Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Thursday 7 June 2012

First Person View – Euro 2012 Previews

    I could feasibly take the time to research and compose detailed previews of each nation’s representatives at the big tournament of the summer. But let’s face it; they would pale in comparison to the following:

    As rights holders and broadcaster TSN has done a fine job of building up to the tournament. They were kind enough to allow me onto a conference call earlier this week with Jason deVos, Luke Wileman, and recently announced co-host, former England international, Darren Anderton. More on this later read on.

Michael Cox of Zonal Marking has done a wonderful job with his release over the past few days.

In Bed With Maradona reached out to some of their experts for the lowdown, be sure to check out their stadium/city guide if you’re one of the lucky ones heading over for any matches.

SI.com leans on some of their distinguished brain-trust – Jonathan Wilson, Gabriel Marcotti, Raphael Honigstein and Ben Lyttleton – to preview all sixteen squads individually.

The good-fellows at The Score’s The Footy Blog (and Show and Podcast and Mobile App and messenger pigeon) have been on this for the past month, delivering on every platform imaginable, enlisting the help of several experts; just go take it all in.

Or you could go grab a magazine or two; World Soccer’s Summer Special Issue is complete dedicated to a preview – extra content online, while FourFourTwo, When Saturday Comes, and every other publication you could think of has you set as well.

Almost forgot about ESPN’s new addition, ESPN FC a whole section devoted to Euro 2012.

Then there’s always the source, UEFA.

Basically, if you haven’t started reading already, tick-tock – matches kickoff on Friday Morning. I’ll be watching Canada perform in Cuba, but then… Blessed be the PVR.

    Back to the conference call, the panel ran through the groups, gave their tips for each, ran through predictions for the final and top goal-scorer – all available in their previews – and then fielded questions from the audience.

    It was pretty sparse to be honest – and I was too shy to chime in with a contribution – but Andrew Bucholtz of Yahoo Sports did ask a few rather interesting questions.

    The best, of which, involved whether Mr. Anderton felt he had to, or would, assess the matches any differently, tailoring it to a Canadian audience. He indicated he saw no reason to dumb-it-down proceeded to tell a story about coming over for a spell as a ten-year-old and that it was an excellent opportunity to see how the game is evolving in another part of the world.

    When prodded for his favourite memory from his playing days in the tournament, he recalled England’s 4-1 trouncing of Holland at Wembley in the group stage of Euro 96.

    When the panel was asked why Canada should watch a European tournament, Mr. deVos stressed that the European Championships, unlike the World Cup, was yet to be watered down. Every match is crucial given the extremely high level of the competition. Sadly, this will be the final sixteen team edition, with 2016 in France set to be expanded to a field of twenty-four.

    I wanted to ask if Mr. Anderton had a chance to catch the Canada-USA match at BMO Field, whether he would take the opportunity of being in town to attend the Canada-Honduras match on Tuesday, and perhaps even an MLS match.

    It’s always good to get an outside opinion on the domestic scene, by one not scarred with the failures and injustices of the past.

    It wasn’t particularly pertinent to the Euro coverage, but perhaps I’ll reach out and see if I can get a response.

    TSN will be covering the matches on every conceivable platform; I have to upgrade myself to HD tomorrow when I take a break from reading. Here are their television and radio schedules, if you’re more technologically advanced than that, all the details for the extended platforms can be found here.

    I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed – just spotted Fox Soccer’s Guide, but regardless of that shortcoming be sure to take the time to enjoy this tournament. Sometimes it feels like the football never stops, but we each are only granted so many of these big occasions.

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