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VamPook

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

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The complicated system of post-group phase ruined everything. Instead of everyone trying to play to be as high as possible, calculations of whom can you get in the 1/8 finals made everything cautious.

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The third place has led to some dull games and defensive performances because GD becomes important. You can't afford to take a beating like Turkey did vs. Spain, because that's essentially see them go out. If they lose by one goal, they're in with a shout still (albeit that high scoring draw with Portugal-Hungary would still have ruined them).

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That's why I don't like the format. I watched the Germany v NIR game. In any other normal game, NIR will at least try to go for the equaliser but instead they played defensive all the way and accepted 1-0 loss.

Hopefully they will expand it to 32 teams like the world cup so that the real format of only the top 2 teams can make it to the top 16. Or make it 3 teams in a group.

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32 teams would be ridiculous.

It would, hardly worth having qualifiers at all.

The bigger nations would demand a bye to the finals leaving the lower nations to qualify from small groups.

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It's probably usual manner of cups and stuff. Where teams don't want to lose so play really cagey. I guess points, and advantages incurred for number of goals scored would not quite work.

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Though also notice in order to qualify for the Euro tournament in the first place, teams that could hold teams with tight defences and that were perhaps more likely to progress than some other sides.

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I don't think we're going to be remembering this tournament in years to come, I think by the end of the season I will have forgotten most of it

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With some exceptions, group stage has provided decent games, while the Round of 16 has been disappointing so far...

Third-placed teams advancing though has created an unbalanced playoff tree and has given the chance to advance to sides that could/should have been either eliminated or has provided a second (even third) chance to disappointing sides that knew they could advance by phoning it in or despite playing awful football.

Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do as long as it's a 24 teams format, which are too many anyway. Back to the old 16 would be fine... but it's not going to happen.

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Third-placed teams advancing though has created an unbalanced playoff tree and has given the chance to advance to sides that could/should have been either eliminated or has provided a second (even third) chance to disappointing sides that knew they could advance by phoning it in or despite playing awful football.

And that simply isn't true. The tree is unbalanced because some of the stronger teams didn't perform in the group stage. Both England and Spain were supposed/expected to be on the now easier side of the tree but they ****ed up and thus created this unbalance.

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It is true. You just need to look at the draw before it was filled to see that.

Nothing to do with England and Spain coming second

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This is how I worked it out if everyone played as expected or on their form, in my opinion without thinking too hard about it:

A

France 9

Switzerland 6

Romania 1

Austria 1

B

England 5

Slovakia 5

Russia 2

Wales 2

C

Germany 7

Poland 7

Ukraine 1

Northern Ireland 1

D

Spain 9

Croatia 4

Czech Republic 2

Turkey 1

E

Italy 5

Belgium 5

Republic of Ireland 5

Sweden 0

F

Portugal 7

Austria 7

Iceland 3

Hungary 0

3rd place

Ireland 5 E

Iceland 3 F

Czech 2 D

Russia 2 B

KOs

Poland def. Switzerland

Spain def. Iceland

England def. Czech Rep.

Belgium def. Portugal

------------

Germany def. Russia

Italy def. Croatia

France def. R.o.Ireland

Austria def. Slovakia

QF

Spain def. Poland

Belgium def. England

----------

Germany def. Italy

France def. Austria

SF

Spain def. Belgium

---------

France def. Germany

Final

France vs Spain

So my conclusion is that the problem is too many naff teams.

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The tournament's been low quality because the heavyweights haven't turned up; Germany have been terrible, France don't start playing until the last 5 minutes and beyond hammering a woeful Turkey Spain haven't been anything either. Croatia were the most impressive team in the groups probably and they've gone with a whimper, Portugal and England are sleepwalking to their eventual disappointing exits (though with the position of that side of the draw it could be the final for Portugal) and Italy are flawed, Austia were the second strongest qualifiers and proceeded to be arguably the worst side at the tournament.

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KOs

Poland def. Switzerland

Spain def. Iceland

England def. Czech Rep.

Belgium def. Portugal

------------

Germany def. Russia

Italy def. Croatia

France def. R.o.Ireland

Austria def. Slovakia

Couple of games aside that's not the most exciting last 16 either

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Croatia's exit last night sealed the deal for me as they were easily my favorite team in tournament. I absolutely HATE this EC.

