Some Major talking points from the latest round of Euro qualifiers.
Throughout this season with Manchester City, Vincent Kompany’s number of serious mistakes has grown to such an extent that his supporters can no longer blame Martín Demichelis or Eliaquim Mangala to cover him. What’s worse is that Kompany had an eventful evening, to say the least, during Belgium’s qualifier against Israel in Tel Aviv too, firstly going slightly rogue by attempting a few keepie-uppies near the center circle before launching an implausible volley from around 45 yards that sailed way over the bar, it is safe to say that a pass would probably have been the better option there. Then, with Belgium only 1-0 up, Kompany managed to get himself sent off for two yellow cards, the second coming after losing the ball with a step over attempt that went wrong, then trying to retrieve the situation by grabbing Eran Zahavi around the shoulders. Kompany looked stunned by the decision of Mark Clattenburg, but this left his team half an hour to survive in a qualifying match down to 10 men, which they did, no thanks to him. This used to be a defender on whom anyone could rely, his mistakes rare and his temperament steady, but not these days, Kompany has now become a liability for both club and country and a top football tipster won’t be backing City for the League title anymore.
Will the win against Spain buy Manager Hiddink some more time even if it was only a friendly? Holland were awful in their last qualification match against Turkey which they only managed to draw 1-1, but only after resorting to the rather unsubtle tactics of chucking the ball forward to Bas Dost, as they chased the game. Indeed, they were pretty lucky to get away with a draw, Wesley Sneijder’s shot deflecting in off Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and that didn’t save Guus Hiddink from the opprobrium of a footballing nation used to rather more refined fare. And yet they pulled a face-saver out of the bag on Tuesday, beating Spain 2-0 thanks to a much livelier performance and goals from Stefan de Vrij and Davy Klaassen. So will this save Hiddink’s position as well as some face? A sports betting expert suggests that beating Spain isn’t what it used to be, but the result could buy the Dutch manager a little time. The question though is if this is good or bad news for Holland.
Germany is in real need of “Super” Mario Gómezas they have been once again too wasteful. No one expected Germany to take anything but three points from Georgia and they did not disappoint. The win was a welcomed one after the draw with Republic of Ireland and the defeat to Poland but it was not quite the perfect one. This wastefulness has been a hallmark for Joachim Löw’s side of late: they had 16 attempts against Georgia (with six on target), 19 against the Republic (with eight on target) and 22 against Poland (again with eight on target). The best football tipsters have been asking why Löw would not consider bringing Mario Gómez back into this squad: “We always keep an eye on him,” he said. “If Mario finds his rhythm and is playing and scoring regularly then he’ll obviously be an option looking ahead to the Euros.” With eight goals in his last eight games and Germany proving to be wanton up front, Gómez might just be getting that call sooner than he thinks!