Who will win Euro 2012?

The European Championships are now only a few days away, so we at Spirit of Mirko have decided to predict the entire tournament. Rather than predicting the results by analysing each individual side, their players, formations, recent form, we have decided to use hard, cold facts. So, for this set of predictions we have used the previous meeting for each […]

Euro 2012 squad analysis: Part Two

Rather than bombard you all with information I thought I’d split the Euro 2012 squad analysis into two parts. I’ll try and concentrate more on the players than the squads in this section. Top goalscorers per nation Croatia – Eduardo (22) Czech Republic – Milan Baros (40) Denmark – Dennis Rommedahl (21) England – Wayne Rooney (28) Spain – Fernando […]

Euro 2012: Squad analysis

The sixteen nations have now named their twenty-three man squads for Euro 2012. Three hundred and sixty-eight players will travel to the tournament in Poland & Ukraine, some experienced, some young, some with over hundred caps, some with none or very few. The following table shows a list of Euro 2012 countries, the total number of caps in their squad, […]

Zambia – Champions of Africa

Eighteen years after eighteen of Zambia’s footballers were killed off the coast of Libreville, Stippola Sunzu scored the eighteenth penalty of a marathon shootout to win his country their first ever Africa Cup of Nations. During the shootout the Zambian players could be heard indulging in communal singing in support of their team-mates as they faced the dreaded walk to […]

Chris Coleman appointed as new manager of Wales

Chris Coleman has been appointed the new manager of the Welsh national team. An odd fact associated to the appointment of Chris Coleman is that in March 1994 Wales played Norway in an friendly at Ninian Park. It was the solitary game in John Toshack’s first spell as Welsh manager (a spell that lasted for little more than a few […]

Euro 2012 qualification attendances

Now that the group stages of the Euro 2012 qualification are over, I thought I’d take a look at the attendances. It’s especially interesting this time around as many of the games have been played on Friday/Tuesday rather than the traditional (and I use that term very loosely) Saturday/Wednesday. For the record of the  240 qualification ties 26 were played on […]

Wales vs Montenegro & England

During the final days of Mark Hughes reign at the helm of the Wales national team when the marvellous win in Helsinki and a fully deserved victory over Italy were a fading memory, Welsh fans would often travel to games more in hope than expectation.  Then John Toshack came and  killed the hope. An inevitable slide down the world rankings […]

In defence of the FIFA World Rankings

Every month or so FIFA release a ranking of all the national teams in the world. The rankings are widely mocked for their inaccurate representation of the relative qualities of international sides, but is this fair? Fans and journalists alike mocked England’s recent position of fourth in the rankings. Twitter was ablaze with laughter (or “lolz”) as Capello’s men were […]