Euro 2012 Group D: News & Analysis

Discussion in 'Group D - Ukraine, Sweden, France, England' started by mfw13, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. mfw13

    mfw13 Member

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    Well, now that the draw has been made, time to start analyzing the groups.

    In each team's analysis I will note results in OFFICIAL matches (i.e. qualifiers and WC 2010) since Euro 2008 but not give any weight to results in friendlies.

    Group D: Ukraine, England, Sweden, France

    UKRAINE: Clearly the worst team in the group by reputation, but will be playing at home, thus making anything possible. Like Poland, hard to analyze, since they've played nothing but friendlies since WC 2010 qualifying ended in late 2009. Note that they held their own against England in WC 2010 qualifying, winning at home 1-0, and losing away 2-1. Also drew both matches against Croatia and lost 1-0 on aggregate against Greece in the playoffs, suggesting that teams will not have an easy time beating them on Ukranian soil.

    ENGLAND: Will be analyzed ad nauseum elsewhere on these boards, so will keep my analysis short and sweet. A team in transition between an old guard (Lampard, Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, Terry, etc.) and a group of younger but unproven players. With a manager like Capello, certainly capable of demolishing anybody when everything clicks, but also a team full of question marks. Could win the group or finish bottom. Struggled at WC 2010, drawing with the USA and Algeria, before eeking out a 1-0 win against Slovenia which earned them the right to be demolished by Germany in the round of 16. Muddled through a fairly easy qualifying group for Euro 2012, drawing both matches against against a Montengro team that was then demolished by the Czechs in the playoffs. Biggest questions are in goal and up front, since with Rooney suspended for the group stage, someone else will have to step up if England is to be able to score goals.

    FRANCE: A team coming off a disasterous WC 2010 which saw them finish bottom of their group amid a player rebellion now features a new manager and a horde of talented, but unproven, players without a superstar amonst them. Struggled in qualifying, finishing ahead of Bosnia by only a single point in a decidely weak group, including a shocking home loss to Belarus. Truly a mystery team, but note that they have only one major tournament win in the past 40 years without either Michel Platini or Zinedine Zidane on the pitch (the 2-0 win over Togo at WC 2006).

    SWEDEN: Doesn't always qualify for the major tournaments, but when they do they are usually pretty solid. Like a Danes, a well-coached team that it usually very hard to beat. Have never lost to England at a major tournament at topped a very tough group including England and Argentina at WC 2002. Cruised through qualifying as the best 2nd placed team, losing only away to the Netherlands and Hungary.

    CONCLUSION: All four teams are capable of both winning the group or finishing bottom, with England and Sweden probably the best teams on paper, and the biggest questions being who will score goals for England in Wayne Rooney's absence and how much the Ukranians will be strengthened by playing in front of their home fans.


  2. Smoga

    Smoga Member

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    I don't see how you can give Ukraine even a slight chance of advancing. They got majorily screwed by lady luck. England and France beat them easily, and they will have to be fortunate to tie Sweden.

    However, that being said, disciplined Sweden, if Zlatan keeps his head straight, actually does have chances against both France and England, who are known to implode at tournaments when things don't go their way. I think all three have about even chances with the Ukraine a clear loser.

    BTW, I do relish my role as a critic of your work, mfw! It is much easier (and much more fun) to critique than to come up with original material! :)
  3. indiansoccerfan

    indiansoccerfan New Member

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    I feel France, for the first time in several years, are entering a tournament looking as a team. Gone are the shambles by Domenech and Blanc has finally got the side playing together. They don't have as much quality as the Zidane era but they should have enough to get out of this group esp with Benzema in such good form.

    Again I feel 2nd spot is going to be very very interesting. England have low expectations going into this tournament & don't strike me as being particularly strong-- their struggles highlighted by the games against Montenegro in qualifying and they don't have their star Wayne Rooney either. They still have enough quality in other parts.

    Ukraine have some good players like Tymoschuk and even though Shevchenko is clearly past it, they are good at home. Capello having lost with England here is a clear indicator that Ukraine have the ability to qualify from this group.

    I feel Sweden won't make it though. They have been on a downward spiral after 2006. Loss to Russia in Euro 2008, failure to qualify for WC 2010, and even though they did finish as the best runners-up in qualifying this time, they are overreliant on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and I feel they may come up short again.
  4. TrueCrew

    TrueCrew Member+

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    Very interesting group, especially with Rooney out. This is the type of group where everyone could finish with 3 draws, or everyone finishes 1-1-1. Anyway, it has goal difference deciding who advances written all over it.

    I do give Ukraine a chance. They are at home. Rooney is missing. The French are always a question mark. And Sweden are solid, but unspectacular.

    If pressed, I'll take England and France. But I don't feel really good about either pick.


  5. goliath74

    goliath74 Member

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    An interesting group. All four teams have chances to win. Ukraine's a stronger host than Austria and Switzerland were.
  6. Prenn

    Prenn Member

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    Rooney's goal contribution has been vastly overstated in this thread and I believe that England play better when he's not in the team.

