Friday, 22 June 2012

Euro 2012 - The Bailout Game

Euro 2012 - Greece vs Germany

Unfortunately "The Bailout Game" is not the highly anticipated return of Jennifer Lawrence to our screens. Instead, for our viewing pleasure, it is the most politically charged tie in Greek history, since a bunch of skantily clad Greeks took on the Persians at Thermopylae, takes place tonight. But while they had a charismatic Irishman leading them, this tightly knit group will be without their experienced talisman Giorgios Karagounis, although Robbie Keane sent in a late application to appear for his "boyhood club".

Upfront for the Greeks, 2012 award winning Ashton Kutcher Look-a-like Giorgios Samaras will lead the line, and the former City man will need to give more than blood, sweat and tears if he is to make up for the absence of the 35 year old Karagounis' bubbling energy. Grigoris Makos could replace the most experienced man in Greek football, however, I have to admit I know less about him than Angela Merkel does about all that Greek bailout money.

In defence the Greeks will be relying on their tried and tested method of two defenders charging blindly at the man in possession, while everyone else muddles in behind. This is a gross over-simplification of the Greeks high pressure defensive system, but the worry for them will be that the accurate German passing will pull them apart.
In stark contrast the German system will be a ruthlessly efficient, well oiled machine with possibly the most solid back four in the competition, Lahm, Hummels, Badstuber, Boateng, although the robot from Futurama may be in with a shout after his goal against the Danes. The Germans are superbly choreographed by Joachim Loew, harking back to his Backstreet Boys days, and as a team there does not appear to be a better side in this years competition.

Upfront Lukas Podolski will be trying to avoid the curse of the Arsenal strikers, and keep his team in the competition. Alongside him Spanish born Mario Gomez is showing his former nation just what a proper striker can do, and everyone else just who the super plumber is at this tournament. Out on the right Thomas Muller is still trying to find his South African scoring boots and he might not get a better chance than against the Greeks tonight.

The task facing the Greeks tonight is titanic, and if they are to win it will need to be a more miraculous story than if Hercules and Perseus got together to face a gorgon-headed Minotaur. But this is football, and on any given day a miracle can happen, bring on the game and we are one step closer to Sunday!

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