Spain pique late

My boss has a set of coasters in the middle of her meeting table, which everyone ignores and I find it quite pleasing before a meeting to sort of slide them about while still leaving them stacked on top of each other – all asymmetrical like. I can only think that the boss of the set designer for the BBC’s France studio has something similar as surely that’s where that bloody table design came from. More on ITV’s studio table soon…the fun never stops with TLF.

A day of football interrupted by work meant a greater reliance on the BBC Iplayer

The BBC had looked kindly on me and allocated Robbie Savage to the 2pm kick off so contact with him was minimal and as a backdrop to work. I know I always bang on about him, but honestly why is any of my licence fee going towards someone whose insight stretches to, “Johnny Williams; he’s been very very good”? So I missed Spain doing their very best to not beat the Czech Republic…still they got there in the end and added to the glorious stat which is that 6 of the last 9 goals they have scored at Euro Championships have been in the last 10 minutes. FACT!

Blessed with the usual stop start commentary on the train for the early evening kick off as the weak signal comes and goes in a wayward Harry Kane corner kind of away. I’m not having a go at him. SEVEN corners he took all season for Spurs…SEVEN and now he’s England’s first choice corner taker. As the French would not say “Comment le f*uck?”

Anyway sorry back to Ireland and Sweden. A good game for the radio as it happened. Nothing to do with the quality of football and more to do with the striking yellow and green crowd. A full ninety minutes of that would have left me a bit mal a la tete. A great performance from Ireland but must be slightly frustrating to play so well and only draw with a team that had ZERO shots on target (if you didn’t see it and that sounds confusing it was an own goal that gave Sweden a point).

If there is one way I like to spend a tournament evening it’s tucked up in bed with Sir Gary of Lineker, Terry Henry and ooh my goodness who is this? Gianlucca Vialli. Have I died and gone to heaven? (Rio Ferdinand can make the drinks and reminisce about West Ham with Mr TLF). The smoothness of the studio was matched by the smoothness of Italian coach, Conte, who in stereotypical fashion was sharp suited and the epitome of cool. Not so cool perhaps after the bloody nose he received as part of their exuberant goal celebrations. But it was a fantastic goal scored by Giaccherini (pronounced at least by the BBC, as ‘Jackoreenoh), who I had already picked out. Not as a potential goal scoring threat (in my defence Belgium hadn’t spotted that either) but as having the perfect name for a slightly unlucky but spirited hero of a nineteenth century Italian novel. Or maybe that’s just me?

Anyway a really enjoyable game, picked out by many pundits as a potential cracker – it avoided that kiss of death and gave a great example of how a team of not brilliant individual talent can triumph over a collection of assorted talented individuals. Forza Italia! I say (and if that doesn’t mean it’s downhill from now on for the Azurri I don’t know what does).

Today sees the final four teams who have yet to kick a ball in anger make it onto the pitch. The Hapsburg derby might not sound glamorous but as Austria are captained by Lesta’s mighty Fuchs (yes it really is fox in Austrian) my loyalties are on a clear default setting. And then Iceland take on Portugal. The debutants play the dilettante. Won’t surprise you to guess I am sitting on the more northern side of the fence for that one.

Keep up. It’s only Tuesday!!

Fixtures aujourd’hui
Austria v Hungary 5pm
Portugal v Iceland 8pm
Zut alors! Ou est le game de 2pm? Pfffft.

Spain 1 v Czech Republic 0
Republic of Ireland 1 v Sweden 1
Belgium 0 v Italy 2

Manger ou Boire?
Time for something substantial. Step forward Iceland and as the markets are currently full of asparagus something seasonal. Good to know it is suitable for a ‘potluck occasion’…so if your Icelandic neighbours pop round tonight you’ll be fine.

Le website au jour

A guide to every kit in the tournament. Personally I quite like the Russian pyjama number…..

Louis Fox XIV
The Sun Fox

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