When football is bland and boring even for the fan OR EuroCup blog, part 3

We discuss tactics. We argue if 4-4-2 is better than 4-5-1, we debate about choices managers make, we spend countless hours talking about who should play on that position and that position and if this player is better from that player. We discuss football all day long, and there are as many opinions as there are fans.

Poland lost against Slovakia yesterday, and as you can imagine, the whole country is debating. We debate manager personal choices. We debate tactics. We debate if our goalkeeper made a mistake. We argue why Lewandowski didn’t score a goal. The Internet – as expected – literally exploded after the match.

That’s all bullocks. Tactics, personal choices, individual player mistakes are all bullocks if there is no heart left on the pitch. There is no tactics that win the game if you don’t run. There is no winning personal choice, if the team plays no pressing. There is no football without giving everything you got on the pitch.

The heart makes a difference.

That’s why Ukraine, which lost against the Netherlands, gained thousands of new supporters last week.

That’s why no one could care less for Poland after their bland, boring, uninspired performance.

We should not discuss tactics. We should not discuss personal choices. We should discuss if that’s the performance of a person whose lifetime dream was to play in the National team during the EuroCup. Did we see that? Did we see the fire, the passion, the manifest of the moment of their life.

In Eleven we have Team Spirit stat. It breaks the rules. Unlike all other stats, it has no fundamental function, no general description. It’s freaking magic. It allows you to do everything. It allows you to break almost any rule in the game. If your team has high Team Spirit, you can do crazy things.

Watching my National team having Team Spirit on level 1, the lowest possible, was a dreadful experience. I am sorry if you also had to watch it.

19-year-old defender Jurriën Timber was in the Dutch starting line-up in the game against Ukraine. At the start of this season, he only played in the second division of the Dutch league. What is it that makes a player grow?

In Eleven we have young players as well. They are eager to learn from the other players on the pitch or from a good coach. Make sure you put them in the line-up, train them, and they probably will become better.

At the beginning of the game, your veteran players form the trusted core of your team. They are essential for the team. They have great abilities, but will get older once you use them. Soon there will be other players developing themselves to take over their roles.

(of course, we are still in the middle of the development of Eleven, so keep in mind things may change!)

This Euro2020 day I watched 2 matches. I missed the one between Sweden and Spain.

The first match of the day was Scotland – Czech Republic. It was played at beautiful Hampden Park. It is home to Queens Park, the oldest football club in Scotland that still exists. After Rangers and Celtic, it has won the most Scottish cups (10), all won during the 19th century. The stadium is also home to the Scottish national team.

It all started well. The national anthem of Scotland was played, and all 15 000 Scots in the stadium sang loud and proud. Beautiful.
The absolute star of the Scottish team was Robbertson. He led his mates in battle. They were the better team in the first half, but it didn’t bring them any goals. And just before halftime, Bayer Leverkusen’s striker Patrik Schick scored at the opposite end of the pitch.

It was a great start to the second half, with chances on both sides. But then Schick struck again. He saw the Scottish goalkeeper was outside the penalty box and took a shot from a great distance. It resulted in the best goal of the tournament so far.

I liked the Scottish way of playing, but they lack a world-class striker. The Czech Republic has one. He goes by the name of Patrik Schick. I will remember him.

Next up was Poland – Slovakia. All members of the Portal Games team were probably watching this one nervously. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t of the highest quality. The best players on the pitch were Zielińsky (Poland) and Hamsík (Slovakia). They brought movement into the teams and functioned as a connection between midfield and front. Poland had the most of the possession, but Slovakian winger Mak scored the first goal.

Right after halftime, Poland got back into the game by scoring the 1-1. Poland got their hope back. But then Krychowiak got his 2nd yellow card, and a couple of minutes later, Slovakia scored again. Poland tried to fight back. Bednarek missed the biggest chance in the 91st minute to equalize. Full time 1-2. Without having great players, Slovakia managed to defeat better quality players by playing organized and being a better team.

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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!