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.
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.
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 Poor Portugal, they just needed 2 sets today or at least 1 or 2 more points to secure an elimination phase spot.
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.
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
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.
Bulgaria will definitely add some extra spice to the OQT. I wouldn't bet on the final being Serbia-France.
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.
Macedonia 3-1 Slovenia
At least some poeple will learn the difference between Montenegro and Macedonia lol
I know, right? It's hard to argue when people can't even tell one country from another
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.
Is Slovenia playing their best team? I find this result difficult to believe.
Of course they are. You find it difficult to believe (not you personally, all the users combined who have been constantly complaining the past few days) because you rarely watch anything else than Italy, Poland, and Russia. I am sure most of you don't even know players from the smaller teams. Yes, they are not all amazing, yet Macedonia, for instance, is a very solid, mid-class European team that needed time to show their best volleyball at the Euro. A solid level they had demonstrated over the years. It doesn't matter if they get the job done now, the fact that we're discussing them with you means the expansion isn't only bad and teams like Macedonia have fulfilled their participation. Similar is the case with Montenegro, Ukraine, yesterday's Belarussian comeback against Estonia, etc. Of course, there are exceptions and weaker teams, you can't go without them. But then, there are some other decent teams like Croatia and Sweden that didn't make it.
A few boring sets and matches is a reasonable price to pay, in my opinion, to watch the gap narrows between Europe's top 5-6 teams and the rest. Sure, some may find it less exciting, I understand completely.
I'm sure expanding in the important tv market of Macedonia was worth this somehow
Why is Macedonia any less important than the rest of Europe? And if you care about diversity, switch to their match right now and see for yourself what the expansion could sometimes do.
Bulgaria lost a similar set to France, Germany got thrashed similarly to Serbia, but none of you mentioned it. A lot of teams could lose 10-25 to Poland right now.
As probably the only one here who enjoys the tournament and has watched all participating teams, let me just give you a piece of statistics which I am sure you have completely ignored. North Macedonia's MB Filip Madjunkov had a spectacular, if the stats sheet provided by CEV is accurate (I couldn't watch that specific match), serving performance against Russia. North Macedonia matched Russia's 14 aces and Madjunkov is said to have served 11 aces himself! Out of 13 total attempts and without errors! This must be some kind of a new record for serve efficiency.
And now I am sure I am the only non-Portuguese and non-Greek watching the battle for the 4th place in Pool A
The current , 24-team/4-host format will remain for the next edition, too. Finland were announced as the third host, following the selection of the Czech Republic and Estonia. The fourth organizer will be revealed soon.
Yes, but actually I meant that group D is moving from 16k capacity hall to 2,5k... and I'm asking WHY? They don't want to earn money on Polish supporters.
Ah, I see. Yeah, that doesn't make a lot of sense.
This is the second worst "locker room" I've seen in a major volleyball tournament! Yes, Palais 12 is a concert hall, I read, and it's obviously not quite fit for a sports event, hence I question the choice to still play in Brussels instead moving the whole thing to Antwerp only.
By the way, the worst "locker room" I've seen was again at a ECH, back in 2013 at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen they set up something like a caravan for one of the teams (I was there live at the ECH) at around the place where one of the pitch corners would otherwise be. And these are the same organizers who organized the finals at a stadium on a cold September weekend. Zaytsev was warming up wearing a scarf back then, a sight I won't forget.
The most ridiculous point of this champs is relocating group D from Ahoy Arena to Sporthallen Zuid AMSTERDAM.
They have done the same in Pool B in Belgium. The 6 teams had to move from Brussels to Antwerp on Sunday.
The Bulgarians had their minds set for the day off today already and forgot that they had to actually beat Portugal last night. Very aristocratically, they gave away huge leads in the second and third sets and allowed Portugal, who played their usual great volleyball, to make the match interesting. It is safe to say that almost the entire Bulgarian team underperformed, they relied on Sokolov who saved their win with his 33 points. Yet, with that in mind, it must have been disappointing for Portugal not to make it to a 5th set, for Bulgaria had clearly neglected their opponent. The motivation will be different against Italy and France after a day off, but there were worrisome signs on the Bulgarian field.
I got disappointed that Ukraine couldn't win a set against the Netherlands, it wouldn't have been undeserved. But the truth is that when it mattered, Plotnytskyi and Iereshchenko let their teammates down. I didn't understand the setters' substitution by the Ukrainian coach and even if it only meant a change of rhythm, it lasted too long and was tough to watch. Apart from some terrible mistakes, the veteran Kovalchuk brought nothing and it might've been better if they had returned the younger Didenko. I am happy the Dutch are back on the volleyball map, they had a spectacular WCH and I hope they might reach the quarterfinals now. They might face a troubled Germany in the last 16 if things go like this.
Congratulations to a historic and very spirited Montenegrin win! I thought they might win a game but didn't expect it against Estonia and not in that way. They made up for the bad start against the Netherlands.
