Reflections on the Euro final

  1. Italy clearly deserved to win the European championship. They were the best team throughout the tournament, and after watching the Copa America final, in which Argentina beat Brazil 1-0, they have to be the favorites to win the World Cup next year.
  2. Nice to see Messi finally get an international trophy. Pity he couldn’t score in the 88th minute; he should have shot sooner. And De Maria’s goal was a beautiful example of playing the miss.
  3. Chiellini’s foul on Saka at the end of extra time was correctly given a yellow card. He was not the last man back, therefore taking down an attacker by pulling his jersey is a clear and obvious yellow, not a red. The ironic thing is that it was totally unnecessary, as all he had to do was put the ball out of bounds rather than wait for it to go out for an Italian throw-in. But he’s an old pro and he was taking no chances after the ball didn’t go out on its own before Saka arrived.
  4. I don’t think there was any diversity agenda on England manager Southgate’s part. First, he was open about how Rashford and Sancho were the two best penalty-takers in training. If he’s lying, someone will leak it. Southgate is a genuine equalitarian, so he simply failed to take into account that emotional young Africans are not exactly known for their cool under pressure and practice penalties are not the same as the finals of the Euros at Wembley. Second, the fifth spot is not the high-pressure spot, in fact, it’s where you put your weakest of the five shooters due to the fact that it’s the only spot where the shooter might not get to take a shot at all.
  5. That doesn’t mean that UEFA wasn’t attempting to take advantage of the situation. The VW ad for diversity playing while an African had the chance to win the championship for England was probably not a coincidence. It was amusing to see all three of them demonstrate so clearly that diversity is not a strength.
  6. Southgate also said that he didn’t put Rashford and Sancho on earlier because he was afraid that if he did, the Italians would win the game in extra time. That’s not what one would call indicative of a diversity agenda.
  7. Southgate’s real mistake was not sitting Harry Kane down for the final. Kane – or Kanezaghi as I like to call him given his predilection for flopping – is big, strong, and slow. It was obvious that he presented no problems for Chiellini and Bonucci, the two big, strong, and slow veterans in the Italian central defense. He should have sat Kane and put Sterling in the lone striker position, since Spain’s Morata showed how speed and quickness were the Italian defense’s weak spot in the center. Leaving Sterling on the wing meant that he could be marked by the fast young Italians on the sides.
  8. Speaking of Sterling, it’s a fool’s game to think that you can successfully dive against the Italians. They have literally decades of experience in dealing with it; again and again Sterling looked to dive, but the Italians simply didn’t make contact with him in the box.
  9. Most people didn’t notice it, but Italy should have scored in the 57th minute. If Insigne had kept the ball on the ground instead of going high, it was going right through Pickford’s legs.
  10. Pickford and Walker were England’s best players. And Luke Shaw’s goal in the second minute was a LOT harder than he made it look.
  11. If Spinazolla hadn’t been injured, the game wouldn’t have even been close.
  12. Diverse teams can be strong in terms of the individual parts, but they are incredibly fragile as a whole. One minor difference of opinion between two players of different races can rapidly turn into accusations of racism and the complete destruction of any sense of being a team. France and England are experiencing this in the aftermath of their exits, which suggests both teams will underperform in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
  13. The diversity-obsessed English sportswriters actually gave Saka, who was a complete nonentity in the game before missing his penalty, a 10/10 rating. “Saka was given a 10 out of 10 rating, the highest out of all England and Italy players, with the writers highlighting the winger’s bravery.” What a joke. He was a 5/10 on the field, and deserves to have a point knocked off for his choke job at the line. 4/10 is more like it.
  14. Avanti Azzurri! L’Europa e’ vostra!