CEV Men’s European Championship 2019 - hosts France, Slovenia, Belgium and the Netherlands

  • I am 90% sure that that match would still be played in Slovenia, like it was in the women's tournament.

    There is even a small chance that the draw dictates that Slovenia plays France in the 1/8 finals, and apparently two hosts can't meet before the QF (or even SF?), which would lead to some teams switching places in the draw.

    It's a proper mess, I know :D

    Turkey managed to beat Belarus for 3 points but the set they dropped almost surely means that Slovenia will finish second and none of this will be necessary. And I can't say Bulgaria will be favourites against Slovenia in front of a packed crowd in Ljubljana...


    Today was a good day even for the ones who don't like the format or the championship in general. Apart from Montenegro vs. Poland, the rest of the matches were mostly and for most parts balanced and interesting. Even Slovakia showed teeth against Belgium.

  • Estonia has to be the disappointment of the tournament for me. They are a usually a solid team and Täht is a beast, it is inexcusable for them to not win a single set vs Montenegro and Czech. I don't know how such an experienced team can choke in the finish of the set so many times.

    Pretty much all of their players underperformed.

  • Does anyone know what type of injury Kurkaev incurred and/or if it was anything serious? In the event he is out of commission, I don't think this will affect Russia too much as they are deep in the MB position.

  • Serbia is really impossible to predict in any way. Now they're finding a way to lose to Spain, of all teams.

    Serbia's second team should be enough against Spain in my opinion but I think Kovac is insecure and don't want to lose unnecessary matches. I just wonder if this can affect their run heading to the knockout stages.

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • Unfortunately, apart from some extra spice, Bulgaria cannot offer much more. I don't see any other team preventing those two from meeting in the final.


    I know, right? It's hard to argue when people can't even tell one country from another :D


    Macedonia's win makes the situation in Pool C rather interesting. I doubt Russia will let go of the first place (will they play fair against the hosts?), Slovenia's second place and their home crowd advantage in the last 16 is under threat, though. There's a high chance Turkey takes it (they are 2-0 against Belarus as I write). And the runner-up in A might meet Slovenia in Montpellier instead of Turkey/Finland. Also, Macedonia will follow tomorrow's matches closely but they have every chance of earning a historic elimination berth.

    Can you comment on Martin Atanasov’s performance during this ECH? I’m very impressed by his performance during the OGQ.

  • Can you comment on Martin Atanasov’s performance during this ECH? I’m very impressed by his performance during the OGQ.

    Everyone was impressed with his contribution against Brazil, he enjoyed an almost flawless evening back then. Atanasov had already indicated his NT potential when he made that superb champion season with Dobrudzha 3 years ago. Konstantinov was the first to invite him to the NT, yet his work approach didn't quite allow Atanasov to shine under his guidance. I still remember a very timid Atanasov coming in from the bench in that last World League 2017 weekend in Argentina against Brazil. After he unluckily got injured at the beginning of his tenure at Heynen's Friedrichshafen (I am sure he would've learned a lot from Heynen but it wasn't meant to be), Prandi took him to Chaumont and they have been working successfully together ever since.


    With Prandi returning at the helm of the NT, it was expected that Atanasov will certainly be among the 4 OHs in the main team, if not more. Prandi knew he was ready to be a starter, so did most of us who followed his progress in France. Atanasov will play a major role in this new Bulgarian team in the years to come. After his unofficial inauguration at the Olympics qualifier in Varna (plus, of course, the VNL), this ECH is his first big tournament with the NT. He shows huge improvement, he can be very valuable in all aspects of the game, has a tough and reliable jump serve, good reception, and a high attack reach. He actually has the whole volleyball package, what he lacks is consistency, typical to most youngsters. This is exactly the problem that haunts him at the ongoing Euro. He can be threatening in one set and then silent and unfocused in another. Yet, I would argue that these are problems of the entire NT right now, not just Atanasov's. For I am confident the latter will develop even more, no matter if in the French league or somewhere else.


    As for the Bulgarian NT, Prandi is a master but even he can't miraculously change the destiny of this group of players. Let alone the fact that they don't have enough quality and depth in the roster in general. They can still play good volleyball, showed it against Brazil and yesterday vs. Italy, but this is a team that has won just few bigger matches in recent years, has confidence issues, and, what is worse, doesn't seem to have a Plan B when Plan A doesn't work (anymore). The last fragment of that sentence could have been witnessed against Italy last night. Similarly, versus Brazil in Varna, too. A win in August and an Olympic ticket would've given them a confidence boost and more motivation to work but, as we know, it didn't happen. Now, I fear Slovenia will beat them in Ljubljana and they won't reach the otherwise expected quarterfinal berth.


    Sorry for the long rant, I got carried away.

