My Euro 2016 - Unbelievable Jeff, Human Tsunami and the Brexit Cafe

Monday, 18 July 2016

So that’s it, Euro 2016 is over. In truth, not too many tears will be shed as a bit like this blog, the whole tournament was pretty underwhelming, and only punctuated with brief bits of quality.  As much of the football has been forgotten I will instead write a few words about my Euro 2016 experience which may have been slightly more interesting!

I actually landed tickets for what turned out to be the quite a good game between Croatia Vs Czech Republic in Saint Etienne but thankfully this was trumped by my friend Rob having snaffled tickets for both the Quarter Final in Paris and the Semi Final in Marseilles.

A quick glance at my wall chart told me that both of these games were for the right hand side of the draw. This in essence meant that for me to see England play in Paris they would have to finish 2nd in their group.  This was clearly never going to happen as England were expected to top the group in comfortable fashion.

However, England did the inevitable and made a right pig’s ear of things and finished 2nd behind Wales. A game against Portugal beckoned only for a last minute Iceland goal in their final game to set up a tie with England. So as we saw it, the footballing gods had conspired to ensure that England only had to beat Iceland to mean that I would get to see them in Paris.

I don’t need to remind anyone what happened in that game. So down to that diabolical performance I would instead be watching France vs Iceland at Saint Denis, Paris.

Prior to that though, on Saturday, the day of our arrival, was the Germany vs Italy game so we headed over to the fan park under the Eiffel Tower to sink a few beers and take in some of the atmosphere. The game itself was hardly a classic and with the game heading towards 90 minutes, it was clear that extra time beckoned.

Now anyone who knows me that well (which is not that many of you) will know that I have had some possible nearish death experiences such as the Asian Hillsborough, near Death on Death Road in Bolivia and also the Tsunami scare in Thailand.

Little did I know that another would be added to the list as a Human Tsunami all of a sudden appeared out of nowhere and starting charging towards us, with hundreds of people falling to the ground. I managed to stumble to safety whilst Rob managed to turn into Usain Bolt and spring it out the park

A quick look around suggested to me it was a false alarm so I wanted to watch the extra time and penalties. Rob was less certain so I arranged to meet him again after the game

This didn’t seem to make the news everywhere so to prove I am not fibbing, here’s footage of what actually happened.

The next day was the France vs Iceland game so we did a bit of walking around and saw some of the sights. Bizarrely, in the morning, Jermaine Defoe made a brief appearance to serve us breakfast!

Prior to leaving the hotel, a news article alerted us to the fact that a suspect package had been detonated outside the stadium, just exactly the news that we wanted to hear.

The game itself was right at the other end of Paris and the weather took a turn for the worst as approached the stadium. As expected, security was tight so had to go through about five security searches before being let in which was understandable

The stadium was better than I had anticipated, and Rob had landed absolutely plum seats, right in amongst the French fans. Fantastic atmosphere and a goal fest to boot with a rampant French side putting aside a plucky Iceland side 5-2.  Queue wild celebrations in Paris.

The next day I covered a bit more of Paris and caught up with my old flat mate Ryan for some food in the Latin Quarter. I then managed to successfully sprint it back to see the Arc de Triomphe in all its glory. Beautiful

The next day we headed to Marseilles via the train to watch the Germany vs France semi-final.  The apartment we stayed in was as French as they come, and was being let out of French artist, who we never actually had to meet thanks to the wonders of Air B and B. The apartment was in a really nice area called Le Panier, if you think of a Shoreditch/Camden type area except with less beards and skinny jeans.

A short stroll from the Old Port area I was hoping to catch up on some Chair Throwing Olympics as seen on the news a couple of weeks earlier but with few English and Russian fans, things were pretty serene.  We did pay a trip to the Queen Victoria pub as of course we had to. 

However, drowning our sorrows over England’s terrible performance was not particular cheap as the pound had taken a battering after Brexit.  Talking of which, we saw this place there just to rub my nose in it even more.

Having arrived a little late we didn’t managed to get any food until after 10pm and the initial restaurant actually was unable to serve us food so we moved to the next one we could find. As we were tucking in, Rob mentioned that he had heard a group of lads shout out the name Chris Kamara.  I looked over and there was the moustachio’d legend, cunningly disguised in a trilby
Being the loser that I am, I immediately rushed over for a photo and a quick chat. “What did you make of England?” I asked him. “Well there where shit weren’t they” was his retort.

