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And then there were two

Djourou and Fabianski leave the Euros without any playing time to add to their CV`s, Gallas leaves as part of an embarrassed French side that looks past it`s collective sell by date and Senderos leaves without any damage to his reputation. Senderos would be content with that and Gallas should get himself a good holiday away from it all.

Which leaves Van Persie and Cesc still in the tournaments both playing for national teams that reflect much of the playing philosophy of their club side. Both the Dutch and the Spanish teams have played so far with quick movement, quick accurate passing and good possession. Both must feel quite at ease in those tactical formats.

Van Persie scored again tonight in the game against Romania having completed 90 minutes for the first time in quite a while. He looked to be feeling the effort on occasions in the second half but took his goal, late in the game, very well. Had he also taken the chance he created just after the second half kicked off no doubt he would be feeling even more satisfied with himself. Three seasons ago I wouldn`t have thought that he could play up front on his own as far forward as he did at times. Last season, with the absence of Adebayor in the early games, he played for us the role he played for Holland tonight. His touch, skill and vision with a physical toughness that he has developed allow him to do it very well.

Getting him back from this tournament fit and well would give an immeasurable boost to our trophy chances next season. He will allow us to vary our attacking style more than we were able to last season. If this tournament plays a part in building Robin`s confidence and regaining his playing peak then it will have been a risk worth taking and to some extent an investment worth making. With two goals in a total pitch time of less than 2 games he should be feeling pretty sure of himself.

Cesc`s position is a little different. As the premier league`s PFA young player of the year, leading assist maker and acknowledged pass master he would have gone into this tournament with a spring in his step. Except that he isn`t quite top dog in the Spanish side. That I think is a good thing. He isn`t an automatic first choice and as such has nothing to lose while still able to share in any glory that is going. Used wisely and sparingly he will come back with his international reputation enhanced, whatever Spains fate, as the young player of the future with the world still in front of him.

At this stage for Cesc, less is more but if fortune is with him van Persie could make a big statement.

Holland and Spain are among the teams to enjoy in this tournament and as long as neither van Persie nor Fabregas pick up any injuries it is football entertainment without the pain for gooner fans.

....and - as something of a footnote to this stage of the tournament - Lassana Diarra will have discovered that the end of the rainbow is never quite where you expect it to be.




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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday June 17 2008

