Robin Gosens is a name that one could add to that list now. This is going to sound extremely, uh, Captain Hindsighty from me, but after watching Germany beat Latvia in a friendly the week the tournament started, I felt like I could see it coming. He was great that night, and his drive and running power are a suitable problem.
“When the players got down on their knees, they all clapped, not to drown out the boos, because there wasn’t… but because we agreed to kneel,” he says. “It is a more inclusive form of nationalism here. Supporting Wales allows me to express my Welsh, see the world and have fun with my teammates. “
Nicky Bandini shares some thoughts on Italy. I heard that Locatelli was good, but even in that context I have been surprised by how good it is. I wonder if I could rest today, partly so Marco Verratti can get going, but mostly so he’s ready for knockouts. Part of me feels bad talking about players who could move on when this tournament is over, but it seems unlikely that Locatelli will play another season for Sassuolo. It’s not often that the best Italian players play outside of Italy, but I can think of a load that could use it.
Switzerland and Turkey, meanwhile, are fighting for their lives. Even a win might not be enough for the latter (looks like they are going to need four points), but they will give it a try and not want to go home with zero pwa. Switzerland, for their part, have also disappointed, but a win here should solve them. We have waited a while, but now we have it.
So these things are going to be good. Italy have been the most impressive team we’ve seen so far, but with their best players not being stars, we’re still not sure how they will hold up when they face the best teams. Wales is not exactly that, but their match against Turkey was one of the most intense we have seen so far, and in it their best players were absolutely raving about it. With both sides effectively through the next round, we should see a pretty decent round, maybe with some changes, but nonetheless.
Good morning everyone and welcome to matchday 10 of the European Championship, or to the start of matchday three, as UEFA seems to call it. It is, of course, tinged with sadness, as we are now deprived of the 2 p.m. starts and today we have only one space at 5 p.m.
But Italy versus Wales and Switzerland versus Turkey is quite an ingenious trade-off, as is the do-or-die nature here. We’ll be gearing up for all of that over the next few hours and generally gossiping about what we’ve seen and what we’re about to see, so send your thoughts to the addresses at the top of the page.
This is going to be good.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism