'Agincourt, Waterloo...and now Donetsk'

by Liam McConville

We’re only four days into Euro 2012 and thus far it’s been an exciting tournament full of goals, controversial refereeing and a surprise victory for Denmark. The usual themes are cropping up, as pundits and commentators alike look to fill up the time in between games. So here’s a mini round-up of what has already gone and a checklist of what to look out for in the games to come.

1/ This match is just like the Chelsea-Barcelona game- Whenever there is a game where there is an obvious underdog; expect the Chelsea-Barcelona Champions League game to get a mention. This will be increased by the presence of two things: a) Clive Tyldesley commentating or alternatively b) the underdog not conceding for a period of ten minutes or more.

2/ Mario Balotelli to be described as an enigma- The Manchester City striker isn’t quite the same as every other footballer. Yes he can be temperamental, he can occasionally be reckless, but as what often seems to be forgotten he is still a really good footballer. Balotelli is a match winner and is still only twenty-one, let’s hope the pundits and commentators remember the positives of Super Mario.

3/ The ITV team to be upstaged by a fan in a café – One of the highlights of the tournament so far. Emiliano from Milano, an Italian fan sat in a café, where ITV bizarrely decided to base their live broadcast ahead of the Spain-Italy game upstaged the ITV team with his impromptu interview. Emiliano displayed more insight in two questions that Andy Townsend in a broadcasting career.

4/ The Republic of Ireland to be patronised – After a disappointing opening defeat against Croatia, it looks unlikely that the Republic of Ireland’s stay at this tournament will extend beyond the group stages. With this prepare for a huge wave of patronising towards the emerald isle and their supporters who are just ‘there for some fun’ and are expecting to be beaten soundly. If the Republic of Ireland do crash out early then their fans can expect a collective pat on the head for adding something different to the tournament.

5/ WWHD- What Would Harry Do?- A decent and solid start for England but should the Euros start to go south for Roy and the boys expect the big question we all need answering – what would Harry do? Redknapp has already said that he would have taken the England job if he’d been offered it. He’s also waded into the biggest hot potato of them all by saying he would have taken Rio Ferdinand to Poland and Ukraine. This should be all the ammunition that the newspapers need to continue to big up the “people’s choice” for the England job.

6/ This is the most un-fancied England side since the dawn of time, something we are told at every conceivable opportunity with the Three Lions being constantly being written off. Hopefully this will alleviate some of the pressure on Roy Hodgson’s side as now that we’ve finally lost the ‘golden generation’ tag no-one seems to rate England’s chances. The more likely truth is that on the back of Roberto Mancini’s amateur reverse phycology ‘mind-games’, the country has united together in the hope that maybe it could work for England too.