I went back to finish off my meal and it seemed that one of the lads he was chatting to was from Norway. “ I signed a Norweigan once when I was a manager” said Kamara, “And he was shit”. Classic Kammy!

The next day we did a bit more sightseeing and ventured up to the local cathedral to get some great views of the city as you can see below.  At night time, we buried a few more beers with the big game just 24 hours away

The next day we went to see one of the Islands of the Count of Monte Cristo fame (look it up) and caught some rays. A slight panic ensued when we returned to find we could not get in the flat but we managed to sort it out to make sure we picked up the tickets, although we were unsure if we would be able to get back in after we returned from the game. Boy do I love a bit of drama.

The Velodrome was again quite from us so we decided to get the tube there. However, poor organisation meant that the tube became quickly overcrowded and before you know it, I was close to succumbing to another human tsunami.  At least 10 tubes went past which were so packed that not one person could get on. Rob decided to pull rank so we gave up and instead walked the rest of the way which turned out to the right decision as it allowed us to have a couple of beers on the way and soak up some of the atmosphere.

A ridiculous walk eventually got us inside the stadium and again we had some great seats and we surrounded by a mixture of both French and German fans.  

The game itself was largely dominated by the Germans but the game turned when the penalty was awarded in the 45th minute. I would say that about 99% of the people inside the stadium did not know why it was given but Griezemann notched and he added another just after the break to seal the win. I would say that without doubt it was one of the best atmospheres that I have been involved in (not quite topping WBA vs Palace though in 2000) and arguably we had seen the biggest game of the tournament.  The French squad finished with a nice rendition of the Volcano Clap

We headed back into town and the streets were really pumping. The walk was pretty long but we managed to sink a few beers with the locals, although most of them seem partied out. The German fans had also disappeared pretty quickly after their defeat but fair play to the majority that stayed out.

Of course, there were some English fans as well, here with a rendition of the Kolo/Yaya Toure classic

So that’s it, my Euro 2016 excursion was over.  Probably the first and last football and tournament I will be going to. Qatar and Russia? Do me a favour!

On a personal note, it’s time to hang up my boots with regards to this blog. It’s been a fun 10 years but it’s now time to consign this to the footballing cemetery in the sky.

Thanks for reading!


(P.S I had to omit some of the details of what actually happened as this is a family friendly blog!)


Why were England so sh*t?

Thursday, 30 June 2016

So where on earth did that clusterfuck of an England performance come from?

Roy Hodgson said that he did not really see THAT performance coming (a bit like a certain referendum result I am sure).  But should he really have been surprised given England’s form in the his tenure and also their previous history in knockout tournaments? 

The Manager
“I am not sure what I am really doing here” derided a rather fragile Hodgson in the press conference after the game. I think it’s called accountability Roy….

Anyway, the manager has to take his fair share of blame for the shambles in this tournament. I actually have a lot of respect for Roy for the sterling work he did at West Bromwich Albion that he did at the Hawthorns at his short time there. He saved us from relegation as well as providing us with the platform to go on and secure mid-table safety.

He also did an admirable job at Fulham in the Premier League as well as carving out a reasonable if not spectacular career in the European Leagues. However, he has had notable failures, his main one being an ill-fated stint at Liverpool.

Did this failure show that when handling top players at a top level, he simply was not able to reach the required standard? Roy is very good at getting a group of semi-decent players organised into a certain way of playing and being hard to beat. However, when handling a bunch of players with slightly better ability and with egos bigger than their pay packets does he have the ability and skill to get the best out of these players on the big level?  Does he quite simply have a ceiling on the level he can manage at?

He successfully navigated an easy group but the performances in both tournaments have been telling (I won’t include Euro 2012 as he was thrown in at the deep end)

In his time at the helm had he forged a certain way of playing so that the team understand where and how to function?  Looking at a side like Germany and Italy it seems that whichever players they have, the players seem to know what to do. This is meant to be the worst Italian side in history yet each player seems to know their exact role in the team.

