Euro 2012 is well underway, and it has followed a similar pattern to recent years with the favourites making their way to the knock out stages. With the greatest respect to our friends in Ireland, did you really see Robbie Keane holding up the Euro 2012 trophy? The only cup he will be lifting will probably contain a famous black and white Irish drink!
At the time of writing, England have just qualified for the quarter finals – and Rooney’s reappearance has yielded a resounding result – a comment that should be avoided by the England manager Roy Hodgson. There is a feeling of renewed hope and interest around the English campaign.
Personally, I believe a lot of the failures of teams, especially England’s, are down to the monumental pressure applied by the media and the high expectations of a passionate nation. Players perform at their best when they are relaxed – OK, yes of course they have their own personal pressure to perform to levels they know they can achieve, however this is a pressure that they are in control of.
Take Holland, for example, a team sheet that is made up of superstars with the likes of Robben and Van Der Vaart and Premiership top goalscorer Robin Van Persie. In all honesty, I thought they were going to win it, or at least have a very good chance at lifting the trophy. However, with talk of unrest within the camp and players claiming that external pressures created a false and stressful atmosphere, they did not seem able to play the fast ,free-flowing football that we have all enjoyed watching from previous Dutch sides.
The Spanish side have an unbelievable amount of pressure to perform to the highest standards, not only as the current holders of the Euro title, but entering the tournament as the current World Cup champions. Although Spain have progressed through to the knock-out stages, they have not set the tournament alight as we might have expected – and feared!
Now sometimes on reading these blogs you may notice that I try to crowbar in a link to what we do at Little Kickers. Given the subject matter, on this occasion it should be seamless...are you ready?
Managers are starting to realise that players perform best in a (as much as they can achieve) pressure-free environment, had they have just visited www.littlekickers.co.uk we could have told them that 10 years ago! Smooth link right?
Little Kickers prides itself in creating a pressure-free environment jam packed full of energetic and imagination-provoking games. We have always said that we were not created to breed professional Footballers; however we accept it is a certainly a by-product that we vastly improve the ability of every child we teach. We do wonder how long it will be before our national team is full of ex-Little Kickers.
Without wanting to give away all my secrets to my blogging style I will now attempt to lead you seamlessly back into the original topic.
Sorry, what did you say? Euro 2012? Well, now you mentioned it...
I am hoping for an explosive conclusion to this year’s tournament. Hopefully, there will be some exciting viewing over the coming two weeks. Hopefully, too, the matches will be sufficiently entertaining that the cameramen don’t feel the need to scour the crowd for female eye-candy to keep the viewers interested!
Can Hodgson lead England to Euro glory? Can Germany make their normal route to the final? Can Rooney have a headline without the need for another hair-larious pun?!