Mails: Oh France, I used to like you but…

Date published: Friday 8th July 2016 9:59 - Sarah Winterburn

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Not just you…
Is it just me or does Antoine Griezmann have the most annoying f***ing celebration in football?

Jay, NY


…Griezmann, quality player. Sh*t celebrations.

More annoying than Bale’s heart thing.


I used to like France but…
I came into this semi final ‘neutral’. Just wanting to see two good teams that I liked play a really good game of football. I couldn’t believe how badly I wanted Germany to win by the end.

I used to like France. I really did. I used to like Griezmann until he inconceivably created a worse dancing celebration than Sturridge. I used to like Koscielny and Sagna until they convinced the referee that Muller managed to topple both of them in a corner routine. I used to really like Payet, until he had the game stopped because the ball hit his face. Because the ball. Hit his face. Unacceptable.

I used to like France until, upon victory, they shamelessly stole the Icelandic clap thing having beaten them three days prior.

My head tried to tell me that France took their chances from poor defending and that makes the difference blah blah. But my heart was just screaming, between Portugal and France, this is the least deserving bunch of d***s to ever make a major tournament final. Not that any of them will give a damn but I actually have no interest in watching it.
Will (yes I know Iceland pinched it from Motherwell but just…shhh) Wymant, EFC


…Really? Stealing the Iceland Thunder Clap? For shame France, for shame.
The Flan, north London


‘Payet should be dropped’ and other points
– Payet was awful yet again, an abnormal number of people have said he’s the player of the tournament but I’m not having it. In the knockout rounds he has been easily France’s worst player. Invisible vs Ireland (yes he created five chances but most of them were from set-pieces, besides a few good deliveries he was awful) he was terrible against Iceland until the game was already finished and tonight he did approximately nothing for 70 minutes. Meanwhile Griezmann has carried France on his back into the final, Griezmann not winning the player of the tournament would be a farce. France need in-form players. Griezmann, Pogba are in form, even Moussa Sissoko has been class. Payet and Matuidi don’t look up to scratch for me, Coman and Kante need to come in for them. Sure, Payet has created a lot of chances this tournament, but in the three knockout games he’s created half the amount he did in the two-and-a-bit games he played in the group stage. It’s a view that won’t be shared by many due to the mass Payet love-in but he hasn’t been good enough in the knockout games. I would much rather play Coman who looks in form and up for the fight, than Payet who has been below par since the Albania game. A European championship final is not the sort of game you want to be starting passengers in.

– Sagna, Koscielny and Umtiti were world class. Koscielny and Umtiti managed to make Muller look like a League Two footballer, he barely had a sniff against either man all night. Meanwhile Sagna did exactly the same against Draxler, he really is one of the most underrated defenders about. He’s still certainly one of the best right-backs around even at the age of 33, it’s beyond me how people can think the likes of Walker and Bellerin are better than him.

– I really feel sorry for Mesut Ozil, he’s been outstanding since the Northern Ireland game but his teammates let him down tonight. Even the normally brilliant Toni Kroos had a bit of an off night. Ozil’s consistency is admirable, whilst the likes of Draxler have gone from world-class performances vs Slovakia to horror shows like tonight, Ozil has been consistently top class. As an Arsenal fan I pray he carries this form into the coming season. Additionally, if Ozil doesn’t make the team of the tournament it will be scandalous. Who else has had four top-class performances in this tournament? Ramsey, Kroos, maybe Pogba depending on who you’re asking. I hope his class is rewarded and not ignored.

– Muller has got to be the flop of the tournament, he did not have even one good performance in the six games he took part in. Whilst other big names like Ronaldo and Lewandowski have been somewhat inconsistent, those two players have at least shown up in some games. Ronaldo has arguably had four bad games, but in the biggest two games against Hungary and Wales he showed up. Lewandowski was equally as bad for the most part, but in the most important game against Portugal he took his chance and scored a goal that nearly took his team through if it wasn’t for the quality of Renato Sanches. Muller didn’t turn up late to this tournament like these two, he didn’t turn up whatsoever.
Matt R


Why always Me-tuidi?
So Germany v France has started.

Why does no one question the inclusion of Matuidi in the French team at the expense of all men, women and children?

First, when Payet needed to be shifted to the centre, Pogba was dropped instead of Matuidi, although it seems like Matuidi offers less. Pogba is definitely better going forward (better technique, more goals + assists too), so it must be that Matuidi is better than Pogba defensively, and that Deschamps wanted the two defensively superior players as the two pivots of the midfield.

