Benzema played really well in the second half against Ukraine, the 2nd goal was served by him in a silver plate.Would've preferred Poland and Czech to move on from the first group but this'll do. Not that Greece has any chance against Germany, Karagounis picked up a (referee assisted) match suspension as well.
I wouldn't mind Germany assisting Denmark a bit today, Portugal in the quarters is fine as well though. The Dutch have been absolutely useless so far, no ideas in the offence, just a pack of (poor) individuals...except for Sneijder maybe. Heitinga, Willems and van der Wiel haven't been very convincing either.
Meanwhile it's looking like I put my money on the wrong horse for the top scorer of the tournament. Despite great pre-tournament friendlys Benzema's looked like he's a bit lost in the first two games, like he was playing out of position. His pretty much only opportunities of scoring so far have been shots outside the box, pretty atypical for him. Giroud replaced him in the end of the last match and I hope he gets a bit more time on the pitch in the future if Benzema doesn't step up his game.
He's supposed to be the lone striker but he's not making much forward runs nor is he really making himself available. Gets frustrated if the ball isn't played to him and starts backing up to come and get the ball. France has decent delivery (mainly through Nasri and Rib?ry) and it didn't take that much from Menez to break free from the defensive line with a forward run. Rib?ry and Benzema made a great duo in the friendlys but Benzema seems to be a bit lost against tighter central defenses. If he keeps this up I'd sub him for Giroud at 65 mins or so and see what he can do.Benzema has been good, the way the french play just doesn't present him with the same opportunities as in Real Madrid.
I'm quite tired of hearing things like this. "Ronaldo/Benzema/whoever is good, but *country* doesn't cater to him like *successful club where the player is way more committed* "...Benzema has been good, the way the french play just doesn't present him with the same opportunities as in Real Madrid.
So they are going to 'gift' the midfield to the Portuguese and hope that individual talent can win them the game.It's go big or go home for the Dutch tonight:
Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Mathijsen, Vlaar, Willems, De Jong, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Robben, Van Persie, Huntelaar
He has to take a lot more goal scoring responsibility in the France team where he plays a lone striker. He needs to get in the box a lot more, he's good in the air but they aren't able to make any crosses because no one's in the box. France gets stuck outside the box way too much, a bit like Spain except they can't play themselves out of it. Menez has occasionally played striker in PSG and it looks like the roles had shifted a little against Ukraine, but Menez is nowhere as good at scoring goals as Benzema is so he shouldn't be relied on as the primary goal scorer. I still expect to see Menez starting instead of Malouda in the next game.BTW, to pretend that Benzema can score goals like a 'tradicional' killer is knowing nothing about the way he plays, he needs to gets involved with the ball and even if he doesn't score he's almost always productive (like last game's goal assist).
Great individualities, but no midfield to properly move the ball (Van Bommel and Bruce Lee de Jong, what a joke) and no team spirit. For instance, I was amazed by watching Robben pass the ball to Van der Vaart in your goal, must have been a first time for him.From World Cup finalist to zero points in the Euro Cup. What the hell has happened with the Dutch?
The Dutch continued where they left last game. I'd wipe my ass with van Marwijk's (long) contract at this point, how bad can they play in the attack with a line-up like that? Sneijder, Robben, van der Vaart, Afellay, Huntelaar and RvP all on the pitch at the same time yet they can't create half a chance. Like they had never trained together. To top it off they take the cake for the worst defense in the tournament, Willems being the first to blame.
The team has hardly changed since the World Cup. 2 years ago they would've steamrolled Portugal and Danmark.Great individualities, but no midfield to properly move the ball (Van Bommel and Bruce Lee de Jong, what a joke) and no team spirit. For instance, I was amazed by watching Robben pass the ball to Van der Vaart in your goal, must have been a first time for him.