Editors Blogs

The EURO 2016 Breakdown – Blog #16

The Week in the Window by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

 

What’s so special about last weekend? It was finals weekend!

Welcome to this week’s Sports Blog. It’s been a fantastic fortnight, which started with training sessions for the team to become better commentators, the Get Active Wandsworth Festival, and the start of pre-season.

Also, we had the EURO 2016 final, during which we saw many superb chances and, ultimately, the Portuguese eventually came out on top. Also, Serena and Venus Williams won Wimbledon titles and in the Men’s Final, our very own Brit Andy Murray was victorious. What a fantastic fortnight!

This week you can get an update on the local transfers and – just like last week – and also see my Euro 2016 debrief. Each team gets a number and a brief review, as well as a summary of my opinions of the tournament itself. Also, Harry writes about the disappointment of EURO 2016…

The Transfer Window is now open, as you may well be aware. It is in its second week, and we have seen many transfers, too. Throughout the window we will update you on all of the best and worst transfers for our local clubs. Are we missing one that you think should be on the list? Comment below or email me on kai@wandsworthradio.com.

  1. Sone Aluko – Hull to Fulham, Free

Rating: 5

Aluko's sister Eni currently plays for Chelsea.

Aluko’s sister Eni currently plays for Chelsea.

Nigerian Aluko signed a two-year deal this week to help the Cottagers develop their Championship squad. His goals have dried up recently for the Tigers, so a fresh start may well be good for him. As Fulham are able to spend a lot of money on a new striker if they wanted to, they may well only leave the former Rangers man on the bench.

 

 

  1. Marc Weatherstone – Wingate and Finchley to Dulwich Hamlet, Undisclosed

Rating: 10

Former Hammer Weatherstone joined DHFC for an undisclosed fee.

Former Hammer Weatherstone joined DHFC for an undisclosed fee.

A man who made over four hundred appearances for Wingate, Weatherstone joins Dulwich Hamlet as they seek promotion to the sixth tier. The club captain, who plays as a defender, will help to ensure they don’t concede easy goals! Over 10 years in the game, Weatherstone’s signing can be nothing but a positive for the Hamlet.

 

 

 

  1. Matt Phillips – QPR to West Brom, £5.5m reported

Rating: 7

Phillips was relegated with QPR just a few seasons ago.

Phillips was relegated with QPR just a few seasons ago.

 

Matt Phillips needs to prove himself at the Hawthorns. He has performed really well in his three seasons at QPR, but

now he is playing Premier League football and, although he has done it before, there hasn’t been enough expectation. Now the Baggies will ensure that he improves, and I just hope that both QPR and the Baggies don’t regret the transfer.

Elgar wants to help the Rovers gain promotion this season.

Elgar wants to help the Rovers gain promotion this season.

 

 

  1. Scott Elgar – Ashford Town (Middx) to Sutton Common Rovers, Undisclosed

Rating: 5

I really hope this works. Elgar’s statistics from last season do not make him out to be a stand-out player, but we don’t know how this season will pan out. I personally hope that his career takes off and knowing how the squad is at Rovers, I am sure he will do well. I give him a 5 as I think that SCR could have brought in a better player; someone with a proven track record.

 

  1. Adebayo Akinfenwa – AFC Wimbledon to Wycombe Wanderers, FreeWycombe Wanderers new signing, Adebayo Akinfenwa, aka "The Beast", is unveiled during the 2016/17 Kit Launch of Wycombe Wanderers to the public at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 10 July 2016. Photo by David Horn.Wycombe Wanderers new signing, Adebayo Akinfenwa, aka “The Beast”, is unveiled during the 2016/17 Kit Launch of Wycombe Wanderers to the public at Adams Park, High Wycombe, England on 10 July 2016. Photo by David Horn.

Rating: 1

 

What a bad move from AFC Wimbledon. You would never expect they would let someone as strong and powerful as the Beast go from the club, especially now that they have been promoted. Now more than ever they need experience and leadership within the squad, and the third tier would have been so much better if AFC Wimbledon had kept their man, even if he wasn’t their first or second choice strikers.

