Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Don't Blame It On Rio

If Roy Hodgson was under any illusions as to what a shitty little mess he's been put in charge of, the last few days' developments have put things in very whiffy perspective.

First of all, let's get one thing clear. That snippy little Belgian Mertens can scurry back to his bonce-busting beer and overrated chocolate and never darken aWembley penalty area again. Tweeting apologies are just so much Blegian waffle. That was the pettiest piece of skulduggery I've seen on a football field since... well since Rooney did that crappity thing against Montenegro, the plank.

Gary Cahill will watch Euro 2012 at home. The curious thing is Rio Ferdinand (81 caps, highly regarded, popular in the England camp) will be doing the same. Unless they both want to pop down the Blue Bell and have a jar with us lot. (First pint's on you.) His place has been taken by Martin Kelly. That's right. Martin Kelly. Me either.

Now, Roy Hodgson's attempt to explain away Rio's absence as being for 'football reasons' stands up about as convincingly as Didier Drogba. At best you might argue that Rio's fitness is a little dodgy, and that won't be helped by travelling hundreds and hundreds of miles on a frigging plane cos of the FA's witless decision to house the squad in another dimension of time and space.

Incidentally his PA suggesting that Rio has been 'disrespected' doesn't help. The manager gets to make his choice and no one has the right to be selected. (Apart from, apparently, John Terry.)

Ferdinand had clearly not ruled himself out; Roy had. But now Ferdinand is the next best available centre-half in the country. Fact. So why?

Now even the most guileless yokel, who has spent his whole life bailing hay and molesting livestock, might be able to pinpoint where the problem lies. And it lies with John Terry.

So:

1. How the fuck did Chelsea get away with postponing a court case that every other foul-mouthed muppet in this great kow-towing Monarchist moshpit of ours would have had done and dusted within a month? Ridiculous. Indeed, most employees would be suspended on full pay until the facts had been discussed in a magistrate's court.

2. How on earth is it that Terry gets selected when his very presence is divisive? It's got to cause friction. Unless you are blue-shirted, brown-nosed disposition, you'd have to agree that it's the equivalent of sticking you knob into a can of coke and squatting on a wasp's nest for the afternoon. If the case had been heard - and Terry cleared - then fair enough. But Chelsea made sure there's an itch to scratch.

3. Terry hasn't exactly been the bedrock of the Chelsea defence this season. Admittedly he's spent a lot of time trying to house-train David Luiz as he hares around the park like a sugar-rushed Shitzu. But Terry hasn't been much better, and his lack of pace is actually so startling that at times you had to look really hard at the replay to reassure yourself that he wasn't actually running backwards.

So if - if - it has been a case of a straight choice between Terry and Rio, then I figure that Hodgson made the wrong choice. Politically, practically and based on performance it would've been a toss of the coin.

Now there's a danger here that Rio gets to walk around with a glistening halo over his head, but we must remember that that's not a halo, it's another chunk of crass footballer's bling. I recall the missed drugs test, the demand for higher wages when he returned after 8 months, the notorious Man United Christmas Party (WAG-free but tottytastic). He's not bleeding Gandhi.

And maybe if Micah Richards hadn't trotted off like some dull-arse product of the Sylvia Young Theatre School (or his agent did on his behalf) he'd have been going and we'd have been hard pressed to criticize Hodgson.

Instead we have a situation where Hodgson's judgement is brought into question and, in the case of huffy Micah, we have a manager who sends his assistant Stuart Pearce off to deliver the bad news, something Capello got rightly slated for.

Now I want to get behind Roy. He's got a crap job. The squad has rumbled off to Poland like a horse-drawn cart packed with willing farmhands. Trouble is the road is so bumpy that not a day goes past without hearing how one poor numpty after another has fallen off the cart and done a groin.

And to be fair he's inherited a bunch of ageing underachievers that have, time after time, left us barstool bores dashing off to A&E after another pint-pot has shattered in our angry fists.

