(Note: This is the report for the FFS Euro 2012 award only; there is a separate report for the FFS Friendly World Cup!)
One thing we’ve noticed getting into the semi-finals are that differentials are much harder to come by. One reason is that most of the unfancied teams are out. The other is simple maths – there are fewer players to choose from and people end up piling up on virtually every player who displays any potential. Given that a certain Mario scored two of only three goals this Matchday, he would seem the obvious source of an award. Unfortunately, no less than 7 managers selected him, far beyond the long-standing limit of 3 managers to be considered a differential and also giving the carpenters serious issues in building a podium for all the winners. So we had a low-scoring round, but one still charged with valour.
I judged the award by the rules posted here. http://uefaffs.weebly.com/7/post/2012/06/the-order-of-extreme-valour.html
A “successful gamble” is defined as a single player choice that returns an unexpectedly high number of points. The awards will be given on these criteria:
– Underdog team
So first, the honourable mentions.
– Doosra for being the only person to pick Buffon (4 points). Considering most were expecting the game to be full of goals, he did well to get two save points and almost a clean sheet save for a last-gasp penalty. A penalty that seemed like the fantasy gods dropping a little sympathy from the skies for Ozil owners…
– Pratik and Roscola for picking Cassano (4 points). Cassano got an assist in Italy’s shock win over Germany, and his points will also have come a shock to most.
– ENR and China Mag for going with Bruno Alves (6 points). To pick a Portuguese defender against the might of Spain was valorous – especially as the Spanish defence was known for its clean sheets, implying Portugal would have to hold out for 120 minutes – which they did.
– China Mag and Drinky for their faith in Coentrao (7 points). Picking up an extra bonus point, Coentrao was even pricier and could easily have been swapped for a defender from the big two.
And now for the winner:
– Gaz Downright for captaining Bruno Alves (C) (6 x 2 points). To back a Portuguese clean sheet was one thing, to captain him when he also had Nani, Ronaldo and a Spanish defender playing was truly remarkable.
Congratulations to Gaz and everyone involved for giving us another enjoyable award. Alas, folks, we find ourselves facing the last Matchday of the competition, and that means the last award. As I am writing the final award for the Friendly World Cup, this is my final report for the Euro Cup and I’d like to thank you all for the memories. *throws bouquet*
Looking forward to the final, with only one match to choose from, differentials will be in short supply. But I have faith in you. Faith in you to surprise us and delight us the same way Balotelli did last night. (Unless you’re German, or had Hummels and Badstuber like me, in which case, well…)
Stay tuned for our Day 1 Report and preview of Day 2!