A Few Thoughts on Friday’s Games

Allow me to add my voice to the others: the sending of Sokratis Papastathopoulos (hereinafter referred to as Sokratis) was one of the worst decisions I have seen in some forty years of watching this sport. The first yellow card seemed like a perfectly legitimate challenge and the second one, while one could make the argument that it was a foul, didn’t seem to be card-worthy.

Note to Greece: you need to defend the right side of the pitch as well.

Giorgos Karagounis’ penalty was one of the worst taken on-target penalty attempts I have ever seen.

I believe Greece’s tie with Poland benefits Greece and may very well hurt Poland. The Czech’s are greatly disadvantaged by the goal differential and the Poles must, at minimum not lose to Russia.

Andrey Arshavin must not like London. If he had played as well for Arsenal as he played yesterday for Russia he wouldn’t have been loaned to Zenit St. Petersburg.

Arshavin’s pass to Shirokov for Russia’s second goal was a thing of beauty. It seemed positively laser-guided. The same can be said of the pass made to Vaclav Pilar for the Czech goal (I don’t remember who made it).

Please for the love of all things decent, stop this. Now!

7 replies
  1. 1
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    Sokratis playing for Greece

    I can’t be the first to think of this


  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    It’s amazing how bad that call was on the Greek player. Though the call on the Polish keeper was spot on. It was a bizarre and entertaining match.

    I’m going to predict that the Russians best performance was yesterday and from here it’s downhill for them.

  3. 3
    Alison says:

    So agreed on the sending off, as did basically everyone in my Twitter feed. It’s so maddening to see shit like that. I accept that there will always be bad calls or iffy ones or whatever, but…sheesh.

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:


    I’m going to predict that the Russians best performance was yesterday and from here it’s downhill for them

    And thus the entirety of Russian history was encapsulated.

  5. 5
    Tony J says:

    Both of the cards dished out to Sokratis Poppastamponthis were ridiculous. Still, the injustice served to get the Greeks riled up and playing a lot better.

    The Russians were really, really good last night. They looked like they could score almost at will, and Arshavin was a monster for 90 minutes. Very much looking forward to seeing them up against (probably) Germany, Holland or Portugal.

  6. 6
    scott says:

    I’ve seen Arshavin many times as an Arsenal fan. I like him and was delighted to see him do well yesterday, but that Czech defense was so permissive and allowed him so much time and space on the ball they might as well have laid out a huge welcome mat in midfield for him. On the Pavlyuchenko goal, moreover, I was astounded that they let him cut inside for yards and yards with no challenge coming in. Their defending by any standard was just criminal. Still, the Russians were all very impressive, and what was really noticeable to me was how crisp their passing was and how they could get the ball down the field accurately and at pace. Advocaat seems to have them really well-drilled and hungry for goals.

  7. 7
    handsmile says:

    My one pfennig on the consequences of Friday’s matches:

    After Russia’s comprehensive victory, it seems probable that they will win their next two Group A matches. Greece, on the other hand, won what will be its only point in group play.

    Poland will revive after its lackluster performance, but Szczesny’s suspension will be all the more troublesome in the face of Russia’s offensive arsenal. As for Greece, I think they must be grateful that Ukraine, as co-host, was included in the tournament.

    If this prediction proves true, then the Czech Republic will have 3 points, the Poles only 1, after two matches. That sets up a decisive match between the Czechs and Poland on June 16. The Poles must win to advance to the quarterfinals while the Czechs can achieve that with only a draw. Thus, I don’t think the Czech Republic’s current disadvantageous goal differential will come into play

    Of course, it is only gentlemanly to disclose that of the three matches held thus far, I’ve been wrong about the eventual outcome of two.

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