After this latest farrago, one thing is for certain. It is time to get shot of 'em. There is hope if the likes of Wilshere, Rodwell and Cleverly continue to impress when they're not keeping the sports physiotherapy industry in work. There's Hart, Jones, Welbeck, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walker, Smalling... these lads are good and don't treat a football like a spheroid alien that needs relaunching back into the orbit from which it came.

So maybe, just maybe, this ill-judged and ugly affair will force a drawing of the line in the sand and we can get on with watching young, honest and not too restrained footballers actually enjoying a bit of a kickabout without getting too big for their hopefully well-used boots.

Before then, though, cover your eyes, whistle a happy tune and don't fall for this 'low expectation' shite that means we've got 'a better chance'. It just means we'll be less disappointed. And I'm happy with that.

And in any case, who wants to see John Terry jumping with joy on July 9th? I don't. I honestly don't.

208 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. that's 3 of you now! You'll be catching' up with the goners soon!

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  2. Great thing about all the Chelsea injuries is all squad members will be fit, other than JT who will not be able to train where he is probably headed to, for the Charity Shield ;-)

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  3. Brilliant that Robbo, a week off and you come back as good as ever! Hope it works for Wazza too.

    Joe Cole is next on Woy's list.

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  4. Nice one Robbo! Can't figure out this JT thing either.

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  5. Just saw JT(dressed in full kit of course) holding my first rose aloft in my garden. Twat

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  6. More the merrier of golden generation drop out the better with Terry top of the list that's left. Those 3 lions might then be worn with the pride and passion they stand for

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  7. Golden generation? Leaden Fucking generation.

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    Replies
    1. You spelled 'Golden Shower' Generation wrong.

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  8. Woy is in a lose-lose situation but he's got it right and it seems a pretty clear call to me. The way some newspapers are going for him after 2 games/ 2 wins is sickening.

    He can't take both of them. Rio can't play tournament football (so says SAF) and terry offers a goal threat, so Rio can't go.

    We've been here before with Rio ... when he was dropped before the euros because of his impending drugs ban (i think) , Gary Neville, ironically, nearly led a players strike and it was SAF who talked him out of it.

    Terry on the other hand if nothing if not managerial kiss ass.

    More than anything Woy needs to ditch players who think they're bigger than the team. Maybe that's the issue he's had with micah, I can't think if any other possible explanation for his ommission.

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  9. Olden generation now, anyway.

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  10. First of all, great post as always, Robbo.

    Next, Cahill. Didn't see it live. Definitely unnecessary, borderline assholery. However, you can't judge an incident by the result, you have to judge it on the infraction itself. Had Cahill dusted himself off and been fine, no one would have said much. Similar to checks in ice hockey. An illegal hit is bad because it is illegal and should be punished as such, even if the player receiving the hit is not injured. And legal hits don't get punished, even if the player receiving the hit never plays again.

    Terry... makes it hard to root for Chelsea. Time to buy a stay-at-home defender to support Luiz (move him to the wing or DM?) and send Terry packing. Maybe Lampard. Can't be more than one season left in them, and one should hope the next manager has the balls to cut the oldsters loose. Though maybe Abramovich should "promote" Terry to manager... Even so, I find it hard to believe you Englishmen would be unhappy to win the Euros simply to spite Terry. Of course, now you have a reason to smile when you don't win, eh?

    Rio... Roy made his stand. Said he wouldn't take Rio. Can't go back on it now. Blame Micah Richards. That idiot should never play for Roy through the six months he's allowed to stay on. Once you turn down your country--even as a reserve--you shouldn't get a second chance.

    Lastly, for now, I'll sadly be away from Internet and TV most of the next few days, so I'll miss the beginning of the Euros and probably any chance to remind you that if you haven't joined the fantasy leagues on http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/fansarea/index.html, you need to get on it. (I'm looking at you, Robbo...) At least the fantasy league, if not the predictors.

