Whether it be anxiety related stuff, self-doubt or my usual obsessive thoughts I usually have an unwelcome guest of some sort in my mind. Not today however, well maybe a few obsessive thoughts but not bad ones. Nothing to really complain about. If the only things I have to complain about are the fact I have to wait a month to get my new Freiburg kit and the fact I can only afford a 12cm action figure of Jogi instead of one of the bigger ones then I must be doing ok. I haven’t magically solved all of my problems, haven’t dealt with any of them in fact because I’ve done nothing but think about the Euros for the past seven weeks. Now that’s over, unfortunately a little bit earlier than I anticipated and I’m in a strange place, somewhere halfway between being disappointed at how the summer ended and excited for the new season. I don’t know why I’m in such a good mood, well that’s the wrong way to put it, I don’t think it’s right to be in a good mood just yet. I’m not despairing over it all anyway, that’s the main thing. That and the fact Freiburg’s new kits look cool:
Also unusual is the fact I’m not obsessing over that last game, I’m not obsessively going over it trying to work out how it could have gone differently. I’m still upset about it and it still hurts but I actually think I’m dealing with ok. Today’s news certainly helped on this count. Since Thursday night I’ve been waiting anxiously to see what Jogi was going to do, if he intended to continue in his post for the Confederations Cup next summer and the World Cup in 2018. His answer to the question put to him at the end of the interview after the France game was I have to admit most unnerving. He was asked if he was going to be on the bench for the Finland game on the 31st August, after taking an age his eventual answer was “I think so.” Afterwards he said he’d be taking a few days to consider his position and to take in the events of the summer. I’m just glad I didn’t have to wait too long to find out, having gotten confirmation now I can get on with enjoying the pre-season.
It’s a good thing I’m not obsessing over the tournament because the ending of it was something of a disappointment, but in a way the final is in a lot of ways a fair reflection of how the tournament went. I would have been unhappy no matter who won, I know that, but Portugal winning it is just so very wrong. I mean they drew all three of their group games, beat just one team in 90 minutes of regular time and were perfectly happy it seems to just wait out the game, not actually play but just run their opponents into the ground. A disappointing final for what was overall something of a disappointing tournament. It did have it’s magic moments, Iceland’s terrific journey to the quarter finals among them but that didn’t make up for it. The final cemented my initial dislike of the newly expanded format and for me it shows everything that’s wrong with it. Portugal finished third in their group yet end up in the final, despite never looking like a team that could win the thing. Being rewarded for finishing in third place is just rewarding mediocrity. I know it gives smaller countries a chance to qualify when they otherwise wouldn’t, that’s fair in one way. But what’s fair is not necessarily what’s best for having a good competition. After all isn’t the tournament meant to be between the best teams in Europe?
I didn’t mean to write so much on the matter, I may not be obsessing about the semi-final but evidently I can’t say the same for the final. At least it’s not preventing me from enjoying anything else. There’s no shortage of other matters I should be thinking about, like getting back into a good routine and maybe spending some more time outside. I figured I couldn’t keep putting it off forever and so I did just that today. Since the tournament started I haven’t spent a considerable amount of time with anyone or gone anywhere. Today’s events put an end to that, it was just a trip to the cinema to see Tarzan but it’s a start. It went about as ok as it could go, consdering I haven’t stepped outside in almost two months. Wisely I didn’t go alone, it might not have ended so well had I done so.
Getting used to not having done something after avoiding it for a while isn’t easy, a bit like writing this post in fact. I’ve written just two posts since the summer started, the rest has all been pictures and videos. That’s all done now and it’s back to normality. I don’t really have any plans yet, other than getting back into the habit of writing regular posts again, hopefully ones that are a little less rambling than this. The only other thing on my list is to get some reading done. I’ve got a lot of books to catch up on and given that I feel more focused than I have done in a long time it’s a good time to get reading again. I also have plenty of stories to work on, which may be part of the reason I’ve not gotten quite so upset about getting knocked out in the semi finals. They’ve given me a safe place to express my feelings and make sense of what’s bothering me, they can’t help with everything but even if that’s all they can do then it’s enough. Not that I have any inerest in justifying how I spend my time to anyone right now. The past few weeks I’ve been too wrapped up in the tournament to care and now I just don’t care at all. I’m doing what I need, not what someone else thinks I should be doing.
The complete Jogi highlights from the 2016 Euros, plus press conferences, interviews and post-match interviews and some other favourite videos along with some selected pictures and GIFs:
Some other random favourite videos, pictures and GIFs, some from training in Evian and other from the summer training camp in Ascona: