Comments for en-gb 30 Mon 14 Jul 2014 03:39:12 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at PJK Rangers Til I Die Russia have introduced a breath of fresh air to the Competition. Hiddink should take much of the praise, and credit for the way he has altered the tactics of his team, in a way that NO England Manager has done for many a year. The Dutch were destroyed by a very entertaining Russian side, full of flair, and commitment. It was never a case of a Dutch 'offday'. I hope now that they continue through, and smash the Spainish. FA, please look closely at Hiddink for England Manager. Wed 25 Jun 2008 14:06:21 GMT+1 Just Danski aka PKM (Joe Cole one step-over too many) Gaël Kakuta is Sublime, I like my Corona with Lime, I like my Morgan's Spiced with Coke on Ice Seeing the way Hiddink was celebrating after the goals, I am just wondering if he has only one moment of feeling guilty deep inside his heart? I mean... even when podolski scored against poland, he didn't celebrate his goals. And this is what we called respect to your homeland. I don't think Guus has did.=============================Sorry you take your team to semi-final for the first time in that country's history (at least known as Russian Federation) you are entitled to celebrating - especially beating the Dutch at their own game. He wanted to be the traitor of the year - he wasn't - he simply won the game! While Dutch were already thinking what champagne to order to drink out of the cup! So Guus I think is entitled to celebrate with his group of players - he has become a second father to most of them! Tue 24 Jun 2008 14:41:15 GMT+1 sote_drommer Hi all=) as a russian im really happy for that my team won at saturday's match against - no doubt - a very strong team... but as for the real deal - well, im not crazy and just want to mention that so far we have nothing to keep our good result at this tourney (to keep for future i mean). it was amazing match for me, first time for a long time now the team showed the PLAY, not just a game for the record. i have no clue why we were so good (again - compare to what we have seen before), except that the players were a kind of relaxed: if they would have lost to Holland, no1 could say a bad word ) Holland were much more better in previous, i actually would better see the Germany a champion this time, but want russians to win in the match with the Spain=) although we are kinda unlucky with Spain :-(anyway, gl to all teams in the competition. Tue 24 Jun 2008 07:49:10 GMT+1 syncaterin to hollandfan, i don't think YOU are quite clear about what I wrote here. As for the wise saying you cited ( the saying which was by the way so nicely illustrated by victory of the Russian on Saturday)- I have not expressed any certainty about us winning the Cup, have I?? I only said I HOPE and believe we'd do it. I realize it's going to be difficult for the Russian team and maybe our chances are not many , but still the possibility of such defeat does not reduce my triumph now (or euphoria as you call it- whatever) Tue 24 Jun 2008 06:36:12 GMT+1 Portugal OUT of the EU With Portugal gone and the 3 of the usual teams left (Spain, Germany and Turkey whose performances have been far from impressive) I'm now going for Russia. The Spanish don't know what's coming to them and if the Russians can improve their accuracy when shooting then they are gonna hammer the Spanish. Go Russia! And in 2010 Guus must come and coach Portugal otherwise we will never win anything! Mon 23 Jun 2008 17:22:55 GMT+1 hollandfannr1 Don't know what gave you these "impressions" but I think you don't really understand what I was trying to say.I am not trying to show superiority and self-importance. Just thought that the words you choose "arrogance and agression" were a bit out of place.Don't you think "It was funny to see the so disappointed faces of the Dutch fans" means a bit more than taking joy out of your country's victory? Your words not mine.Personally I have not seen or heard a Dutch fan, player or journalist take away any credit that Russia deserves after this brilliant display of football.The cabinet full of scalps comment was brought up in relation to the historical football success of Germany, Italy and France so therefore had nothing to do with Holland. We know our place in the world of football and it's not on the top.All I was trying to get across was that more often than not, it's the countries that play the more reserved (let's not call it boring) type of football win these tournaments. This is why I believe that you are setting yourself up for a hard fall. I'll more than happily apologise and take back my words when Russia has beaten Germany in the final (first Spain of course ;-).There's a Dutch saying that just seems so appropriate to your euphoria 'don't sell the hide before the bear (not meant as a Russia joke) has been shot'.Good luck with the rest of the tournament. Mon 23 Jun 2008 14:31:58 GMT+1 paulmurray1690 against Russia I mean (see above) Mon 23 Jun 2008 14:05:42 GMT+1 paulmurray1690 'E-somnia'Matthijsen is crap? U mad? He was Hollands best outfield player by a distance! Mon 23 Jun 2008 14:04:03 GMT+1 paulmurray1690 I have been watching Russias games very closely, as I wanted to see how good they really were having put out England and also Zenit St Petersburg beat my team Rangers. I have been very impressed with Zhirkov (right back), Anyakov (left back) and Arshavin (everywhere!), when these 3 players are at the top of their game, the team respond and also up their game.In their 1st game they were poor at the back, poor in midfield, and poor in the final 3rd. They look technically better than any team I have seen so far and are a joy to watch, especially going forward. Defensively they are suspect, although Brazil have never really had a teriffic back line and have been successful, so let's wait and see how they fair against Villa and Torres, the best front 2 in the tournament. Mon 23 Jun 2008 13:54:48 GMT+1 syncaterin to hollandfannr1Dear hollandfannr1, I know what arrogance means. You needn't explain it to me (showing thus your superiority and self-importance). I personally have an impression that before the match started the Dutch were already absolutely sure of their victory - they already felt like winners because they did not consider the Russian team quite a serious competitor - i think this is arrogant. and it can not be justified even by "cabinets full of scalps"Yes, I am joyful but I take the joy out of my country's victory and not out of the defeat of the Dutch. I don't know what "concept" you mean that we are so unaware about - the concept of football?..It is true that Russia has not played in semifinals for some 20 years - and this also a reason why Russian people are so very happy and excited about the event. Mon 23 Jun 2008 12:47:09 GMT+1 hollandfannr1 Dear sincaterin,Arrogance - offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing the last thing