  • Ha, this is a dramatic end in Pool A. For the bottom-placed teams, I mean. Romania just beat Portugal 3-1, thus equalizing the won-lost, points, and sets ratio between Romania, Greece, and Portugal! It all comes down to match points ratio where, attention, Greece have conceded a point less than Portugal (they have the same amount of won match points) and will make it to the Last 16 as the 4th-placed team in Pool A. You can't have less drama between those 3 even if you designed it yourself :D Poor Portugal, they just needed 2 sets today or at least 1 or 2 more points to secure an elimination phase spot.

  • Ha, this is a dramatic end in Pool A. For the bottom-placed teams, I mean. Romania just beat Portugal 3-1, thus equalizing the won-lost, points, and sets ratio between Romania, Greece, and Portugal! It all comes down to match points ratio where, attention, Greece have conceded a point less than Portugal (they have the same amount of won match points) and will make it to the Last 16 as the 4th-placed team in Pool A. You can't have less drama between those 3 even if you designed it yourself :D Poor Portugal, they just needed 2 sets today or at least 1 or 2 more points to secure an elimination phase spot.

    I've never seen anything like it. Not qualifying by one single point. The portuguese must feel horrible :(

  • Poletaev with 2 consecutive aces to close Set 1 :box: Russia 1 Slovenia 0

  • What the hell is going on with Estonia? I haven't been able to watch any of the ECH so far, but this seems like those situations where a team is deliberately losing in order to achieve something out of court, ie change of coach, sending a message to their federation, etc. Not to take the other teams' merits, of course.

    Gold - European Championship 2013 (M) Prediction Game
    Bronze - World Championship 2014 (W) Prediction Game

    Bronze - Volleyball Nations League 2019 (W) Prediction Game

  • Muserskiy show :white: When Muserksiy is on beast mode, very few players in the world can stop him

  • What the hell is going on with Estonia? I haven't been able to watch any of the ECH so far, but this seems like those situations where a team is deliberately losing in order to achieve something out of court, ie change of coach, sending a message to their federation, etc. Not to take the other teams' merits, of course.

    Today's match was irrelevant for them, they were going to finish last anyway. They choked big-time in pretty much every set vs Montenegro and Czech, so I suppose they were mentally down. The loss to Montenegro was probably a big blow for them, they wasted advantage in all 3 sets against a team which is less experienced and objectively weaker than them.

  • Does anyone know what type of injury Kurkaev incurred and/or if it was anything serious? In the event he is out of commission, I don't think this will affect Russia too much as they are deep in the MB position.

    So apparently Kurkaev tore his ligament and will take 3 weeks to recover according to the doctors so technically he cannot play anymore during this tournament. On the flipside at least the injury is not so serious that will require surgery.

  • Today's match was irrelevant for them, they were going to finish last anyway. They choked big-time in pretty much every set vs Montenegro and Czech, so I suppose they were mentally down. The loss to Montenegro was probably a big blow for them, they wasted advantage in all 3 sets against a team which is less experienced and objectively weaker than them.

    I would add something else, also to answer saishuu 's question.


    First of all, I doubt it was a protest against the coach. Cretu has been with the team for ages and is one of Estonian volleyball's architects. I would rule off this possibility immediately.


    From a technical perspective, the team lacked a serious, reliable opposite. Teppan wasn't really in form, Pulk played little and wasn't impressive either. The setters relied more on Taht (Kollo had a different role but was still helpful at times) but he can't carry the team alone. In one of the matches, don't remember which one exactly, Cretu played with Juhkami as opposite in an attempt to turn things around. I guess Venno was injured (I don't think he retired, don't know) and Estonia don't have so many quality players after all. But yes, the team underperformed in general.


    Also, apart from the mental meltdown after the Montenegro match, Estonia didn't enjoy an easy group. I mentioned several times that the level in Europe is rising, ask Estonia if you don't believe me. Montenegro might seem weaker than Estonia, yet they are not quite outsiders. Ukraine don't need special presentation (although Estonia weren't motivated today), the Czech Republic are not always consistent but they can surely play volleyball and have some very decent players. However, don't get surprised if the Czechs get eliminated tomorrow, Montenegro might still surprise them/you.


    Take all these into account and you have it. On a positive note, also because Estonia are a very nice team with great fans, they will co-host the next Euro in 2 years, so they have enough time to regroup and enjoy a better tournament in 2021 at home.

  • It's a pain in the a*s to watch Zaytsev attack from position 4. Like, how hard can it be for a world-class player? Pay attention how smart Toniutti served short to Juantorena at the end of the first set and thus forced Giannelli to set to Zaytsev to 4. That caused a vital break point and what followed was a series of mistakes by Zaytsev which cost them set 1.

  • Italy and France now have some amazing rallies.. Not sure why Le Roux is not playing but Chinneyeze is filling his shoes nicely