France take the icing off the Euro cake, the Welsh dragon melts Belgian chocolate hearts and Germany win on penalties

Sir Gary of Lineker’s assessment of the beautiful game remains accurate for a little while longer in this tournament, “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

On Satday evening it took a little longer – 90 minutes plus extra time and penalties to be precise. That gave Mr TLF additional ammunition as he pointed out that, “Yes it may well have only been one game today but it lasted until half ten.” Mind you even he was open mouthed at the penalty shoot out shenanigans. Presumably the German misses were some sort of Teutonic in-joke designed to mess with our heads, bearing in mind that the Nationalmannschaft last missed a tournament penalty in 1982. Italy were determined to get in on the joke too…sadly they did it a little too effectively. Seven penalty misses in total and the most obvious lesson of the lesson of the night was that those little shuffley and faffy run-ups will frequently make you look like une peu of a tool.

Sounding like a bit of un outil was Martin Keown. Yes the match was tactical, but that doesn’t make it, “like a chess match,” Martin no matter what you say. Last time I looked chess was played on a board not football pitch, has teams of 16 and allows men, women, horses and bishops to play on the same team. Mind you lazy metaphors and clichés are a favourite of Mr K, as the number of players who either had or needed ‘nerves of steel’ during the penalty shootout, proved.

Gutted to think that we have now lost Conte from the touchline (although it won’t be long before he is gracing this sceptr’d isle) and potentially Gianlucci Vialli who may or may not grace the Beeb’s studio again now his home nation is out. The suit, the passion, the lovely smile and the use of the phrase, “squeaky bum time.” What’s not to love?

Iceland v France was BIG. Nooo not because it was the hosts against one of the great stories of the tournament or because it was a tense and close encounter but because Mr TLF had, in consultation more with last week’s visitor Iain than TLF, a acheté une nouvelle télé. Kind of glad he did it after Iceland had humiliated Ingurland as I imagine that the size of the screen is directly proportionate to the level of misery achieved in the viewing (it’s a new law of physics).

Sadly for Iceland their debut on TLF Tower’s new telly was not on

Fear not. TLF had not forgotten. But sometimes you do have to save the best jusqu’à ce dernier.

Wales, Wales, Wales. Just wonderful. Teamwork and spirit? Yes of course in llwythi bwced (le load de la bucket). But also skilful. I don’t know what the Welsh is for Cruyff turn, but clearly Hal Robson-Kanu does. With the exception of the first 20 minutes Wales were utterly in control. Chris Coleman is officially a genius and has made history – managing his team to the semi finals in their debut tournament and there may still be more to come. And if TLF can be a little paraochial for a minute (and in your own blog that is generally an option), it was fantastic to see a Lesta City player celebrating getting into the semi finals of the European Championships. And now there’s two of them!

What a weekend. The only downside was that with the exception of the Wales result, TLF’s tips were distinctly off. As a result TLF the pundit has, with only three games to go, been shown her cartes, obtenu la boot, given her ordres de marche.

The magic chicken worked on the pitch but not in the bookies. C’est la vie.

D’ TLFagnan, one of the Three Foxateers, from the famous stories by Andre Dufox

Results

Wales 3 Belgium 1
Germany 1 Italy 1 Germany win 6-5 on penalties
France 5 Iceland 2

Les phrases francaises essentielles de TLF

It’s not worth jack-sh!t
Ca ne vaut pas un pet de lapin (It’s not worth a rabbit’s fart)
As in, “TLF’s betting tips ne vaut pas un pet de lapin.”

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