Euro 2016 Match Day 2 Review

With 24 games played out of the 51 scheduled, we’re already nearly half way through Euro 2016! Match day 2 hasn’t had as many off-field antics as match day 1 did, which is good news, but it has had a few more exciting games with a shed load of late drama.

Even though there have been two nil nils in MD 2, even they have been pretty entertaining! Despite this the number of influential substitutions and late goals has been remarkable.

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Euro 2016: Scores on the Doors after Match Day 1

It’s been a fascinating start to Euro 2016. We’ve had the good (great goals, fantastic atmospheres), the bad (red cards, Germany’s coaching staff dress attire) and the ugly (horrendous fighting, Joachim Löw’s scratch and sniff manoeuvre) – and we are only five days into the tournament!

With Portugal and Iceland (go on the Icemen!) rounding off proceedings last night, we have now seen all the teams show us what they’ve got to offer in the 2016 edition of the European Championships. It hasn’t been too exciting on the pitch with a lot of teams playing it fairly safe and keeping it tight to avoid any catastrophic starts, but we haven’t seen any goalless draws which is always good news.

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Euro 2016 kicks off!

A major tournament only happens once every two years so early afternoon beers, hours of watching TV and general excited-ness are absolutely justified!

The tournament kicked off in Paris last night as France took on the heavily underestimated Romania. The Romanians gave the French a minor scare as the game looked like it was heading for a 1-1 draw but then up stepped West Ham United midfield Dimitri Payet to spank one right in the top corner from 20-25 yards. A peach of strike with his so-called ‘weaker’ left foot.

The second game has just finished with Switzerland hanging on to a 1-0 win against 10-men Albania, who like Romania, have been much better than I expected. Albania had a glorious chance to level it up with 3 minutes left but Gashi fluffed his lines as the Swiss number one made a fantastic save. Despite that, I don’t expect Albania to make to turn too many heads during this tournament, in fact there is more chance in being tax audited according to the latest odds from Betfair.

The odds have been metamorphosed into a nice infographic below which has been powered up by Myprotein. The infographic shows the latest betting percentages against some odd comparisons.
 photo FOOTBALL INFOGRAPHIC_zpsuhb6cegq.jpg

A great first week in England for Betis

Hola Béticos y los aficionados de fútbol. Today will be my last post for two weeks as I jet off on holiday tomorrow, therefore missing the last 3 friendlies against Fulham, Hull and Everton. Despite this let’s have a look at what’s being happening en el mundo del Betis.

Rubén, Lolo and Juanfran in the gym (from Beticismo.net)

Rubén, Lolo and Juanfran in the gym (from Beticismo.net)

Betis have now been in England for just short of a week and what a great week it has been. They have played 3 games (Huddersfield, Bolton and Wolves) and won all 3! I managed to get to the first two of those games and I was impressed with what I saw. As Pepe Mel commented, it’s great to get the team accustomed to winning. It was also very nice to meet Béticos from both Spain and England. The team are playing some very nice football, scoring goals without Rubén Castro and defending much better. This is all the more impressive considering that there are 13 new faces in the Betis camp – that is half the squad! More that half in England when you consider that Alvaro Vadillo and Eder Vilarchao are not currently with the squad.

The squad yesterday got their first (and well deserved) day off; all apart from new arrivals Dídac and Braian (which is a pain to type) who had to stay and train with coach David Gómez. The players could either stay at the hotel or spend the day in Chester.

Good news on the injury front as Rubén Castro is expected to return to training tomorrow after being out with a right abductor muscle problem. Antonio Amaya, who has not featured yet in England, is also back in training as is Cedrick. Juan Carlos is not far away from returning. Lolo Reyes, Betis’ only first team defensive midfielder, also returned to the grass this morning, which is a great bonus. He has been out with a right knee ligament problem. Slight concern however, Chuli had to retire from training this morning with an injury to his right knee. We will know more on this when it has been examined by the doctor.

On the transfer front – the club are still after a central/defensive midfielder to replace the hole that has been vacated by the departures of Cañas/Beñat/Rubén Pérez. The club are willing to invest ‘two or three’ million euros to create that much needed solid spine running straight through the team. There has been lots of names banded about – Digard, Iborra, Kvist – but nothing more than that. In fact Digard has just renewed with Nice so we know it definitely won’t be him. Vlada Stosic is working overtime to plug this hole and I expect a signing to be made soon.

All in all, a great first week for Betis. The next 3 games will be much harder though as they will be up against Premier League opposition. It will be provide a good yard stick to see how well Betis get on and also provide some good preparation for the class of teams they are likely to play against in the Europa League.

In the meantime I will point you in the direction of some other Bético outlets to bring you the latest news.

The best English-based Betis site around brought to you by Adam Boyle, a season ticket holder Bético who lives in Seville www.foreverbetis.com 

Mateo González and the rest of the writers at www.alfinaldelapalmera.com  – Mateo is in the UK and currently following Betis around the country and doing an absolutely fantastic job of bringing Betis news all day long.

Another one of my favourites is www.beticismo.net – where José Mariá García is doing a sterling job.

Viva el Betis and see you in two weeks!

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 – 3 Real Betis – Third victory on the trot in England

Béticos at Wolves (from RBetisBalompie twitter)

Béticos at Wolves (from RBetisBalompie twitter)

Real Betis showed good grit and determination to come from 2-1 behind to grab victory over Wolves at Molineux.

I wasn’t in attendance at this game and I couldn’t find a good stream on the internet so I followed the action via Betis Radio and various twitter feeds. For two good write ups (in Spanish) see Jose Maria García’s over at beticismo.net and the recount on alfinaldelapalmera’s website brought to you via Mateo González who is following Betis around on the English adventure.