    Predictor and Tournament Predictor should be:
    League: Grave Robbos
    Password: robbo

    Fantasy League:
    League: Grave Robbos
    Code: 60017-14320

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  11. Good blog robbo. Character wise Rio would be picked over Terry but as blog already said, SAF claimed he wouldn't be up to playing tournament football. At the same time there would be no need to play him every game so to leave him out doesn't make a lot of sense. Having said that, if it was up to me I would have left all the failures from 2010 at home watching on the TV with Cahill.

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  12. Good blog Robbo. Actually I will blame FA first for the monster situation they have created for Roy.

    I don't understand this ridiculous concept of standby list? Who created this and why… for e.g. players like Carrick and Richards allegedly didn’t make themselves available in standby list for whatever reasons since they weren’t picked up at first instance. These players who refused to be in standby list are not considered at all to be in the original squad. If that standby list was not made itself then no question arises of who can/cannot be brought in as backup in case of injuries – just bad luck in England’s case that too many injuries coming up… especially Chelsea players who have played more season games than anyone in that squad. I guess all the other nations having huge pool of players to select from in case any got injured is because they are considering whole of their league system instead of few standby players.

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  13. First things first:

    Alan Hansen: For being shite on domestic football punditry aint enough, predicts Germany, Portugal & Holland all to make last 4 even though they start in the same group.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18091750

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  14. Excuse me for asking but what does the queen actually DO?

    I've got nothing against her, she seems like a nice little woman, and any excuse for a party is a good thing...but its the unwarranted grovelling I cant fucking stand

    If 60 years of sitting around on my fat arse occasionally being wheeled out to look like a bored and grouchy waxwork of myself whilst waving unenthusiastically at sycophantic crowds qualifies me for 6 days off a week, a couple of palaces, frequent flash holidays and endless panegyrics about "duty" from lickspittles like Gary Barlowe and oily old tories concerned with preserving the family silver, then this might be a job that interests me how do i apply?

    On second thoughts she's welcome to it. I'd have to chop my own head off on principle.

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  15. I believe I just read on the BBC that jedward have carried the Olympic torch in Dublin..thats Dublin, ROI, which isn't part of the UK, as far as i know.

    Nah. Must have dreamt it.

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  16. BBC now report the chuckle brothers are carrying the torch around Kazakhstan

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  17. Outrage as Malaysian owners rename Cardiff City "Kuala Lumpur Wanderers.

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  18. Their new home ground will be in rejkjavik

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  19. Whoever designed these ranking needs to lay off the hallucinogenic drugs. Were above Argentina, Portugal and 8, that's 8 places above France
    http://www.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/index.html

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  20. The Queen does the rankings Blog, that's one of her other unheralded, thankless tasks. She has a soft spot for England.

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  21. I can understand Roy picking JT for football reasons. For God's sake there can't be any other reason can there? The reason being that with a back 4 comprised of 3 chelsea players who are all used to playing together you have a ready made defensive unit.
    Take Cahill out of the picture and you no longer have that unit. It then becomes a question of "who now?" and, as so many people have been saying for a long time, it is time to ship out the old generation and blood some youngsters. So leaving Rio behind is kind of what we 've all wanted anyway -along with Stevie G and Terry. The problem is that the youngster he decides to pick is Martin Kelly. Prove me wrong kid, please! (And injure Jordan Henderson in training please!)

    Rastafairy

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  22. Embarrassment all round as it emerges the figure in full royal regalia milking the applause outside bUck House last night was in fact john terry

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  24. Has anyone asked Roy who he would have picked if it was Terry who got injured and not Cahill? Anyhow, am still wondering how Chelsea managed to get the trial postponed to not only beyond the season, but for after the Euros!! and this, when the video evidence is pretty clear!

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  25. BREAKING NEWS - EURO 2012
    The England squad, on board their plane, have just taken off from Luton Airport and are heading to Poland and Ukraine
    -------------------------------------------------

    That's Breaking News? Really? They all managed to get on the plane on time is breaking news?

