Does it really matter? Only one team will qualify at the end. Be it semis or pool, you will have to beat the toughest teams at some point to make it to Tokyo. Finishing 5th is the same as finishing 2nd in my view.
To clarify what vabo said:
Germany (host, automatic seed 1)
Czech R. (8)
Probably not even Australia. AUS is not nobody that a strong team can easily walk through.
Yeah, but the hope that I have vs Australia is that for some reason we always beat them very easily. They struggle with our style.
Still, the problem with our squad here is not the talent (they are all very good young players) but the height. For example, we'll be playing with a 173cm setter and the two starting MBs that don't reach 200cm.
Sadly, I think we will have our worst ever World Cup here. With this roster I don't see us beating anyone except Australia and the africans.
Speaking of the future, however, does Slovenia have any young prospects? They had a good youth team a couple of years ago iirc, didn't they?
I think that sadly they will dissapear when the current mains retire. It usually happens to minor European volleyball countries that their level drops or rises with generations. See Greece, Portugal, Spain, Czechia. Even the dutch disappeared for like 15 years after being olympic champions and are just now regaining some level.
Heynen and his captain gave statemens with lots of insolence, it's time to go back home and think. Poland is still my fav for Tokyo'20 but only these 2 get rid of their ego.
Every time Heynen loses is a good day to me. Unbereable douchebag with the behavior of a 13-year old.
Another final for SLO in (seemingly) their favorite competition, maybe with France again?
Let me explain to a delusional Argentinian why this is not true. I agree about the WCH and the Olympics, of course, but don't exclude Europe's continental championship's importance to its participants. The ECH is, of course, a very serious competition. I agree that the winner should get, I don't know, an Olympic ticket or a WCH automatic berth, for instance, but this doesn't lower its value by any means.
Germany, Slovenia and Belgium played in semis not because the other teams didn't care, but because the level in Europe is good and you get a lot of trouble if you underestimate someone or just enjoy a bad day (e.g., Russia last night). The Olympics is a great venue, but it has few teams, including such who, as Nikola Grbic rightfully protested, won't make it to top 8 at a ECH otherwise. Reaching the Euro semis has often been more difficult for Russia/Poland/Italy than reaching the semis at the Olympics, for instance. Let me do a simple exercise that supports this argument. The back-to-back WCH Poland have only appeared in 2 ECH semifinals since 2011 (not winning the previous one, now is the second time). The 2016 Rio silver medallists Italy were pounded by the mentioned Belgium 2 years ago and might not make it to the semis this year either.
Yes, I know you can't keep your level up throughout the entire Olympic period, you can't even keep it up for a whole summer. There are two other aspects to the ECH placements. First, it is usually scheduled in September/October, at the end of the NT season, when energy might be deficient. Especially with all kinds of tournaments and qualifiers like in 2019. Second, there are now various hosts in Europe and a lot of smaller teams get an extra push when playing at home. Which often causes surprises and makes the tournaments more interesting. Slovenia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, just to name a few, might overachieve at home.
So, no, the ECH definitely matters. Especially these days when a lot of good European teams are not even allowed/invited to take part in WCH/Olympic qualifiers.
I think this title simply isn't as big as an incentive as it used to. Players just want to go home already and sometimes big stars opt out of it (I recall that Zaytsev didn't play it last time).
I don't think Slovenia would stand any chance with Russia in a WCh or OG qualification match. You can easily notice that when a qualification for those 2 competitions is on the line, the results become way more consistent and upsets way more rare compared to ECh or VNL.
So Russia just beat a strong USA team a few months ago to claim VNL gold and now they got defeated by Slovenia. And mind you Russia beat Slovenia in straight sets in Pool play. I'm not sure what is happening with them it seems they always under-perform whenever the veterans go back to the team.. Maybe a case of too many stars perhaps?
Neither European Ch nor VNL are serious competitions. No one should worry or get too happy about performance in them. I mean, in last euro we saw Germany and Belgium in semis...
The only relevant and 100% serious competitions in modern international volleyball are WCh, OG and their qualifiers. Unlike 20 years ago, nothing else matters anymore.
Argentina will play the World cup with the same squad that went to south american championship. That is, a B team with only 4 guys that took part in OQT and honestly none of the most important players among those.
I mean, of course I don't know anything about them but they had lost rather soundly to the other good teams from this pool (though they had an interesting close set with Russia). That's why I'm surprised by this spike in performance against the 2nd best team.
Is Slovenia playing their best team? I find this result difficult to believe.
That Peru-Argentina will be spicy, Argentina won twice at South american Ch. But Peru has looked better here so far.
Romania-Turkey also interesting.
Argentina and Brazil are playing a series of friendlies in Brazil this week.
Today Brazil won 3:0 (-13, -19, -20). Brazil is using their full team, Argentina a B-ish without Conte, De Cecco, Solé, Crer, González, Poglajen, Pereyra. Despite these conditions I expected a better game as this is almost the same squad that won the pan american games but oh well...
It seems ARG will send this team to the south american championship, so I guess Brazil will just collect the title again without much opposition.
i didn't think it was necessary to get into this, but one the reasons it is viewed as offensive is the sheer euro- (or white-) centrism of it. what european people are saying is, they are the normal/universal humans and all others, are marginal, not-normal, not the standard. it's like thinking white skin and straight hair are normal, and dark skin and frizzy hair as the other/marginal/abnormal. just imagine all the other implications of that kind of thinking.
Yeah, I know that... and Conte is saying in the story that he understood it's wrong ("now we know it wasn't a great idea and we regret making you feel that way") . So, what else do you want him to do? Kill himself?
your comprehension of this issue is as limited as conte's... not to mention that it was done before by the serbians, spanish, maradona, etc. before. so i guess it's still all a joke for people like you.
Ok, give your arguments.
It's not a joke to me, I'm taking this very seriously.
are chinese and japanese all asians?????
No, but kuwaitis, iranians and qataris are also asian and they don't have slanted eyes. Better to just adress the two countries that could feel the most offended by this IMO.
Or what do you want him to do, write a list of every country he might have offended with the slanted eye gesture? Lol that actually would have been even more racist in itself.
In my opinion, his message is ok. He more or less explains he did it due to ignorance but doesn't justify it, he admits it was wrong.
only to the chinese fans???? boy, he has a long way to go before understanding anything... the stereotype of the dumb athlete really applies here.
He mentions he didn't intend to disrespect Japan as well.
Argentinians don't decide what is offensive or not TO ASIANS lmao Idc about their culture because it's here not about their culture. You are pro volleyball players and travel around the world, so many similar situations happened by now, educate yourself! How dumb do you have to be to still use this I cant anymore...
Geez, how hard it is for some people to not be racist is beyond me... And all of em have their excuses ready per direct.
It's not an excuse, I'm not anyone's lawyer. I'm giving you an explanation of what may have gone through those 3 players' heads. I know what they did is wrong.
As was posted before by someone, you may be overstimating how informed some people are about racism, despite being well-travelled professional players. It's not really a matter of "common sense", if it was common sense then things like KKK or those popular european xenophobic political leaders wouldn't exist. Education plays a big part in preventing this.