The football for the biggest part has been dreadful. A lot of teams bringing negative football and that's ok because they're small and playing for God and country.

And the ones that do try to play football been failing at it miserably.

At this point I'm still rooting for Spain and Germany who haven't been stellar, but still show some signs of offensive intentions.

Also from a logical POV, a team will reach the stage they're at because they were stronger than their opponents. But from the POV of a football fan I don't think any team of 'group 1' (Poland, Portugal, Wales, Hungary, Belgium) deserve to go the semi-finals or even the finals and it's kind of an indication of how poor the competition has been and the flaws in the current 24 team system.

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We can complain about smaller nations all we want, but yesterday's matchup CRO-POR easily is a meeting youd expect to see even in 16 team tournament knockout round and it easily was the worst game of the tournament.

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Portugal wouldn't even be there if it weren't for the new format tbh.

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Moaning about small teams or undeserving teams (ie us) being on the last 16 is amusing, given that the last Euros had 16 teams. You're thinking of the last 16 as some sort of massive reward where only the better teams should be there, well here's news for you, the last 16 is equivalent to the old group stage, so this is the lot that would've deservingly been in the group stage under the previous format. Annoying format or not they are the 16 strongest sides in Europe.

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Moaning about small teams or undeserving teams (ie us) being on the last 16 is amusing, given that the last Euros had 16 teams. You're thinking of the last 16 as some sort of massive reward where only the better teams should be there, well here's news for you, the last 16 is equivalent to the old group stage, so this is the lot that would've deservingly been in the group stage under the previous format. Annoying format or not they are the 16 strongest sides in Europe.

Well no because Austria and Czech Republic aren't there for a start and they topped their qualifying groups, while Republic of Ireland and Hungary wouldn't have qualified for a 16-team tournament. The three best runners-up would've qualified automatically (I forget who that is) and 3 playoff matches would be played between the remaining teams.

The 16 would be something like France, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania, England, Russia, Austria, Iceland, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland.

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Well no because Austria and Czech Republic aren't there for a start and they topped their qualifying groups, while Republic of Ireland and Hungary wouldn't have qualified for a 16-team tournament. The three best runners-up would've qualified automatically (I forget who that is) and 3 playoff matches would be played between the remaining teams.

The 16 would be something like France, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania, England, Russia, Austria, Iceland, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland.

So Portugal, Poland, NI, Croatia etc would have still been there.

I really fail to see the issue, 16, 24, 32, its still football, some teams qualify, some don't, some games are exciting, others not so much. At the end of the day there would still have been some shocks, Euros especially where we've seen the likes of Denmark & Greece both lift the trophy as rank outsiders in the past.

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Well no because Austria and Czech Republic aren't there for a start and they topped their qualifying groups, while Republic of Ireland and Hungary wouldn't have qualified for a 16-team tournament. The three best runners-up would've qualified automatically (I forget who that is) and 3 playoff matches would be played between the remaining teams.

The 16 would be something like France, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania, England, Russia, Austria, Iceland, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland.

What a massive difference. :D

Based on what we saw over the last couple of weeks you really think it's a loss for the tournament we have Hungary and Ireland over the Czechs and the Austrians???

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So Portugal, Poland, NI, Croatia etc would have still been there.

I really fail to see the issue, 16, 24, 32, its still football, some teams qualify, some don't, some games are exciting, others not so much. At the end of the day there would still have been some shocks, Euros especially where we've seen the likes of Denmark & Greece both lift the trophy as rank outsiders in the past.

What's wrong with Poland and Croatia?

Is your second paragraph not a good reason why it should stay at 16? Or is it saying we should just have 14 groups of 4 becuase who cares if Bulgaria or Andorra are in there?

What a massive difference. :D

Based on what we saw over the last couple of weeks you really think it's a loss for the tournament we have Hungary and Ireland over the Czechs and the Austrians???

You're saying that like that's what I think.

Though who knows what great, plucky runs we have missed by not increasing previous tournaments to 24 teams, or 32, or even 50. Have to draw a line somewhere, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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I'm not defending the 24 teams tournament which is an awkward fit, though I think it hasn't turned out as bad as I expected. It's been cagey but we haven't had any absurdly crap team. Even Albania and Hungary were good, the only truly crap side IMO were Northern Ireland who still beat Ukraine on merit, and Romania who would've qualified on merit and gave France a headache.