Now, again shifting to a double pivot to accommodate Griezmann in the middle, Deschamps plays Pogba, but drops Kante instead of Matuidi? Why? Kante is the best of the three defensively (possession won, tackles successful, infinite running, etc), so it’s not because Deschamps wants to be better defensively. Besides, Deschamps himself made it clear he lurvvvves Kante after the first match of the tournament.

What gives? Can anyone explain why Matuidi is immune to being dropped? I’m going crazy.
Waleed Makhdum, AFC (Now Matuidi will be Man of the Match)


Getting p***ed with Keown
You could play a really good Euro 2016 drinking game whereby you have to drink every time Martin Keown says the word ‘quality’ when he’s on commentary. You’d get p***ed pretty quickly.
Tom Ewens


…32 minutes into the game and Martin Keown has observed that France have no leaders, let’s see how this pans out?
Brian, Belfast Gooner


Some conclusions on the semis
* Portugal are in the final because of their new style of play they ve not as some have claimed been just been lucky. They should have beaten Iceland and an ultra-defensive Austria did’t really need to try to hard once they equalised against Hungary and beat what was in front of them including strong Croat and Polish teams.

* Wales has had a great tournament they did what England couldn’t and put weak-looking teams to the sword where very close to taking a point off England as well and beat a lot of people’s picks to get to the final from their section what more could anyone ask from them. They will need to discover an understudy for Ramsey though.

* France won the tactical battle – they soaked up everything Germany had to throw at them and utilised two mistakes to score that is also not purely down to luck. They’ve gotten past what looked like their biggest challenge and can now comfortably take their tag of favourites.

* Germany really need to find the next Klose or at the very least someone needs to find the Thomas Muller that plays in World Cups. Sure they dominated but how many teams have we seen do that and fail? It’s been a great cycle but I think it’s time to reduce the dependence on the likes of Schweinsteiger.

P.S. They also need to practice jumping without sticking an arm out.


No striker makes Germany no good
No Gomez = sterile domination?

Just as Klose made World Cup-winning Germany 2014 work. Just as a good but limited Giroud makes France and its talented, mobile attacking support players work.

Just as Spain with a striker that wanted to drop back and play the clever stuff didn’t work because there wasn’t always someone at the point end.

It may be fashionable to play without a striker, and unfashionable to play with players that are not ultra mobile ‘position swappers’, but playing with a ‘proper’ striker really helps with the scoring goals stuff.


Loved this tournament despite…
Well, Germany, you were quite awful in front of goal.

But is that even a mild surprise?

This whole tournament has been great, except for the rather important part where teams have missed catalogues of chances to score goals galore to entertain us all.

Antoine might want to look around wildly now, but I feel correct in my point when considering the bigger picture.

Nonetheless, what a tournament, I cannot recall being so satisfied with a set of footie games since I was too young to not be super-impressed by anything.

“COYBIG!” Was a huge source of pride for me, and the fellas up north did us all proud as well, two teams today but maybe one day, one nation again. Not that I am saying anything is expected or demanded at all, it’s just a nice thought using the power of sport as its hopeful reasoning.

Iceland you have been a wonderful reminder, that if you aren’t the greatest ever at whatever your vocation is…that is cool too.

Give it your all and live beyond your own limitations, and you may wake up to find you have been called “inspiring”. That can’t feel too bad lads.

Wales…well tie me down and do what you will…it’s a hashtag thing moment here…I don’t have social media accounts so here is my attempt at what a think ‘the kids’ might say.


Ok no one is saying that I am sure, but I love them all the same!

Geez, actually, for a bloke who was a sour little lad at the prospect of the ‘watering-down’ of the competition, I could go on about the smaller teams that I have been immensely interested in.

From unearthing new talents to laud, to shouting for a team given no chance to upset that damn apple cart…it’s been a wonder truthfully.
Manc in SA (Typical for me it seems…a fair amount of humble pie to digest then)


A lifeline for Theo?
Given Wenger always likes to rest players that have entered the latter stages of a tournament early on in a season, so Ollie, Ozil, Koscielny and Ramsey, is he seriously going to start the season with Theo ‘couldn’t get into the international team’ Walcott against Liverpool?

I said I wasn’t going to bother next season and I’ve seen no reason to change my mind.

Liverpool to win on the opening day, Arsenal to lose again early on, Wenger to panic and overspend, Arsenal back in the top four by Christmas – talk of new contract for Wenger.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Sanchez for £30m? Buzz off
If Jordon Ibe is worth £15M and Benteke worth £25M than Sanchez is worth at least £60M regardless of how many years they have left on their contract!

Juve may need to up their pathetic £30M bid!!
Hitman – Red side of north London

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