Euro 2012…Showcasing The Motherlands

Apparently the European Championship is a big deal. Not nearly as big as the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it seems to be picking up some steam in recent years. If only they held the tournament every two years instead of four…

Now calmly put away your outrage at my ignorance for a more appropriate time, I’m only kidding.

TSG could not be more stoked for Euro 2012 as the tournament takes place in both lands of Matthew and my ancestors, Poland and the Ukraine.

As such, there is a good chance that my head will explode if ESPN gives the motherlands even a quarter of the “South Africa treatment” when it comes to covering the tournament. And don’t worry, these great nations will be prepared by the time the tourney comes around in 2012.

While Poland and the Ukraine automatically qualify for the tournament (June 8 – July 1, 2012) the draw for the remaining hopefuls took place today in Warsaw. A total of 16 teams will qualify for Euro 2012 which represents the last of the 16-team Championships as Euro 2016 will expand to 24 qualifying team.

One shirt down, one to go.

TSG will be doing its best to straddle the fence between the Yellow-Blues and the White-and-Reds, but as of now I’m leaning slightly towards the land of kielbasa and peirogi after acquiring this gem of a Polska shirt earlier this week. (Don’t worry Mom, I’ll make up for it by telling the story of my trip to the Ukrainian-American club on the Lower East Side in NYC to watch Ukraine-Italy during the 2006 World Cup soon.)

Here are the results of the qualifying draw fpr the group play that will kick-off later this year:

Group A
Group B
Group C
Germany Russia Italy
Turkey Slovakia Serbia
Austria Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland
Belgium FYR Macedonia Slovenia
Kazakhstan Armenia Estonia
Azerbaijan Andorra Faroe Islands
Group D
Group E
Group F
France Holland Croatia
Romania Sweden Greece
Bosnia-Herzegovina Finland Israel
Belarus Hungary Latvia
Albania Moldova Georgia
Luxembourg San Marino Malta
Group G
Group H
Group I
England Portugal Spain
Switzerland Denmark Czech Republic
Bulgaria Norway Scotland
Wales Cyprus Lithuania
Montenegro Iceland Liechtenstein
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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/08 at 8:18 AM

    I just wish England had Scotland as well as Wales. As a kid, there wasn’t too much between England and Scotland in footballing terms but I guess since Euro96 we have done a better job of keeping up with the Continental powerhouses. The rivalry runs deep but most** English people still ‘support’ the Home Nations in World Cups etc – but the same cannot be said for them. I know historically England has a lot of enemies and they all want to put one over on us. The rivalry is great.

    I will enjoy the fact that Scotland will fail to progress, along with Wales, NI and ROI; hopefully leaving England as the sole Home Nation in Poland and Ukraine.

    Here is a website that shows Scotland’s support for “ABE” – Anyone But England… http://www.slanjkilts.com

    **I stopped supporting Scotland in 1990. I actually take pleasure at their failure to qualify!!

    Reply

    • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/08 at 9:06 AM

      George maybe you can explain what has happened to Scottish football over the years. Wasn’t the SPL the best football league in the world back in the 1960s and 1970s? Also, I think I like Ireland’s chances in their group. They will be playing with a chip on the shoulder.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/08 at 9:13 AM

        @Bob…

        My assessment here…two far a spectrum in talent between the top 2 (or maybe 3) and then the Setanta deal has killed their economics recently.

        Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/08 at 1:11 PM

        As long as I remember, The Old Firm has won everything. Like many leagues across Europe, there are only 2 or 3 teams that can realistically win the title. Celtic were the first British club to win the European Cup but they didn’t seen to kick on.

        Scotland tried to replicate the EPL with the SPL but never got as much cash.

        Scottish football has suffered at grassroots level for a long time. Regardless of which league they played in, they had Law, Hansen, Souness, Dalglish, Miller, McGhee, Gemmil

        (probably scored Scotland’s most famous goal in the 78 WC – it was a real peach! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1axsnMRbbo ).

        I think any ‘older’ football fan could easily name 10 top class Scottish players from the 70s and 80s. Not going to happen for today’s generation. Now, if you look at their team, they just don’t have the players.

        SFA have failed Scottish football for a long time. And unless they start to stop the rot, they’re going to disappear off the radar (hooray!). I mean, look at Berti Vogts. He was the Scotland manger and he said straight away that his player pool was shite. He was telling the truth, but they didn’t listen. That was in 2002. And now they, the SFA and fans, have come to realise that they aren’t the same team they were 25-30 years ago. It will take time (hopefully a long time!), but they need to spend money on facilities, training coaches on how to coach…

        I understand that England has a powerful FA – not many can afford to pay 6M pounds a year for a national coach. But the difference is that we have Capello, they have Levein. We (finally)have St. George’s Park, they have sweet-FA…

        Reply

        • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/08 at 3:15 PM

          It just seems weird that a country that was a WC constant in the 70s and 80s is not even close now. Did the Scottish kids stop playing altogether? I think it would be an interesting study in how a country can fall-off the WC map. And then to counter that with a study on how the USA has risen to WC top-20 status. Isn’t Sir Alex Scottish? What would he say?

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/08 at 4:42 PM

          True. But if you’re not producing good players or good managers. Football has really evolved since. You have more teams competing since the break up of Communism. Scotland also have a pretty small population too.

          I think it was only a matter of time before the USA started to rise through the ranks, considering it is the most played sport in the country up until 16 or so I think.

          Sir Alex is Scottish, but he buys his success at United! Apart from Fletcher, I cannot think of another Scot to make it under SAF since the EPL (Strachan and Leighton were the old Division 1 days). You cannot buy players in International football…

          Reply

    • Posted by patrickhattrick on 2010/02/09 at 8:32 PM

      No one will stop Ireland. The Gods of Soccer(aka FIFA) will be smiling down on them for the next 20 years and France will fail to get out of its easy group next summer. A movie will be made of the South Africa-France upset called a latin word that nobody understands. Then Thierry Henry will have his hand struck by lightning.

      Reply

  2. Scotland invested poorly in the past. The built a brand new Hampden park instead of building some turf fields that can be played on due to the weather up there. Also, Celtic and Rangers went through a period of playing no Scottish players so nobody came through.

    Reply

  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/10 at 8:16 AM

    “We had a slight blip when we missed out on qualifying for USA 94 but put it this way: reaching six out of seven World Cups in 24 years was pretty good going. And, not that this next bit matters at all, of course it doesn’t…but England never managed it.

    By heavens we Scots lorded it during this period. We had a casual sense that we were among the big men – one of the powerhouses – of European football.”

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/thegame/2010/02/euro-2012-draw-recalls-scotlands-glorious-past.html

    And now that England ‘lords it’ we get called arrogant…

    Reply

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