Well I hoped we might go out with a bang but it was more a whimper. Again, I called the winner but got my bets mixed up and it has been a dissapointing tournament.
3 win / 13 bets / 10.5 points staked :: -3.9
That's a pretty big hit so apologies if anyone did follow me. The antepost bets did not give us a run for our money and that was where the first 3 points went. No use crying over spilt milk and its onwards and upwards.
I think the best team won and although it was an entertaining tournament not many teams looked that good. Many teams were too old in my opinion and I'd be interested to know the average ages of the squads and I know Russia was the lowest but I imagine Spain is pretty low.
I have just started work on a new console for the coming season and hope to have some improvements to it. Thanks to everyone for your comments so far and if anyone else has requests please email email@example.com.
I'll keep this blog ticking over in the coming weeks with progress updates and I think the new season is only around 6 weeks away.
The final is here and a large gap has been filled in the summer. Hopefully the tournament will go out with a decent match as much of the football has been good.
Again I called the semi-final right but made the wrong bet as Spain cruised through.
3 win / 11 bets / 9.5 points staked :: -2.9
I can only see Spain winning tonight but I feel I may be biased and am not sure what to bet. Germany have needed goalkeeping errors to help them through their last two matches and had to score 3 goals to win them both. They will not score 3 goals against Spain as that's the total goals Spain have let in in the whole tourny. With Villa out the 5 man midfield of Spain needs to score and I think 10/1 on Cesc is good and 16/1 on Iniesta and 20/1 on Xavi as even better. Xavi scored 4 goals in Spains qualifying for Euro 2008 and managed 7 goals for Barcelona this season and a lot of them later in the season. He can be backed at 15/2 to score at anytime on Paddy Power, who also offer 6/1 on Iniesta. Sergio Ramos is the defender most likely to score.
I hope its comfortable for Spain and they win by a few goals but its a final.
We are down nearly 3 points and I don't want to risk too much more in case it comes unstuck so will go for a couple of bigger prices.
++ First Goalscorer – Fabregas @ 11 on Bet365/Tote/Will Hill/Coral (1/2pt)
++ HT/FT – Draw/Spain @ 5.5 on Most (1/2pt)
Well the Germans are through and on a positive note at least we can oppose them in the final. They didn't impress in the group games and have done well in the knockout stages but looked in trouble in both of them. Their defence is not all that and goalie errors in both games have helped them. If Spain get through they won't have Casillas punching thin air and presenting open goals.
The question is will Casillas get the chance? Russia have been great and Arshavin has had two fantastic games and all eyes will be on him. Spain wobbled against Italy but have been pretty solid throughout with the lack of height the only real weakness. I live in Spain and would be pleased to see them in the final for the atmosphere it would bring but also have a soft spot for Russia after living there for a year. Either way I'll be happy and looking at the bets the value I like is the winning margin where Russia or Spain winning by 1 as well as a score drap appeals. I'm going with Spain as I think they are the most complete team in the tournament. Their squad is pretty deep especially in midfield and with Torres and Villa have two exceptional forwards. The manager is not the best and makes substitutions for the sake of it it seems. The midfield always gets swapped around and Cesc will be brought on tomorrow for sure between 55-70 minute. Can you bet on that?
++ Winning Margin – Spain to win by 1 goal @ 3.6 on Bet365/Blue Sq/Paddy Power (1pt)
We have the first semi-final tonight and it's an odd one in that Germany are such a clear favourite to go through, especially in 90 mins. If Harry Redknapp was the Turks manager the phrase 'bare bones' would have been bandied about all week as they are stretched to the limit. I don't think Germany are all that and I don't think Germany will win the tournament. However, I have no idea what will happen tonight as the Turks were pretty negative against Croatia only coming out to play in extra time. The Croats are better than Germany though so maybe the Turks will gain more of an edge and at least the players have little fear of being substitued.
Of all the bets the one I like is Turkey on the AH (-1) @ 2.15 makes the most appeal but betting it seems just to be for the sake of it. Tomorrows game is tough and I have an interest in both the teams but will see if I can pull something out.
The semi-finals are just around the corner and it's time to take stock. Sadly things seem to have fallen apart a bit, despite being on the right track.
In the quarters got the winners right in Spain and Russia but sadly neither was a 90 min winner so one was void and the other a loser.
3 win / 7 bets / 6.5 points staked :: +1.1
We can also look at the top goalscorer bets. Nihat has packed up his 2 goals and gone home with an injury taking our hopes with us. Del Piero never registered and who knows what Pogrenniak would have done for Russia. I am sad that he never gave a chance as I backed him at a very large price only to see him tumble pre-tournament as he was first choice in warm-up games and scoring. What if's don't win you money and so thats 3 points down the drain.