It's been a while since Slovakia made an impact at a ECH. It is possible thanks to the current format, of course, and they have overcome "only" Spain and Austria, but they have a high chance of reaching the last 16.
This championship is a huge disappointment comparing to the women's one Empty stadiums literally everywhere, even at host games, low quality of most matches, even weirder schedule than in the girls european championship, not to mention some weird, er, let's call them technical problems ( some weird sound issues at the Italy vs Greece game and, "pancakes" being declared as the reason of the video verification in some other group ( come on, I couldn't have been the only one who noticed that, right?)
What's going on? I thought people in France, Slovenia and especially the Netherlands liked volleyball, why is the attendance so low ? Did CEV/FIVB get crazy with the ticket prices again?
I am sorry you are disappointed, I know people are looking for different things when watching a volleyball tournament and have their own criteria as to whether it is a good pastime. To me, personally, the only real disappointment is again the ridiculous availability/streaming/general access to games. If I remember correctly, it was even more difficult back at the ECH 2017, yet things certainly haven't gone in a positive direction.
Whereas I can't comment on the said technical situations and won't focus on a few minor issues, the attendance case has been opened almost anywhere in the world and almost always we've had lower attendance when the hosts are not playing. I don't think this championship marks a new low or sets some anti-record. Perhaps the attendance is only really disappointing in Ljubljana when Slovenia are not there. However, I can't know what the prices are, whether people can easily attend afternoon matches during the week, and so on. We've discussed it before and I don't know why we make a fuss about it.
Now, to the more interesting part, namely the quality. I don't agree the quality of most matches is low and I certainly don't agree with Heynen who said 24 teams is way too much. European volleyball geography has been expanding, the middle-class nations have improved and inviting them more often to the continental championship is, to me, the right way to narrow the gap to Europe's very elite. Yes, there were fast matches, there were teams who disappointed a bit, yet rarely can the quality be great throughout a longer tournament. Instead, what I saw, for instance, is that when favourites decide to experiment or take it easy, things often go wrong, for they lose sets and sometimes even points. It happened already to Poland, Bulgaria, Italy, Russia. Maybe it will happen to Serbia, too, only France seem with a clear cut so far. Also, the motivation of those weaker teams is different in such a tournament. Instead of watching a demotivated Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and whoever else in a tough group with 3 allegedly better teams, they will now have another 2-3 matches to try and make it to the next round, hence providing more drama.
I have been really enjoying this ECH so far. When you get the chance to watch matches that is, of course.
The quality of the streams is very poor.
Anyone here tried CEV TV. They have a 4,99 euro offer for the whole event. Is it HD? Does it work from every country? I was checking few matched and they are geoblocked almost all over the world.
I really hate these streaming. I wish I could watch the games on TV.
That's why I already asked these questions and yet no cared to read or respond I have the EuroVolley TV subscription, yet I have to change my IP with a VPN client/browser tool (to a Canadian one) in order to watch live what I had paid for. Still, I can't watch match highlights, they are blocked for some reason for whichever IP I use. I don't like the quality of the poor streams, the TV coverage is so little that there is no point in discussing it, so the subscription is the only option I had.
So many empty seats in France
Way more interesting is the fact that when more people attended the French game in the evening, the crowd was... Incredibly silent! I mean, they literally made no sound at all and only cheered when there was a 'mega rally' or a 'monster block', You could hear the coaches' instructions, the squeaking of shoes, just everything. I know these are Western Europeans and they are not so hot-tempered like the Southern/Eastern Europeans, even if they looked and behaved like a theater audience which is not bad at all, but this is really boring at a sports event.
I shared my opinion regarding the expansion of the ECH to 24 teams and the general level of middle-class European teams before, yet I will wait a few more days before I comment the topic again. Heynen has a point but only for the female tournament, I don't share quite the same opinion for the men's event.
I have watched the Northern Macedonian team a lot in the past few years, they have an interesting selection of players and enjoyed it when they qualified for the 2019 ECH. They have demonstrated much better volleyball at the European Leagues, the qualifiers, and the friendlies, this and previous summer seasons. Yesterday was probably the most distracted and unorganized they have been for years. It was a historic moment for them and perhaps nerves played a huge role, preventing them from showing more. Nikola Gjorgiev hadn't been blocked and neutralized that often in years, definitely the worst match with his participation I have watched. Yet he wasn't benched. With a hot Slovenia and a dominant Russia in the group, Macedonia were unlucky that their opener was against Finland, probably their biggest contender for the 4th place. Now they will find it difficult to achieve something, their chances will be against Belarus who were surprisingly weak for a team that looked quite decently during the summer. I expect Turkey to finish even above Finland, despite Subasi's absence. Based on Russia's partially experimental day and with this current Turkish team at the other side of the court, no surprise they fought for a set.
It brings me, personally, good memories to see teams like Greece and Ukraine back to a ECH. Unfortunately, Greece should be the weakest opponent in Pool A, without Djuric there's not much resistance going on. It is also a question mark why Zoupani was given so much court time.
