As an Arsenal fan, who will you support at Euro 2008?

I've been sidetracked by England's progress (or non progress) during the last few tournaments and maybe haven't really enjoyed the other teams and other games as much as I would have normally. This year will be different. This year, I'll go into the tournament thinking about all the other teams and really watching the football (probably in scout mode)... of course, I would swap this for England actually being there, but as my dearest mother always used to say, "there's no point crying of spilt milk".

The tournament starts next Saturday and the opening game will be Switzerland versus the Czech Republic followed by Portugal vs Turkey... so the question that we all have a week to think about is "As an Arsenal fan, who will you support at Euro 2008?“… Will it be someone that plays the “Arsenal Way” like Holland or the team that boasts the most Arsenal players, which is actually Switzerland (not France!)… Let’s examine which players are off to the Euro’s this summer….

Group A

Switzerland

The co-hosts boast two Arsenal players, John Djourou and Philipp Senderos. According to UEFA, there is no “e” on the end of Philipp’s name… strange. Djourou has the number 2 shirt and Senderos the number 4 shirt, both players are starters for country and start alongside each other in central defence. Another player who plays for Switzerland is Eren Derdiyok, a 19 year old striker, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Czech Republic

With Tomas Rosicky injured for the tournament, we have no representatives from the Czech Republic from Arsenal playing. There are however, three other Tomas’s, Sivok, Ujfalusi and Galasek should you really really want to find a reason for supporting the Czechs…

Portugal

With Rui Fonteyet to break into the Portugal national team (and not yet to break into the Arsenal team), we don’t have a Portuguese representative in the Euro’s. But what we do have it many “enemies” – many players who play for Man U or Chelsea. Bosingwa, Paulo Ferreira, Carvalho, Ronaldo and Nani are all players we really want to see succeed, so here’s for an injury ravaged and early exit for the Portuguese, unless Quaresma does rapidly move to Arsenal this week (which is about a 1% possibility!).

Turkey

Turkey have a few Premiership representatives, players such as Emre and Tuncay, but not a Gooner in site. I couldn’t even find a Turkish player in our reserves. Out of this group, you’ll have to hope for Swiss progression.

Group B

Austria

Austria are co-hosting the competition with Switzerland, and although we don’t have any Arsenal players currently playing for Austria, we do have ex-Gunner favourite Alex Manninger holding the #1 t-shirt.

Croatia

Croatia “dumped” England out of the tournament in the qualifiers, so no doubt, a team we’d like to see lose? Or would we? If Croatia went on to win the tournament, would that mean it would have been “okay” for England to lose twice? Only time will tell… But I’d like to see Croatia do well for Eduardo. He’ll be back in time for next season, but will miss the Euros…

Germany

Germany are the third team in this group and our now departed goalkeeper, Jens Lehmannis the current holder of the #1 Jersey. With Jens, we’ll see an annoying Michael Ballackand another 21 other Germans, so I’d pretty much say this is the last team I want to see progress or get a single point. Apologies for all my German readers, but at the end of the day, I am English, I’m sure the feeling is mutual. The worst thing is I actually think they have a very strong squad, with Klose, Podolski & Gomez up front, Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Meetzelder & a few others, there is definitely some quality… ouch, that hurt.

Poland

Come on Poland, we have the third choice Polish keeper, Lukasz Fabianski, attending the Euros. Whether he will get a game or not is a different story, but it’ll be good experience for the youngster… And of course, 4th Arsenal choice keeper, who is now 18, Wojciech Szczesnywill be cheering on his compatriot!

Group C

The Netherlands

Although Holland only have one player from Arsenal, that player being Mr Robin van Persiehimself, there is more of an affinity with Holland that some of the other teams here. The Dutch are renowned for playing “total football”, and that’s similar to the Arsenal way. One of our promising Dutch players from our youth team is a player called Nacer Baraziteand he’s a player we could see in the first team. Our ex-Gooners will be a sole Gio Van B!

Italy

Italy have no Arsenal players and strangely enough, have no Premier League players at all in their squad. In fact (Zambrotta, Cannavaro & Luca Toni aside), their entire squad are Italian based. Our third choice keeper, Vito Mannone, unfortunately missed the cut and wasn’t called up – there will be more chances Vito!

Romania

Romania are the probably weakest team of the Group C, dubbed the “group of death”, boasting Holland, France and Italy. We don’t have any Gooneromanians at the Euros and if you decide to support them, be prepared for three losses and an early exit! Sorry all my Romanian readers, but you know it’s true…

France

France are probably the team with the most connection with Arsenal, Arsene being French and a lot of our players from French descent. With ex Gunner, Matthieu Flamini being dropped from the France squad, and Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna failing to make the 30 let alone the final 23, despite being the PFA players of the season in their respective positions, you’ll see no love towards the French management. Of course we have current club captain William Gallas and ex-captain Thierry Henry involved and potential new signing Samir Nasri, so definitely a team we could support. Ex-Gooners such as Flamini, Diarra, Vieira and Anelka make me want some of them to lose too, it’s a difficult one! But I’d probably say, win it for Arsene?

Group D

Greece

Greece are the current holders of the trophy with their shock win at Euro 2004. As far as I can see, we have no Greek players our squad… or our reserves… or our youth… moving swiftly on…

Sweden

Sweden boast two ex Gooners, one in Rami Shaaban, who you may have seen at the Emirates earlier this year when Brazil took on Sweden, and the other in the ageing Ljungberg. I’m sure all Arsenal fans will have a soft spot for Freddie, but how easy will it be for Sweden to get past the reigning Euro champs, a Spain side boasting household names and an emerging Russian team?