3 win / 10 bets / 9.5 points staked :: -1.9
Not too far behind and maybe the semi-finals can give us a chance to get back to evens. Will look at the games and try and get back with some angles tomorrow and Thursday.
The bets have been few and far between which is mainly because I have a newborn in the house, lots of visitors and not getting to watch as much football as I would need to make better judgements. We did have another winner, with Italy, although the top goalscorer bets look to be dead in the water.
3 win / 5 bets / 4.5 points staked :: +2.1
As we hit this knockout stage I think we should find some decent prices as some teams have been overated and others under.
Portugal v Germany I cannot make any judgement on as I haven’t see Portugal enough. I didn’t think Germany justified being tournament favourites by a long way but this game could be a stale affair.
In Croatia v Turkey I think the Turks could cause an upset but I could be way off the mark and Croatia could dominate. One to steer clear of.
Personally, I think Holland have peaked too soon and may be like Argentina in the World Cup. They are attacking but may have played their best matches in the first two games. I think Russia are improving, the players are fresh, and Arshavin looked sharp and will be a big plus for them. So it was only Sweden they beat but Spain laboured to beat the Swedes. I like Hiddink, who is up against his home nation in the semi’s. He’s a manager prepared to risk all if a game needs it. Pre-tournament the Dutch were not fancied and they have come through the group of death with full points but was the group of death really that tough, as France were poor and Romania very negative.
In the final game on Sunday I think Spain can do Italy. No Pirlo and no Gattuso is a huge blow for Italy as they are both big game players. Luca Toni could not hit a cows arse with a banjo but you think at some stage one of his multitude of chances has to drop. I don’t think the Italian defence is all that and although they have Buffon the fact that Spain have Casillas means they are on an equal footing there. I think, along with Cech, they are the best keepers in the world. Torres had a fenomenal season and Villa seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch, which seemed to coincide with Koeman leaving Valencia. I can’t see the Italian defence dealing with them without Gattuso in front of them particularly with Pannucci at centre back.
I am away for a few days now so am doing all these bets now. I will be back on Sunday and so will summarise and look for more bets before the semis.
++ Win Market – Spain @ 2.6 on Boyles (1pt) * i would not be surprised if this price drifts a bit.
++ Draw No Bet – Russia @ 3.5 on Boyles (1pt)
Another half point collected as Austria managed one point so the saver part of the bet won.
2 win / 4 bets / 3.5 points staked :: +0.6
Today the Holland game looks one to avoid but I like the Italy v France game and I think Italy are worth a bet. They have been unlucky as opposed to France who have been poor. With both teams needing to win it should be a good game and there could well be some late drama. The Draw/Italy HT/FT bet makes some appeal but I'll stick to a straight win bet.
++ Win Market – Italy @ 2.5 on Blue SQ/Paddy/Skybet (1pt) (again Pinnacle beat them all with 2.56)
A very small profit yesterday and without that late penalty the Austria 0 points bet would have looked very strong indeed. Oh well. I am tempted by France on draw no bet today but with the defence creaking with Thuramn in the middle cannot be sure enough.
1 win / 2 bets / 2 points staked :: +0.1
Hopefully something tomorrow.
All the teams have now played and I'll try to have a few bets. Today in Group B I'm happy to back Poland against Austria as I just think Austria are terrible. Poland qualified above Portugal getting to this tournament and didn't disgrace themselves against Germany. Their left winger seemed to have a terrible game and so many of their attacks broke down through him. They have to win and I think the coach will send them out to attack.
Germany were good in the first game but I think their price is always too low. I think they are beatable and quite a few of their players have not had the best of seasons or are in on the back of injuries. Croatia are a good team and not sure how Germany can be 1.73 to win. I think a draw will suit Croatia as they then would just need a draw with Poland to qualify but they do need something from this game. The AH price looks good at Croatia +0.5 so a draw would be a win.
++ Win Market – Poland @ 2.3 on Coral/Paddy Power (1pt)
++ Asian Handicap – Croatia +0.5 @ 2.1 on bet365 (1pt)
* Pinnacle offer 2.25 on the Asian Handicap and 2.32 on Poland.
It's been a crazy week for me and not had as much time to look at this as I would have liked.
My bets so far would be
++ Austria Total Points Betting Odds - Zero points @ 6 on Boyles/Blue Sq/Skybet (1pt)
++ Austria Total Points Betting Odds - Exactly 1 point @ 4 on Boyles/Betfred/Skybet (1/2pt)
I think Austria are terrible. I would expect Germany, Croatia and Poland all to beat them and I think they will all be going out for the win as it's the game they have to win in their group. I just think they best they can hope for is a draw.
Time has run away from me but will look again tomorrow and see if I can get in anything else.