Hodgson tinkered with his team before the tournament (remember the shambolic diamond experiment against Portugal) and even during the group games did not know his best team.  How can that really be possible. Minor tweaks I can understand but I don’t think he even knew his best 15, let alone first 11.

This must be one of the reasons for the players against Iceland having no idea, no game plan and looking like a bunch of Sunday league part timers.

Picking out of form players
The age old problem of picking names over players in form reared its ugly head. Danny Drinkwater was outstanding for Leicester but could not get in ahead of sicknote Jack Wilshere. Andros Townsend, who has shown his class for England before and finished strongly for Newcastle could not get in ahead of Sterling, a man whose confidence levels have dipped more strongly than his currency levels this week.  Why the f*ck do managers keep doing this?

Rooney had a shocker against Iceland but I personally don’t blame him, I blame the manager. Rooney had to either start as a main striker or not at all.  Rooney has been used sparingly for Manchester United in midfield but should not have been starting in the position for England having never played their in any of the qualifiers. The guy doesn’t have the engine for that position nor the experience.
Granted, Iceland are hardly Brazil but people have to understand that you are still playing at the highest level. When has Rooney ever been in the position as a midfielder where he has to grab hold of the game pull it out the bag for England. He never has! No wonder he completely went to shit!

Harry Kane on set pieces
Just how the f*ck can there not be another player in the England team who can take a corner or free kick??!?

Creative players
Where is the new Gazza?  When are we going to produce someone who can actually dribble, beat a player and control a game? Last time we did that we had Paul Scholes and we shoved him on the left wing for Christ’s sake.  Whilst other teams have a Payet, an Ozil or a Hazard we look to the bench and we have Jordan F*cking Henderson or James Milner. Need I say anymore

Are English players just too thick and too insular?
The usual excuses seem to have all run their course and since 1966 it seems like England have tried nearly everything without ever really looking like making a major imprint on the world stage.  We have tried English managers, foreign managers, youth, experience, pragmatism and also attacking football. We failed in hot countries, in cold countries, we have taken teams to isolated camps, we have taken teams to integrated areas.  So is there some underlying reason for England's failure that we are all missing out on? Is there a reason that we are just perhaps not very good?

If someone could answer that million pound question then I am sure it would have been done already and England would be World Cup Winners but personally think that one reason for England's failure to perform in big tournaments could be what I would deem to be lack of intelligence.

Footballers need many qualities and abilities for their profession.  Physical strength, skill, speed and perhaps an often ignored attribute...intelligence.  In all forms of life, intelligent people are generally good decision makers, find solutions and more often than not, remain calm under pressure.  

How often have we seen in major tournaments England's perceived lack of game management, naivety and in general, their lack of awareness on how to win games. How often have we bemoaned their lack of ability to maintain possession or to close a game out?

I think my intelligence argument has been heightened by looking at some of the punditry on the TV this year. Maybe I am just a sucker for a foreign accent but don't all the foreign footballers just sound more intelligent than England's? The likes of Bilic, Matthaus and Petit have offered inciteful analysis as opposed to someone like Alan Shearer who will generally stated “it’s just not good enough”.

On the other hand, the likes of Henry, Vialli and Kompany all seem to speak with a certain wit, widsom and smartness which embarrasses the likes of Savage, Shearer and such like.  In fact, I would go as so far as to say that even their English is better than the British nationals themselves.

Could anyone else imagine a Rio Ferdinand, a John Terry, a David Beckham or a Wayne Rooney going onto Brazilian TV and getting involved with the banter with Fernanda Lima. I don't think so.   These guys can barely put three words together in their own language, let alone a foreign tongue.

Associated with this is the lack of English players going abroad to other countries. You can probably count on one hand the amount of English players who have gone abroad in the last thirty years. The challenge of integrating into another culture, learning a new language, embracing different styles and opinions is a challenge which has not been befitting of many of the current crop of English players and dare I say requires a certain level of intelligence and know how.

Whilst I know England as a whole struggles with languages, how wonderful is it to see other players from foreign countries quickly assimilating into other cultures and fitting into their lifestyle.  Patrick Vieria, Gus Poyet, and Gianluca Vialli for example,  when they first came to England could not speak a word of English but within a couple of years were speaking extremely fluently.  And what do we get from English footballers in their post match interviews? "At the end of the day it was a tough game....etc etc."  Hardly the most inspiring of words.

