Jun 08

Europop 2008: Group Stage Review

FT6 comments • 225 views

With the knockout stages of the Europop tournament well underway, I asked a few managers – for their highlights of the game so far (these interviews conducted before the Switzerland-Germany result):

Who do you think will win?

Romania: “There have been some sterling performances by the minnows so far, but based on solid performances during the group stages and their proven track record at being able to put them away when it matters, I just can’t see past the big boys – Germany, France & Italy. I think it could easily be any of those three but if I had to choose one I’d go for France – their new manager as shown she’s just as comfortable with more classic styles as she is with a more modern direct attacking game – and it’s that mix of tactics which will see her through.”

Turkey: “The Turkish management is contractually obliged to give douze points to the German gastarbeiten of course, however we may be placing a sneaky tenner on the French side to be eventual victors.”

Portugal: “Switzerland won’t have the players to risk going beyond Europop in the knockout stages, Lex will self destruct (& I think already has), Poland going are out to Portugal this round – I think it’ll be France if I had to pick a favorite, but Italy and Greece look viable.”

France: “My pick? Apart from me? Got to be Poland, they seem to have great songs coming from everywhere, so they would be my pick. God help us if they ever find Alicja Janosz. Other than that, I do wonder what happened to the challenge of the Faroe Islands. I think those guys could have really perked us up with some fishing songs! San Marino? Robbed! So, Poland it is.”

What’s been your favourite track of the tournament so far?

Romania: “ti Sento by Matia Bazar. I have no idea how I pulled a draw off against opposition with that kind of class – it’s sensational. Austria’s Stereotyp, Italy’s Piotta, Germany’s Lopazz and Greece’s Mikro round out my top five.”

Turkey: “Our highlight was the 89th minute Russian substitute Oskar! Well played all.”

Portugal: “I think it might be the last Greek track! [V Galaxy Orchestra – Ed.] There hasn’t been a straight-to-the-playlist banger like the PWC threw up a couple of times, but I’m still hopeful.”

France: “God knows! I’ve spent too much time trying to worry about my own songs! Erm…I quite liked V Galaxy Orchestra – “A Russian Spy In Shanghai” – cos it rhymed! It’s got a D&C feel to the title! No, I did like that one. That was good!”

Thanks to all players and voters so far! Keep on tickin’!


  1. 1
    Tom on 6 Jun 2008 #

    If you’d like to make predictions or pick your own favourites so far, please do!

    Stuff that’s landed on my own playlist: the 80s “Croatian” girl group, “Ti Senti”, “Strip Twist”, that German marchungboschen track, and both the songs in the current quarter-final.

  2. 2
    koganbot on 6 Jun 2008 #

    My Top 5, which demonstrates my penchant for backing losers: (1) Austria’s Stereotyp & Al Haca, (2) “Croatia”‘s Grupa Zeris, (3) Turkey’s Grup Hepsi, (4) Russia’s The Oskar & Pscholovers, (5) France’s Mélissa Mars. And I love the current match, though neither track quite makes my top 5.

    If Poland gets through its match w/ Portugal, that’s where I’d put my money. Otherwise, I’d go with France or Portugal, who have been strong all tournament. But Italy has had moments of almost unstoppable brilliance. Switzerland, Greece, and Russia have played over their heads, but I just can’t imagine they’ve got the personnel to go much further, though bounces keep going Switzerland’s way.

  3. 3
    Tom on 6 Jun 2008 #

    I have at least one Greek track I really love left (in fact I like it better than anything I’ve played so far) – I also think it’s completely the wrong thing to play against Italy (though Matt hasn’t sent me a track yet, but I intend to make a selection before he does so as to play fair.)

  4. 4
    Matt DC on 6 Jun 2008 #

    My favourite group stage track by a mile was the Czechs’ Strip Twist, totally in a different class and the Czechs can consider themselves very unfortunate to have come against such formidable Portuguese support.

    The current quarter finalists are both excellent as well. Portugal are probably my favourite team overall, but the Swiss have proved something of a surprise package as well. The Russian manager hasn’t had a lot of resarch time and has done well, a bit of intensive training ahead of the knockout stages could be just what they need.

  5. 5
    Alyson Tamara Guard on 10 Jun 2008 #

    I really thought Poland would win! I think I might have dodged a rival there! The hardest part is picking the order of songs – I think I’m one quality track short of winning. I must do my research! But still, bad luck Poland, I blame the Holy Goalie.

  6. 6
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