A 30 yard screamer from an unknown
Usually a balding Russian whose name ends in ‘ov’ that you vaguely recall plays for a mid-table La Liga side. Whilst the media hype up ‘In-ger-land’ and the potential magic of Ronaldo and Van Persie the only occasion you leap from your seat in utter astonishment will be from witnessing this freakish thunderbolt arrow into the top corner.
ITV coverage will be rubbish
You know that bloke at work…the well-meaning but annoying ‘office-clown’ who thinks that by virtue of wearing cartoon socks he’s Andy Kaufman and says things like ‘confused dot com’ and ‘simples’? Well imagine what he’s like on holiday.
The televisual version will be sullying our screens and pooping our party throughout June with that Toby jug of warm piss Adrian Chiles presiding over a panel of pundits with a distinctly continental flavour (because y’know this is the Euros you see and the last time ITV execs thought outside of the box was never) all incapable of understanding each other’s banal offerings. This time out there’s Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira (ooo the tension!) representing the English-speakers plus Jamie Carragher adding some incomprehensible foreign mutterings.
If you think ITV’s analysis of Manchester United v Barcelona is football-for-beginners God help them for Poland v Greece.
They’re going to show a taverna aren’t they.
Ireland will be there just for the party
Despite being guided by the legendary Trapattoni and most of their squad playing in one of the top three leagues in the world Ireland will be routinely belittled as mere ‘atmosphere’ there solely for the craic. Such lazy stereotypes will go into overdrive once attention is switched to the fans as loyal supporters who have paid a small fortune to travel to Poznan and Gdansk to watch their nation will inevitably be portrayed by a man such as Tyldesley – who probably regards a second sherry as rock n roll hedonism gone mad – as green-draped party animals.
Should Ireland score against Spain or Italy the clichés will pour out as liberally as the Guinness.
Howard Webb becomes England’s Howard Webb
After England fail to get beyond the group stage all eyes will fall upon a man who is otherwise derided and distrusted in this country as nothing more than a hired Fergie goon but will suddenly transform into one of the world’s best officials.
Portugal will blow hot and cold
So we think that our golden generation of Gerrard, Lampard and co let us down? Try being Portugal with a wealth of fantastic talent who were all as comfortable on the ball as a stoner in a onsie but who repeatedly exasperated and fell short through a succession of tournaments. Worse yet, even within a condensed competition structure they would routinely demolish a side in the group stages – looking to all the world like a fluid unbeatable force – only to inevitably come undone with a p**s-poor performance in the latter knock-out rounds.
Expect Denmark to get a battering, inspired by an otherworldly display by Ronaldo, only for a Selecção to splutter when it matters.