The game came less than 24 hours after last night’s 2-0 victory over Bolton so Pepe Mel gave starts to Sara; Steinhöfer, Caro, Jordi, Álex Martínez; Matilla, Nono, Salva Sevilla; Chuli, Braian Rodríguez (making his Betis debut) and Cedrick (making his first start in England).

Wolves made an energetic start and were 1-0 up after just 4 minutes when Stearman scored from a corner. Salva but Betis back on level terms around 10 minutes later. The game became quite open and this is what makes Betis look frail at the back and is the reason why Mel is so intent on securing a defensive midfielder. According to beticismo.net, Braian barely touched the ball first half. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt after as he has only just arrived in the country as of a couple of hours ago!

The other debutee, Dídac Vila, came on at half time for Braian, however, Betis started the second half very poorly and were back behind when Griffiths scored for Wolves in the 50th minute. This must have shocked Betis a little as they went back on level terms just 6 minutes later thanks to Cedrick. With Salva, Nono and Matilla in the middle, it’s been said that the midfield was too flat and the gap between where the creation takes place and the forwards was too much.

Despite this Betis went in front for the first time in the game when Matilla capitalised on a defensive error and finished in the 71st minute. Pepe Mel brought on a few substitutes after this and the game ended 3-2 to Betis. Apparently, Guille Sara in goal for Betis had a fine game. So did Stephan Anderson yesterday against Bolton. It gives Mel a bit of a headache, if not a good one, before the start of La Liga as to who will start number 1.

Betis now have a bit of a break to recoup, refresh and hone their skills before the face Fulham on Monday 5th August at Craven Cottage.

Betis on British Soil.

Real Betis landed today in Manchester and to their new home for the time being in Mottram. A total of 26 players made the journey to help prepare Betis for the up and coming season. All 10 new signings also made the trip and mostly were paired up with each other for room share – the list below shows all the pairs (new signings in bold). Alvaro Vadillo would also be included but he is away on international duty with the Spanish u19 squad who are playing in their equivalent of the Euros.

jordi_camiseta

New verdiblanco: defender Jordi Figueras

Andersen-Steinhöfer
Guillermo Sara-Jordi Figueras 
Amaya-Nacho
Perquis-Nosa
Paulao-Salva Sevilla
Lolo Reyes-Cedrick
Matilla-Juan Carlos
Juanfran-Chuli
Jorge Molina-Rubén Castro
Caro-Javi Montoya
Carlos García-Nono
Álex Martínez-Sergio Rodríguez
Chica-Verdú

mottram st andrew

Mottram Hall (courtesy of beticismo.net)

Great to see so many canteranos in the squad – Caro, Javi Montoya, Sergio Rodríguez, Alex Martínez and Carlos García. Very excited to see these get some playing time.

The hotel that Betis are staying in is an extremely grand hotel set out in the small village of Mottram St Andrew, which has around 600 habitants.

Have a look here on beticismo.net for further photos of the very posh hotel.

I haven’t really had time to name and comment upon all the new signings thus far as there has been so many, however, during the friendlies in England I will try to highlight their performances and see how they are settling in.

I also hope to get a few pictures as I will be travelling to Huddersfield tomorrow night (Weds 24th) and Bolton (Fri 26th) to watch los verdiblancos! Note that Betis will be in England until the 12th August – just 6 days before the kick off the campaign for real against Real Madrid.

The players have already had their first training session in very pleasant weather (if not a tad stuffy) and Béticos will be glad to know that Rubén Castro and Javi Matilla featured after picking up slight knocks last week, however Lolo Reyes is still injured. Have a look at the video below from Betis TV showing the players during this first session.

Betis on British Soil

Real Betis landed today in Manchester and to their new home for the time being in Mottram. A total of 26 players made the journey to help prepare Betis for the up and coming season. All 10 new signings also made the trip and mostly were paired up with each other for room share – the list below shows all the pairs (new signings in bold). Alvaro Vadillo would also be included but he is away on international duty with the Spanish u19 squad who are playing in their equivalent of the Euros.

jordi_camiseta

New verdiblanco: defender Jordi Figueras

Andersen-Steinhöfer
Guillermo Sara-Jordi Figueras 
Amaya-Nacho
Perquis-Nosa
Paulao-Salva Sevilla
Lolo Reyes-Cedrick
Matilla-Juan Carlos
Juanfran-Chuli
Jorge Molina-Rubén Castro
Caro-Javi Montoya
Carlos García-Nono
Álex Martínez-Sergio Rodríguez
Chica-Verdú

mottram st andrew

Mottram Hall (courtesy of beticismo.net)

Great to see so many canteranos in the squad – Caro, Javi Montoya, Sergio Rodríguez, Alex Martínez and Carlos García. Very excited to see these get some playing time.

The hotel that Betis are staying in is an extremely grand hotel set out in the small village of Mottram St Andrew, which has around 600 habitants.

Have a look here on beticismo.net for further photos of the very posh hotel.

I haven’t really had time to name and comment upon all the new signings thus far as there has been so many, however, during the friendlies in England I will try to highlight their performances and see how they are settling in.

I also hope to get a few pictures as I will be travelling to Huddersfield tomorrow night (Weds 24th) and Bolton (Fri 26th) to watch los verdiblancos! Note that Betis will be in England until the 12th August – just 6 days before the kick off the campaign for real against Real Madrid.

The players have already had their first training session in very pleasant weather (if not a tad stuffy) and Béticos will be glad to know that Rubén Castro and Javi Matilla featured after picking up slight knocks last week, however Lolo Reyes is still injured. Have a look at the video below from Betis TV showing the players during this first session.