we the Dutch displayed. In the game against Russia we didn't display anything but despair (loss of hope; hopelessness).But you might find your text in the new prints of the English dictionary as the definition of arrogance.Every nation has it pride and self belief and without the latter you shouldn’t even come to a tournament like this. So in the unfortunate event your country looses you lick your wounds, pick up your shattered pride and congratulate the winner. A number of countries are master at this while it’s the standard routine every 2 years (England, Holland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain).I understand that this whole concept is quite new to you with this sudden rise of Russian football. But it’s rather disrespectful to take joy out of another nation’s public embarrassment. Especially if it’s two of Holland’s most experienced coaches that brought Russia back on the world football map.Even if you win this tournament (let’s all hope that Russia or Spain does), it’s the attitude you are displaying in you text that will put Russia in the group of countries that the rest of the football world loves to hate (Germany, Italy and France). The only difference would be that these countries all have a cabinet full of scalps to justify their arrogance.Best wishes to all the fans that are still in it and may modesty and skill lead you to European glory. Mon 23 Jun 2008 11:42:14 GMT+1 evil2rite The Russians really shock the dutches with their teamwork and strategy..I'm absolutely solute the Russia team on their unexpected win over Netherland..Congrats to Arshavin n Hiddink...Hooooooooooolaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Mon 23 Jun 2008 10:31:21 GMT+1 syncaterin Greatly enjoyed the beautiful play which the Russian team gave. It was well-deserved and quite just. Russians proved so technically better and so morally stronger. the Duch are crashed. It was funny to see the so disappointed faces of the Dutch fans.the victory is not a miracle, of course, - it is the result of technically brilliant attacks and strong defence. Very few people expected such an outcome, but Russians showed the Dutch, who were stricken blind by their arrogance and seeming superiority what real football is. It was a very emotional play and Russians showed great will-to-win spirit. The play was - i dare say - the most interesting of all plays of this championship. All the Russian players were great , i don't think it is relevant to place an enphasis only on the brilliant play of Arshavin and Pavlichenko or on good work of Guus Hidding, they were superb no doupt - just like all other players of the team. This game not only revealed talented individual players but also showed that Russians are very good as a team - and i reckon this is the major reason of their brilliant play. But most importantly, this game showed the victory of skill. youth and desire to win over arrogance and agression. I really hope the Russian players will take the Cup this year. Mon 23 Jun 2008 09:52:27 GMT+1 pixturez I remember Soviet Union best performance in my life - 20 years ago.I must admit, 21st June 2008 game was much much better.It is the best game of our team I ever seen.The difference between Russia and Greece is that we do not seem too lucky as Greece. We just playing football better than most of the teams in this tournament.Looking forward to revengae vs Spain in semis.Being Zenit's fan, it is fantastic year for me anyway already, however, one more miracle can happen.Breaking news: Russians CAN play Football!! Mon 23 Jun 2008 08:54:50 GMT+1 cravencottagefarts i agree with you as well, gunnercow....hiddink should have been VERY modest in his celebration.however, if i was medvedev/putin, i'd give hiddink an Oil Well this week, as thank you gift....that should spur him to go all the way to the final and WIN the Cup for Russia.i guess Hiddink now knows each word of the Russian Anthem....and singing it right now....sorry losers, though...the Dutch....not as sorry as the English....on second thoughts!!! Sun 22 Jun 2008 23:09:22 GMT+1 Falco_peregrinus Van der Sar was world class. I'm sad that he leaves the international stage. One of the best keepers ever.Thanks Edwin. You rawk. 8) Sun 22 Jun 2008 22:00:27 GMT+1 ghermann There is a roumor that Russians are considering renaming Moscow into Hiddinkburg. Sun 22 Jun 2008 20:44:21 GMT+1 E-somnia After watching the first 10 minutes I already felt Holland was going to lose the game. This was another game where Holland would be struggling just as during the qualification round, prior to the tournament.Being Dutch I am obviously very disappointed, but the team got what was coming for them.Was really hoping Holland could go all the way this time, but it was the same old story again.Apart from Vd Sar and De Jong, it was a terrible performance; no player movement, poor passing, no winner-attitude.It is an absolute disgrace Matthijsen is playing because he definitely is crap.I feel bad for VdSar, who has been the best player of the Dutch team during the tournament (and that says it all, doesnt it...?) Sun 22 Jun 2008 19:40:09 GMT+1 GreatUnrealBob 68. At 6:49pm on 22 Jun 2008, GoonerCow wrote:I'm dutch born chinese and totally devasted for the past 24 hours since the match ended. Seeing the way Hiddink was celebrating after the goals, I am just wondering if he has only one moment of feeling guilty deep inside his heart? I mean... even when podolski scored against poland, he didn't celebrate his goals. And this is what we called respect to your homeland. 69. At 7:15pm on 22 Jun 2008, anaximender69 wrote:GoonerCow ; i agree with u Hiddink should not celebrate winning against his country .. ______________________________Why not? Hiddink was offered with the russian citizenship by Mr. Medvedev today and reacted positively to this offer. He is a half way russian. Sun 22 Jun 2008 19:31:47 GMT+1 _scifi_ First of all, I'm so glad my team won! It took me a while to fall asleep yesterday because of all the noise outside, supporters and all. I'm sure it was the same in many Russian towns.To the commenters here on the blog complaining about inferior teams knocking out better teams I have this to say:Having an education in maths, I'm sure there are 'statistical models' justifying the format of the European Cup (group stage, knockout stage.) Whatever the format, the goal is the same - let the best team win. And whatever the format of the tournament, the team must perform WHEN IT MATTERS. What if some players are not fit on the day or the mood of the team could be better? You do not hold off the tournament because of this. The team must perform on the night. So just accept the result. Sun 22 Jun 2008 18:32:21 GMT+1 anaximender69 Turkish players Murat Yakin and Derdiyok who played in Switzerland , did not celebrate their goals against Turkey .. they did their mission but they did not celebrate it Sun 22 Jun 2008 18:18:00 GMT+1 anaximender69 GoonerCow ; i agree with u Hiddink should not celebrate winning against his country .. Sun 22 Jun 2008 18:15:22 GMT+1 GoonerCow I'm dutch born chinese and totally devasted for the past 24 hours since the match ended. I was sitting in a pub in TST in hong Kong watching this game and surpisely there were a group of russian fans screaming and suppporting their team. So.. without Robben , that makes the games difference. But I have to admit that the Holland play was very unorganised and lack of a real system; which problem was only hided when they played against an old french team and weakened italian side. Seeing the way Hiddink was celebrating after the goals, I am just wondering if he has only one moment of feeling guilty deep inside his heart? I mean... even when podolski scored against poland, he didn't celebrate his goals. And this is what we called respect to your homeland. Sun 22 Jun 2008 17:49:56 GMT+1 GoonerCow I'm dutch born chinese and totally devasted for the past 24 hours since the match ended. I was sitting in a pub in TST in hong Kong watching this game and surpisely there were a group of russian fans screaming and suppporting their team. So.. without Robben , that makes the games difference. But I have to admit that the Holland play was very unorganised and lack of a real system; which problem was only hided when they played against an old french team and weakened italian side. Seeing the way Hiddink was celebrating after the goals, I am just wondering if he has only one moment of feeling guilty deep inside his heart? I mean... even when podolski scored against poland, he didn't celebrate his goals. And this is what we called respect to your homeland. I don't think Guus has did. Sun 22 Jun 2008 17:49:41 GMT+1 sanusicisse so farr in the tornament i have been inpres with ther paformance though during the qualifes they play an inpressive brand of football buyt i was suprise how did span dismantle them in opening stage. so i want them to met span again before i wiould be satisfay cause the way they play is inpresive for them to the youngest in the tornament come 2010 eney opporninty that come there way will have to be very carful i wish them to lift the trophe cause without that i beleve they will be desasponted.and for the trener he has a very good htrack record i jnhope to see ashavin in the primeirship come next sesion. Sun 22 Jun 2008 17:30:51 GMT+1 billwarbero Maybe someone will have noticed that not all that glitters is gold.Holland had 4 chances against Italy and scored 3 goals (one in offside), Italy had same number of chances and didn't score.Holland had 5 chances with France and scored 4 goals.Romania also had major chances before the Dutch scored.Don't let group stages fool you, the dutch were good in fairweather, but when the going gets tough , it takes more than that. Same story with Portugal.Russia played Holland off the park and I was very pleased to see their result. After everybody had already predicted Holland were to win Euro 2008, it was time for a reality check and to realise that the game is more complex than a few flashy 3 or 4 goals victories which meant nothing given the circumstances they came about ! Sun 22 Jun 2008 16:52:15 GMT+1 gentlemanvadim This post has been Removed Sun 22 Jun 2008 16:45:05 GMT+1 xavi6 I'm Russian-Irish. I am very proud of Russia's achievement.I think Hiddink underlines the importance of management. Part of me wishes the FAI had waited and appointed him in 2006(insteady they employed a ginger), but Ireland loss is Russia's gain.Russia didn't become a great team over night. Although its no coincidence that they have the youngest team in the tournment its not like they have produced a golden age of footballers. The truth is the manager gives them confidence. Russia were struggling. Russia is not en example for England. They are for Ireland.Arshavin's rise is incredible. I remember my uncle telling me in 2003(I think) that Arshavin has a lot talent but gives the ball away too much. To see him mature, is an example to one player. The player is Aiden McGeady. I relate to Ireland, because I care about both nations.I hope Trapattoni can do the same job for them. Sun 22 Jun 2008 16:43:13 GMT+1 jammin89 I think the plus of this tournament is everyone, young and old, realising there is hope beyond the era of zidane, figo, raul, shevchenko. All these talents have shown they are more than capable of producing a high level game. Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko have stood out particularly. Anyuchov should be mentioned also. Pavlyuchenko reminds me of a young shevchenko with raw talent and he can only get better. He could definetly step up to champions league participation next year. Great tournament so far! I'd also like to say the coverage over the BBC has been excellent, and as much as Ian Wright might know what everyone wants on TV, I believe all the lads have done a great job and good luck to Gavin in Canada. Sun 22 Jun 2008 16:01:07 GMT+1 ronrafferty How anyone can say Van Basten is a top coach baffles me.He played to Russias strengths for the entire game.He had his team playing very narrow and pretty well every attacking move was funnelled towards the Russian box where the Russians massed their defence.Holland never got to the dead ball line so the Russian defence were able to see everything in front of them.Russia themselves were a fabulous example of organised teamwork.They kept their shape well for the entire game and deserved their win.Once again Holland flattered to deceive.They only know one way to play the game which is great when it works but there is never a plan B or C.Well done Hiddink and Russia. Sun 22 Jun 2008 15:54:54 GMT+1 22 men kicking a ball PACSYIP wrote:Jadath, I really hope so. If Italy, Spain or Germay, one of them are not the winner, and Turkey or Russia are, then there is no point to watch tv anymore. I will throw my tv away._______________________Do us a favour and throw urself out the window aswel m8 Sun 22 Jun 2008 15:37:40 GMT+1 22 men kicking a ball PACSYIP wrote:Something's really not right this year. First Turkey, then Russia, what happens next? Perhaps Turkey beat the German, and we may all have a rubbish team final, Russia vs Turkey? Can you believe it? It's aginst all the odds and aganist the laws. It can't be right. Look at 2004, Greece won, then look at them this year, they are rubbish, they can't even win a single match, Defending Champion? You must be joking. Perhaps God wants the rubbish teams to win once in their life time, then they won't win it again not in a million year________________________________OMG just shows what you know about the game m8. There is a reason why those teams do well and thats because they get it right on the night against teams that end up underestimating them. You know why that happens...its because clowns like you live of teams past histories and glory. World football is completely different game now!! Teams are much