Euro 2008 In Full

A collection of text messages sent during Euro 2008 between me and the Brother.

Holland v Italy

Me: Did you see that goal? Outstanding

TB: Partially and I agree that the offside decision was outstanding. Holland for president.

Me: Yes that really stuffed the Italians. It was beautiful.

Germany v Croatia

TB: How them Germans doing?

Me: I believe it’s an arsewhipping 2 – 1 defeat to the Croats. So Germany are the Engerland of their group. Here’s to Austria’s early elimination.

TB: Isn’t football more fun when Engerland aren’t playing? What a great tournament.

Holland v France

Me: What was the Dutch French score?

TB: 4-1 to the good guys.

Me: Outstanding Orange team – you win your crate of beer for that. There’s no way Les Bleus can recover and it’s the Italian French death match to come. Way to go.

Germany v Portugal

TB: I actually want Ronaldo to lose. Can this mean I support Germany?

Me: No, you are just a fairweather German. Bye bye the Ronster.

Holland v Russia

Me: Dutch or commies?

TB: What choice is there?

Me: I refer you to my previous missive. But you’re right, there is no choice – Allez Les Oranges.

TB: At Fête de la Musique – what score?

Me: Still nil nil (sung in a Eurovision Stylee)

Me: Total Hiddink Russia 1 Holland 0

Me: Joy of joys 1 – 1. Even if it was Horse Faced Wanker who scored.

TB: Back just in time for extra time. Who’s winning on points?

Me: Commits.

Me: Sorry, I meant Commies.

Me: That’s the end of Total Football.

TB: Russkies bossed the extra time.

Me: Bossed the whole match to be honest. Dutch just didn’t turn up.

TB: Go Spain.

Spain v Italy

TB: Well well well, 0 – 0 after extra time in an Italy match. So glad the final result was OK. Current preference: Russia, Spain (if they start to play well again), Turkey, Germany

Me: Russia – they attacked. Germany – Great midfield. Spain – could be good if they sped up a bit. Turkey – that match was so boring I nearly died.

Germany v Turkey semi final

Me: Panic panic! Who do I support least? Germermany or Turkey?? Very confused.

TB: Go Turkey

Me: Surely that Kazim fellow is really English. Germany are shit.

TB: I would enjoy a Lehman/Swinefudger own goal farce. Why is David Seaman playing for Turkey?

Me: Joy – pub TV has given up. That’s Austro-Swiss technology for you or maybe it’s for the best.

Me: What I really want to know is why is Gareth Southgate playing for Germany?

TB: Here in France as well. We’re watching highlights of Russia Holland.

Me: Far better match. Are Germany shitter than Engerland?

TB: Clearly, evidently, obviously.

Me: Also, why do the Germans say ‘for fuck’s sake’ in English when decisions go against them? Spare us from extra time.

TB: Turkey will score 3 in the last two minutes. Lost transmission again.

Me: TV has died (again) in protest at the quality of play. Sitting in the pub listening to the radio reminds me of the spirit of the Blitz. Germany score and bomb the Turks into submission. Now they will have to score three.

TB: News travels fast. I was going to text the score, but you beat me to it.

Me: That’s the beauty if European integration. Now we have pictures with radio commentary. But the radio commentary is ahead of the action. Very bizarre.

Me: Pub goes wild. Does this mean extra time again?

TB: Turkish district goes wild. Clearly Turks will score again.

Me: Corner shop exploding with joy.

Me: Gareth Southgate scores for Germany.

TB: Three minutes left and no pictures.

Me: We have pictures, but only 2 minutes. It’s shit football but very exciting.

TB: What’s happening?

Me: Turkish free kick just outside the area.

TB: Still nothing.

Me: Entire German nation in the wall. He shoots

Me: He balloons it over the bar and the Germans are through. Bastards.

TB: Bummer. Yet another triumph for them. Go Russia.

Me: Thanks for taking part. Here’s to the historical reenactment of World War 2 in the final.

Russia v Spain semi final

Me: Doh! I’ve only just got the Seaman reference from last night. He was shit wasn’t he? Go Commies.

