I was hugely disappointed by Holland’s performances and results during the Group Stages.
To not even get a point was a big shock and no one expected that.
Their problem was that they played the same system as two years ago and everyone else has evolved while they stood still.
I said before that playing two holding midfielders was going to cause problems and so it proved to be.
The onus is then on one of those players to create something and that’s not what they’re capable of doing.
That had a direct impact on the more attacking players in the team and was one of the reasons why Robin van Persie struggled. People have criticised him for not taking the chances that came his way, but that’s natural when you’re one of the stars of the team.
For me, Greece was an unbelievable surprise and you need that in big competitions, to have someone who no one fancied to cause a shock.
That said, I said in my last Laureus blog that Russia’s main problem was that they started quickly but had a habit in the past of slowing down and that’s why they got knocked out. They were cruising but ran out of steam.
Looking ahead to the quarter finals, I fancy Portugal against the Czech Republic this evening.
If they don’t focus on playing defensively, they do well – but if they slip back into a defensive mentality, that’s where the challenges arise.
Ronaldo has been discussed a lot lately but let’s be honest, as with so many players in the tournament, he is tired, but he still scored two goals.
It happened with me as well – there is expectation and people will shoot you down if you don’t live up to expectations, but let’s make no mistake about it, he is a superb player and has had a great season.
The Czechs will miss Rosicky if he does not play because he is their creator and I really fancy Portugal to go through.
The Germans are probably the best team to take on Greece at the moment.
Just as they did eight years ago, Greece’s tactics are based on playing ultra-defensive and it’s not great for spectators.
Germany have to be patient and I suspect it will come down to Mesut Ozil’s ability to create openings that will make the difference.
But Germany have that mentality and I think that they will win, but it may be tighter than some people think.
I have a feeling – don’t ask me why – that France are the dark horses of this tournament.
Forget what happened against Sweden – I just think they have the players capable of going a long way in this tournament and that includes beating Spain.
I don’t think Spain have missed David Villa as some have suggested – they have other forwards who can come in and do the job.
But again, other teams have analysed how to play against them and their Group matches were closer than may have been the case in years gone by.
Spain will have to be on their toes and I am tipping France to edge this one.
England have nothing to lose against Italy.
Expectation may have grown as the tournament has gone on, but they have done well and not having that huge pressure on their shoulders is working in their favour.
Wayne Rooney had an easy goal but the player I have most been impressed with is Steven Gerrard. He has been superb and shown what a great player he has been.
Italy will be more defensive as is their mentality but they also have some great players such as Andrea Pirlo
It’s too close to call which way this will go.