Thursday, 23 June 2016

A Summary so far

So the first stage is complete and we have a two day break to catch our collective breath. To be honest the tournament will only really come to life now. Three of the games yesterday provided the type of excitement that the neutral football fan wants to see. Yes, I know, there is no such thing as a neutral football fan, for even if your team is not playing, you are almost certain to have a strong dislike for one of the teams that is.
One only has to have heard the Icelandic commentator go absolutely mental as Iceland charge towards the Austrian goal to see the passion that can be released.  A thanks to the various readers who sent me the clip for the rest of you to enjoy

An Icelandic Geyser exploding

Yesterday, the Irish proved that their luck was still good allied to the never say die attitude I alluded to a few posts ago. Ronaldo broke his duck and gave us his "He Man, Master of the Universe" impression as he posed after his goal. The Belgians dealt with the Swedish threat as expected and Austria continued to disappoint.

Euro 2016 said goodbye to eight nations. Russia, Ukraine, The Czech Republic, Albania. Romania, Turkey, Austria and Sweden. 
The common denominator between the first five is that they were countries that were behind the iron curtain. The brand of football they served up was bland, dour and unimaginative as befits the mindset of the said countries.
Turkey is not really European in its way of life (and they did find a lot of space behind the Czechs which as I mentioned they seemed to enjoy). 
Austria and Sweden, well they were both rather poor. 
The Austrians and Swedes were just too slow and here are two possible reasons why. Vienna the Austrian capital is well known for its excellent Strudel, Tortes and various other pastries. Too much cake, will produce the leaden footed performances we saw from the Austrians.

Sweden also looked off the pace, this may be due to an over abundance of wind, and not the type produced by wind turbines. Another kind follower of the blog directed me to a story, where in a recent division two game in the Swedish league, the referee sent off one of the players for farting on the pitch, which the referee deemed offensive and provocative behaviour.
This could explain why the Swedes failed to let rip during their time in France.

No one will be sad not to have to watch these teams again in this Euro.
One thing for sure that will not be missed are some of the fans, especially those of the Russians and the Turks. On the day that Britain is deciding whether to leave or remain in Europe, there is no doubt that the ugly ahead of nationalism was on the March in the streets of France, which reflects a rising tide across Europe
Of the teams left, only Hungary have fans who are also problematic. The violence of the Croatian fans was directed at their own football association rather than other fans. an internecine struggle.
Before anyone comments "what about the English? Yes they may cause trouble but that is alcohol fueled rather than politically motivated. 
On the flip side has been the amazing support shown by both sets of Irish fans. Unlike with the English, it seems the more they drink, the funnier they become.
Search You tube for videos of their fans singing a lullaby to a baby on a train, or the one where they are singing to a different kind of French Babe in the hope she will kiss one of them. 
Then of course there is the Will Griggs phenomena, a chant about a Northern Irish player who hasn't evened played yet.
This has been dubbed over all sorts of clips of video, I bring you just one. 

Your defence is terrified Will Griggs on fire

A mention must be given to Iceland as well. By all accounts it may be a good time to invade Iceland as the whole nation seems to be in France cheering on these new descendants of 
the Vikings rampaging their way across Europe.

As I have mentioned a number of times already the format of the tournament has allowed, a number of teams to set out their stall and aim for a draw. Now that we move to the knockout phase, this will hopefully cease, as the loser goes home. 
The one good thing that we have seen is the number of late goals and this is something we would like to see more of.

What is in store ? Eight matches spread over Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I will post the preview of the first three matches tomorrow.
Until then Dasvidanya.


  1. And here is a clip showing that Icelandic Geyser exploding:
    The look on the face of the guy next to him is also a picture!
    Nice one Wiggi!

  2. Best blog yet!