Time: 10:32PM

Your Comments

What a goal by Robin tonight. Great all around performance from him and good for him in picking up the man of the match. I think this was his first full match since the Sunderland game in October and thats incredible. So Im hoping that all his muscles cool down alright.
gunnerkid107
What a goal by Robin tonight. Great all around performance from him and good for him in picking up the man of the match. I think this was his first full match since the Sunderland game in October and thats incredible. So Im hoping that all his muscles cool down alright.
gunnerkid107
hope to see more from RvP in Arsenal jersey. well done.
fcdematthew
hope to see more from RvP in Arsenal jersey. well done.
fcdematthew
Domenech is an idiot! He leaves a capable centre-back(Boumsong) on the bench and plays a guy who shouldn't even be in the SQUAD(Abidal) at centre-back. Then he takes Nasri("our" Nasri) off instead of taking off that clown Govou who's consistently proven how rubbish he is! And why the heck did Toualan play all 3 games? Spoilt brat he might be, but Diarra is a much better player! I hope they fire Domenech now. The guy is an excuse for a coach
Patresc Vieiragas
Domenech is an idiot! He leaves a capable centre-back(Boumsong) on the bench and plays a guy who shouldn't even be in the SQUAD(Abidal) at centre-back. Then he takes Nasri("our" Nasri) off instead of taking off that clown Govou who's consistently proven how rubbish he is! And why the heck did Toualan play all 3 games? Spoilt brat he might be, but Diarra is a much better player! I hope they fire Domenech now. The guy is an excuse for a coach
Patresc Vieiragas
Patresc Vieiragas. Agree about Abidal, Squillacci was also on the bench, and he left Mexes at home, to keep Thuram, finaly he put a left back at center back..... Yesterday, toulalan was one of (if the) best french on the pitch (alongside Benzema), Makalele shouldn't have play instead of Diarra, he can't pass a ball, can't create danger, can't control the game, and clearly didn't protect the back four at all yesterday (or against holland). Domenech should have put Toulalan-Diarra. And Why did he bring Vieira instead of Flamini????? What the hell was that????? I'M happy we lost, and we've been humiliated in front of the all earth, Domenech doesn't deserve to be the French national coach, leave Trezeguet, flamini, Ben Arfa, Mexes, Clichy, Sagna at home and take Gomis, Vieira, Malouda, Thuram, Abidal and Sagnol instaed was too much mistake for a coach, he believed these player would be at the level they were by magic, but they didn't...... I liked Thuram, but now, i really don't rate him that hight, when do you see a capitain (or skipper) leaving the boat when this one is about to go down????? I hope deschamps will be our next coach, Benzema, Ben Arfa, Nasri, Ribery, Toulalan, Diarra, Flamini, Erva, Clichy, Sagna, Mexes our next big players, main player. Henry, Vieira and sagnol need to follow Thuram an maka end reteire, we have enopugh young and talented player to do somenthing in south africa...... Mutu must be gutted by the way. I Hope Holland win, they play really good positive and entertainement football. I feel Spain are not physical enough in the midfield, even with Senna.
FloG
Patresc Vieiragas. Agree about Abidal, Squillacci was also on the bench, and he left Mexes at home, to keep Thuram, finaly he put a left back at center back..... Yesterday, toulalan was one of (if the) best french on the pitch (alongside Benzema), Makalele shouldn't have play instead of Diarra, he can't pass a ball, can't create danger, can't control the game, and clearly didn't protect the back four at all yesterday (or against holland). Domenech should have put Toulalan-Diarra. And Why did he bring Vieira instead of Flamini????? What the hell was that????? I'M happy we lost, and we've been humiliated in front of the all earth, Domenech doesn't deserve to be the French national coach, leave Trezeguet, flamini, Ben Arfa, Mexes, Clichy, Sagna at home and take Gomis, Vieira, Malouda, Thuram, Abidal and Sagnol instaed was too much mistake for a coach, he believed these player would be at the level they were by magic, but they didn't...... I liked Thuram, but now, i really don't rate him that hight, when do you see a capitain (or skipper) leaving the boat when this one is about to go down????? I hope deschamps will be our next coach, Benzema, Ben Arfa, Nasri, Ribery, Toulalan, Diarra, Flamini, Erva, Clichy, Sagna, Mexes our next big players, main player. Henry, Vieira and sagnol need to follow Thuram an maka end reteire, we have enopugh young and talented player to do somenthing in south africa...... Mutu must be gutted by the way. I Hope Holland win, they play really good positive and entertainement football. I feel Spain are not physical enough in the midfield, even with Senna.
FloG
To see RvP play a full 90mins brought as big a smile to my face as it did to his. He looks delighted to be playing football again. The phycological effect on him should be huge. If he comes back un-scathed from the tournament, then gets a nice rest, he'll be chomping at the bit for next season!!!
Bradys Chips