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    1. Yes, that's breaking news, if half the plane is going to Poland and t'other half to Ukraine, it certainly sounds like a break to me, AH.

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  26. Welcome back Robbo.

    Hindsight being 20-20, I think it would of been much better for Roy to have left both Terry and Rio out of the squad. Rio for footballing reasons, the former because he´s the biggest C-unit since the Vaginasaurus Rex.

    I too was pretty suprised that Roy called up Kelly to replace Cahill (as is apparent in my posts on previous blog) but now I think about I´ve got to hand it to the manager for sticking to his guns and not making a u-turn.

    Kelly was on his stand by list and it´s not like we needed another CB anyway, so why call up Rio.

    Another thing, everyones been crying for years that we need to give the new talent a chance, well Kelly´s new isn´t he? (not sure if he´s talented though, I honestly don´t know enough about him)

    So in the end, another of the Golden Shower isn´t there and a new lad is.

    Happy?

    Ofcourse your not.

    England manager = best paid sucky thankless job in the world.

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  27. Replies
    1. Is woy so bad he has to be replaced by a cruise liner?

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    2. I can hear it now as we lift the World Cup....."There's only one Quentin Emerson II, there's only one Quentin Emerson II"

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  28. I think Kelly is a good lad H2. Good hard working , fairly pacy RB, probably less suspect defensively than GJ. That being said, I dont think he's ready from primetime yet. However, if the purpose of our Euro 2012 journey is to get the next generation ready, then I do believe it's a good choice.

    I think the people slating poor old Woy before his first real (non-friendly) game are idiots. Let's wait for the game against France, and then we'll all slate him.

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  29. Hmmm...Sigurddson to liverpool it seems. Hope he doesnt turn out to be another like Adam or Downing. Loads of goals before they joined liverpool, and turning into jay spearing once they do.

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  30. Headline in the Indy: "John Terry provides fitness boost for England". Is he going to miss the whole tournament with a strained ego?


    Jedi

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  31. YoungBlueBlood6 June 2012 at 18:04

    Great blog Robbo. but why would anybody in his right sense of mind pick Rio over Terry? common man! we all know that Terry isn't up to much these days but he clearly poses more presence in defense than Bleedin' Rio...not to mention his goal threat. Typical England! drop a shitty player and u r a plank. let's leave Woy to earn his fat pay for fck's sake. n 2 wins in 2 matches aint that bad is it? geez!

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  32. Subeditor tries to save hansons face...fails...

    ALAN HANSEN, MATCH OF THE DAY
    1. Spain
    2. Germany
    3. Netherlands.
    4. Portugal

    Who will win and why?

    [Alan's predictions recognise three of his heavily-fancied teams are all in Group B. However, he is tipping the two teams that qualify to do well at Euro 2012.]

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  33. Well done Platini;

    http://espnfc.com/uk/en/news/1088152/uefa-president-platiniyellow-card-players-leave-pitch.html

    Give a yellow card to players being subjected to vile chants, that´ll teach the racists.

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    1. H2H, was wondering about that too.The making of another slippery/dopey FIFA Pres. has started...

      The clever Lad

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    2. Also this "take the players off" stuff seems to me to give the racists a weapon. Suppose (say) Ukraine are losing with 5 minutes to go. Start the racist chanting and get the players taken off the pitch. Match abandoned. What happens to the game? Does Ukraine get a draw (and possibly go through)?


      Jedi

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  34. if england win, then you deserve to see JT lifting the trophy ... it balances things out

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  35. Subeditor tries to save hansons face...fails...

    ALAN HANSEN, MATCH OF THE DAY
    1. Spain
    2. Germany
    3. Netherlands.
    4. Portugal

    Who will win and why?