    The group is well balanced but I think France will go throuh, after that I have no idea.
  7. Kukilon

    Kukilon Member

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    It will be a hornets nest amongst the first three. This is my prediction as a swede.

    With Zlatan playing.
    1. England
    2. France
    3. Sweden
    4. Ukraine

    Without him
    1. Sweden
    2. England
    3. France
    4. Ukraine

    We have never really played well with him on the field but he has done some nice highlight moves that have made him untouchable. Easily the best player we have skillwise but the worst team player. We need fighters to be able to challenge the bigger nations and Zlatan is just a spoilt kid. Don't really know why he has been made a captain because he always sulks and whines.
  8. goliath74

    goliath74 Member

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    Out of curiosity, why does everyone put England ahead of France?
  9. Kukilon

    Kukilon Member

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    For me it's mostly about the "Spain" effect. Not that they have as talented players but sometime should be Englands time to shine. They only beat Sweden in a friendly. Their first time since Jesus was born.=)

    France have been horrible every time I have seen them play the last couple of years. Amazing considering their players.
  10. RobTheFool

    RobTheFool Member

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    I think the two are pretty equal right now. France have had an awful last 2 tournaments, and I mean awful. Our World Cup campaign was heavenly compared to theirs.

    Although results wise England have only lost once since the World Cup ( I think France have too?) when we played them a year ago they were much better than us. To be fair, we were playing a very experimental side with lots of injuries and we had just come out of an awful World Cup whereas they had rebuilt with a new manager, but I think we are better than we were then now.

    I think the actual deciders will be when the two teams play Ukraine and Sweden. I think England knows how to beat both of those two teams whereas I can see France struggling and dropping points (of course we could do the same like we did last year, but I can't see us doing a France/Italy and losing to Ukraine or Sweden, draws are quite likely though I think.)

    Against France it all depends on which teams from both sides turn up. It will also depend on if Capello can pull his finger out and deploy our attacking talent instead of playing Milner on the left wing and Downing on the right when they are a) out of position and b) not the best options.
    If we play a fluid and young team with Young, Sturridge/Welbeck, A.Johnson/Walcott, Wilshere, Parker and Gerrard then I can see us having a good chance. If Capello opts for the same old overly defensive and boring tactics of Bent, Milner, Walcott/Downing etc then we will be lucky to get anything.
  11. Kampfschwein

    Kampfschwein Member

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    For one, France struggled quite a bit in her qualifying campaign.

    Further, Laurent Blanc himself considers England the favourite. I take that statement at face-value.

    Hard to argue that England currently is the (somewhat) better team, I dare say. Yet a lot can happen in half a year...
  12. goliath74

    goliath74 Member

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    Interestingly, Ukraine seems to be more worried with France. We do not match up well to them. We can play England on level terms at home (holding our own in the WC2010 qualification, for example, 1-2 on the road, 1-0 at home) but France seem to play the style of the game we are not at all comfortable at.
  13. pylyp

    pylyp Member

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    Funny :)

    See you in Kyiv !
  14. Stas8545

    Stas8545 New Member

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    You know Ukraine is really good home player and I think it would be wary difficult to win in kyiv with such a big support.
  15. Kukilon

    Kukilon Member

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    I hope I'm wrong because nothing is more fun than when the "home" advance into the knock-out stage.
  16. Big balls

    Big balls Member

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    I just clicked on this thread and already I have to chime in


    Your analysis is so far off. Sweden qualify pretty much regurlarly. Sweden is not a "sometimes they're in and sometimes they're out" team. The team failed to qualify for the WC in South Africa but qualified for 5 straight final tournaments prior to that. Sweden's qualifying is solid. What they actually accomplish once they're in the in the cup's is a different story. They always advance from the group and it stops there.

    Sweden's qualifying this year was gutwrenching and far from a cruise. The team has looked very disorganized yet they managed to qualify as the best runner-up in Europe. Much credit goes out to Zlatan Ibrahimovic because he was suspended in the do-or-die match against Holland. Without his toxic presence, the team pulled through and beat the orange machine.
  17. murgz7

    murgz7 New Member

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  18. RobTheFool

    RobTheFool Member

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  19. the one and only

    the one and only Member

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    But the Orange machine was already qualified and was sure of finishing in first position no matter the outcome of that match.
  20. Big balls

    Big balls Member

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  21. Big balls

    Big balls Member

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    So what ?, they didn't care to protect their long unbeaten streak, hogwash.
  22. Sian

    Sian Member

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    With the issues on the English Team, do you guys believe that would change how this group ends? ... i'm starting to entertain ideas that Sweden wins first place and the Ukraine/France match decides who's second
  23. JaredSS07

    JaredSS07 Moderator Staff Member

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    I would expect a new manager bump and England to go into the group revitalized.
  24. goliath74

    goliath74 Member

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    Even with the England problems, I still expect Sweden to finish last.
  25. Sian

    Sian Member

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    Swedens QC-run placed them as best nr2 behind Holland, and was looking solid all the way through ... don't see why they should end up last

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