Have the teams in the Euros been trying to make England…

…feel good about themselves?

Opening games of tournaments have become increasingly cagey affairs, teams scared of getting off to a bad start, leading to some dire football and said teams ending up on the wrong end of a bad start.

Step forward the Dutch and Portugal in the Group of Death. Dun dun duuun.

Bored to death – rim shot. All the wringing of hands that the Dutch had all those attempts while Denmark had bugger all yet actually had the temerity to score. The fact that the Dutch fannied about from the off giving off the air of a team that felt they had to just turn up for the three points.

All in an atmosphere that was so dead it left me wondering if Platini had been out the back in the TV trucks turning the mic volume down or replacing it fully with the dull murmur that we heard. After all Michel wouldn’t want the slightest hint of any racist chants from the crowd to be heard outside the stadium, then they can either deny it or just ignore it as is their usual method.

Then you have Portugal. Dear god all they’ve got going for them is attacking, Ronaldo and Nani, so they seem to go out for a bore draw.

Spain so out with a false nine, OK to do that when you’re Barcelona with Messi, little harder when it’s Fabricarse. Absolutely no focal point so while we know Spain like a bit of fannying about, passing when a shot is on, when you just have players who first instinct when they have the ball is to pass it off rather than shoot added to their first thought when they don’t have the ball to drop off to receive a pass leaving no one making forward darts into the box it just plays right into the hands of a team like Italy. Made for the Italians you’d think, came as a surprise they opened up to allow Fabricarse to score after Di Natale’s opener.

Spain of course were looking for the scapegoat, of course it was nothing to do with them, their set up or indeed the manager’s favouritism of Torres, who actually looked to be even worse than during the latter stages of the season with his club.

Classic case of posting after the fact but purely on the basis that after two scandals in their domestic game the Italians went onto win World Cups, they were my pick to do it again. Especially after seeing their odds of 16/1.

At least now after they lost we don’t all have to be Oirish as ITV seem to want. Did get that score right in my predictions. Thanks to Corluka for helping me out there. Christ it’s still painful to watch him run, made even worse when watching him bottle out of defending. Luka obviously views this the shop window for his big summer move, looked the business, I know it was just Ireland but still. Trapattoni not quite Big Jack Charlton with his management of them, after all there was an awful lot of actual Oirish born players in that side.

Was a surprise when the national anthems struck up though. I thought after the vote the other week Oirland’s was now Deutschland, Deutschland Über Alles and it came as a surprise Frau Merkel wasn’t their attending VIP but then maybe she’s spread herself too thin with trying to support Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy.

On the telly front, ITV have the set but then the tax payer has forked out enough for the BBC’s Salford setup they shouldn’t be made to pay for them all to have a jolly to Poland and or Ukraine. But their lineups are equally matched in a number of areas. Namely inane, dullards.

ITV go from the sublime, Roberto Martinez can talk the game with a command of English that far outstrips many of the native speakers, that is ex England players – it’s did not done Shearer, or hopeful England managers, hello ‘Arry. But then they revert to type and in comes Jamie Carragher, dear god I don’t know who to feel sorrier for, us having to listen to him of the dogs of Warsaw whose ears must hurt at the sound of that high pitched whine.

But back to ‘Arry. Poor old hang dog ‘Arry. He doesn’t look ‘appy does he? Especially every time the boy Lineker mentions Spurs. Is he on your shopping list for Spurs Harry? cue the look of a man who knows buying players has bugger all to do with him and maybe even managing that player will have bugger all to do with him if he is bought. Dead man walking?

The commentators are right up there with most of the pundits, or should that be down there. Overblown, portentous, desperation to come up with a phrase that’ll see them repeated down the ages. Some of it you know is pre-scripted.

It can only get better but then with England’s opener to come it may have some way to drop before that…

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