To see RvP play a full 90mins brought as big a smile to my face as it did to his. He looks delighted to be playing football again. The phycological effect on him should be huge. If he comes back un-scathed from the tournament, then gets a nice rest, he'll be chomping at the bit for next season!!!
Bradys Chips
Good to see RVP playing 90 mins. I hope Diarra has learned his lesson, although I doubt it.
prits
Good to see RVP playing 90 mins. I hope Diarra has learned his lesson, although I doubt it.
prits
Poor Thierry. Time to put your pride to the fore and say "Assez". Cut yourself off from this dope of a manager who has never understood how to play you. At least in retiring from the Blue shirt, you walk away with a World Cup winner's medal and a Euro Cup winner's medal and that is more than can be said for many other so-called top players. Oh and a memo to the next French manager: PICK THE ARSENAL PLAYERS, YOU IDIOT! Please RVP an Cesc- DON'T GET INJURED!!!!
julieloveshenry4ever
Poor Thierry. Time to put your pride to the fore and say "Assez". Cut yourself off from this dope of a manager who has never understood how to play you. At least in retiring from the Blue shirt, you walk away with a World Cup winner's medal and a Euro Cup winner's medal and that is more than can be said for many other so-called top players. Oh and a memo to the next French manager: PICK THE ARSENAL PLAYERS, YOU IDIOT! Please RVP an Cesc- DON'T GET INJURED!!!!
julieloveshenry4ever
tutt tutt lassana diarra tutt tutt. look how bad the french team was and you couldn get into it. hope all your tantrums were worth it, you idiot you would have been in the starting xi next season but no. good riddance you were the one player i was looking forward to seeing in the arsenal shirt, now i hope you do go to spurs so i can hate you even more
gillvy4
tutt tutt lassana diarra tutt tutt. look how bad the french team was and you couldn get into it. hope all your tantrums were worth it, you idiot you would have been in the starting xi next season but no. good riddance you were the one player i was looking forward to seeing in the arsenal shirt, now i hope you do go to spurs so i can hate you even more
gillvy4
van Persie reckons Holland can go all the way and win it. On current showing he may be right!
Amos.
van Persie reckons Holland can go all the way and win it. On current showing he may be right!
Amos.
Good riddance all over France. Robin vs Cesc in SF it seems, mouth-watering tie, that one's the "final" for me.
Lou the Gunneress
Good riddance all over France. Robin vs Cesc in SF it seems, mouth-watering tie, that one's the "final" for me.
Lou the Gunneress
very happy spain and netherlands are progressing nicely... due to the fixtures not sure they can play the final cos they are destined to meet in the semis
TeamSpirit
very happy spain and netherlands are progressing nicely... due to the fixtures not sure they can play the final cos they are destined to meet in the semis
TeamSpirit
what exactly happened with the german and austrian coaches that got them sent off?
TeamSpirit
what exactly happened with the german and austrian coaches that got them sent off?
TeamSpirit
Haha TS here it is: "the two coaches had shouted at each other and then began to shout at the fourth official. The referee then decided to send both coaches to the stands." http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/news/kind=1/newsid=721692.html#one+match+low+hickersberger
Lou the Gunneress
Haha TS here it is: "the two coaches had shouted at each other and then began to shout at the fourth official. The referee then decided to send both coaches to the stands." http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/news/kind=1/newsid=721692.html#one+match+low+hickersberger
Lou the Gunneress
Although most of us would like to see a Holland/Spain Vs Portugal final, i wouldnt be suprised to see the so called efficient teams reach the final and deny us the spectacle we crave. I predict an Italy Vs Germany/Croatia final.
paul_ownz
Although most of us would like to see a Holland/Spain Vs Portugal final, i wouldnt be suprised to see the so called efficient teams reach the final and deny us the spectacle we crave. I predict an Italy Vs Germany/Croatia final.
paul_ownz
thanks lou. was at a loss cos i just saw them trudging off to the stands...
TeamSpirit
thanks lou. was at a loss cos i just saw them trudging off to the stands...
TeamSpirit
