TLF is nothing if not an honest fox. So I’ll say it now. Very quickly.
So TLF is a better gambler than Roy. And all those grumpy pundits on Radio 5 were right (dammit). And the post-match comment from Hodgson, “Soon we will make someone pay, we will score goals one day,” just sounded a bit like a King Lear type threat in one of his less measured rants at his older daughters, just after he has given some of his kingdom away to Gary Neville (that’s not in the Shakesepare version).
On the plus side, and I never thought I would use that phrase and this next acronym in the same sentence, ITV (!) had expanded their punditry team to five. FIVE! And not even out of the group stages yet. Not sure I was ready for all that intellect in one studio. Clearly there was a risk that Peter Crouch might just knock Bilic off the top intellect and charisma perch but I think Slaven just held on……
The always reliable Glenn Hoddle was co-commentator and as usual didn’t disappoint; hoping that Ingurland “would score in a footballing way. Because that’s what we have on the pitch. Footballers.” I’m so glad he said that as I have been labouring under the misapprehension for some time that Jamie Vardy, was an investment banker, Eric Dier a maths teacher and James Milner a supervisor at B&Q.
Meanwhile Wales were spanking Russia 3-0 and gliding into the final 16 with the sort of joie de vivre you probably don’t see often on a damp afternoon in Pontyberry. They left Lens Stadium heart broken and with Ingurland fans chanting, “We’re top of the group.” A few days later and Wales leave for Paris, top of the group and lying in wait for one of the third placed teams. Their last international tournament was in 1958 and now they are in the last 16. If only this didn’t make Robbie Savage happy I might even be pleased for them.
Quatre games today with a guaranteed trois place dans la last sixteen up for grabs. Spain are already there and must feel confident against a Modric-less Croatia.
Northern Ireland could still make it, just the small matter of the world champions at 5pm. Will Joachim Low use some unfortunate and unhygienic distraction techniques (he used to look so suave before that incident!) to distract a team fresh from victory over Ukraine? Or can another of the less fancied teams keep a striker free Germany at bay?
Mind you I am wisely assured by others more mathematical and less lazy than me that even if N Ireland lose, as long as it is by less than four goals, they will qualify if at least one of the three groups still to finish has a third-placed team with a worse record.
So post impressed
Ukraine v Pologne 5pm
Irlande Du Nord v Allemagne 5pm
Croatie v Espagne 8pm
Rep Tcheque v Turquie 8pm
Russie 0 Le Pays de Galles 3
Slovaquie 0 Angleterre 0
Manger ou Boire?
This is described as a warming winter dish but as June continues to be not exactly tropical why not get your cockles warmed with this soup while watching Spain play Croatia – could prove to be a bit tasty
Phrase of the day: German
You’re not singing anymore
Sie singen nur, wenn Sie gewinnen