Talking about Ukraine, I am not surprised they are 2-0 against the Czechs right now. I hope they manage to finish it properly.
S: Kovalchuk, Didenko
OPP: Viietskyi, Tomin
OH: Plotnytskyi, Iereshchenko, Shevchenko, Poluian
MB: Drozd, Semeniuk, Teremenko, Hladenko
L: Fomin, Brova
S: Zatko, Palgut
OPP: Michalovic, Gavenda
OH: Patak, Krisko, Lux, Firkal
MB: Ondrovic, Krajcovic, Kovac, Macuha
L: Vitko, Ihnat
S: D'Hulst, Cosemans, Valkiers
OPP: Van Den Dries, Tuerlinckx
OH: Deroo, Grobelny, Rousseaux, Baetens
MB: Van de Velde, Van De Voorde, Coolman
L: Stuer, Ribbens
S: Thaller, Tusch
OPP: Zass, Trothann
OH: Berger, Ibrahimovic, Kronthaler, Landfahrer, Menner
MB: Wohlfahrtstatter, Grabmuller, Jurkovics
L: Kroiss, Ringseis
S: Keemink, van Solkema
OPP: Abdel-Aziz, Hoogendoorn, ter Maat
OH: van Garderen, Gommans, ter Horst, Jorna
MB: Plak, van der Ent, Parkinson
L: Andringa, Dronkers
S: K. Toobal, Keel
OPP: Teppan, Pulk
OH: Raadik, Kollo, Taht, Juhkami, Tamme
MB: Kreek, Tammemaa, Aganits
L: Maar, Rikberg
S: Giannelli, Sbertoli
OPP: Zaytsev, Nelli
OH: Juantorena, Lanza, Lavia, Antonov
MB: Candellaro, Piano, Russo, Anzani
L: Balaso, Colaci
S: Toniutti, Brizard
OPP: Patry, Boyer
OH: Tillie, Lyneel, Ngapeth, Clevenot, T. Rossard
MB: Le Roux, Le Goff, Bultor, Chinenyeze
S: Violas, Tavares
OPP: M. Ferreira, B. Cunha
OH: A. Ferreira, Simoes, L. Martins
MB: Teixeira, Cveticanin, P. Martins, Menezes, M. Cunha
L: Fidalgo, Alvar
S: Dumitru, Bartha
OPP: Matei, Lica
OH: Aciobanitei, Bala, Suson, Balean
MB: Mihalcea, Gheorghita, Olteanu, Spinu
L: Cristudor, Kantor
S: Vincic, Ropret
OPP: T. Stern, Gasparini
OH: Sket, Z. Stern, Urnaut, Cebulj
MB: Pajenk, Kozamernik, Stalekar, Videcnik
L: Klobucar, Kovacic
S: G. Gjorgiev, Despotovski
OPP: N. Gjorgiev
OH: Milev, Ljaftov, Milkov, Iliev, Mihaylov
MB: Nikolov, Nakov, Andonov, Madjunkov
L: Angelovski, Nikolovski
S: Keskin, Eksi
OPP: Lagumdzija, Toy
OH: Avci, Gungor, Gulmezoglu, Unver
MB: Savas, Karasu, Gunes, Ulu
L: Mert, Done
S: Tsiushkevich, Kurash
OPP: Miskevich, Charapovich, Udrys
OH: Radziuk, Antanovich, Kuklinski,
MB: Busel, Shmat, Burau, Marozau
L: Zabarouski, Aplevich
Some more rosters thanks to volleyball.it.
S: Kampa, Zimmermann
OPP: Grozer, Hirsch
OH: Kaliberda, Fromm, M. Karlitzek, Reichert, Schott
MB: Bohme, Krick, Baxpohler, Brehme
S: Trinidad, De Amo
OPP: Colito, Villena
OH: V. Rodriguez, Ramon, J. M. Gonzalez, Ferrandez, Ferrera
MB: Vigil, Fernandez, Fornes
L: Piris, Gamiz
S: Filippov, Stivachtis
OPP: Zoupani, Papadopoulos
OH: Protopsaltis, Raptis, Koumentakis, Fragkos
MB: Pelekoudas, Petreas, Voulkidis, Papalexiou
L: Kokkinakis, Zisis
S: Janouch, P. Bartos
OPP: Hadrava, Finger
OH: Dzavoronok, Galabov, A. Bartos, Janku
MB: Zajicek, Patocka, Sobotka, Sedlacek
L: Monik, Kunc
I find it ridiculous that I have to search on each federation's page or make individual searches in order to find specific rosters... The final lists haven't been published anywhere. At least not to my knowledge.
Despite Stoyanovskiy-Krasilnikov's win in Rome, the Finals bronze medallists and reigning World Tour champions Mol-Sorum from Norway finished the season with a comfortable lead at the top and should retain their World Tour crown at least for another year. Let's wait for FIVB's season announcement.