paul_ownz, unfortunately history is on your side. Holland and Spain always implode and teams that start slow get the trophy. Great to see RVP doing so well. The problem with Domenech is that for all these years he's been manager of the national team, he used the young players as afterthoughts, he kept them marginal, he did no work in developing and nurturing them, in making them an integral part of the team. AW and others have commented that this France team looked disjointed, there’s no cohesion, there are two camps within the squad–young and old–and nothing that meshes them together. There was no leadership which is disappointing on the part of Thuram. He’s an obvious choice for a leader figure and he didn’t seem able to take the responsibility for that role. That said, Thuram will always be a god to me, one of football's genuine statesmen on and off the pitch. Amazingly, like some kind of deliberately-timed message from the football gods, Fox Soccer Channel in the US this week (two days ago) broadcast a U21 Euro championship qualifier from November 2005 between England and France. In that French team there was Clichy, Sagna, Ribery, Mavuba, Le Tallec and other talented players. They were brilliant and ran their opponents ragged. They were amazing to watch. The ball control, creativity, boldness, beautiful passing, just extraordinary. It was embarrassing how the hapless, out-of-depth English kids could never hold the ball for more than a second or two. The obvious point for me while watching that game was “this is from THREE YEARS ago, look at all that amazing talent…and only ONE of those players is in Domenech’s first team. He’s done absolutely nothing with the others.” I don’t think you can criticize Benzema or Gomis or the other young players for not performing in this tournament. The young players under Domenech simply have not been nurtured or used to their full potential. I don’t think the penalty against Abidal was deserved at all but Italy deserved their win. Congratulations to them for finally breaking the French 30-year hoodoo against them and advancing from a difficult group. That was the first time since 1978 that Italy beat France in open play. I am very disappointed to see France go out but I thought I would be far more gutted than I am. I guess I felt that this was going to happen, I saw it coming since the last part of the qualifying campaign and the recent friendlies. It felt like Domenech had not brought a cohesive unit of a team to the tournament. Domenech simply is not a manager who can inspire his players. His players have to inspire themselves. At the 2006 wc, they had Zidane (with Vieira, Thuram and Makelele assisting) to do that. They don't have Zidane to marshall them anymore. This had to happen for the FFF to wake the hell up and change direction. Deschamps is a frontrunner for Domenech's job, he's widely popular in France. In Italy he's respected for his job with Juve two seasons ago in Serie B. I think Henry can still be used as an impact sub, not a starter. I was surprised to see Sagnol announce his retirement, good for him. Good also that Makelele announced his retirement immediately after the game yesterday. Thuram and Vieira should follow suit. And please, no more Abidal or Malouda on the French national team ever again! I don’t know about Anelka anymore, I don’t know what’s happened with him. Maybe his great performances at Bolton masked his decline at the top level. And yes, the one compensation for me was the Diarra factor you've all mentioned. The only thing I could smile about. I can’t choose between Holland, Spain or Turkey — so I’ll support all 3 and hope one of them can go all the way. Anybody but Italy or Portugal.
jaelle
paul_ownz, unfortunately history is on your side. Holland and Spain always implode and teams that start slow get the trophy. Great to see RVP doing so well. The problem with Domenech is that for all these years he's been manager of the national team, he used the young players as afterthoughts, he kept them marginal, he did no work in developing and nurturing them, in making them an integral part of the team. AW and others have commented that this France team looked disjointed, there’s no cohesion, there are two camps within the squad–young and old–and nothing that meshes them together. There was no leadership which is disappointing on the part of Thuram. He’s an obvious choice for a leader figure and he didn’t seem able to take the responsibility for that role. That said, Thuram will always be a god to me, one of football's genuine statesmen on and off the pitch. Amazingly, like some kind of deliberately-timed message from the football gods, Fox Soccer Channel in the US this week (two days ago) broadcast a U21 Euro championship qualifier from November 2005 between England and France. In that French team there was Clichy, Sagna, Ribery, Mavuba, Le Tallec and other talented players. They were brilliant and ran their opponents ragged. They were amazing to watch. The ball control, creativity, boldness, beautiful passing, just extraordinary. It was embarrassing how the hapless, out-of-depth English kids could never hold the ball for more than a second or two. The obvious point for me while watching that game was “this is from THREE YEARS ago, look at all that amazing talent…and only ONE of those players is in Domenech’s first team. He’s done absolutely nothing with the others.” I don’t think you can criticize Benzema or Gomis or the other young players for not performing in this tournament. The young players under Domenech simply have not been nurtured or used to their full potential. I don’t think the penalty against Abidal was deserved at all but Italy deserved their win. Congratulations to them for finally breaking the French 30-year hoodoo against them and advancing from a difficult group. That was the first time since 1978 that Italy beat France in open play. I am very disappointed