Your Syndicate Daily is proudly presented by "Bündnis 90" and the European Greens.
With warm preemptive congratulations to Kanzlerin Baerbock :)
Your friendly bookie wholeheartedly endorses a German velvet revolution. Let's go Europe!
Day 2: Recap
Straight up: 1-2-1
Damn. Two days into what was meant to be a celebration of a return to frivolity and we're all suddenly shellshocked again. It seems there can be no escape from humanity's harsh confrontation with mortality. As your friendly bookie was musing less than 48 hours ago, football is never more important than life.
Everyone got a stark reminder of that today.
Thanks to a little bit of help from some valued -Ms, the bookie got the personnel situation right. He got Joakim Maehle's side wrong. Something difficult to forsee involved Eriksen getting a partner in midfield. Dortmund's Thomas Delaney is generally thought to be more defensive-minded to play up this high.
Lineup—Denmark—Match One (4-3-3) (6/12/2021)
So it held until the incident in the 43rd. Very little I can say about the shape in the second half. The US broadcaster shifted it to a different channel after the delay and I didn't have the benefit of an overhead tactical cam.
Mathias Jensen replaced Eriksen and it sort of resembled a flatter 4-3-3. One assumes that the players themselves weren't in much condition to play their assignments as they were very rattled. Delaney in particular wasn't totally there.
In any event, this remains a long tournament and a powerful lineup. The Danes outshot the Finns 22 to one, maintained 70 percent possession, and were crisp in their passing. They'll recover.
As upset as many of us are that the match was allowed to continue, there's something to be said for trainer Kasper Hjulmand's contention that it might have been more manageable to get it over with quickly.
An early loss doesn't truly hurt this nation's chances of advancing deep into the competition.
Moving onto the number one ranked footballing nation in the world:
The basic shape was correct. Kevin de Bruyne's injury obviously necessitated a shake up. Understandably, Roberto Martinez felt it prudent to audition a different midfield candidate in light of Eden Hazard's suspect form. He also built his back-three better than I.
Lineup—Belgium—Match One (3-4-2-1) (6/12/2021)
Timothy Castagne succumbed to injury early following a head collision and Thorgan Hazard's BVB colleague took over on the right wing. The two Dortmund actors played very well together. The second Belgium goal was a nice co-production of the two teammates. They should both start again.
The scoreline notwithstanding, this constellation proved (as feared) a bit too static and predictable. Martinez's men ran roughshod over a deplorably weak opponent. Stanislav Cherchesov's loathsome tactics constitute a whole different rant unto themselves.
We'll get to them eventually, but this day has simply been depressing enough.
“Riffs of the Day”—Day Two
Reader: Where are the "hot girl standings"?
Vicey: In my heart, 56-M. This seemed like the right year to retire that feature. I'm just grateful that there are any spectators in the seats at all. Every last fan caught on camera is a beautiful sight to me.
I'm naturally still aware that the fact that I like pretty girls makes me some sort of horrible monster, irrespective of all my years of advocating women's football. I guess thousands of pages of glowing enthusiasm just isn't sufficient when one possesses a y chromosome.
Reader: Yann Sommer gains extra sexy points!
Vicey: Thank you, 5-F! It's okay when women find male footballers attractive. That's still acceptable. Now, if you'll excuse us, my gender will be heading back into the ocean to de-evolve.
Reader: The Swiss kits look exactly like the Italian ones.
Vicey: That's because they're made by Puma 45-M. You know full well my feelings on Rudolf Dassler. The Swiss have been in league with the shiftier of the Dassler brothers since the late 1990s. Adi Dassler (Adidas) remains the official outfitter of the benevolent post-War "Bundesrepublik".
....no, I'm not letting this go. I don't care how long it's been. Adi was by no means a saint, but Rudi was the more enthusiastic member of the darkest political party to grace this earth. Fuck Puma.
Reader: Get up, man! Get Up!
Vicey: An amalgam of some dozen syndicate members who, like the bookie, absolutely could not process what we were seeing.
For those of us who merely wished to lose ourselves in the beautiful game, It's been a back fucking day.
Reader: Cut away and cancel this match!
Vicey: More amalgams. Have I mentioned it's been a bad fucking day?
Reader: First time we get a colorful half capacity crowd and we get this?
Vicey: Syndicate member 15-M put it better than I ever could.
After the stressful year we've all just had, it's really just been a bad fucking day.
Please let tomorrow be better.
England vs. Croatia
Line rolled, rolled back, and then ultimately closed. Good luck, my Limey friends.
THE LINE: England +1 Goal (BETTING CLOSED)
North Macedonia vs. Austria
Should be plenty of goals in this one. We need it, too. Betting still open for those wishing to take a chance on a blowout.
THE LINE: Austria +3 Goals (holding)
Netherlands vs. Ukraine
Yes, I know about my previous insistence on using the definite article in the case of both these countries. For the record, I still feel more comfortable referring to "the Netherlands" and "the Ukraine". Somehow, using them both in conjunction doesn't feel right...and I don't know which style guide to consult.
THE LINE: Netherlands +1 Goal (rolling up soft from Pick)
GENTLEMEN, ENTER YOUR WAGERS