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VamPook

Do you reckon the new format has been the cause of the mostly subpar games?

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Or have the teams just been crap?

Or have the supposed minnows been playing out of their skins?

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My theory was that people would think games would be open as you can qualify in 3rd place but the reality would be 'wow, if we top our group we can play a 3rd placed team' may actually make teams more cautious

I definitely don't think we're seen any change in the regular tournament football, perhaps more cautious. However, going into these last games then most groups will still be open (Ukraine out), even if you have 0 points a win in the last game and 3 points could see you through so, in theory, these final group games should be the really open ones but let's see

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Don't think the games have been any worse than in Brazil. Probably better actually?

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Mourinho and Simeone have made cautious football the new norm. They have ruined football.

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There have probably been less games between the so called top nations but in terms of the entertainment of the games it's no different than any other tournament the last few years.

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It's not been terrible exciting yet not terrible bad. I do much prefer the 16 team format though. The first round of games lacked any punch for me.

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Too early to say. You got the impression last night that both Germany and Poland were happy with a draw, but as Razzler says let's see how the final games go.

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I agree with the majority here, your premise is off. Even if a few match-ups have, on paper, looked a bit dull I still think the quality of the matches is quite good, surely much better that the WC.

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Apart from the Germany-Ukraine match, I thought the games were pretty entertaining. It is anything but subpar, if the quality of football has been above average. Sure, not as many goals, but thats only because most of the teams are surprisingly well organized, even the weaker teams. Albania gave great efforts in their two games but unlucky to lose both, Hungary even won against "dark horses" Austria. The only complain I have this Euro is the lack of girls being televised by the cameraman.

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I've enjoyed the vast majority of games. Was only Poland vs Germany last night that I was thinking was really poor, and even that had a few exciting moments.

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I think the so-called "big nations" are not as good as they used to be whilst the smaller nations are better than ever. More disciplined and organised.

A bit like the EPL. Small teams don't fear the big teams anymore, they believe they can keep a clean sheet and maybe nick a goal.

The chance of getting through in 3rd helps. It means if they grind out a draw and nick a win then they are through. In the old format it usually wouldn't be enough and they would need to take more risks.

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I'm enjoying it, there are no real weak teams (like you can see in the Copa America) and it really is wide open.

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I was thinking about the format though, the teams in the later groups have a bit of an advantage as they know what they'll need for 3rd place?

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I have enjoyed this tournament. Some dull games (Germany v Poland last night was a bit boring) but generally good fun.

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I was thinking about the format though, the teams in the later groups have a bit of an advantage as they know what they'll need for 3rd place?

Yet they have less resting days for the knockout rounds.

If a team from group A meets a team from group F at any point, that's 4 extra days of resting since the start of the tournament.

In the last 16 already, the 2nd from group B will face the 2nd from F with 3 extra resting days.

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Yet they have less resting days for the knockout rounds.

If a team from group A meets a team from group F at any point, that's 4 extra days of resting since the start of the tournament.

In the last 16 already, the 2nd from group B will face the 2nd from F with 3 extra resting days.

they need to sort this out for tournaments. The evidence for rest days is so overwhelming now that there is no excuse for this discrepancy. Same for one team having an extra day in prep for the final

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they need to sort this out for tournaments. The evidence for rest days is so overwhelming now that there is no excuse for this discrepancy. Same for one team having an extra day in prep for the final

The only way to solve that is for all groups / round matches to be played on the same day, at the same time. No way that is going to happen. TV broadcasters are in charge. Fans wouldn't be happy either. That's a good enough excuse for me.

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11/35 goals have been scored in the 87th minute or later. There's been 1.84 goals per game at the minute, lowest in Euros history. In 19 games there's only been 24 goals before the 87th minute.

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Sweden not had a shot on target in 2 games.

Too many teams playing for draws.

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Still waiting for a team to actually show they're a good contender to win it. Not been overly impressed by any one yet.

I don't think the new format has much to do with it really, the quality just hasn't been that great.

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Its a strange one because tactically its been brilliant. Well drilled teams not giving much away.

Not very good for the neutral mind but barring one or two games i've quite enjoyed it. I have always said the tournament starts properly for me in the knock out stages.

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I didnt like the format before it started, 16 was fine.

Its been a nothing speical Euros IMO.

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I think the so-called "big nations" are not as good as they used to be whilst the smaller nations are better than ever. More disciplined and organised.

