Published: 2021-05-28 By: The Guru
The European championships tend to rally the nation behind their national teams every four years. The fanfair is not quite as much as it is seen at the World Cup, but it still brings out the flags, the replica shirts, and most importantly, gives us all something to sit in front of the TV together and cheer on – until that inevitable quarter-final exit on penalties that is.
No Home Advantage
Unlike previous tournaments, held in just one or maybe two adjacent countries, the Euro 2020 (now Euro 2021) tournament is to be held right across Europe, with the games played at some of the most iconic stadiums in European football. This would mean that either none of the participating Euro Cup teams would have the much valued ‘home advantage’ or between eight and twelve of them would.
This diverse range of venues can mean that visiting supporter numbers might not reach quite the same levels as previous tournaments, and this will have a profound effect on some results and the momentum of some participating teams. For instance, the chances of a crowd presence having the same effect as it did for Iceland in 2016 will be next to none. In addition, the possibility of a home nation overachieving in the early stages of the tournament and then be buoyed on by a wave of partisan support to even better things is just as remote.
The Form Of Star Players
The European domestic seasons have seen some strange results that could possibly affect the performances of the star players.
This is on top of the normal problems caused by a world-class player, who might normally play in a team of other world-class players with their club, moving to possibly inferior (but definitely different) training environment and facilities.
Add into the equation the fact that they might now be playing in the same national team as players that would usually play in divisions two or even three levels below them, and they might have the pressure of the hopes of a nation resting on their shoulders – it is easy to see why the club form of so many star players is not repeated on at international tournaments like Euro 2021.
While the diverse locations used in Euro 2021 could be seen as a celebration of European football, It can also be seen as a significant diversion from the way a tournament like Euro 2021 would normally be staged.
It could be argued that the logistical challenges are no different from those faced by players who play regularly in the Champions League and Europa League. But, when you throw in the additional pressures caused by being under the spotlight of an international tournament that is only held every four years, the similarity ends.
The combination of variations in the venues, a lack of ‘home advantage’ for just one team, and the form of star players who might otherwise carry a team will make Euro 2021 one of the most unpredictable and exciting tournaments for many years.
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