by Paul Gardner on Jun 30, 1:24 PM
For tomorrow's Euro final in Kiev, we get a reprise -- Spain-Italy. We saw them play each other exactly three weeks ago, at the beginning of the tournament, and they gave us a cautious, exploratory sort of game that finished 1-1. Two teams that surely sensed the likelihood that this wasn't for real, that the meaningful game would likely come later in the tournament. So the 1-1 tie was the perfect result for Group C's two best teams, one that eased the way for both of them to advance.
by Paul Gardner on Jun 26, 10:38 PM
There is a soccer version of Gresham's Law. It decrees not simply that bad soccer will drive out good soccer, but that the sport will play an active role in the banishment, apparently preferring bad, or just plain average soccer
by Paul Gardner on Jun 19, 11:46 PM
On Monday, in this column, I ridiculed soccer's attempt to make vital decisions based on supposedly accurate measurement of infinitesimally small distances. On Tuesday, a mere 20 hours later, my strictures were vindicated in the most emphatic way when Euro 2012 came up with an absolutely perfect illustration of the nonsense I was railing against.
by Paul Gardner on Jun 18, 11:20 PM
I've been trying to come to terms with this for decades -- but I think understanding is further away than ever. Why is it that, when there is doubt in crucial situations -- scoring a goal, or an offside decision, for instance -- soccer's rulebook comes down firmly on the side of defense?
by Paul Gardner on Jun 17, 12:05 PM
At the very point of this Euro 2012 tournament when I was reminding myself how good the refereeing had been -- not a single really contentious decision -- up steps Sweden's Jonas Eriksson to make a mockery of that thought.
by Paul Gardner on Jun 12, 2:46 AM
We've now seen all 16 of the teams competing in Euro 2012, and it seems a pretty fair comment to remark that none of them on the form so far displayed deserves to win it.
by Paul Gardner on Jun 6, 1:25 AM
Maybe we've gotten used to the idea that we have a celebrity character in American soccer who cannot face the idea that he and his team are not the best. David Beckham has -- particularly recently -- given plenty of evidence that he is an utterly poor loser, and his attempts to blame everyone but himself are sad to behold.