 

EURO 2016 – The Summer of Sport is just underway by Kai Chappell, Sports Editor

A sad moment for Ronaldo was rounded off in hilarious fashion as a moth landed on his face.

A sad moment for Ronaldo was rounded off in hilarious fashion as a moth landed on his face.

After a gruelling, painstakingly slow wait for a goal, a moment of magic was produced by former Swansea man Eder as Portugal lifted their first major title, despite an injury to Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half of the game. Here, I review the tournament, each team’s performance, and rate them from worst to best.

Overall, EURO 2016 was a tournament surrounded by fear from the first moment. The 2015 Paris Attacks meant that Terror was the main fear – fans, police and players alike all feared that they would be victims again, yet as the tournament progressed, the focus turned to violence amongst fans and “suspended disqualifications”. It was the violence as well as the fear of terror and arguably hints of corruption still within FIFA and UEFA which marred a tournament with so much potential.

The football itself showed signs of quality but it wasn’t the best tournament I’ve watched. We saw some mouthwatering results, like the Hungary 3-3 Portugal game, Iceland 2-1 England, and Wales 3-1 Belgium. However, these were fleeting moments, and the tournament itself lacked goals, controversy, and things to enjoy, so it wasn’t as exciting as we’d have wanted.

Here, we review each team very briefly with a rating out of 100, and a “place”. This’ll show who we think were the worst and best teams in the tournament. The 24 teams are ranked as follows:

 

Ukrainians failed to score a single goal in the tournament.

Ukrainians failed to score a single goal in the tournament.

24th: Ukraine Rating: 0/100 Out in the Group Stage

 

Ukraine didn’t seem to be at the tournament, most of their team were on summer holidays, clearly. 3 defeats, not a single goal, and five goals conceded, you must think that they took their place in the tournament for granted.

23rd: Sweden Rating: 2/100 Out in the Group Stage

Again, a team without a single goal, albeit they did have one recorded – an own goal. All the hype about Ibrahimovic made it seem more of a disappointment when he failed to perform. His retirement has come at the right time, and I fail to see where the next Swedish superstar will come from.

22nd: Romania Rating: 5/100 Out in the Group Stage

Romania surprised many when they almost held hosts France to a draw on the opening day. However, the team were not great, and deserved to finish bottom of the group. Both of their goals were Stancu penalties, so arguably it was quite lucky to even get on the scoresheet!

21st: Austria Rating: 10/100 Out in the Group Stage

They did hold Portugal to a draw, but Austria were not stars at all – it was their only point. They scored a couple of good goals but aren’t world-beaters, and thrived off of the new format of the tournament.

20th: Russia Rating: 12/100 Out in the Group Stage

Russian fans took more of the headlines than the players on the pitch.

Russian fans took more of the headlines than the players on the pitch.

 

Defensively sloppy, Russia’s 3-0 defeat to Wales in the Groups just made us realise that they lacked ability at the

back, but could actually score a few goals too. The attention was taken from the players by the thug-like fans.

19th: Czech Republic Rating: 16/100 Out in the Group Stage

Against Croatia and Spain, the Czechs really showed what they can do, but sadly they were in a really tough group. Would have wanted more against Turkey. Best 4th placed team by far, and could have qualified for the kncokouts.

18th: Albania Rating: 17/100 Out in the Group Stage

Not much better than the Czechs, but their win was an historic one, and pushed their rating up. A red card on your EUROs debut is not good for a captain, but they ended it with a great result and will have gone home knowing they have done their country proud.

17th: Turkey Rating: 21/100 Out in the Group Stage

A comfortable win against the former World and European Champions Spain, Turkey really boosted their rating with that in my eyes. Not much else made the Turks’ performances brilliant, but this taught me that this really is the Year

of the Underdog.

16th: Slovakia Rating: 26/100 Out in the Round of 16

Personally it was difficult to choose but for me, Slovakia were the worst of the 3rd placed teams which qualified for the knockouts. They were comfortably beaten by Germany, and their defensive play against England showed they were really only good on the break.

 

England's next manager is set to be 'Big Sam'.

England’s next manager is set to be ‘Big Sam’.