So how does this lack of intelligence and awareness possibly translate to the pitch?  I think game management would be the main area, as it appears that English players only appear to know how to play the English way.  Often it is derided.."Why can't we play like Spain, Germany etc?". But this is not something you can just switch on and off, it's something which can only be learnt by playing with these players in different countries, gaining a deeper understanding of what makes them tick, how they play their football.

I'm not suggest that all footballers must be contestants on Countdown every week but perhaps a bit more footballing "education" (that's a nine letter word btw) would not go amiss and may help England finally perform better at tournaments in future.

Right, this has been an extremely boring article so to cheer you up here is a reminder of how things could be a lot worse if this man was in charge of anything…..albeit maybe more entertaining!



Brexit Part Deux : Escape from the Euros

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

England 1 -2 Iceland

Hey everyone! How we all feeling today!? Hasn't this just been the best week ever?

Apologies for the lack of updates, I would like to have a good excuse for you but I have generally just been pissing about and taking procrastination to a whole new level in this longer than unexpected period of unemployment. 

However, I have now awakened from my slumber after a tumultuous week for England, both in the football and political world and will now begin my scathing assessment of Ingerland’s defeat to the small supermarket nation, one of the surprise packages of the tournament so far. I will also intersperse with the best reactions and comments I have seen on Twitter and Instagram for your enjoyment.

As per each game so far, the pre match tunnel highlighted a slightly psychopathic Joke Hart screaming and shouting like some Zulu Warrior whilst the Icelandic XI alongside him appeared well…ice cool. I have commented on Hart’s antics before and I am not sure why he gets so hyped up before the games. Could you imagine Messrs Cech, De Gea or Neuer getting into such a fret against a team of part timers, I seriously doubt it.

Anyhow, the game started in positive fashion with Sterling once again taking a tumble this week and Rooney slotting home the resulting penalty with aplomb to leave England looking firmly in control . I bet Boris Johnson sure would have loved seeing England in control...for all of 1 minute away.... I’m sure most people sitting at home thought that this was the perfect start, Iceland would have to come out the shell and this would leave England with the spaces to try and exploit the gaps.

·         “By losing to Iceland, England have exited a European institution amid shame twice in one week. At least they are consistent”

Whilst the rest of the us were sitting calculating exactly how many politicians had resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet, the England defence were caught napping as a long throw from the Icelandic Rory Delap led to Ragnar Sigurdsson smashing the ball in from close range. Cue massive celebrations in the supermarket aisles from the Icelandic fans.

·         “I hope England give the job to someone Polish”

With my pre-match bet of less than 3 goals already looking like it was in tatters a slightly uneasy feeling was beginning to grow inside of me, a bit similar to when the first few results came in from the EU referendum. Surely the unthinkable couldn’t happen….could it?

Well dreams slowly began to turn into a nightmare as a shocking error from Hart led to Iceland taking the lead through Kolbeinn Sigthorsson after some fine interplay on the edge of the England penalty box.

Fair to say though that I wasn’t the only person who was surprised by this goal…nice one Schteve…

In all truth, the rest of the game is a bit of a blur other than exchanging messages with friends alongside the lines of “How shit is this performance” and “England are fucking awful.”

All I can really remember is Iceland having the best chances of the game, Kane taking useless set pieces, Rooney falling over and every single England player seemingly having the Yips. I think its fair to say that this was without doubt one of the worst English performances of all time at a major tournament. Shambolic, inept, gutless and quite frankly pathetic.

·         “Imagine if England had to face one of the big guns like Asda or Tesco”

Minor chances came and went and the last throw of the dice came when England’s captain was withdrawn to his obvious fury. To be fair to the incoming Rashford though, he probably did more in 4 minutes then the rest of the England team did for the previous 86

·         “England still allows freedom of movement…in the penalty area”

All that was left for the rather pathetic players to collapse to the turf in agony (or was it embarrassment) and Hodgson to read out a pre-written statement saying that he had the best time of his life and thanks for the £10 million he had trousered (or something like that).

