A day late is better than a dollar short--or whatever. It's Tuesday and it's not usually Starting Eleven Football Blog Roundup day, but I missed out yesterday, so I'll give you an extended version today.
Euro 2008 is winding down, and you never really appreciate the first round the way you should. Now that we've hit the final matchday, there are no more early games, and soon enough, you're going to get one game a day and before you know it, the tournament is over. It's a downer, and there's certainly withdrawal.
Regardless, it's been a fun tournament so far, referee faux pas aside. The Turks' comeback; Italy and France being so horrific; Austria taking Germany to the wire; David Villa!; Switzerland winning a game! Here's a glass to the rest of the Euro, and a wish that each successive game tops the one before it!
Reuters Soccer Blog reminds us that Spain fans are no longer clamoring for Raul. David Villa's four goals have quickly quieted the chants for No. 7, but let us not forget that Aragones has won nothing--ever--and that those chants will quickly be resurrected if Spain flames out in the quarters.
More on Villa: SidelineSoccer says it's refreshing David Villa brushed off Chelsea, claiming to be happy playing in LaLiga. Villa, meanwhile, is interviewed by Guillem Balague, a Sky Sports dude. In the gab, Villa rebukes reports that he's interested in playing for Liverpool, and that he's totally focused on Euro 2008.
Villa or Podolski? That's the question being asked at GUNNERockYA. Are they both in Arsenal's sights? Which would Gunner fans want? Why not both? This post compares the two in depth, and settles on an eventual winner. Can you guess who?
Techtainment points out that Germany hasn't been out of the group stage at Euro since 1996. They also point out that Osterrich, an Austria newspaper, put a nude Michael Ballack on its front page yesterday. Ballack's revenge? The game winning free kick of course.
Soccernews, meanwhile, takes a more analytical look at Germany's win and speculates a bit about the impending quarterfinal classic between Germany and Portugal.
mCalcio looks at today's G.O.D. World Cup final rematch between Italy and France. Both need to win. Both could go home. It's a complete preview, stats, history, very interesting, sticky post.
Nick Webster on the Fox Soccer blog breaks down the France-Italy match, and points at the managers. The loser, he says, is on the unemployment line in the morning.
Love Footy, meanwhile, has another preview of France-Italy, and questions Donadoni's rampant lineup reshuffle prior to the Romania game. Someone say: "Over coaching?"
Soccernews also checks in on France-Italy with a superb look at the match, and points out that the road to Euro glory gets no easier should one of these teams gets through. Spain awaits the winner.
The Big Lead--yes The Big Lead--checks in with a look at the Turkey comeback, and reports accurately that the result will carry the Turks over for a decade.
USmensnationalteam blog looks at the U.S.' 8-0 debacle over Barbados to open World Cup qualifying. What a sham CONCACAF is.
Matt Johnson at Going to the Mat points out, however, the U.S. didn't look so hot potting eight goals on Sunday.
Finally, Deadspin has an amusing look at the 8-0 result.