The second week of Euro 2012 began in Donetsk, then stopped for an hour, then started again, with the farcical Ukraine v France game.
With live coverage of the Ukraine v France game getting in the way of their preview of England v Sweden, it was almost as if ITV prayed for an abandonment, and God replied “You want to talk about England for three hours? FINE! You bloody well talk about England for three hours”
I’d like to think if ITV did do a deal with God, it would involve them begging for forgiveness for Andy Townsend’s Tactics Truck, and just Andy Townsend in general.
With airtime now needing to be filled, ITV had the right man in their presenting chair, as all ten of Daybreak’s viewers can testify, Adrian Chiles is an expert at inane chatter and utter bollocks.
You can’t help but imagine what it would have been like if this game was being used as the punchline in a French version of The Likely Lads where they try to avoid the score in a football match that they have recorded.
UEFA’s rules state that any abandoned or postponed match must be replayed the following day. This would have been problematic for England if their match was abandoned or postponed with them due to fly to Krakow after the game, meaning they would all need to find a hotel for the night at short notice.
I’m kind of imagining it being like The Jolly Boy’s Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses where they all split up into different groups to try and find a hotel bed for the night. You could possibly write a sitcom about it. I’m already imagining John Terry in the Trigger role, standing alone, wearing a sombrero and carrying a toy donkey, saying “Alright Dave” everytime he sees James Milner.
England began with a 1-1 draw against France, despite one of their most high profile performers being unfairly banned by UEFA. Not Wayne Rooney, but the England Supporters Band. They were back with avengance against Sweden, managing to do an even worse version of Seven Nation Army than Marcus Collins.
With an hour gone in the Friday night game, Sweden led England 2-1, with the most unlikeliest of names on the scoresheet. Andy Carroll.
With England in trouble and facing elimination, Theo Walcott is brought on off the bench, but Mark Lawrenson was even more unenthused than usual with the change.
“Walcott’s been living off one good performance four years ago” said Mark Lawrenson, living off winning a few trophies with Liverpool in the 1980s
One goal and one assist later, we clearly see why Roy Hodgson is an international manager and Mark Lawrenson isn’t.
The following night, Greece shock Russia 1-0 to go through to the Quarter-Finals. As the Greek players celebrated at the full-time whistle, Mark Bright remarks “That it’s a case of Deja Vu from Euro 2004”
Hmm, Greece beat Portugal, drew with Spain, then lost to Russia in 2004 to reach the Quarter-Finals. In 2012, they drew with Poland, lost to Czech Republic then beat Russia to reach the Quarter-Finals.
It’s not really a case of Deja Vu is it?
The only real Deja Vu with Euro 2004 and Euro 2012 was that Mark Bright as probably talking bollocks in Portugal as well.
In the other game that night, Poland were eliminated with a 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic. In the post-match analysis, the BBC did a live OB with Damien Johnson, at a rather glum fanpark in Gdansk.
When handing over, Gary Lineker remarks “It was …… murder on Gdansk floor”, a joke that was trending on Twitter in reference to Republic of Ireland getting passacred by Spain. It wasn’t funny then, and it wasn’t funny when out of context two days later.
In Lineker’s defence, it is the second best Sophie Ellis-Bextor related football gag after the one about her being found dead at the home of a French footballer. Police said it was ………. Murder On Zidane’s Floor.
That’s the level of shit PUN-ditry you should be aiming for Gary.
Meanwhile, the fate of Group C went right down into injury time, or should that be injurytime.com?
Yes, Mark Bright managed to stoop to a new low towards the end of the Spain-Croatia game by saying “The game is going into the lastminute.com” and a nation collectively screamed FUCKOFF.COM!!! at their TV screeens.
I’m not a fan of product placement, so I won’t be using this blog to plug employment agencies that Mark Bright can use for work seeing as he won’t be commentating on football matches any more.
That match was on BBC 1, with Republic of Ireland v Italy moved to BBC 3 in another sickening act of British opression over Ireland, which somehow passed as a story in the Belfast Telegraph.
This is the last European Championship with 16 teams, as the competition expands to 24 teams from 2016 onwards.
Pundits and journalists have been quick to complain about this, that the quality of the competition will decline, if teams who finish 3rd in their qualifying group reach the finals. They’ve got a point. Just imagine how rubbish Euro 2008 would have been if England were in it.
The most bizarre incident of the tournament came when Niklas Bendnter was banned and fined for exposing his underpants with the brand name of a bookmaker after scoring a goal.
I watched the incident and was shocked at what I saw ……. Niklas Bendtner scored a goal.
On Tuesday, England faced a vital game with Ukraine where they needed to avoid defeat to ensure reaching the Quarter-Finals.
In the first-half, England were struggling and lucky to be drawing 0-0, with Wayne Rooney looking lethargic and off the pace after his suspension.
Early in the second-half, England get the vital goal through Wayne Rooney, looking refreshed and rejuvinated after his enforced break.
This set up a Quarter-Final with Italy. Italy shouldn’t even bother turning up if the pundits are to be believed, as they appear to have taken on the Germany role of being “In decline” with “Their worst ever team”
Quite what Emiliano from Milano, ITV’s star of Week 1 would make of that, is anyone’s guess.
Next week’s Eurobollocks will be fun, focusing on the fallout of Italy’s dramatic 1-0 win with a 93rd minute handball goal from Mario Balotelli, stood in an offside position.
Wonder will ITV’s panel be quick to describe it as “A bit of luck they deserve” and that “These things even themselves out” as they were when briefly discussing Ukraine’s wrongly disallowed goal on Tuesday night?