I didn’t catch any of the Switzerland game this morning as I was out with my dad for Father’s Day. Looked to be a pretty decent game though. Terrific decision to let play go on by the referee at the end. I did manage to see the France game though, so I have a few observations.
There couldn’t have been a worse omen for France than having the national anthem fail to play. For a group of players that have been known to play for themselves rather than their country, the lack of a national anthem – a chance to feel some French pride – could have signaled the start of another failed campaign. However, this team proved stronger than the 2010 squad, quickly putting their egos aside to dominate play from the start. They looked rather impressive, albeit against ten men most of the time. They now look like a cohesive unit from Benzema up top to Lloris in goal. On a side note, it’s really quite pathetic that the anthems didn’t work. This is one of the first confirmations that Brazil didn’t have their act together on time that has directly impacted the event. Let’s hope there aren’t too many more moments like that.
It was great to see the goal-line technology come into play for the second goal in a situation that didn’t matter all that much. To the naked eye, it didn’t look like the ball had crossed the line, but that is why the technology has been installed in the first place, because it is more reliable than the naked eye. People now have to trust that this system will get the decisions correct, which will only happen through their seeing it in action. I’m not a fan of having it for offside decisions, but goal-line plays are definitive enough that a little technology makes sense for the game. As proven in tennis with the Hawk-Eye system, trustworthy technology that works instantly can enhance a sport, rather than diminish it.
Lastly, there are a lot of ridiculous hairstyles in professional soccer. Having watched Olivier Giroud for two seasons at Arsenal, I have seen that some players put an absurd amount of thought into how their mane looks. But this French team has a lot of hairstyles that are way out there. Antoine Griezmann and Mathieu Debuchy in particular have looks that would never be considered acceptable anywhere other than on a soccer field. Americans would never dare try something as bold as those two have, and while I admire them for it, I question their choice in style.
On that note, I have an idea. Thinking about how the “What would your Brazilian football name be?” website has taken off (For the record, I would be Ethildo – I should start going by that), I have decided the next big hit should be “What would your French football hairstyle be?” It would be a huge success. Who wouldn’t love to see what they looked like with those ridiculous cuts? You’ve heard this idea here first.