Thank you, FlyingCrow for the comment, it saved me a lot of typing Also, definitely not a bad way to write your first post here!
Who cares if Slovenia can be considered a real world-class team, a strong team, or just a very good team? What matters is how they play, even achievements are sometimes unobjective. Yes, they don't even have proper subs, their starting 7 are not necessarily all super stars or even amazing players, but it seems to work quite well at times when they play together and under the guidance of a good coach. It's not just a one-time wonder, they repeated this success 4 years ago in Bulgaria, playing abroad. They even won their right to participate at the World League/VNL twice, if I recall correctly, making it actually to the group of the world's strongest teams. Yes, I wrote it correctly, strongest teams. For they are undoubtedly a strong team. With that limited amount of good players for the NT, they can't win tournaments, although they can make bigger teams like Russia, Italy, Poleonia, Bulgaria suffer, yet 2 finals is quite a remarkable achievement. By the way, no one claims that after Greece won the football Euro or Slovenia won the Basket Euro they miraculously become the best in the world, yet they don't have to be at all. Winning that trophy, or in Slovenia's volleyball case, reaching 2 finals in a span of 4 years, is totally enough for a place in history. And that for a country that is 20-something years old. Product of the Yugoslavian school, but young nevertheless.
By the way, the first signs that this Slovenian generation can play volleyball came already in 2007 when Autocommerce Bled, predecessor of ACH Volley, won the Top Teams Cup in Italy against Modena with Urnaut and Gasparini in the roster. Plus a few other former NT members, such as Skorc, Flajs, Kamnik, Smuc, Cuturic, Cebron, Plesko, Satler.
I am happy with how the championship unfolded. This tournament proved that the expansion wasn't such a bad idea. It took a few upsets before this thread attracted people again, last night there were a lot of visitors here. And judging by the amount of posts I had to read today, too. Not necessarily a great discussion, but I will take it as it is I guess even the ones who were complaining at the beginning found some joy watching the ECH. That's why it IS a serious tournament and we, the Europeans, like it a lot.
Nice (long) post.
But with so much compliments for Slovenia, could you now take a moment going back to your post in another thread where I mentioned Poland could think of Slovenia as a stronger opponent than France, and if so, the OGQ schedule Poland designed should not be thought of lacking sportsmanship (which was based on the assumption that France was stronger)?
If you want to accuse others of something guilty, it's your responsibility to to show strong enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Now that Poland lost to Slovenia again, but beat France 3:0 in Paris, just 1.5 month after the OGQ, I believe it is within reasonable doubt whom Poland thought of as a stronger opponent when setting OGQ schedule. You can't convincingly exclude the possibility that Poland considered Slovenia stronger (as least as an opponent for Poland). So the "unsportsmanship" allegation cannot be convicted.