Euro 2012: Coaches know negative football fails - Seedorf

By Clarence SeedorfNetherlands midfielder and BBC pundit

Major tournaments are sometimes slow to get going but it has been an exciting first week in Poland and Ukraine.

We are halfway through the group stage and so far we have seen lots of attractive football, lots of attacking football - and lots of goals.

It has been a lot more entertaining than the first week of the last World Cup, that is for sure.

What is that down to? The coaches, because they decide on the tactics. And I think they have seen that the approach where people play like they are scared of losing failed in South Africa in 2010.

We have still seen lots of teams at Euro 2012 that are well-organised defensively but the most noticeable thing is that everyone seems to be going for it in attack a lot more. That is why we have seen so many entertaining games.

There is a lot of quality too, as you would expect at a European Championship.

Apart from the Netherlands, most of the pre-tournament favourites are doing pretty well. We knew the Dutch were in a tough group but losing their first game against Denmark has mixed everything up for them.

But I can't see too many other surprises happening. You always get them - like the Danes beating the Dutch - but I think there is a good reason why some of the countries at Euro 2012 are seen as the favourites.

You look at Spain, Germany, France, Italy and England and they are talented teams. And the crucial thing is that they are playing well.

We know how good Spain and Germany are from the World Cup, and France are back at a very good level.

From playing in Italy I know a lot about them too, and this is a different Italy side to the last few years.

They have a very different midfield to the one they had at the last World Cup, with quality midfielders so they can pass the ball and keep it, and create chances.

The only criticism I would have of them so far is that they sat back far too much in the second half when they drew with Croatia in their second group game.

As well as some teams, a few individuals have particularly impressed me over the last few days.

Mario Gomez looked very dangerous for Germany in their win over the Netherlands on Wednesday.

He has had a very good year with Bayern Munich and he showed us why with his movement and finishing against the Dutch.

Gomez has three goals for the tournament already, and I don't think he is finished there.

The other player to show off a lot of his quality is my former AC Milan team-mate Andriy Shevchenko, with his two goals for Ukraine against Sweden. I was pleased to see him performing so well.

England will have to watch out for another Milan player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, when they play Sweden on Friday.

Ibrahimovic is one of the best strikers in the world, but we should remember that game will not be all about him.

For a start, the Swedish are always tough to beat, whatever Ibrahimovic does for them.

If England stop him, then yes they have a better chance of winning, but I think England need to think more about attacking - because they are the better team.

They need to keep an eye on Ibrahimovic and they have the defenders to do that, but they should also be concentrating on making and scoring goals and going forward.

England did well against France in their opening game, and I think they should definitely be getting out of their group at the very least. They are capable of making really good progress in Poland and Ukraine.


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