 “97% of the Iceland's population were celebrating, the other 3% were on the pitch”

So that’s it…the end of another tournament for England and this time the players could not even be bothered to make it to penalties. Perhaps it’s better this way, at least they didn’t get our hopes up.

"Rooney earns £330,000 per week, Iceland has a population of 330,000"

All of which means I will now be watching Iceland vs France on Monday in Paris which thankfully means I can shelve having to wear full body armour and a gum shield which can only be a good thing.

Tomorrow, I will try and assess why it is that England are still monumentally shit at tournament football, so look out for that!



Love Island vs Euro 16..Part One?!?!

Monday, 20 June 2016

So after a couple of eventful weeks we have had our fair amount of thrills and spills, unfair dismissals, dodgy decisions and wild celebrations. That’s right people, I’m not talking about Euro 2016 but in fact the greatest show currently on TV at the moment….LOVE ISLAND 2016!

Apparently I am not the only mug at the moment watching this brilliant collection of freakshows so in their honour I have created a Euro/Love Island XI (formation yet to be decided)

It also gives me the chance to get a bit of partial nudity on the blog for you enjoyment, but as always in the interest of fairness I will be including both the girls and guys.


Terry vs Cristiano Ronaldo


Let’s start off with an easy one. A tattooed prima donna with a greasy hair, Terry recently threw a hissy fit after his girlfriend cut up a bit of his toast in the legendary “toast-gate" scandal as well as having the temerity to wear one of his t-shirts into bed.  How dare she?  As for Monsieur Ronaldo, he may not have as many tattoos but the greasy haired one still has the same pathetic attitude, crying like a baby when things aren’t going his way, refusing to deal with the Iceland draw in a respectful manner before having a nightmare of his own against Austria the other night. The only question is, who has the bigger six -pack? The correct answer is that NO ONE CARES.

Zara (Miss GB-but don’t tell anyone) vs Roy Hodgson

The now departed former Miss GB has been collectively getting on everyone’s tits for some time let’s face it, both housemates and views included. Fair to say she’s been severely lacking in banter and personality for pretty much the duration.  The best thing she did quite frankly was cop off with the scaffolder from Birmingham, at least it made things a bit more entertaining. The best fit I could find was Roy Hodgson who after a rather conservative start in the first game decided to throw caution to the wind against Wales. Thankfully he didn’t jump into bed with Chris Coleman and instead he showed he could be a bit of a crazy creature and threw on two attacking substitutes in Vardy and Sturridge. Keep it coming Roy (just not in that way).

Tom vs Robbie Savage

An annoying Welshman with a ridiculous hairstyle and a propensity to be a bit aggressive and lose it every now and then.  Let’s face it, we all know Tom is beating Sophie senseless off camera and Robbie Savage is probably doing the same to Martin Keown.

Nathan vs Slaven Bilic

The loveable rogue of the group, Nathan has stuck his colours firmly to the mast with Cara with an unwavering devotion.  A bit like Slaven and his love for Dimitri Payet. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this!

Kady vs Jamie Vardy

Young, brash, direct but ultimately pretty hard to ignore, Kady has been turning a few heads in Love Island. Ultimately though you always think she is maybe just five seconds away from saying something overtly inappropriate or acting in an immature way. I’m struggling with this one a bit so I going to go for Jamie Vardy purely for his legendary if slightly bizarre slogan of “Chat Shit, Get Banged” .Though if Kady said that, she would probably be getting a few offers of a different sort in return

Malin vs Glenn Hoddle

Malin, you heavenly mixture of Sri Lankan and Swedish goodness. Always there with a kind word and looking to diffuse every possible tense situation, what would we do without you.  Your calming presence is one of your best attributes. A bit like Glenn Hoddle with his reassured and astute comments, bringing a sense of control when Ian Wright and Slaven decide to start shouting and screaming in the ITV studio.  

Right, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have not actually completed a full XI. The reason is that this seemed a good idea at the time but its taking a longer time than expected and I need to go and sink a few cold ones before the big game tonight. However, I may continue this next time but like Love Island I like to leave things on a cliff hanger so stay tuned!



Bales 1 - 2 Woy's Boys

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Absolute scenes in Lens as England secured their first win of Euro 2016 against Wales and to put their fate in their own hands before their game against Slovakia on Monday. Few would argue that the victory was undeserved, although victory seemed a long way away after Gareth Bale slammed home an early free kick from distance. Hodgson’s decision to introduce Vardy and Sturridge after the break paid dividends though, as Vardy’s close range finish was followed by a late late winner from Liverpool’s main marksman.

Before the game even started their were slightly unusual scenes in the tunnel as a rather frenetic Joe Hart screamed “LETS MOVE THE FUCKING BALL”. Where he wanted the ball moved from and to was a bit of a mystery but I am sure it made sense in his mind,though in my personal opinion it would further accentuate my view that with his personality I think he’s a bit of a dick. Does he ever have anything sensible to say. Perhaps he should keep his mouth shut and focus on his goalkeeping in future.

The game followed a pattern as many had expected with England dominant with the ball although they had the cutting edge of a butter knife with Mr Sterling the main culprit with a poor miss from close range.  His general performance was pretty atrocious let’s face it, and he was looking more like a £5 signing than £50m.

However, things took a turn for the worst for England when a Rooney foul presented Bale with a chance from distance at a free kick. I think I am not alone in thinking that he wouldn’t score from that far out but he managed to make Joe Hart blush who could only palm his dipping effort into the back of the net.

After this, England huffed and puffed without really creating much at all. In fact the main entertainment at this point was the horseplay between Messrs Savage and Keown in the commentary box. 

“That was a clear foul.” Says Savage
“That was a blatant dive” says Keown

However Keown then surpassed his own ridiculousness by stating that Bale was the best player in Europe. However, when Guy Mowbray correctly pointed out a certain Ronaldo at Real Madrid, Keown said “well I think he will surpass him eventually”. So that means he isn’t the best player then Martin…..

At half time, the wolves were at Woy’s door and he reacted by bringing on Vardy and Sturridge to help pep up England’s sorry attack with the lacklustre Kane and Sterling the two players to be withdrawn

Vardy brought England level with a classic predator’s finish before Wales repelled wave after wave of England attack. It has to be said that Hennessey did not really have to do much work due to the brilliant defence in front of him but Welsh hearts were broken when Sturridge scooped home from close range to send England fans into bedlam.

So what have we learnt from today’s game. The main points I suppose are that Sterling and Kane have been monumentally shit in both games, Woy actually has a pair of cojones and Vardy and Sturridge probably should be starting against Slovakia. As for Wales, although they defended valiantly for large spells, they were generally pretty poor today though in all likelihood they will still qualify.

On a personal note the result means it’s more likely that I will NOT be seeing England for the games I have tickets for.  On the plus side this means that I am less likely to be tear gassed or have my head smashed in by some Russian ultras which can only be a good thing!

Finally, I am sure many of you were watching the game at work/had skived off to watch the game. Personally being unemployed and slightly hungover I was couch bound but this little clip shows me everything that I missed out on



Porn St*rs, Scratch and Sniff and Balls from Outer Space

Monday, 13 June 2016

Happy Monday everyone. After this weekend’s events, there are a few questions which need answering, so let’s take a look

        1)   Why is Harry Kane taking corners?

Whilst I toyed with the idea of Roy Hodgson having a personal vendetta against me due to me having a Harry Kane to score anytime wager against Russia, I think it’s fair to say that the whole of the country is completely perplexed as to why Tottenham’s main marksman is on corner taking duties

A quick perusal of the stats for the season shows that Kane has not had one assist from a corner throughout the whole season. In fact, he doesn’t even take them for Spurs, it’s mainly Christian Eriksen.

Apparently, it’s because he can “strike the ball well” which to me translates to “he can kick a ball”. Not sure why Messrs Alli, Rooney, Lallana would not be able to do exactly the same and give England the chance of having the opportunity to be in the box to actually stick it in the net.

For me it's a bit like being a famous porn star and instead of being asked to be the main star to instead step behind the camera and direct the movie. Hardly the smartest idea in the world. Come on Woy, sort it out!

2      2)   What was Joachim Low smelling?

There is a lot about to admire about the Germans, be it there ability to always get a result, their mental strength or also Joachim Low's wonderful head of hair. However, on thing I am not sure about is his personal hygiene. What exactly was going on here?  Some bizarre real life version of Scratch and Sniff?