    [Alan's predictions recognise three of his heavily-fancied teams are all in Group B. However, he is tipping the two teams that qualify to do well at Euro 2012.]
    -----------------------------------------
    It's easy being a pundit like Hansen. My prediction is that whichever 2 teams qualify from each group will make it to the quarter finals. The 4 winners of the quarter finals will reach the semis and the 2 winners of the semis will reach the final. And whoever wins the final will be the champions. And unlike any of my other predictions this one is guaranteed to be right.

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  36. if England win there'll be enough scourers there to tell JT to gerrisfuckinandsoff.

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  37. Downing: "We do not fear France"
    ----------
    Downing might play and that's England's greatest fear!

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    Replies
    1. they probably don't fear him either, SS.

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    2. Fear him?

      Half of them probably never heard of him.

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  38. Nice to see Hughton back in the PL.

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  39. How often have i heard a variation of the words "woy is damned if he does and damned if he doesnt" in the last few days?

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  40. blogs, the FIFA ranking system is as dodgy as blatter's bank account.. My country, Nigeria is ranked 60th in the world and 11th in africa.. Of course, we've played shite footy for a few years now and didnt even qualify for the last nation's cup so its not too surprising.. What has everyone in an uproar is that we were just leapfrogged by the might of sierra-leone.. Sierra-fucking-leone who were tonked 4-0 by the mighty jordan 2 weeks ago and have won 1 match in their last five.. The ranking is a bloody joke!

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  41. Noni, ah, but would Henderson, downing or Kelly get into the sierra Leone team?

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  42. I see the govt are boycotting Ukraine and will only attend the semi final in Poland, if we get there.
    We won't get there.

    Fair dos putin is boycotting the Olympics ... anyone know why? Was it because jedward were allowed to carry the torch?

    But well done Ukraine for stepping into the international spotlight as a racist despotic shit hole.

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  43. nice article and a great blog.. just started one up myself would appreciate if you had a look and if you have any advice... http://thatwhiteline.blogspot.co.uk/

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  44. Premier League supplies 79 players for Euro 2012 compared with 48 from Germany, 33 from Spain and 31 from Italy.

    England is the only squad entirely composed of homebodies

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    Replies
    1. Heehee..Kenny's 'buy english crap' policy paying dividends I see.

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    2. I wonder what Woy would have done if Liverpool didnt have any Englishmen.

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    3. Good statistic that, but you can look at it from two ways.

      i) The PL is the best league which attracts the best players.

      Or

      ii) All members of the England squad are not good enough to play anywhere else.

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    4. or, any half decent English talent has the best earnings opportunity in England where the pies are better anyway.

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    5. that reads like a very good Homer Simpson impersonation, H.

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    6. Cheers Trott, glad you didn't misspell Homer.

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  45. Steve Clarke to West Brom. Have to say Im happy for him..good man. And apparently Woy has left behind his 'buy from liverpool' mantra with the baggies.

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  46. Brutal;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/9317586/Harry-Redknapp-goes-from-the-fans-England-choice-to-a-man-reduced-to-offering-tips-on-Twitter.html#

    TWITCHER

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  47. Well, here we are a few hours from kick off of the Uefas jewel in the crown nations tournament Euro 2012. Ready for the cream de la cream of the continants talent to pick their wits and skills against each other on the field of play.

    Here in the bar I've got the big screen and projector set up, plus the place is awash with orange buntings, streamers, flags and assorted crap, all hung in careful accordance to the local fire prevention authorities. Punters are starting to come in, beer is starting to flow.

    Anticipation is rising.

    Me, I'm feeling a bit... MEH.

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  48. Well, H2, at least the takings should be up.

    Nice to see Chris Hughton back in the PL. Seems a decent guy, and was poorly treated by the Lard Ashley (even if getting Pardew in worked).

    Steve Clarke, too, seems a decent guy despite his Russian Mafia links.

    Predictions for Poland v Greece? Mine is "crap game".


    Jedi

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  49. Here's wishing good luck to the entire Arsenal contingent at the Euros. Bring It On!!!

    Poland v Greece (2-0)
    Arshavin v Rosciky (2-1)

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    1. Or (as they say) "break a leg". That would leave the Gooners relying on their youth team next season ... no change there, then.