15th: England Rating: 31/100 Out in the Round of 16

 

Sheer luck was how they got out of the group, and if I am honest they deserved nothing in this tournament. Too much money is given to these players, who have failed this nation. A rant is to come next week…

14th: Northern Ireland Rating: 37/100 Out in the Round of 16

A squad that isn’t full of big names; some play in League 2 and League 1. Yet somehow, they made it to the Round of 16 and it doesn’t surprise me how proud those players are – what a tournament.

13th: Poland Rating: 43/100 Out in the Quarter Final

Made it to the QF but arguably by luck and could well have been in the Semis if there was a slip-up in the Portugal shootout. Good group phase though, and deserved to make it as far as they did.

12th: Switzerland Rating: 50/100 Out in the Round of 16

Knocked out at the second hurdle, the Swiss have impressed me in this tournament, with some superb goals and great team play. Could have been a lot higher if they progressed further.

11th: Hungary Rating: 55/100 Out in the Round of 16

Sure, they were hammered when they qualified into the round of 16, but they performed well in their group and stunned quite a few to have even qualified. Did well and should be proud of their performances.

The Republic of Ireland beat Bosnia in qualifying to secure their place in France.

The Republic of Ireland beat Bosnia in qualifying to secure their place in France.

10th: Republic of Ireland Rating: 59/100 Out in the Round of 16

Again, another home nation which was a shock qualification, but made it far and impressed many with their performances. Another nation who showed that this is the year of the Underdog! Impressive performance and heartbreaking defeat to get knocked out.

9th: Spain Rating: 60/100 Out in the Round of 16

Did not defend their title well, but when they played they did show glimpses of the Spain which were world-beaters just a few tournaments ago. Need to improve, but were a solid 6/10.

8th: Croatia Rating: 65/100 Out in the Round of 16

Croatians should be very proud of their team’s performance in the EUROs. Held eventual champions Portugal to extra-time, managed to top a group with difficult teams in, and beat the holders. Can’t ask for much more, apart from some more progress in the tournament.

7th: Portugal Rating: 72/100 Winners

They were not at all near being top of this list. They played poorly and the final really picked them up in this chart – the group stage was appalling and they sort of just scraped by to get to the final and even then they were not convincing. A heavily defensive team + Ronaldo, and we only saw them work well together when he was out injured. Well done to them anyway.

Iceland has the same population as Leicester of Coventry.

Iceland has the same population as Leicester of Coventry.

6th: Iceland Rating: 77/100 Out in the Quarter Final

Year of the Underdog again. Stunned the globe by beating England, and that was incredible. It shows you that we should never underestimate any team – they worked as a team and it was that unity, combined with a lack of pressure, which made their free-flowing play so lovely to watch.

5th: Belgium Rating: 81/100 Out in the Quarter Final

A side which made football good to watch – not reliant on one player, but the whole team contributed. When they won, they won in style, and when they lost it was not down to a poor performance. They did well, but should have gone further.

4th: Germany Rating: 83/100 Out in the Semi Final

From beating Brazil 7-1 to an easy win for France in the semi-finals, it hasn’t been the best two years for Germany. But they did well and showed that class that you expect from the Germans in major tournaments. Could have, and probably should have, won it.

3rd: Wales Rating: 88/100 Out in the Semi Final

I refuse to accept that Wales couldn’t have won the EUROs. Gareth Bale was their main man but even without him they had the right ethos and bravery to go and beat teams that were meant to be difficult! The Dragons overcame their opponents with ease and I’m delighted a Home Nation did so well.

 

The French qualified automatically for Euro 2016.

The French qualified automatically for Euro 2016.

2nd: Italy Rating: 90/100 Out in the Quarter Final

 

Defying all of the odds, Italy came out and showed that they most certainly have a team – one that bonds, and works well with each other, can pass the ball about and can also give the opposition a right run for their money. Watch out 2018 World Cup…

1st: France Rating: 98/100 Runners Up

France deserved to win. Every performance they put in was 150% of what they should have done. The world felt it was France’s to win, and they let us down. However, they were faultless up until a small bit of fatigue led to Eder’s final goal.