more evenly matched because as long as players are fit, fast, strong and with a bit of technical ability and a good manager on their day they can match anyone. Which is the case right now!!!!! This not 30 years ago when players still smoked 20 a day and didnt care what they ate or when they trained. Because most were so unfit we had players such as Maradonna and Cruyff who were technical masters who just pissed all over those goons and made themselves look good. U CANT DO THAT ANYMORE!!!the standard of football and levels of fitness are much higher. I suggest you completely give up whatching the sport because u know nothing about it and ur an insult to HUMANITY Sun 22 Jun 2008 15:33:12 GMT+1 therealeverton throw out the tv?I suppose you think only Man U, Arsenal or Chelsea should win the Premier league? On Real, AC Milan, Ajax or Liverpool should win the Champion's League?Russia have been exciting to watch. Even in the Spain game (for which Spain have gotten too much credit), they were undone more by their own defnsive weakness on the day, and their bizarre desire toonly score one out of every 4 or 5 clear cut chances. They also hit the woodwork against Spain. The Russian commitment to attack (based partially on the fact that if the y attack their relativly weak defence can't be breached!) is refreshing and a joy to watch.How often these days do you see a team with a two goal lead, and mere second to play using every effort to run forward and score again. It can only be hoped that cappello can be given time by the media to transform England into a unit. It has taken Hiddink to get Russia this far, and as he himself admits they are still a year or two away from where he wants them to be. (I know Capello isn't as attack minded but the belief and lack of fear is what England need.) Sun 22 Jun 2008 14:52:55 GMT+1 shiny_JL_ Hi by all!I the fan Russian modular also that want to say...Russia not a great football command(team), but the guys play how they can and if Holland or Sweden could not them win, Russia more strongly them means... And those who wants to throw out the TV - throw out...I can only regret(pity) - you more never will see of good football... Sun 22 Jun 2008 14:30:19 GMT+1 SirHealy Seriously how good is Arshavin?! What a fabulous player! He reminds me of Zidane - you just expect him to produce a moment of magic every time he gets the ball. He's 27 though - hardly a spring chicken in football terms. How has he managed to stay under the radar of the big European clubs for so long, it really is unbelievable. Sun 22 Jun 2008 14:10:18 GMT+1 Pele Confidential Agree with those who aren't too complimentary about Pavlyuchenko. He's leading the line well, but like Luca Toni he's been missing too many chances. Tbh I think that's partly because, with Pogrebnyak out injured and Sychev lacking the physical strength to play up front on his own, Pavlyuchenko has no real competition for his place.If I was Hiddink I'd be hoping for a Spain win tonight. Part of the success of Zenit in the UEFA cup (who had a similar style to Russia and some of the same players) was that their opponents underestimated them: Russia are more likely to be underestimated by a side who beat them 4-1 than a side who already underestimated Romania almost to the point at which it got them knocked out. Sun 22 Jun 2008 13:57:53 GMT+1 TheChosenOne1989 Who else has money on Russia winning the whole thing at 25/1?Yasssss Sun 22 Jun 2008 13:57:10 GMT+1 noisydave It wasn't a one-off performance by Russia. They were tearing Sweden apart at will by the end of that match. I'd love to see them go on and win it and am not overly concerned by their wasteful finishing. They're main problem must surely be the goalie! He looked very poor. Sun 22 Jun 2008 13:50:10 GMT+1 gentlemanvadim its a Russia versus Germany final with Russia lifting the cup 2-1. I've seen it people. Sun 22 Jun 2008 13:39:31 GMT+1 Abs_manutd Russia were brilliant and even though Pvlyechenko missed a couple of chances i think hes a good striker and works hard. He also drops back n helps out the midfield and plays well with Arshavin who looks absolute class. I perosnally dont mind if Russia win it because there football is a treat 2 watch. Sun 22 Jun 2008 13:20:28 GMT+1 axel2001 There is only one rule in this game: The strongest will win.If it will be Russia it means the Russian team is the strongest nowadays. Who tells what Russian team is a rubbish I would say Russian team only is getting back and inheriting the experience and power of Soviet football squad. Who forgot:Olympic Champions - 1956, 1988European Champions - 1960Second place on Euro - 1964, 1972, 1988Third place on Olympic games - 1972, 1976, 1980Forth place on World Championship - 1966. Sun 22 Jun 2008 13:12:27 GMT+1 trjam2002 PACSYIP - You are the SNOB. Sun 22 Jun 2008 12:46:52 GMT+1 steveramsfan MGUK82 Why am I a masochist because I want the 2 underdogs in the final?They have proved all the 'experts' wrong so far.Football tournaments are about winning on the day. If a team like Greece, Russia, Turkey win it is because they deserve it.Throw your TV out by all means, it just seems stupid to do it because none of the 'Top' teams win.You are only as good as your last game! Sun 22 Jun 2008 12:35:12 GMT+1 herotik It is unfortunate that injury kept Pavel Pogrebnyiak out of this tournament. Otherwise, with Pogrebnyiak and Arshavin, Russia is capable of winning this championship. However, with the fluidity of their game, I can see Russia in the final. This is, if Spain can eliminate Italy this night. Italy is probably the only team that can stop Russia in this competition with their dogged type of football. Sun 22 Jun 2008 12:01:47 GMT+1 PACSYIP Jadath, I really hope so. If Italy, Spain or Germay, one of them are not the winner, and Turkey or Russia are, then there is no point to watch tv anymore. I will throw my tv away. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:41:53 GMT+1 DaScout For the people who say that russia need a world class striker I think they already have one. If pogbregnak wasnt injured, as he showed in the uefa cup, he would have scored far more chances than pavlyachenko. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:38:10 GMT+1 Jadath It's always hard to judge the real quality of a team if their opponent has a bad day. Holland vs. Italy was a great example. Italy wasn't anywhere close to what they can play, so I didn't see Holland as good as they were made. And France almost had them after the 1:2 and was jsut as good as Holland for most of the match. And now suddenly Russia is "the real deal", because they managed to beat a Dutch team that was several levels below their average? I don't think so. To win the Euro you just need to be better then your opponent in every match, not necessarily the best team of all. There are two teams left in the tournament that always stepped up when necessary: Italy and Germany. One of them will be the winner. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:37:22 GMT+1 PACSYIP Something's really not right this year. First Turkey, then Russia, what happens next? Perhaps Turkey beat the German, and we may all have a rubbish team final, Russia vs Turkey? Can you believe it? It's aginst all the odds and aganist the laws. It can't be right. Look at 2004, Greece won, then look at them this year, they are rubbish, they can't even win a single match, Defending Champion? You must be joking. Perhaps God wants the rubbish teams to win once in their life time, then they won't win it again not in a million year. Definitely something's not right here. can you believe Hull and Stoke city play in the Permiership next season? They will definitely go down straight away, there is no way they are a perimership teams, not in a million year. They are very lucky. They may have the money £60million, but they are no way to be a perimership teams, only 1 season, then they are gone. I can't wait and see they get battered and hammered next season. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:20:31 GMT+1 A wet windy night in Stoke Not just because of McLaren but mainly because the players couldn't keep the ball for 5 minutes if you asked them to._________________________________I think that there is an over belief in the managers ability in England. Sure the manager has to pick the team, but once they are out there, it is the players who do the job. McLaren always picked the best players England has had to offer. They let him down. They let their country down. Football is very simple in many ways. You play to your strengths - like Turkey who absorb everthing thrown at them and then throw the kitchen into the opponents box with 5 to go, or Russia who husstle, chase and terffy the opponents in the midfield and opponents final third. The one time you will fail in football is when you try to play above your strengths. The media dupes england playes into this and they buy it. Keep it simple (and ugly/boring if need be). Not everyone is Brazil, or has Zidane or Maradona in their sides. I hope Capello gets this message through.. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:11:15 GMT+1 hollandfannr1 Hello everyone,Congratulations to Russia and all their fans.As a great Holland fan I’ve been following this blog. Mainly to see if we the dutch were being objective after the emphatic wins in our group. I personally believe that Holland played some great football and I hugely enjoyed the tournament. As a fan of football I’ll keep on watching till the end but there are a few things on this page that are slightly annoying.First of all Russia simply OUT played Holland last night and I’ve never seen a team play (maybe England ’96) so effective against us. So I don’t understand, no matter how disappointed you are as a fan of Holland, that any intelligent person can call Guus Hiddink arrogant. The guy is just doing his job unlike some managers (Steve what was his name again).Secondly I would point out that calling Holland overrated is like calling England underrated. Maybe you have been listening to too many bandwagon jumpers who suddenly all started shouting that we would win it. Most Dutch people will tell you that we simply do not have to quantity of players to choose from. But there is nothing wrong with the quality of our squad, beside the fact that they looked very tired last night. Has anyone mentioned that the Russian league only just started?Russia and Spain are for me the only teams left in it that play the type of football you just have to love. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:09:53 GMT+1 crazyjohn Can I first say that QuickQuip (comment 5) is such a pessimist I could tell it was him/her just when I started reading the thread. I'm just glad I don't know this sort of person in real life.It was a shame the dutch didn't attack as much as they had last night and even when they did spread it wide the width extended to about the edge of the 18 yard. There is pressure to not make a mistake in the knockout games but ultimately you've got to score to win so it was disappointing. Russia did really well and it's always good to see the renaissance of a countries football.Just a quick one about England which could have been put in any thread over the last couple of weeks. The hunger is there from the players. You've only got to read Steven Gerrards autobiography to see how much playing for England means to him. The neucleus of the team is made up from the big teams and these players (Gerrard, Terry, Ferdinand, er maybe Beckham, Rooney, Hargreaves, Lampard, both Coles) are all doing amazingly in the Champions League and you could argue are the driving factor behind their clubs success. No-one belittles the players then. It's just about finding the right balance to fit these players in for England and when it happens I think the players for England are a match for anyone in the world (although you could say this about 15 teams on their day). But sometimes, as the Dutch had shown in the first 3 games, everything just clicks. Sun 22 Jun 2008 11:02:41 GMT+1 MGUK82 You hope for a Russia vs Turky final? Are you a masochist?I read pre-tournament that England didn't qualify because we didn't play good enough football!Please tell me then why the teams that have shown they can play really good football in this tournament are getting slaughtered then? Sun 22 Jun 2008 10:57:59 GMT+1 steveramsfan Guus Hiddink is the best football tactician.He stops the opposition from playing their game and gets his teams to play their way.Holland were not poor, just not allowed to get into their rhythm.Russia and Croatia beat England because they deserved to. These players love playing for their country and are very patriotic.I refuse to watch the over-hyped, over-rated, over-paid and greedy England Team.I have enjoyed watching the 'smaller teams' do well in this tournament, its been refreshing to see.I hope for a Russia v Turkey final. Sun 22 Jun 2008 10:35:01 GMT+1 InterMadonna Congratulations to Russia who comprehensively outplayed the Dutch.Last night we witnessed the most open game in the tournament so far, and for me the most entertaining, which is what I want to see from a major championship.Yes, Russia could do with being more clinical in front of goal but at least they tried to win and not sit back, which is what Italy will do if they meet them in the semis. Fingers crossed Spain will win that one.I do wish people will stop saying "that is where England could have been..."When have you ever seen England play like that... very rarely is the answer.I love my country but we do not deserve to be there.. end of story. Not just because of McLaren but mainly because the players couldn't keep the ball for 5 minutes if you asked them to.Let's just face up to the cold hard truth that at the moment we are only a top 20 side in the world at best, we shouldn't be but we are.The FA has a lot to answer