to see France go out but I thought I would be far more gutted than I am. I guess I felt that this was going to happen, I saw it coming since the last part of the qualifying campaign and the recent friendlies. It felt like Domenech had not brought a cohesive unit of a team to the tournament. Domenech simply is not a manager who can inspire his players. His players have to inspire themselves. At the 2006 wc, they had Zidane (with Vieira, Thuram and Makelele assisting) to do that. They don't have Zidane to marshall them anymore. This had to happen for the FFF to wake the hell up and change direction. Deschamps is a frontrunner for Domenech's job, he's widely popular in France. In Italy he's respected for his job with Juve two seasons ago in Serie B. I think Henry can still be used as an impact sub, not a starter. I was surprised to see Sagnol announce his retirement, good for him. Good also that Makelele announced his retirement immediately after the game yesterday. Thuram and Vieira should follow suit. And please, no more Abidal or Malouda on the French national team ever again! I don’t know about Anelka anymore, I don’t know what’s happened with him. Maybe his great performances at Bolton masked his decline at the top level. And yes, the one compensation for me was the Diarra factor you've all mentioned. The only thing I could smile about. I can’t choose between Holland, Spain or Turkey — so I’ll support all 3 and hope one of them can go all the way. Anybody but Italy or Portugal.
jaelle
Anyone hear that story in the Sun today about Arsene sending a fax to Milan and signing it personally declaring that Ade is not for sale in very blunt language? Supposedly the people at Milan were shocked to see a personal fax from him using such abrupt language. Don't know if it's true but I love the story anyway.
jaelle
Anyone hear that story in the Sun today about Arsene sending a fax to Milan and signing it personally declaring that Ade is not for sale in very blunt language? Supposedly the people at Milan were shocked to see a personal fax from him using such abrupt language. Don't know if it's true but I love the story anyway.
jaelle
Good reviews for Cesc in the Spanish press post match reports against Greece. Most along the lines of a 'coming of age' and 'stepping into the light' variety. He looks physically more ready to compete and play now - more so than the beginning of last season. It's exciting to anticipate what might be in store for us next season.
Amos.
Good reviews for Cesc in the Spanish press post match reports against Greece. Most along the lines of a 'coming of age' and 'stepping into the light' variety. He looks physically more ready to compete and play now - more so than the beginning of last season. It's exciting to anticipate what might be in store for us next season.
Amos.
Jaelle I thought you'd come on and said sth about Domenech. Your post was shorter than I thought it would be lol, cos this whole France thing is such a joke that French football followers would go on and on and rightly so. I'm also tired of saying how Domenech ruined the whole tournament for the French and how I feel for Thierry - and Nasri, who played, what, 16 mins yesterday? If Diarra didn't leave us in those circumstances, I would've felt for him too, and the Flamster. It's about time that the oldies retire from international football - if they don't go, the good young players won't get a chance, and they know it (and that they're past it for their country). And on Cesc, he ran the show very well (though I was kind of watching both games and wasn't giving Spain my 100% attention). Fair play to the Spanish press for making a u-turn on Cesc, versus what they said pre-tournament about how unproven he was for Spain. The boy said he's unfazed by the pressure put on him as the "new No. 10" and he's shown that very well. I'd really love Holland or Spain or Croatia (in that order) to get to the final. Anyone but Portugal.
Lou the Gunneress
Jaelle I thought you'd come on and said sth about Domenech. Your post was shorter than I thought it would be lol, cos this whole France thing is such a joke that French football followers would go on and on and rightly so. I'm also tired of saying how Domenech ruined the whole tournament for the French and how I feel for Thierry - and Nasri, who played, what, 16 mins yesterday? If Diarra didn't leave us in those circumstances, I would've felt for him too, and the Flamster. It's about time that the oldies retire from international football - if they don't go, the good young players won't get a chance, and they know it (and that they're past it for their country). And on Cesc, he ran the show very well (though I was kind of watching both games and wasn't giving Spain my 100% attention). Fair play to the Spanish press for making a u-turn on Cesc, versus what they said pre-tournament about how unproven he was for Spain. The boy said he's unfazed by the pressure put on him as the "new No. 10" and he's shown that very well. I'd really love Holland or Spain or Croatia (in that order) to get to the final. Anyone but Portugal.
Lou the Gunneress
 

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