Not content with one effort, the German manager went for another. Thankfully for everyone else, he did not go on to complete an unwanted hat trick!

Closer inspection reveals that Low actually does have previous on this.  Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo!

3) Where did Modric's ball come from?

Luka Modric spanked in a wonderful goal on the weekend with the ball appearing to drop from miles in the sky before being laced beautifully into the bottom corner. A few people have asked where the ball had dropped from, with some quoted as saying it had dropped in from outer space.  

However, the correct answer is that the ball had finally returned from this famous penalty miss from Chris Waddle in Italia 90. If you watch the videos straight after each other then you will see it all makes sense...honest



Cher, Welsh Bastards and Not Quite Justice for the England XI

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Albania 0-1 Switzerland

So first up today was the titanic battle between Albania vs Switzerland which truth be told was probably a better game than most people had expected.  I missed the first half as I was out doing a bit of shopping for my holiday to the Euros. However, instead of the usual purchase of t-shirts and shorts I decided to buy a bullet proof vest and a hard helmet having witnessed the recent scenes in Marseilles.

The main talking point off the match was the fact that each side was fielding a brother from the same family for the first time in Championship history, Messrs Granit and Taulant Xhaka.

I will admit that was fairly interesting but of more interest to me was the fact that the winner was scored by none other than Cher!  Amazing stuff. Added to fine performances by Shakira and Chaka Khan and it looks like their tactic of fielding a line-up of female popstars was a major instrument in their ability to pick up a vital three points.

Bales 2 Slovakia 1

Great scenes in Bordeaux as a Gareth Inspired Bales beat Slovakia 2-1 thanks to a late winner from the magnificently named Hal Robson-Kanu.  I’m not sure if this guy is the bastard son of Bryan Robson and Nwankwo Kanu but if he continues to score late goals like that he will be held in the same regard as the aforementioned.Not the cleanest of strikes but I don't think any of the watching Welsh army would be bothered by that, as long as the ball hits the back of the onion bag that's all that matters

A thoroughly deserved win and a result which firmly puts the pressure on England against the Russians in Marseilles

Spurs/England 1 – 1 Russia

It was agony for England as a last gap equaliser from the Russians thwarted their hopes of securing their first ever winin the opening match of a European Championships. With the game looking like it was over, a towering header from Berezutski looped over Joe Hart to leave the England XI shattered.

Hodgson’s side started very firmly on the front foot with the triumvate of Alli, Rooney and Dier controlling the game in the middle of the pitch and with good width offered by the full backs Walker and Rose. Chances came and went with Lallana probably missing the best chance when he screwed the ball wide following a wonderful build up

However, the game remained goalless at half time and the Russians came out with added intensity after the break and pegged England back for the first 10 minutes or so. It was not long though before England resumed control with Rooney again driving the team forward and he was desperate unlucky when he was denied by a world class save.
With chances coming and going  it looked like it was going  to be one of those nights when up stepped Eric Dier in the 73rd minute to slam home a free kick from close range and to send the England fans into rapture.
Unknown to me, I was alerted by my friend Mark who had noticed a slightly unusual bit of commentary as both sides re-assembled for kick off

“JUSTICE FOR THE ENGLAND XI!!” proclaimed Clive Tydesley

Now I think we can all appreciate that Clive has said the odd daft thing in his time but most of us probably don’ t mind that and he is pretty popular due to his chummy/matey kind of commentary

Following this statement though I had to do some research to find out what the England team had done to deserve justice. I quickly went through the game in my mind and could not recall any bad penalty calls, incorrect red cards or dodgy offside decisions.

I then moved onto the team’s history together and could not find any wrongful imprisonment or accusations. So, it looks like Clive’s cry for justice was based on the fact that England had not taken their chances during the game….er…and that’s it. Not sure what you had been smoking Clive but probably best to leave such comments on the notepad in the future.

The game was followed by more unsavoury scenes in the stands which has meant that I will once again have to step up my efforts to protect myself for when I head to Marseilles in a couple of weeks.

Here is the latest item I have ordered, hopefully this will do the business! If you see me, give me a wave!

Enjoy today's games, I will be back later on tomorrow!