Our Freund at the Euros!
Steffen Freund - European Championship winner with Germany in 1996 - offers his expert opinion to Spurs fans on Euro 2008....
Lane legend Steffen Freund - European Championship winner with Germany in 1996 - offers his expert opinion to Spurs fans on Euro 2008....
"HELLO again to all you Spurs fans!
"I was in Austria last week and at the weekend to watch Germany play Croatia and Austria. There is no doubt that Croatia deserved to beat us last Thursday, they were better on the ball, pressed us well in midfield and I have to say perhaps German fans - including myself - were a little too positive after the first group game win against Poland. We can see now that was the easiest game in the group.
"That defeat meant the pressure was on against Austria and you could see that in the first half on Monday, but Germany deserved to win that game.
"Germany now play Portugal in the quarter-finals tonight - what a game! Portugal are the favourites now, I don't think anyone can argue with that. They have played some of the best football in the tournament and Germany face a team arguably even better in possession than Croatia, who as I said, deserved to win last week.
"There is high pressure on this game and that's normally when Germany come into their own but at the same time, if Germany don't play to their potential, I am convinced Portugal will win this match.
"Just going back to Croatia, I've been impressed. They look organised without the ball, they don't play too deep, they work hard, press and then they have that quality in possession. I think they will beat Turkey in the quarter-final tomorrow and then who knows in the semis?
"I said in my first column last week that you cannot rule out any team after the first group games - and that was with particular reference to Italy, who had just lost 4-1 to Holland. Well, they've done it again!
"Okay, it might have been a different story against France if it had stayed 11 against 11, but they deserved to win and they will grow in confidence now. They are dangerous. They will play Spain now in the quarter-finals and we've seen it all before. Even though everyone rightly says Spain have played superbly, we all know the Italian mentality at this stage of tournaments and I think they are now favourites for this match.
"That leaves me to look at Holland, who will play Russia in the quarter-finals. For me, they are the tournament favourites and the key thing is that they clearly have a great team spirit and that's important.
"They have played the best football and another factor is that they were able to make so many changes and still comfortably beat Romania - compare that to Portugal, who made changes and lost to Switzerland. All the players have been involved and Van Basten knows he can make positive changes from the bench at any time, he has good options. It's all positive from the Dutch point of view and I think they will progress into the semi-finals."
Look out for more from Steffen next week...