by Noel Draper

The group stages are over. Some good and some not so good teams have gone home and some good and not so good teams (yes Greece I’m looking at you) have stayed to fight on. The football, as a whole, has been rather fantastic. As a devout armchair viewer I have managed to watch nearly every game which I feel qualifies me to give you, the Daisy reader, a run down of the things that have annoyed me so far plus one thing that has cheered me up. Ready? Here we go then. Two, three, four…

Final Countdown
I have an idea for you UEFA and it’s a doozy. Instead of having the referee wave at his officials before blowing a whistle to start a game why not let a deep voiced buffoon shout a countdown over the loud speakers? It will be fantastic and bring an extra dimension to the football. Everyone will love it, honest. Once the supporters have got used to the change you can then introduce it for goal kicks and throw ins. Can you imagine the fun that this will bring? No. No I can’t. Because my idea is stupid. As was yours UEFA. Stop it. Stop it now please.

Too many Cooks
Do the extra officials actually do anything UEFA? Sure I’ve seen them straddling the goal line, staring at anything that comes near them, but are they actually doing anything? Are they? Take that tackle by Ramos in Monday nights game. One of these extra officials was standing not two yards from the incident but he just stared for a bit before staring at something else. Did he actually see the studs up challenge? Did he see that Ramos just got to the ball first? What is he there for? Well? Did you train up loads of linesmen and then have no jobs for them? Well? Utterly pointless.

Instant Replays
Let’s get this out of the way first. I like replays. When I go to watch my local non league team it’s what I miss when a goal is scored. i like to see it from another angle rather than from 50 yards away standing behind a white barrier whilst clutching a lukewarm pie. The trouble with replays though is that you can go a bit over board as all it takes is one slightly enthusiastic director to go a bit over the top and ruin it for everyone. Thank goodness then that this tournament hasn’t got such a man in charge and has resisted the temptation to show any incident, no matter how trivial, 3 times from different angles. Oh wait. It has.

Of the Mexican variety. No need. Really, no need. So far the games have all been rather good, well maybe not the Greek ones granted, so there really is no need for anyone to start, or join in with, a full stadium mass stand up and sit down session. Honestly. No need.

Girls on Film
I take it all back Mr TV director. You can continue showing your choice of rubbish game moments by using 3 replays for every one as long as you continue to pick out some lovely women dressed in football shirts. You really do have an eye for the ladies don’t you? In my imagination you look like Leslie Phillips, all cravated up, scanning the crowd for beautiful ladies through a pair of high powered binoculars before settling on a particularly lovely example. You then say “ding dong” in a throaty manner and the cameraman follows your directions. After the game you pick up one of the said lovely ladies in your Morgan plus 4 and zoom off into the distance. We, the football supporter, salute your fine work Sir. Thank you.

Baggy Trousers
There is something rather fantastic about seeing a large group of football supporters all jumping and swaying in unison whilst waving scarfs and flags and singing a particularly tuneful ditty that was first thought up on an internet forum/pub beer garden. By chucking in a few flares, quite literally sometimes, you add to the atmosphere. The jumping and swaying mass become almost mystical, slightly hidden by the swirling smoke, whilst being lit up with a colourful eerie hue. As you can tell, I am in favour of them. UEFA? I’d say not judging by the fines they keep dishing out. Let them be please UEFA. Much better than that horrible waving thing going on.

It’s a Rich Man’s World
It’s all well and good fining Federations due to their fans indiscretions but to fine an individual player over double what you fine racists just because he flashed his pants is a bit much UEFA. Sorry, did I say a bit much? What I meant to say was it’s an absolute outrage. As I have said before UEFA, no matter what you say on paper about trying to stop these horrible people from infecting our lovely game, you seem to care about earning money more. You do realise that Paddy Power will pay the fine don’t you? Still, you are £80,000 richer. Everyone’s a winner. Right? Cretins. Absolute cretins.