for as well, it's about time English football took them to task. They should be accountable for their failings. Any normal business situation and the bosses would have been fired faster than you could say corporate backhander.Anyway enough of the rant.For me I hope for a positive end to the championships and would like to see Spain or Russia win it. Sun 22 Jun 2008 10:31:39 GMT+1 RVP_VCC_COYG Sorry but, is it just me, or was that the best individual performance by a player this season???Arshavin played better last night than anyone of Ronaldos matches this season so... Arshavin is the best player in the tournament and... the world.... am I right???What a game thoughRussia could have won it six or seven to nil easily if they had a world class poacher! Sun 22 Jun 2008 10:14:10 GMT+1 tree4life Russia are a really good outside bet to win this tournament.When I first saw Russia play Spain I wrote them off like everyone else but Hindink has completely turned things around.Yes he has a virtuoso leading the orchestra in the scintilating Andrei Arshavin but its the workrate and desire of the team that has really impressed me. This was summed up perfectly in the way Russia's wing backs literally pinned the Dutch to their 18 yard box for vast spells of the game. Let me put it this way. When their goal scoring front men Kuyt, Sneijder and Van Persie are reduced to tracking back like full backs to block crosses being fired into their own 18 yard box the Dutch knew they were in trouble. Well done Russia. I hope they get Spain in the semi's that will make for a fantastic game make no mistake. Sun 22 Jun 2008 10:12:54 GMT+1 tarquin Just proves Hiddink would have been a wiser choice for Chelsea to poach, a much better tactician - scolari has been successful but only with Brazil, Hiddink has achieved far more out of smaller countries Korea, Australia and RussiaThat said while we wax lyrical about Russia now, I can't help but remember the dodgy penalty that got them here Sun 22 Jun 2008 10:06:13 GMT+1 therealeverton Zenit are a big club, and probably (technically) the wealthiest in the world given their owners, but at 27 Arxhavin has said a few time that he wants to play in Spain or England.Jan"'Regarding my future, I have already said I'd like to try one of Europe's top leagues, among which the Spanish and English leagues interest me most.'"June "'Andrei has told us that he wishes to change clubs,' said Zenit boss Dick Advocaat. 'At present in the way of offers it is quiet. 'The situation may well change after tomorrow's game against Holland for the national side'." Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:55:54 GMT+1 jackydee Well what can you say hiddink is a master. South korea, Holland, Russia in to a semi final of a major international football tournement. Getting Australia into quaterfinals of the last world cup with Italy undeserevedly going through who were on ten men diving in box to get to semi's. He can transform your average joe team like russia were to this attractive attacking free flowing football. Russia have most of the time kept the ball on the ground with making accurate passess and playing well as a team.To be fair every game they have improved and still havent been putting the majority of their chances away which im sure they will keep getting better. Also when they are a goal up they don't just sit back and put eleven men behind the ball and defend and boot the ball away like Greece did four years ago. they keep attacking knowing the other team is gona push up and its entertaining to watch. I take my hat off for you hiddink. Now lets see if you can go all the way Spain or italy it doesn't matter and then lets do the most probable German's. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:54:57 GMT+1 Chizzle The thing that galls me most about this European Championships is that the best team will not win it. Having seen Croatia and Holland come storming out of the blocks determined to play football the way it should be played, we are now left with the most defence-minded teams, solid organisationally but boring to watch. Russia may be the only exception to that rule at the moment given their performance last night, but of the other quarter-finalists it cannot be said. Italy were lucky to squeeze through in their group, Spain look okay but not exactly world-beaters, and Germany are, well, Germany. One can only hope that the tournament does not go out with a whimper, but with a fearsome bang that typifies the flair of Holland and the sheer determination of Croatia rather than the negativity of Turkey and the average play of the Italians. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:51:56 GMT+1 therealeverton That aisde, the difference between Russia - conquerors of Holland - and Russia - outplayed by Spain seems to be Arshavin. It's always a bit risky when one player is so vital to a team. It can be great - Maradona Mexico 1986 - but one bad game and.....-------------------------------------------------------He makes a big difference, as all truly world class players do, however the difference in the apain game was luck and a lack of concentration. They made silly, elementary defensive errors, and the Spanish scored with almost every chance they were presented with. Russia (without arshavin) hit the woodwork and suffered from their biggest problem at the moment. they need 4 or 5 clear chances for each goal they score. They should have had 5 or 6 against the dutch, 4 or 5 against Sweden and " or 3 against Greece.I said before Russia would be dark horses for this tournament, the real question is can they develope a world class striker by the world cup, and keep hiddink, they will be front runners for that. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:50:34 GMT+1 A wet windy night in Stoke Someone mentioned Arshavin is sure to get snapped up by a top European club.... *cough* *cough* Chelski anyone?_______________________________Not really. Roman has put plenty of effort into Russian football, something that is not metioned much in the English press. I think Artjavin wil stay at Zenit. The Russian league is on its way up. Chelski will soon be uninteresting really.. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:44:39 GMT+1 ZimmerBear MGUK82 - you dont get the point Holland had a bad game because of the way Russia played. They pinned their best players back in there own half, seeing Sneijder constantly having to come back to help out showed that Hiddink nows his stuff.You say that Hiddink is arrogant, read your post again mate you actually come across quite arrogant yourself. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:21:56 GMT+1 MGUK82 Still not interested in the Russian bandwagon - they were just lucky that the Dutch had a severe off-night. All the best football in this tournament so far has been played in the group stages with the Dutch having played the best of the lot!And now they get beat by a Russian side who even the oh-so-poor England were able to hammer! Guus Hiddink has shown before that he is an arrogant git and his lot only put in an above average performance last night, nowhere near what the Dutch have done earlier in this tournament.Portugal vs Netherlands would have been an awesome signiture final to this tournament from a neutral perspective. What will we get now? Turkey vs Russia? Zzzzzzzzz!I feel like a loser twice over! :( Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:13:30 GMT+1 softladmachine I wonder if we can get odds at the bookies on Scolari being sacked before the season starts and Huudink being appointed Chelsea manager. Germany to win it. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:11:23 GMT+1 Things were better under Harold Wilson McLaren is not vindicated. His qualifying campaign was horrible - driven by press criticism and a sycophantic attitude to players.That aisde, the difference between Russia - conquerors of Holland - and Russia - outplayed by Spain seems to be Arshavin. It's always a bit risky when one player is so vital to a team. It can be great - Maradona Mexico 1986 - but one bad game and.....For that reason, despite the fantasy football at times last night, I still favour the winners of Spain v Italy to defeat the Russians. I think that will be Italy; the Spanish must now look at all the other attractive, favoured teams - Croatia, Holland - packing their bags and feel a bit nervous. Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:09:13 GMT+1 ZimmerBear Off topic but Paul Fletcher much better article than your last one, not sure you will get as many replys tho :-) Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:05:47 GMT+1 ZimmerBear fabulousRedsReds - I disagree but i can see where you are coming from. Many teams may have that mentality but i don't think the russians do. Look at what happened when it went to 1-1 did there heads drop No did they sit back and got for penalties No. They attacked and went for the jugular.In Arshavin they have a player they can trust with the ball, he helps out the defense by keeping position and pushing the oposition back. You can see the boy wants the ball and that his team are more than willing to give it to him. Yes one man cant carry a team but saying that look at Ronaldo this year :)As for the WC you've names 5 of the top teams yet your only 90% certain LOL. You did miss out the mighty scotland tho hehe Sun 22 Jun 2008 09:02:01 GMT+1 who cares McClaren is vindicated - there is no shame losing out to quarterfinalists (Croatia) and potential champions (Russia). Despite all the celebrity and money England lag behind these teams.And Hiddink is The Great Magician. Sun 22 Jun 2008 08:58:45 GMT+1 A wet windy night in Stoke ZimmerBear - No Sir. Russia will not win. They'll caome up against he usual suspects (Italy or Germany) and they will lose to one of them. Football has a lot to do with tradition and mentality. When teams go out to play Germany or Italy, their hearts tell them they are going to lose, and the German and Italians heads tell them that they (Germans or Italians) will win. It is mental barrier that is difficult to break. I can tell you right now with 90% confidence that Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany or France will win the WC of 2010.Having said that, the Russians played modern football. They pressed the ball holders in midfield and forced them into mistakes and poor passing. If you can disrupt the passing of the Duch, then you have the game won, and the Russians did exactly that. Hats off to the Russian team.As for the Dutch, I think that they were mentally pumped out. After the match against France they were extatic. Sneijder with his baby in the middle of the field and so on.. They must have felt that that was thier final. Like the Croats they lost focus in over celebrating. Promising side though, as they have always been. Sun 22 Jun 2008 08:39:21 GMT+1 born1871 Russia looked awesome.Someone mentioned Arshavin is sure to get snapped up by a top European club.... *cough* *cough* Chelski anyone? Sun 22 Jun 2008 08:12:43 GMT+1 Ticape ding dong the Dutch are gone. Overrated team, beating a very weak France and Italy side (even Austria would have managed a win against them) Yesterday they faced a team that managed put a little bit of pressure on them, and they lost.Ah well better luck next time. Sun 22 Jun 2008 07:41:22 GMT+1 ManUtdLeon After watching the game in Basel I thought the match was amazing and the atmosphere was brilliant, a great game all round. Only bad thing was the trouble after the game when some fans decided to start throwing glass bottles into the crowds. Not only the English fans who cause trouble now is it? Sun 22 Jun 2008 07:38:01 GMT+1 kazakhwhites Some people are lucky the match did not start till 12.45am on Sunday morning in KZ , what an atmosphere in this ex soviet state all Rossiya supporters and so was I ( don't like orange ) russian girlfriend also . Did they play well or what , Arshavin fantastic player on £50k /week at Zenit who could become a big European side with Gazprom ( biggest gas provider in the world) funding them with more players like him . Hiddink is class what tactics beat the Dutch at there own game attack , attack and totally unsettled them having not needed to defend in the group stages . Hiddink even stated in an interview that " we are scared of the Dutch and when your scared there is only one thing to do attack ". Fantastic match ROSSIYA V TURKEY FINAL !!! Sun 22 Jun 2008 07:20:27 GMT+1 ZimmerBear To all the pundits who have been raving about Portugal, Croatia, Holland and Spain because of there attacking with flair i have one word Arsenal. Yes they attack with flair and play to entertain but look at Arsenal what did they win??? I've said since the start these teams have no chance as they just dont have the ability to battle (might be abit harsh on Croatia that) I said Russia would win since before the competition started (i stuck my money where my mouth was) and its looking better all the time. They are gradually playing better and better just like Germany which is why it will be a Germany Russia final. Sun 22 Jun 2008 07:15:14 GMT+1 vidyasdad It was worth staying up till well past midnight to watch the game. The Russians totally outplayed the Dutch, who looked a pale shadow of the fluent outfit that knocked down the Azurris and Les Blues.Arshavin!! puts to shame many of the hyped up EPL playmakers Sun 22 Jun 2008 06:58:47 GMT+1 Crayolabob A good game of football, which the underrated team from Russia deserved to win. A 'stand out' performance from goal keeper Edwin Van de Sar kept the team from Holland in the match. Sun 22 Jun 2008 06:50:14 GMT+1 dilish1 i fully agree with Falco_peregrinus's sentiments................this time Holland gave their fans too much hope...But alas they came a cropper against the the sublime Russians...Another disappointed Dutch fan Sun 22 Jun 2008 