Spain became Champions of Europe for only the second time in their history overnight, casting aside below-par Germany 1-0 in the final of Euro 2008.
It’s no secret that I was going for Germany in this one and had been following them for much of tournament but I have to say that Spain were good value for their victory and were thoroughly deserving winners of the tournament. The won all their games at the tournament, never went behind at any stage and did not concede a goal in the knockout stages and their pass-and-move football was a wonderful reminder that trophies can still be won in the modern game by playing in an attacking manner.
So, well done Spain and of course, well done to Cesc Fabregas. It was never a guarantee at the start of the tournament that an Arsenal player would be part of the winning side but the little Spaniard managed it, having an excellent tournament to boot.
If any player deserved to win the trophy as a reward for their performances for Arsenal last season it was him, so justice was done in a certain sense. The fact that Fabregas played as a substitute for most of the tournament means that he will return to pre-season training fresher than Arsene Wenger perhaps would have expected and that will definitely be a good thing with the start of next season less than two months away.
Just a final word on Euro 2008 as a whole and I have to say it’s been a marvellous tournament. Nearly every game was entertaining to a certain extent and there were a number of classic encounters – usually involving the Turks – but the best thing about the tournament was that the sides who attacked were rewarded for it and the sides that didn’t were punished.
Of the eight sides that ended up in the quarter-finals only Italy played boring football and the credit for this has to go to the managers of sides like Spain, Holland, Russia and Portugal. Unlikeable figures some of them may be – I’m looking at Luis Aragones and Luis Felipe Scholari here – but negative they were not and they should be applauded for their approach to the game. Hopefully the managers at the World Cup in South Africa can continue the trend in just under two years time.
And now for a sharp u-turn from the positivity of a brilliant Euro 2008 to the disappointing nature of the Adebayor saga. In all reality, I don’t know exactly where the right place is to start on this but I will do my best to get across the message that I am trying to convey.
Those that read this blog regularly will know how much I like and have stuck by Emmanuel Adebayor over the past season and a bit. While he has copped abuse from a large section of Arsenal supporters for not being a good enough player for Arsenal – citing his wastefulness in front of goal and awkward nature on the pitch as the main justifications – I have pointed to his effort and dedication on the pitch and perhaps more ironically, the heart he has shown as an Arsenal player in the past.
Whatever criticisms Adebayor copped last season I always stuck by him partly because I truly think he is a good player but mostly because I believed he was an Arsenal man through and through. Unfortunately, it’s taken me a weekend of some of the most ridiculous comments I have ever read from a footballer to realise how wrong I was. Observe:
“Either Arsenal give me what I want and I stay or they don’t and I leave. You have to take advantage of the moment. If my good form has increased my value, my employers have to take account of that.
“Sure, the Arsenal fans want to see me scoring lovely goals next season. I have the same wish, too. But the career of a footballer is soon over. My good goals aren’t the only things I am going to enjoy at the end of it.”
“I have to prepare for my retirement as a player, too. Even if you’re not scoring fine goals and you have money, you can enjoy a happy retirement. The time for preparing for that moment is now.”
Seriously, who does this guy think he is?
This is a guy who, one season ago, had proved absolutely nothing of himself as a player to a football club that were paying him what I think every football supporter would consider to be very, very good money.
And now, after one good season he has the arrogance and greediness to demand to the employers who not only gave him his big break as a player but also stuck by him through a difficult start to his time in England that they give him what he wants or he’ll go. Simple as that.
What a fool. He obviously hasn’t stopped to think that without Arsenal and particularly Arsene Wenger he would not be half the player he has become and would never be in a positition to demand these kind of wages.
Or maybe he has but his absolute wanker of an agent/advisor has drilled the notion into his head so hard that he is the next Pele that his brain is not functioning properly anymore. Because that’s what it seems like to me.
I am so angry about this it defies belief. When Mathieu Flamini left I could at least see where he was coming from but I can’t for one second see where Adebayor is coming from when he talks about his retirement. Indeed, unless he’s planning to fund an institute which treat HIV in Africa when he’s finished playing football then the comment about enjoying his retirement is an absolute joke.
Anyway, I can’t be bothered saying much more – I’m too frustrated and exhausted. To think that the first player’s name that I have got printed on the back of an Arsenal shirt could represent a player so greedy and arrogant makes me sick.
What a terrible day to be an Arsenal supporter.
Have your say on Emmanuel Adebayor or Spain’s win by leaving a comment.