Albania far from Sad(iku)

TLF’s coming home as the famous 1996 football anthem didn’t say.

Home to a slightly ailing Mr TLF. Not because his heart is broken due to TLF absence. No he is mal as a result of food poisoning. Prime suspect remains a 6 month out of date Xmas pudding that is an essential part of any man’s Euro 2016 diet apparently.

Before returning to Blighty there was time for a bit of Lille kulture. And a lot of rain. Plenvoir comme une vache qui pisse as the French say.

There was also time in between the galleries, historical buildings and nice meals, time for more football. Italy continue to look ominous – like they all know exactly what they need to do. And so they do it. No more. No less.

Croatia threw away a two goal lead, which seemed to come down to a combination of Modric going off, sheer Czech cussedness and the lost concentration after flares were thrown and fighting broke out between Croatian fans. The Croatians had the decency (and the cynical might say sense bearing in mind their fans’ disciplinary record) to condemn the actions of a stupid minority. A refreshing change from the Russians, whose striker, Smolov has blamed every fan but his own for the problems in Lille. And in further w#nker…sorry hooligan news, it seems that the 20 Russian fans deported after their second game will be back tonight to see their boys play Wales. Seems no one thought to cancel les visas. Oh dear.

More ‘oh dear’ moments came in the shape of Ronaldo’s missed penalty on Satday night. Never had a penalty miss been celebrated so gleefully Chez TLF. Sporting of me? Non pas de tout. But then neither were Ronaldo’s comments after the Iceland game and frankly anyone who opens a museum about THEMSELVES deserves all they get.

Things look a little bleak for Ireland after their spanking by Belgium, although whether that result means Belgium are back on track remains to be seen. Of course the fact that 4 third placed teams make into the next round means, je pense, that there are only two teams at the moment that can’t qualify. Whether you would describe this as exciting or a level of uncertainty and fiendish maths that you don’t want on a rainy day in June is up to you.

One outside bet that could still make it are Albania. Delighted to see them score their first goal in a first major championship and claim a win against Hungary. And nothing to do with TLF’s petite wager on the outcome of that game. The France game didn’t really capture the imagination, the high points probably being a burst match ball and a ridiculous number of Swiss shirts needing replacement as they seemed to shred at the slightest bit of French attention. Whether the kit man has been flogging the official kit off the derriere of un camion and then sending the team out in dodgy replicas from down the market remains to be seen.

Attention turns to Group B tonight. For a game that Ingurland might just want to win (to keep an easy passage through those knockout stages), it does feel like six changes to the starting line up is not one for the nervous viewer. If this is Roy Hodgson trying to prove he is a little bit rock n roll and isn’t risk averse there were other ways to do it. He could have just changed his usual breakfast cereal of choix, conducted a press conference in French or followed Aaaron Ramsey in the hair colour department. But if it works out I don’t think anyone will care…although write off Slovakia at your peril. Loved them against Russia even though slightly suspect on the defensive front. Wales need to rouse themselves after disappointment in Lens and they are surely a superior side to Russia.

So back to Angleterre and back to understanding everything that is said during a match commentary. Mind you after 90 minutes of Pearce and Murphy last night maybe that is not such a good thing.

Oh la la (as the French commentator really did say when a shot went wide in the Croatia game).

Nooo. No new scarves, no new tournament T shirts to see here. Move along.

Nooo. No new scarves, no new tournament T shirts to see here. Move along.

Fixtures Aujourd’hui
Russie v Le Pays de Galles 8pm
Slovaquie v Angleterre 8pm


Italy 1 Sweden 0
Czech Republic 2 Croatia 2
Spain 3 Turkey 0
Belgium 3 Republic of Ireland 0
Iceland 1 Hungary 1
Portugal 0 Austria 0
Romania 0 Albania 1
Switzerland 0 France 0

Manger ou Boire?
Welsh cakes (a TLF favourite)

Phrase of the day: Slovakia
You’re not fit to referee
Tie nehodí k rozhodcovi

Monet Fox
Very impressionable (BoomBoom!)

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