England’s Mishaps by Harry Fell, Incoming Sports Editor

Harry joined our team in March 2016

Harry joined our team in March 2016

England failed to perform in Euro 2016, being knocked out in hilarious fashion by Iceland. So after the comical disaster that was, who/what do England need now?, writes Harry Fell.

Despite Woy’s massive shortcomings, a lot of what he did for England was fantastic. He set England up with a group of confident young players that I think can truly dominate in the years to come. He gave them a creative freedom that we hadn’t seen from England in a very long time. We played exciting football! We beat Germany in Germany! I genuinely can’t remember the last time before Roy that I said I enjoyed watching England play football. Even the jovial nature around the camp with the toy Lion seemed to be helping the players feel more comfortable with the huge pressure that was weighing down on them.

I think there is a lot to learn from the England Rugby team here. They went into their home rugby world cup off the back of a decent six nations (Coming 2nd by goal difference), playing strong creative rugby but completely bottled it when it came to the critical moments because they didn’t have a proper gameplan. How did they recover? They appointed the highest achiever of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The man who orchestrated the biggest giant killing in rugby world cup history by beating one of the biggest rugby nations in the world (South Africa) with a set of Minnows (Japan)… remind you of anything?! Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that we hire the Icelandic football coach.

Jones took over after England's poor World Cup.

Jones took over after England’s poor World Cup.

Eddie Jones has a bigger CV than that and is vastly more experienced at the top level. He is a man with a plan. He organises, inspires and takes no prisoners. He simply doesn’t care what the press think and so it is very easy for him to keep a clear head – something that Roy seemed to lack in the key moments against Iceland. What Eddie Jones has done for the England rugby side is astronomical but it just proves where good management can get you. The majority of those players in the grand slam Six Nations winning side were a part of the World Cup squad that dismally exited at the first time of asking. So what changed? Eddie has made England dominant and organised. He has a plan A, B and C. We thrashed Wales with a B team before we went on the Australian tour. When was the last time England Football Team thrashed one of their nearest competitors? Exactly. It’s the winning mentality. And it’s something that we simply do not have in football at the moment. Pure ambition and no mercy until you get exactly what you want.

So where do we look?

This mentality/vision is found by those like Mr Mourinho or Mr Guardiola. We need someone who can instil a confidence in their side that even when the chips are down and the panic starts to set in, they know that they’re going to be on the winning team because they simply will not allow the other team to beat them. And for as long as the priority is on club football in this sport, England will not be able to make an appointment that will turn them into a dominant force. We need to make England football team a priority if we want to make any real progression in big tournaments. If the FA want to make a statement of intent, they’re going to have to rival the

Big Sam will be manager of England, say reports.

Big Sam will be manager of England, say reports.

top clubs and pay top dollar to buy someone out of their contract. Jose would have been the perfect appointment in my opinion. He always has a carefully thought-out gameplan, he’s not afraid of making big cutthroat decisions, his sides are very organised, he has an extensive knowledge of the English game and he can give a half time team talk that can transform a side. Oh and he’s won the biggest club competition in Europe a couple of times too. Unfortunately for us, he’s just started a massive(financial) contract at one of the biggest clubs in the world and so there is no chance that he will take on the job now. That being said, Eddie Jones had only just joined one of the biggest club rugby sides in the southern hemisphere when England approached him. So where’s the harm in being brash and trying to tempt a Jose away from their big club?!

I’m aware that it’s slightly unfair to compare Football and Rugby, as being England Rugby Head Coach is one of the top 5 jobs in the sport, whereas in Football, being England Head Coach would struggle to make it into the top 20 of most desirable jobs in the game. To me being the manager of England should be taken by the best manager in/around Europe right now but it appears that all the best managers in the world are currently in the premier league under whopping great contracts that the FA simply cannot compete with.  I extend this as far as West Ham and Slaven Bilic – a proven international manager with great intelligence and passion or dare I say it… Chris Coleman?! These are the kind of ruthless moves that FA need to make if they are going to breed success in the generations to come, otherwise it’s going to be 50 more years of hurt.

Facts and Statistics correct as at 19th July 2016.

FEATURED IMAGE: Portugal win the European Championships in France.

July 21st, 2016

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