I think I was firmly against the 24-team format before the tournament, but I'm now more on the fence about it.

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What's wrong with Poland and Croatia?

Is your second paragraph not a good reason why it should stay at 16? Or is it saying we should just have 14 groups of 4 becuase who cares if Bulgaria or Andorra are in there?

Poland & Croatia have been involved in two of the duller games over the last 24 hrs.

What I'm saying is the number of teams involved really doesn't matter, the overall outcome will end up similar.

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I think an extra time win counts as a win

A bet on Portugal to win wouldn't have paid out. A bet on a draw would have.

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I'm not defending the 24 teams tournament which is an awkward fit, though I think it hasn't turned out as bad as I expected. It's been cagey but we haven't had any absurdly crap team. Even Albania and Hungary were good, the only truly crap side IMO were Northern Ireland who still beat Ukraine on merit, and Romania who would've qualified on merit and gave France a headache.

I think I was firmly against the 24-team format before the tournament, but I'm now more on the fence about it.

still in it to win it

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I know, I only brought up Hungary because they were supposed to be absolute crap from what I had read pre tournament.

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KOs

Poland def. Switzerland

Spain def. Iceland

England def. Czech Rep.

Belgium def. Portugal

------------

Germany def. Russia

Italy def. Croatia

France def. R.o.Ireland

Austria def. Slovakia

QF

Spain def. Poland

Belgium def. England

----------

Germany def. Italy

France def. Austria

And that's a pretty balanced tree which proves my point that it isn't the competition format that made it come out lopsided, it happened because a few teams under performed.

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I just had a thought. Isn't this lopsided outcome that everyone seems to think is such a huge flaw with the competition pretty much exactly what loads of people usually claim they want to happen in the CL/EL. All the complaints that the competition format with its seeded draws are unfairly propping up the big teams and that there needs to be more luck of the draw and such. Here for once everything isn't nicely lined up for the biggest teams and now that's a problem? Maybe should call for seeded draws between each round in the Euros. :D

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I'm pretty sure it goes down in UEFA/FIFA records as a win.

I dont think it goes down on ranking as a win, or is that just Penalties?

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I just had a thought. Isn't this lopsided outcome that everyone seems to think is such a huge flaw with the competition pretty much exactly what loads of people usually claim they want to happen in the CL/EL. All the complaints that the competition format with its seeded draws are unfairly propping up the big teams and that there needs to be more luck of the draw and such. Here for once everything isn't nicely lined up for the biggest teams and now that's a problem? Maybe should call for seeded draws between each round in the Euros. :D

People just like to moan.

There's probably like a 1% chance a draw ever becomes as lopsided as this one became.

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Based on what we saw over the last couple of weeks you really think it's a loss for the tournament we have Hungary and Ireland over the Czechs and the Austrians???

Collective football hipsters gone a bit quiet over Austria, such a dark horse they're unseen

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I think the problem with the tournament so far has been that too many teams have put the emphasis on defence. And with most teams now only playing with one striker it's meant that in most games defences have been very much on top.

The only team I've been really impressed with are Belgium, mainly because they seem very attack minded, compared to a lot of the others. Hopefully England will make the Final. But if not I'd like to see a Belgium vs Germany final as then I think we'd have a game where both teams actually want to win the game, rather than just sit back and try not to lose it.

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The Croatia vs Portugal game has been used by some as an example. But had it still been a 16 team tournament, they both probably would have qualified.

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Guess we'll have more moans about the play-off tree tomorrow. I mean Iceland in a QF, surely that's got to proof of a flawed competition format... :D

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I don't think we're going to be remembering this tournament in years to come, I think by the end of the season I will have forgotten most of it

I bet Roy Hodgson won't be forgetting it any time soon.

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It's been a pretty poor tournament, but to be honest some of the better moments have come from the teams that "shouldn't be there". The format itself has been a good change - it made qualifying a lot more exciting, as it gave teams a bigger target to hit, and it's meant we've seen teams compete that wouldn't usually. If you're talking about poor games, a lot of them have involved teams that should have given better. Germany vs Poland was dreadful. England vs...anyone really. Portugal vs Croatia. Admittedly, there's been some stinkers with smaller nations, but I think it's just a generally lower quality tournament unfortunately.