06:44:13 GMT+1 axel2001 It was a great game.I am definitely proud of my squad. I want to thank all players: Zhirkov, Pavlyuchenko, Arshavin and especially Akinfeev. He saved out team many times. I want to thank Guus Hiddink (although He is a Dutchman :) ) He is definitely lucky coach. I want to thank Holland team for this great and strain game. I think the strongest will win. Sun 22 Jun 2008 06:15:30 GMT+1 TheSchoolboy It's funny, but when the draw for the Euro 2008 qualifying groups was made our "all knowing" press said that England had an easy group. Look at the two teams who went through. It was the only qualifying group where both qualifying teams went on to make the knockout stages in the finals and look at Russia, who were nothing short of stunning last night.Now I will admit, England should have done better than they did, but perhaps England's Press should look at itself and say "Hey" it wasn't that easy after all. Sun 22 Jun 2008 04:50:23 GMT+1 Falco_peregrinus I hope Italy kicks Russia's ar*s. That would be great. And a great irony.Forza Italia........LOL. Sun 22 Jun 2008 04:46:34 GMT+1 Falco_peregrinus For ones i thought The Netherlands could make it. I had high hopes. I thought that this year could be the year. But no, not this time, like every time. What a deception.Always first class football but never get past the QF or SF. Bah humbug.sincerely yours,A disappointed Dutch fan. :( Sun 22 Jun 2008 04:07:29 GMT+1 dinoponorogo The Russian players are like a team of artist. Very creative, indeed.Netherlands being the favourite fell down like Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. They were being over-rated even though I must admit technically they were better than the Russians. Sun 22 Jun 2008 03:27:36 GMT+1 wolfrunner Much as I hate to rain on Russia's parade, I think Pavlyuchenko is getting far more hype than he deserves. Arshavin is clearly a genius, given the contrast between their opening two games without him and their fantastic wins with him, and he might just carry Russia to the title. However, Pavlyuchenko, in the process of scoring 3, has missed a glut of chances, and it's been remarked on before he needs 6 or 7 chances to score one goal. I'll give him credit for being in the right place at the right time to make the chances, and his workrate outside the box. He's just not a great finisher. Decent, but not great. If Russia had a Torres or Villa, they should have scored 4 or 5 in each match, given the chances created by Arshavin and the full backs Anyukov and Zhirkov.I hope Russia get another crack at Spain, that will be the real test to avenge the trouncing handed out in the group stage, and I reckon they'll make a much better game of it this time.As to Arshavin, who's to say he's not already at a big European club? UEFA cup winners, with huge financial backing and some fantastically talented players, in the Champs League this time round and could even have a shot at that, like Porto 5 years before. At the moment, I'd say he's in the right place. Sun 22 Jun 2008 01:27:25 GMT+1 platinumchimp I'm almost tempted to support Russia purely on the basis that Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko are seemingly football gods. But I think and hope that the winner of Spain v Italy will win. My heart says Espana, but my head says Italia. Either way, I think it will be a fantastic voyage the semis for Russia ending in glorious defeat. A voyage that, dare I say it, should have been that of England... Sun 22 Jun 2008 01:02:47 GMT+1 quickquip Russia are suddenly team du jour and everyone is jumping on the merry bandwagon, carried away by the momentary euphoria of their own breathless hoopla. Much the same was being expounded about Holland a few days ago and now they're consigned to the rubbish bin, the same fair weather admirers who only a few days ago were lauding them, now heaping scorn on them. Such is the fickle and fatuous media, with their unerring hindsight. You know, if Russia stumble next time out, the media wolves will be there, to rip them to pieces the same way. Everbody wants to court you when you're on top, everybody loves to kick you when you're down. Holland produced three scintillating performances prior to today's mishap, providing some of the most entertaining football of the tournament in the process. They and their boisterous fans greatly enriched the whole proceedings. Congratulations to Russia for a hard earned win and a big thank you to the Netherlands for their invaluable contribution in making this such a memorable tournament. Hup Holland! Sun 22 Jun 2008 00:39:16 GMT+1 devonbrit No question Russia were the better side and thoroughly deserved their win.What surprised me about Holland was their continual attempts to play through the middle without successwhereas in other games they got behind defences with lightning passing moves.Admittedly Robben wasn't available and Van Persie was ineffective on the right ,however by not changing tactics no significant goal threat matured other than the dead ball free kick floated diagonally over Russian defenders.The exact opposite was employed by Russia who constantly got behind the Dutch defence,with Arshavin to the fore, and with greater determination to attack the crosses their forwards could and should have bagged further goals.The other teams will no doubt have noticed the Russian defensive weakness against diagonal crosses particular Germany whose victory over Portugal profited from two such errors. Sat 21 Jun 2008 23:52:35 GMT+1 savagegotbashed As fantastic as arshavin is, i feel like many people are looking pasy the quality of the rest of the russian team. in particular payluchenko who has been phenomenal, apart from some sloppy finishing his performances have been immense! i would love to see the russians go on from here and win this tournament, it wuld be a victory for pure attacking and highly entertaining football! Sat 21 Jun 2008 23:45:31 GMT+1 OranjeRotterdam Russia definitely deserved to win this game.Their players were not so much technically better (well Arshavin was of course), but they played the game cactically so much better. Close on the ball, close defending, they were really sharp.Holland on the other hand did not know how to deal with the Russians, and more than once looked scared to make challenges, thus creating chances for them to score.Well done Guus, it took a dutchman to find an answer to Holland's game plan. Sat 21 Jun 2008 23:34:44 GMT+1 chuckyd9 I thought Russia were brillant and thoroughly deserved their victory. They played with great fluidity and attacking flair, Arshavin will surely be snapped up by a big European club after his outstanding displays (although not publicised) for club and country.Ive got them in the sweepstake so hopefully they can do me pround and go on to beat the Italians/Spanish in the semis then the most probable Germans in the final. What a tournament this has been! Sat 21 Jun 2008 23:29:04 GMT+1