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The Thin Line Between Euro 2008 Winners And Losers

christmas tree formation The Thin Line Between Euro 2008 Winners And LosersIn international tournaments such as Euro 2008, tactical formations are overrated. Just because a team that plays a 4-3-2-1 formation beats a country playing 4-4-2, that doesn’t mean that a Christmas Tree lineup is better. At the end of the day, so much of football comes down to chance.When you think about the 16 teams that have played in Euro 2008, any one of them could be in a completely different position than where they are today if they were simply able to convert more chances into goals. Austria could have beaten Germany if they had a decent striker. Romania could have knocked Italy out if Mutu had scored that penalty. Holland could have beaten Russia if they put their chances away in the 90 minutes. Portugal could have beaten Germany if they were on target in the first 25 minutes, and the list goes on and on.In all of the above examples and the other matches not named, the defeated team had plenty of chances to overturn the result and win the match.I honestly believe that tactical formations and all of the intricacies of coaching are overrated. At this level, there isn’t much of a disparity between the countries participating at Euro 2008. So, the deciding factor between both teams is usually so small. It could be a deflection, a mistake by a defender, half a chance in front of goal or penalties.As a manager of a national side, you can prepare your team as best as you can but your fate is dependent on your team — and mostly the strikers. Italy’s Luca Toni is a perfect example. Throughout this tournament, even in the 3-0 loss to Holland, he had so many chances to score and failed. If he was on form or if a more talented striker was in his place, Roberto Donadoni’s job wouldn’t be on the line.Of course, strikers aren’t the only important players in a match but so much of a balance of a game hangs on their shoulders. That’s why we put such a value on clinical finishers such as Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin Van Persie and the multitude of star strikers around the world.What are your thoughts? Share your opinion by clicking the comments link below.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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