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No matter how you spin it, the 24-teams format will always produce unbalanced playoff trees due to the presence of the best 3rd placed teams.

Top Dogs underperforming and not winning their group was just a marginal factor, but the main issue remains.

That doesn't mean I'm against "teams that shouldn't be there" and actually I think those sides have been a bit of a saving grace, considering some of the traditionally stronger teams have sucked badly... And underdog stories are always more compelling to tell than the boring Top Side v Almost Top Side formula.

While there's no denying every team that qualified deserved to be in France, albeit some collapsed in a very disappointing way, 24 is simply an odd number and it should be revised in the future... Frankly, if UEFA don't want to revert back to 16, just go off the deep end and go for 32!

Crap for crap, at least the Round of 16 will make sense again and we won't have "lucky losers" around for the knockout stage.

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I think it's been a boring tournament at times but scapegoating the smaller teams as a reason for this, as some in here have, is ridiculous. Some of the best moments of the tournament have come from the small teams. Seeing teams and sets of fans like Iceland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Wales, Albania, Hungary and Ireland overjoyed to actually win a game or qualify for the knockout rounds have made for massive highlights in the tournament for me. I was absolutely buzzing when Brady put in that goal against Italy or when McGinn grabbed that 2nd goal for the Northern Irish against Ukraine. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Hungary shut up everyone who was writing them off as whipping boys. Seeing Iceland equalise against Portugal and celebrate when they got the point was great - as was Ronaldo's pathetic sulking afterwards.

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Surely that's in part down to an affinity for a British Isles side though? How many people here would care about Lorik Cana netting a key header against Romania?

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No matter how you spin it, the 24-teams format will always produce unbalanced playoff trees due to the presence of the best 3rd placed teams.

I really don't think that's true. Sure the 2 group winners and the 2 runner-ups that meets in the last 16 gets a bit unfairly harsh match-ups compared to the other winners/runner-ups but I don't see why this format should be considered as having a built in lack of balance.

Top Dogs underperforming and not winning their group was just a marginal factor, but the main issue remains.

Really? Looking at the hypothetical trees that I or git2 posted there is no balance issues and the only difference in them is that the underperformance is taken out. I'd say that the underperformance is by far the bigger issue.

While there's no denying every team that qualified deserved to be in France, albeit some collapsed in a very disappointing way, 24 is simply an odd number and it should be revised in the future... Frankly, if UEFA don't want to revert back to 16, just go off the deep end and go for 32!

Crap for crap, at least the Round of 16 will make sense again and we won't have "lucky losers" around for the knockout stage.

This I agree with, I thought that 16 teams were just fine.

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I really don't think that's true. Sure the 2 group winners and the 2 runner-ups that meets in the last 16 gets a bit unfairly harsh match-ups compared to the other winners/runner-ups but I don't see why this format should be considered as having a built in lack of balance.

Well, instead of the traditional 8x Winner v Runner-up, we got:

4x Winner v 3rd placed

2x Winner v runner-up

2x Runner-up v Runner-up

That's, by definition, a rather unbalanced tree... and in fact, even under "ideal" circumstances, two nations would have had an easier route to the semis, by facing only 3rd placed and runner-ups...

Really? Looking at the hypothetical trees that I or git2 posted there is no balance issues and the only difference in them is that the underperformance is taken out. I'd say that the underperformance is by far the bigger issue.

I maintain there ARE balance issues, but it's of course easier to judge now that we've seen some "big" sides crash and burn, while designated whipping boys have proven many people wrong.

If anything, strong teams being weaker than expected and weak teams ending up stronger has levelled the playing field, meaning the gap between most runner-ups and 3rd placed wasn't was noticeable.

But in a less "surprising" tournament, the format would have provided for a lot of one-sided games and a lopsided tree in favour of Winners of group A and D.

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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.

This is nonsense. The CA has also been about five times as entertaining.

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You could have an interesting 32 team tourney if you take say 20 from Europe, 6 from Africa and 6 from Asia.

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