THE TOURNAMENT’S STARTED THEN. WHAT DO WE THINK OF IT SO FAR?
We might be slightly biased but basically, it’s been eye-spinningly amazing. Seven goals, a couple of reds, a saved penalty, plus the unbeatable duo of DJ Karmatronic and the piss-poor ball-juggling pianist in the opening ceremony – an astonishing opening.
Sadly, we’ve also had the first hint of violence too, with Russian fans tearing into some hapless stewards shortly after their players had hammered the Czech Republic last night. Not cool.
ANY POTENTIAL CHAMPIONS YET?
Definitely not Poland or Greece, who matched each other by taking turns to defend as if they’d dropped the same acid as the opening ceremony’s choreographers. Mark Bright promptly named them as the two worst sides in the tournament even though they were the only two teams that we’d actually seen at that point. An utterance so stupid that it’s almost clever. Classic Bright.
Even though they’re in their own neck of the woods, the underrated Russians looked like semi-final material, effortlessly dominating the Czechs, with Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko looking more like the players the Premier League thought it was getting a few years ago.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN CAMP ENGLAND?
With a day trip to Auschwitz, Roy Hodgson seems to be developing some kind of ‘Worst Stag Weekend Ever’ vibe throughout the squad. Any danger that Rio Ferdinand might pop up and ‘merk’ the lads while they were standing around and looking serious have been dashed – at the age of 33 and a half he’s admitted that his England career might now be over. Poor Rio – like a cheated wife, he’s the last one to know.
Rio’s career as England’s top prankster might be over too, now that QPR bench-warmer Joey Barton has barmily claimed that “On ability I walk into the squad,” on Twitter. Joey then went on to mock Jordan Henderson’s presence in the squad but the Liverpool midfielder’s impressive 148 keepy-uppy score with a tennis ball against Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s crappy 136 proves that Henderson’s there on merit. Oh yes.
WHO’S THIS MASTER MOTIVATOR?
“We have problems related to both the central defenders and full-backs. Figuratively speaking, our defenders do not even tackle properly.” Weak words from Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin and something for England to cling to ahead of their potentially-crucial final group game.
HOW ABOUT TODAY’S MATCHES?
Amazing scenes galore lie ahead later with Holland v Denmark at 5pm and Germany v Portugal at 7.45pm. We reckon that Holland will stutter and that the Danes will have enough about them to eke out a 1-1 draw – which you can get 13/2 for with William Hill.
As for the second match, it’s hard to see the Portuguese getting anything against the ruthless, machine-like Germans – but even so, 20/1 for Raul Meireles to open the scoring is severely tempting. Soak it up – it could make yesterday’s action look like a kickabout in a pub car park…
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