Let’s get back to football and board games today.
After 2 days of the tournament, I am most impressed by Belgium and Italy. To me, Belgium is getting more and more used to the fact they belong among the big ones. They have an experienced team, with great talented players. Lukaku was great against Russia. He contributed both in attack and defense. Italy made a good impression as well. But it took a while to break through the Turkish wall. For the neutral football fan, these kinds of matches can be intriguing…
When you play Eleven, you can send scouts to watch the opponent’s team. This way you learn if it is a strong team and in which line up they play. If you are about to meet the favorites for the league title, you may choose a defensive lineup with defensive tactics. One of them is called ‘Play for a draw’. It boosts your defense and decreases your attacking power at the same time. lt often saves you, and sometimes you even steal the victory. Imagine the Turkish own goal didn’t happen and Turkey scored in a counterattack.
Have you ever been on that side as a fan? Remember how you exploded in joy? Or burst into tears, if on the other side. That’s football.
I bet Turkey would have chosen these tactics too if they had the card available.
Of course, yesterday I was looking forward to the game in my home country: The Netherlands.
I remember the first moment I got interested in football. It was in 1988. The Dutch team won the Euros that year. I was… Eleven.
I literally remember every single game. For us, the semi-final was the real final. We won against Germany with a superb goal from Marco van Basten. For the Netherlands, it was revenge for the lost World Cup final in 1974 against Germany.
This year our team is OK. We’ve had a better team, but they can definitely grow during the tournament.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch England – Croatia. I took my kids to the playground. We had a great time. Some things are more important than the beautiful game. Nevertheless, England managed to win without me watching. Raheem Sterling scored the only goal. They took their revenge for the loss against the same opponent in the World Cup semi-finals 2 years ago.
I was really interested in North Macedonia. I’m an underdog man. And I hope they will do well. And become… 2nd in the group. Right behind the Netherlands of course.
They played against Austria, a team which is ranked about 40 places higher in Fifa ranking. The first half was full of mistakes but was entertaining. Austria had better players, but North Macedonia fought hard as a team. Austria opened the score with a beautiful goal, but Macedonia scored the equalizer in a way that looked more like pinball than football.
In the second half it could have gone both ways, but substitutes Gregoritsch and Arnautovitz showed why they should have been in the lineup by both scoring one more goal.
Full time: 3-1. I have been entertained, but I don’t expect these teams to reach the quarter-finals.
I put on my orange 2010 World Cup finals jersey. I was ready for the game. In the first half, the Netherlands were off to a good start. 3 chances in about 7 minutes. But the blue wall got thicker each minute. Sometimes it opened in a flash and the Ukrainians came out for a dangerous counterattack. It was clear the Dutch had the better players, but Ukraine used the ‘play for a draw’- tactics card with thought.
Finally, in the second half, the Dutch broke down the wall. Wijnaldum and Weghorst each scored a goal within 5 minutes. Everybody waited for the third Dutch goal, but instead, Ukraine scored. Twice! They tried the ‘play for draw’ card again, but it didn’t work. In the 85th minute, Dumfries scored the final goal of the game for the Netherlands: 3-2. Ukraine worked hard, but the Dutch took the victory in the end.
Satisfied, but a bit worried. I‘ve seen some good attacks, but although they played with 5 defenders, defensively it didn’t look great.
Thomas Jansen is the designer of Eleven: the football manager game. Ignacy Trzewiczek is the developer of the game. They both will share their thoughts about EuroCup 2021 and also talk about the design or development of Eleven. Be with them every day during Euro! If you like football and board games, please, share the news about Eleven!
You can learn more about Eleven HERE!