Spain

Cesc Fabregas has been given the number 10 shirt for the tournament… and that indicates that he will play and start for Spain in the attacking midfield position. There is a lot of competition in the Spanish midfield so it is a real accolade to Cesc to have the 10 shirt. Although Liverpool boast more Spanish players that any other British team, at the end of the day I’d be happy to see Cesc lift up the trophy.

Russia

And finally, that bring us to Russia. A Russian team who also helped knock out England pre-tournament. A Russian team coached by Gus Hiddink and bank rolled my the Chelsea mafia, Roman Amrbroisbrbivich, the somewhat rich Russian owner of Chelsea… and based on these facts could find no reason to support this team. I know I have a few Russian readers, and I hope Arshavin plays well to show the world what a good player he is…

Summary

There we go, a preview of the 16 teams fighting out for the trophy and an overview of Arsenal players and our connections with these teams… does this help answer the question? Answers on a postcard or in the comment tab below…

As an Arsenal fan, who will you support at Euro 2008?]]>

  • Charlie

    Wow, great post… basically, it has to be one of Swizterland, Holland, France, Poland of Fabregas’s Spain. That’s 5 teams, so maybe all of them, and then who ever gets through?!

  • Melandroweb

    Cassano will be crowned kings of Europe and will lead Italy to Triumph.

  • fan

    france for me

  • Fabulcescy!

    I think Spain have the talent to go all the way. It’s kind of like a merge of most club’s best players, between Arsenal’s best player (Fabregas) and Liverpool’s best player (Torres), Casillas, Ramos, Puyol, Villa, Xavi, Iniesta, etc, when you think of all of these names, you think world class, I hope they can do it this time. I hope Fabregas scores the winner in the final!

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  • Georgie Samaras

    I think it has to be France with Nasri and Gallas and ex-players like Henry, Anelka, Vieira, Diarra… although I’ll be supporting Greece!!!

  • JH92

    france

  • http://www.myspace.com/londontowarsaw rupert slade

    < ![CDATA[come on poland.

    they are our buggest minority and a part of modern English life.

    And our third and fourth choice goalies are Polish.

    listen to our song on the website adress above]]>

  • Nyan Whittingham

    its a blessing for me that the only reason i ever became an Arsenal fan was b/c a certain Mr. Denis Bergkamp was striking and with RVP now caring the torch, i wil have to bring my dutch team, as u said total football and that is what i love to watch, Go RVP, Go Holland , Go Arsenal, to note, i am ad will 4ever be a FAN of THIERRY HENRY!!!!

  • Sam

    < ![CDATA[A Canadian in Dubai, what do I care?! Or so I tell myself. But...
    A win for Spain will mean:
    a- Cesc is the best in all of Europe
    b- Cesc will return to Arsenal full of confidence
    I also hope RVP score a good few goals and gets his confidence back. That's all our boys need, confidence!]]>

  • Gooner Steve

    spain or france

  • http://jamesstokes.wordpress.com James

    < ![CDATA[I'll be following Spain.

    Mainly due to Cesc's involvement, but also because it's about time they had a good tournement.]]>

  • Tobbe

    < ![CDATA[haven't read all of the comments, but doesn't think anyone brought it up just yet... i saw something wrong, not good for a gunners site ;)
    You wrote that sweden have two ex-gunners, but we have three actually.
    Does Sebastian Larsson ring a bell?
    he played for arsenal, i don't know for how long, but as a youngster (ofcourse, hehe, yong gunners) but didn't play any PL games, i don't think, but some other games in the cups and all that, not CL ofcourse...
    other than that, i'm hoping for sweden to win this year, but if i'd bet all my money, it would probably be on spain, got a great team, as usual, but this time fabregas will bring the gold to them! ... or will it be Sebastian Larsson who will bring it home to Sweden =)]]>

  • pierce

    France

  • devday

    Hey Tobbe, Sebastian Larsson is no longer an “ex gunner” after his comments re: Arsene Wenger and Eduardo!

  • yommys01

    France for me even thank God Flamini was dropped , I am beginning to think God is a gunnerfan ….or what do you think , he left Arsenal and Uefa got angry and dropped Ac Milan out of Champions League now the french national’s management has also dropped him and I had a dream he will be benched throughout next season by Ac ..what a nice way to leave Arsenal…

  • http://www.vivaiazzato.it/ Roverella

    Italy is without doubt the team to beat

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Spain.

    Cesc is probably our most important player (esp if you ignore Rosicky and Ade who won't be there) and for him to win a confirm him as world class and hopefully give him a boost and encourage more players in to join him.

    Also Torres is one of my favourite non-arsenal players. Almost makes me wish Wenger was the type to splash £26m around on players.]]>

  • http://www.myspace.com/londontowarsaw rupert slade

    < ![CDATA[poland

    support the underdog and be pleasantly surprised.
    support all the guys who libe in London who work their arses off to better themselves
    sing our song
    www.myspace.com/londontowarsaw]]>

  • Male’

    Definitely France! I’m an Henry fan through and through. GO HENRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • johnnylove

    as a truley gunner…I support Romania because I’m from Romania …and as you all seen Romania is not that weak having mutu and chivu and making execelent results like 0-0 with Arsene team(France)and 1-1 with the world champions Italy not to mention that Mutu missed a penalty at 1-1 so it could 2-1…i think that if we could beat RVP team we could be the next Greece…hope never dies ;)

  • http://arsespeak.wordpress.com jamesgillesp

    Spaiinnn!! Fabregas, they gotta win it.

  • http://sais4real2007.hi5.com salisu

    spain and i give it to fabregas