Here’s our Euro Fantasy 2020 article with Rob Reids Review of Euro Fantasy 2020 including his final team points. You can also see the final FFGeek Contributors League
Euro Fantasy 2020 – Rob Reid’s Review And The Final FFGeek Contributors League
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Round score – 35, Total pts – 395. Overall Rank – 6997
Here’s the points:
An engrossing final
The Euro 2020 Final was certainly as gripping as the rest of the knockout phase. Luke Shaw’s fine finish in the 2nd minute (the earliest goal ever in a Euros Final) got England off to a flyer, but Italy slowly worked their way back into the match. Some tactical tweaks, saw Chiellini periodically stepping into the midfield in the second half which afforded more time for Veratti and Jorginho to control the tempo of the game and England had no answer. Eventually the equaliser arrived and with Extra-Time proving to be a stalemate, England succumbed in the most dreaded of finales making Italy the Champions of Europe for the first time since 1968.
Italy were fantastic winners in my opinion – they were entertaining throughout the tournament and Roberto Mancini expertly managed the minutes of his squad, freshening things up throughout each match and eventually this told in the final. I am particularly pleased for Gianluca Vialli from Italy’s backroom staff who is one of football’s great characters and overcame pancreatic cancer 3 years ago and also for Leonardo Spinazzola who I think could have been Player of the Tournament had he not suffered a nasty Achilles tendon injury in the quarters.
England’s optimism for the future
As for England, in the initial disappointment it may not seem like it now but there is much to be hopeful about. They are a hugely talented young squad who have gone further in this tournament than any English team has gone before. There will be much debate about their tactics and substitutions in the Final and hopefully they will learn from their mistakes moving forward, but they are squad with many young role models who have given the country a massive feel-good factor over the last month.
My heart also goes out to Rashford, Sancho and Saka who were brave enough to step up when they were needed. Many players more senior than them have missed vital penalties in the same situation. The 5 players who took penalties in the shoot-out are all heroes for putting their hand up to take the responsibility when their nation needed them and for that they deserve immense credit. And it should go without saying that Rashford, Sancho and Saka absolutely do not deserve the foul abuse that some so-called ‘fans’ gave them afterwards. I hope that the FA and their clubs take good care of them as they come to terms with their disappointment and move forward their careers.
An excellent tournament overall
In terms of the tournament itself, I thought Euro 2020 was great fun and a good advert for the game. There were always going to be pros and cons to the multiple host tournament model, but I enjoyed the novelty of it even if questions should be asked about whether the structure of it was ethical in the middle of a global pandemic. I thought the games had a good flow to them, the quality of football on display was consistently strong as was the officiating and how smooth the VAR process was. The next major tournament isn’t far away of course and although we approach it with much uncertainty both in the world with the health crisis at large and at tournament level with the nuances of a winter World Cup in a country with no real footballing history or pedigree, I am very much looking forward to Qatar 2022.
My Euro fantasy teams performance in the Final
Back to the matter at hand though and my Fantasy team scored pretty well in the Final, even if it was quite a low-scoring round. It transpired that the result dictated that the only feasible strategy that worked was if you happened to have the players that got attacking returns and major gains in rank really were only possible if you’d Captained either Shaw or Bonucci. Luckily, I had both Shaw and Bonucci in my team, along with 1 of the assisters in Trippier though I wasn’t brave enough to put the armband on any of them. A gain of 4000 places was ok though and got me into the Top 7k – a satisfying result out of 3.5 million odd teams and a decent comeback after my disastrous 1/4 Final Round which had seen me drop from 2k to 15k!
The Euro Fantasy game itself
In terms of the game itself, I enjoy the UEFA/FIFA style of Fantasy game, although it does require a bit more in-game management than FPL with subs and Captain swaps. What was clear in this game was that hanging on to your Wildcard into the knockouts was the way to go, though in fairness I’ve gone with the using the Wildcard strategy in previous World Cup and Euro games and it’s served me well – I guess it all depends on how many shock results there are in the Round of 16!
Now a couple of weeks away from fantasy football
Sunday’s Final has also brought to an end what has been an exceptionally long period of playing Fantasy Football for me that in essence began in August 2019 with the 19/20 FPL season! This was of course interrupted by the start of the pandemic, then resurrected through first Fantasy Bundesliga and then the return of the rest of the 19/20 FPL season. I then only had a few days off before I started season 20/21 with Fantasy Football Scotland, before picking up FPL again in Sept for season 20/21. The Euros then pretty much followed straight on for me as I went straight from the season end into my Euro 2020 research and then ultimately the game. It’s been hard work, but really enjoyable.
Suffice to say, it’s now time for a couple of weeks off for me! I plan to take 2-3 weeks completely off where I won’t even entertain anything from a Fantasy sport perspective and enjoy some time in the hills with my dogs and children and hopefully enjoy a bit of the Olympic Games.
I’ll be back!
I’ll be back for FPL 2021-22 though and I’m hoping to provide a bit more and varied content again this season, so see you in early August folks!
The Final FFGeek Contributors League
Especially impressive was the overall rank of Kev in Canada of 2k and Stephen Troop of 3k