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A fine tournament

The odd dull, negative game apart, I thought the European Championship football tournament, held this year in Austria and Switzerland, has been excellent with plenty of attacking flair to savour. For me, the highlights have been the Holland-Italy match (the Dutch won it decisively); the Russia-Holland game (the Russians turned over the Dutch in superb style) and the final, won by the wonderful Spanish side, which has waited a long time for this moment. It is good to see a flair team win a tournament like this rather than some dour, heart-breaking finish involving a penalty shoot-out. Here is a good Reuters summary of the whole tournament.

And I will not be the first, or probably the last, person to write that I did not miss England’s involvement this year (the English did not qualify for the tournament). We missed the worries about English football fans misbehaving, or endless media agonising up to the games and the inevitable penalty shoot-out losses to the Germans or the Portuguese. Bliss.

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4 comments to A fine tournament

  • I quite agree. It was an excellent tournament despite (an probably because) England weren’t there.

    Perhaps the time has come to ask ourselves whether we really need a national side.

  • manuel II paleologos

    Great tournament.

    I missed having Engerland there myself. It was nice to be a (fairly) objective observer but I do enjoy all that car-flag madness too from time to time.

    I have a fear, however, that in 10 years time we will look back at the Eriksson era as a golden age where we still qualified for major tournaments. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Kevin B

    The depressing thing for me was how few of, say, the German or Italian side would get into the current England team. Maybe a Klose or a Toni? A Ballack? Nah. Just a Buffon and we’d have been there.

    We probably have a generation to go before we can match the Spaniards for ball control and slick passing under pressure, but surely we can defend as well the Germans.

    Still, it has been a good tournament and both the teams that beat us in the group did pretty well, and for once a team that played good football won.

  • RAB

    Well we Brits did have our uses in this whole affair.

    I was in Tropia, in S Italy when the Championship kicked off.

    Our hotel decided to put up a big screen near the beach and bar for the opening Italian game.
    6 Brits and 200 Italians.

    Well I’ve often said about Italians, that given anything mechanical, if they cant get a greasy rag and a spanner on it, and fill it with petrol, then they are useless.
    And so it proved.

    The bloke working the projector lost the feed from the satallite about three times and missed the opening goal.

    It looked like he was going to be lynched by the crowd of irate Italian males, when!
    Britons to the rescue!

    One of the six sold these babies for a living, having a chain of electrical shops across the West Midlands.

    So he fixed it in an instant.

    The gratitude only lasted so long though.

    Italy lost 3 nil.