A bit like the EPL. Small teams don't fear the big teams anymore, they believe they can keep a clean sheet and maybe nick a goal.

The chance of getting through in 3rd helps. It means if they grind out a draw and nick a win then they are through. In the old format it usually wouldn't be enough and they would need to take more risks.

I would agree with this. There are more teams but no real whipping boys and the top teams aren't as good. It could lead to some shocks in the knock-out phase.

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The only way to solve that is for all groups / round matches to be played on the same day, at the same time. No way that is going to happen. TV broadcasters are in charge. Fans wouldn't be happy either. That's a good enough excuse for me.

Thats ridiculous and not what I'm asking for, although both semis should be on the same day.

There absolutely shouldn't be a massive discrepancy between rest days for last 16 games. Three extra rest days is huge

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Most games have been decent, definitely not sub par. I did think the new format would mean cagier opening games...especially for the first 2 rounds...the fact that even a win in the 3rd game from some will mean they go through should hopefully result in some belting final group games. Good tournament so far, and hoping it becomes a very good one from Sunday onwards.

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They should change the tie breaker to number of wins then goal difference. Portugal would had to go for the win yesterday as Turkey and Albania both has a win each. Portugal and Hungary were more than satisfied with a draw in the last 15 mins or so.

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With all 3 games done, I think it's fair to say that all that's happened is you have matches where in every one one team is looking for a win and the other is looking for a draw. It leads to a lot of late goals, but generally dire matches.

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I think how point of playing the matches together was nullified by the "best placed 3rd place" the later teams knew what they needed to do.

if you won your first game you didn't have to do anything beyond that except draw to go through.

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I think the answer is that it very much depended on the individual teams and situations; systems where only two teams go through throw up a lot of permutations where playing for draws after a win is the safest option to progress too.

The new system meant Russia still had something to play for in the last game, but Wales still absolutely smashed them.

It meant that Slovakia only needed a draw, but it also meant Ireland pushed really hard for a win. Hungary didn't even need a result but played out a thriller anyway.

Despite the new system Turkey had little chance of progression but did a good solid job. Despite the new system Austria still desperately needed to push for a win and let Iceland in the back door instead.

I do agree it made a bit of a mockery of the idea of playing matches together to avoid giving teams an advantage though

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Turkey had a great chance of progressing after they managed to win by 2. They wouldn't have been expecting Ireland to beat Italy, which is essentially what sent them out. They were relying on a couple of results going their way, going as expected in fact, and one of them didn't.

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I think the answer is that it very much depended on the individual teams and situations; systems where only two teams go through throw up a lot of permutations where playing for draws after a win is the safest option to progress too.

The new system meant Russia still had something to play for in the last game, but Wales still absolutely smashed them.

It meant that Slovakia only needed a draw, but it also meant Ireland pushed really hard for a win. Hungary didn't even need a result but played out a thriller anyway.

Despite the new system Turkey had little chance of progression but did a good solid job. Despite the new system Austria still desperately needed to push for a win and let Iceland in the back door instead.

I do agree it made a bit of a mockery of the idea of playing matches together to avoid giving teams an advantage though

Exactly. Tournament format is ok, 95% of the teams (Italy was the only exception?) had something really to play for on the last day of the group, when usually tournaments with 16 on 32 teams, groups for most part are already set on the final day. With this format every single game could be the golden ticket to elimination rounds, which made for suspense in last day as well.

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Yeh it's great having teams with something left to play for on the last day, but not when those teams are then playing like Slovakia or Northern Ireland. Too many playing that, last game or otherwise.

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There's been much more enjoyable matches this time than last time.

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Given that every team that finished 3rd in qualifying (except Hungary, though they're in The Group of Dearth) have been bad if not truly awful, and that we wouldn't miss the 3rd-placed group teams except the Irish only because of the fans, and now it's thrown up this lopsided tree, I'd say so far it's been a bit of a disaster as far as letting 3rd-placers go any further and figuring out how to make it work.

If Group E/F was Group A/B or we somehow had the 3rd round of matches 1st, people would be trashing the tournament as much as they were a week ago.

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It's been great to see the likes of Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Hungary and Iceland qualify for the knockout stages.

