Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Stick or Twist?
Romania have a great chance to progress as runners up of Group C tonight, rendering the top-billed travails of France and Italy academic.
I say that because if the last few days are anything to go by Holland boss Marco Van Basten will make wholesale changes to his side to keep his players ‘fresh’ for the quarter-final against either Sweden or Russia.
Rockstar Croatian coach Slaven Bilic rotated no fewer than nine players for their final group game, a 1-0 victory over Poland last night, safe in the knowledge that his team had booked its place in the next round against Turkey.
Portugal pulled the same stunt, having waltzed to the top of Group A and we’re pleasingly punished for their nonchalant attitude to fielding a weakened team. Going down 2-0 to Switzerland means they must beat Germany to progress.
Croatia may have still strolled to victory, and I don’t begrudge the Swiss, as co-hosts, their moment of glory, but I can’t help but find these huge switches in personnel as demeaning to the competition.
While rotation is nothing new; and a Liverpool fan knows more than most, it doesn’t make it any more palatable for me on this grand international stage.
I’m sure players have had long, hard seasons for their clubs but players that are too tired to go the course shouldn’t be picked.
Besides you can’t tell me that players haven’t got it in themselves to perform for a maximum six extra games when there is so much at stake; half a dozen games from immortality.
I also think if you’re on a run of good results, a settled team selection is healthy to maintain momentum, something I think is vital to win this competition.
At the moment Spain, Holland and Croatia have it as the only teams to have one all their games.
The Dutch have played the game as close to footballing utopia as you’re likely to get, I just hope Van Basten doesn’t spoil it by sending out his B-team against Romania tonight.
I did tip France after all.