TB: On my way home. What score?

Me: Easy Tiger. It’s still in the Early Doors, head tennis phase. Go Spain.

Germany v Spain final

TB: Just switched on. Who is winning on points?

Me: Pretty even. Spain just beginning to shade it.

TB: How did he manage to get one past the mighty Lehman?

Me: Pretty clear who is in front now. Go Spain.

TB: Bullock down.

Me: Classic headbutt. No attempt to play the ball, just the Ballack.

TB: Referee sends him off again for having a bollocks haircut.

Me: German coach should get himself sent off again, that seemed to work against the Portugeezers. If you want to talk about shit haircuts, Frings is your man.

TB: The Seaman of Germany.

Me: Looks like the Rio Ferdinand of Germany is getting ready to come on. I am finding this half dull so far.

Me: Germany are playing like Engerland would if we could ever get to a final and that’s bad.

Me: Getting less bored.

TB: Still clearly time for the Germans to bore back into it.

Me: Not now they’ve brought on Gomes. He can’t buy a goal.

TB: I personally detest Klose more. Shame we won’t get to see him miss a penalty. Remind me why we take off Torres every game.

Me: What’s this ‘we’ business? Torres comes off to give the other side a chance.

TB: We’re winning.

Me: How did we do that? And without the tedium of actually qualifying. I preferred the Germany Turkey match.

TB: Go Engerland 2010.

Me: Spain – perennial overachievers. Bastards.

TB: No doubt now as to who are classified as the perennial losers of world football.

Me: That will be the Germans.

TB: 3 World Cups, 3 European Championships, countless finals, not even bothered to count the semis, quarter finals get out of here. Not sure this particular rest significantly tarbushes their copybook.

Me; Ballack’s year. League Cup Final LOST to Spurs, Champions League Final LOST to Man U, Euro 2008 Final LOST to Spain. How can the English compete with that level of failure?

TB: With a team who bases its attacking threat on Stewart Downing.

Me: I still believe in the combination of Downing and Defoe. Actually I pity the poor nation. Are we capable of actually qualifying for SA2010?

Euro 2008

The German Gareth SouthgateAdmittedly Football Pub hasn’t been the same since England buggered up their qualification so completely 7 months ago. Still there have been some interesting moments and some not so successful innovations. I remain to be convinced that the combination of Live Football and Thursday evening Pub Quiz is going to be a winner and there’s something really weird about watching TV football with no commentary.

Euro 2008 has generally been OK. It’s better than Euro 2004 simply because the sides that attack and really press the midfield tend to win. But the fact that Portugal, Croatia, Holland, Italy AND Spain all failed to show up for the quarter finals (even if Spain did sneak past a defensively tedious Italy) has meant that Russia aside, none of the successful teams have actually done anything of merit yet.

So far the best match has been Holland’s destruction of Italy, closely followed by Russia’s demolition of Holland, but by and large there’s been no great shock and no one, Arshavin aside, who’s really impressed. The first semi, Germany vs Turkey might have been exciting, but it never lapsed into greatness like the World Cup semi between Germany and Italy. Sure there were goals, some of them even good ones, and sure, the Turks did their usual thing of attacking like nutters and getting a goal in the last few minutes (only to be outdone by the Germans who got the winner a few seconds later), but like the Croatians they just can’t hold onto a win. All the defences here seem to be utterly, utterly shit. Football Pub enjoyed itself when the live feed from the stadium went down (that’s the reputation of Austro-Swiss reliability down the toilet for the next century or so) and we had to make do with the radio commentary like they did in the olden days. A few old dufferes started going on about the Blitz and attempted to pay for rounds using old money they dug out of their trousers.

It’s hard to believe that this German team is the one that absolutely killed off the Portuguese, snuffing out their creativity and dominating the midfield. They were battered for 85 minutes, and only came out of their shell 3 times. Admittedly they scored 3 times, which was one more than the Turks did in 85 minutes of goal bombardment. On this form you’ve got to hope the Russians kick their arses in the final.