilton says:

    Romania are actually quite good with a lot of techniccally skilled players. They could make it out of the group as well. If you actually believe that teams that qualify for tournaments deserve to do so, they’re better than Holland.

  4. halacarlito says:

    the only guaranteed crap team at the moment is Austria…even their own fans started a campaign to have them kicked out of the tournament.
    You cant write off teams like Poland and Turkey either.
    Heres to 2008
    Come on Spain

  5. Ewelina says:

    Polang have good coach Leo Beenhakker,
    and we defeated Portugal at elimination!
    I hope Poland and German win group :)

  6. Chris says:

    I rather expect the Romanians to do well, actually. I think that they’ll send the French and Dutch home and qualify in second place.
    The French are getting a bit inconsistent, and I suspect they’ll be found wanting.
    The Dutch have been poor of late, and finished second in their group to Romania. I see no obvious reason for this to change.

  7. dagn says:

    errr, portugal and swiss to qualify for group 1? the czech is not weak ya know .. lol XD
    the rest is alright :P

  8. daryl says:

    The best thing is that with the exception of Austria there are no truly bad teams at Euro 2008, so every group should be competitive.

  9. Dim says:

    Really, Switzerland over Czech Republic and Turkey?? Really….?

  10. kaya says:

    Romania are actually quite good, I think Holland is less of a problem, tbh.
    The only if about France is their ridiculous coach. They could be even better than 06 if they stop using tarot to choose the lineups.

  11. john oughton says:

    Sir;you run a fine site,but here you sound surprised at the inefficiency of the ruling body.Is there somewhere in the football world a governing body not run by fat,ex, pompous, out of touch, overpaid, chicken livered wallies?
    Please be no longer surprised at the Ostrich Men;they are all EX-something;player/coach/boot cleaner, no matter.Just because my Dad lays bricks for a living doesn’t mean at retirement he’s gonna oversee the redevelopment of Dubai.

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