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Given that every team that finished 3rd in qualifying (except Hungary, though they're in The Group of Dearth) have been bad if not truly awful, and that we wouldn't miss the 3rd-placed group teams except the Irish only because of the fans, and now it's thrown up this lopsided tree, I'd say so far it's been a bit of a disaster as far as letting 3rd-placers go any further and figuring out how to make it work.

It isn't the competition format that has made the play off lopsided, that comes from some of the "sexier" names underperforming. If the biggest names had done the business as people expect them too then this is how the play-offs would have looked.

Switzerland v Poland		Germany v Slovakia
Spain v Hungary			Belgium v Croatia
England v N.Ireland		France v Ireland
Portugal v Italy		Wales v Iceland

In short, if Spain could have bothered to treat the group matches as worth playing and if England where as good as people expect them to be then the draw would have looked fine. And really, under a 16 team format it would have looked just as bad because there all runner-ups are guaranteed to meet a group winner and thus the Spain/Italy combo would still be there.

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The novelty will soon wear off. Only deemed good because there's nations there that wouldn't have qualified before and seized their chance such as Hungary.

Next Euros will be even more comical when you factor in its being played in Cities from Dublin to Baku to St Pertersburg.

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That draw looks fine but it's not exactly the most exciting

All these teams with something to play for in the last game didn't turn up that many great games either

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It's been rather boring football, not only the 24 teams setup (I love there are more games, but make it 32 teams, like the WC, not that stupid 3 teams can progress)

The other thing is - there are way toooo many weak teams, but since Mourinho, everyone just realize play witha GK and 10 DC and you can stop every team. That just kills the game.

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It isn't the competition format that has made the play off lopsided, that comes from some of the "sexier" names underperforming. If the biggest names had done the business as people expect them too then this is how the play-offs would have looked.

Switzerland v Poland		Germany v Slovakia
Spain v Hungary			Belgium v Croatia
England v N.Ireland		France v Ireland
Portugal v Italy		Wales v Iceland

In short, if Spain could have bothered to treat the group matches as worth playing and if England where as good as people expect them to be then the draw would have looked fine. And really, under a 16 team format it would have looked just as bad because there all runner-ups are guaranteed to meet a group winner and thus the Spain/Italy combo would still be there.

I'm not masochistic so I won't check you've got the draw right on paper with all those 3rd placings affecting who goes where, but things would be a lot different as you're judging it on the current groups, when in a 16-team tournament the groups would be different.

I did a 'what if there were only 16 teams' thing to get a rough idea of what Euro 2016 might look like, with as accurate playoff results and a group draw one can try. Not exactly scientific but it went like this as one example:

Group A - France, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania

Group B - England, Russia, Austria, Iceland

Group C - Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Poland

Group D - Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland

On paper, I had the possible quarters as: France v Austria, Germany v Italy, England v Portugal, Spain v Belgium; Possible Semis: France v Germany, England v Spain; Possible Final: France v Spain.

But with results changed to reflect current performance, I'd say the quarters would be France vs Iceland, Germany vs Italy, England vs Switzerland, Spain vs Croatia. Possible semis: France vs Italy, England vs Croatia. Possible final: France vs Croatia? Italy vs Croatia?

I like that draw a lot more. Every team deserves to be there. I'd watch every match, and we'd have some epic group matches. Group D might've been decided before the final match if Italy and Spain played each other last, but the rest I think everyone would have something to play for.

Croatia still gets in the final, maybe even wins it, and deservedly so. But you just know if Croatia or one of the other teams in that half win it, give it time, people will be insulting toward them or any fan mentioning their win saying they only did it beating 'crap' teams and with an easy draw, 'lol' etc. I've even heard someone say it about Greece in 2004. I'm sure Croatians wouldn't care at first, but it would become irksome, especially as they couldn't completely disagree with them like you can the silly bugger questioning Greece's run.

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It's been rather boring football, not only the 24 teams setup (I love there are more games, but make it 32 teams, like the WC, not that stupid 3 teams can progress)

32 teams wouldn't be ridiculous. Assuming the same results as in the actual qualifiers, that would have brought in Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina and four fourth-place teams. (Eliminated as worst 4th-placed team: Serbia with 4. Seeds: Netherlands, Israel, Scotland, Montenegro; non-seeds: Finland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus.)

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32 teams would be pretty :cool:

I do love the Euros, and have enjoyed this one as much as any other really.

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32 out of 55 would be a tad much I do think. But then again I thought that 16 was just fine too. :D

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