      Jedi

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    2. @Jedi I'd rather have players protest against racism* and walk out and get back to home than break a leg.

      * Hope there's no racism at all and we have month full of only on pitch footballing stories.

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  50. Referee's making friends in Poland.

    I wouldn't book a holiday in Crete anytime soon if I were him though.

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  51. Ref tries to make up for his early fuck ups by making more.

    Nice save though from the Titan.

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  52. this british iron lady type came in today and kept us at work for hours spouting drivel.. Made me miss the first few minutes of the euros... Stupid bitch!!! Oh well.. I'm all settled in now..

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  53. this ref is effing clueless.. The match aint as boring as i thought it'd be

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    1. Dont know about that Noni. Was fairly boring for most parts I thought. Ref tried his best to liven things up to be honest.

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    2. I agree with AH, as I said earlier..... Meh.

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  54. UEFA seems to have come up with a foolproof plan to eradicate racism. Simply get an all white polish team to play against an all white greek team in front of an all white audience. I haven't heard any racist chanting in this match at all.

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  55. Of all the cliches I hate the ' football is a game of 2 halves' must be high up on the list.

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  56. Well what do you know? Arshavin is still alive.

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  57. after watching the highlights and trying to think of high points.. I have to be agree with AH.. Twas rather boring despite the ref's best efforts... I've just been so starved of footy that even my village XI kickabout looks like 'el classico' to me.

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  58. and czechs and the ruskis are kickin off.. Gooners on the pitch

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    Replies
    1. hopefully they'll follow wojciech's lead and liven things up a bit.

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  59. the czechs are all over the place defensively....

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  60. Have to say that was an excellent first half performance from Arshavin. He could be 'like a new signing' for the gooners. I guess we'll have to wait for the game to finish before assessing his performance as after all football is a game of two halves.

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    1. He does look a lot leaner doesn't he?

      Covered more ground in the last 45 minutes then in the entire season at the Grove.

      I think I even saw him defending.

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  61. Nice game, Russia too strong for the Czechs who weren't that bad.

    Howard Webb did well.

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  63. Try again. Learnt some Russian today. Kershakov means 'Andy Carroll'. Jeez, he was shite wasn't he?

    Watching Pavyluchenko score that goal got me thinking, now that Harry has sold all our strikers and Adebayor has gone back to City, who's going to play up front for Spurs next season, apart from Defoe?

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  64. Anyone else see MOTD last night?

    Fuck me that was shit, even by their pretty low standards.

    I suppose it's only fitting that this joke of a programme is hosted by a comedian, well I say comedian, I'm guessing that's what he's trying to achieve but funny he is not.

    The expert pundits *sniggers in a deragotary fashion* for the late night entertainment were Mssrs Savage and James.

    The former telling us who was the worst player on the field was and what not to do when playing in a top tournament calling on all his experience of playing for the top teams in the PL relegation struggle and the also rans in the Championship. Now I'm not one to blow my own trumpet, but just between you and me, I've played in as many Euro finals as Mr Savage, so I'll be sitting by the phone waiting to be called up by Auntie.

    The latter, brought in to comment on the shotstoppers, a former keeper who's mostly remembered for his catwalk antics and dodgy hairdos. A guy that was dubbed Calamity James brought in to berate the keepers? That's tantamont to asking John Terry to host a seminar on how not to be a dispicable cunt.

    From what they said after the Poland-Greece highlights, I had the feeling I'd watched a completly different game a few hours before, so confused was I, that I just had to call a mate who was here in the bar during the match to confirm what I thought I remembered.

    The guy who did the commentary on the second match started off badly, when he used the same phrase twice. He informed us that Petr Cech was coming into this game

    "Fresh off his winning appearance in the CL final".

    Fair enough I suppose, but he also mentioned that Howard Webb came

    "Fresh into this game from refereeing the last WC Final"

    Eh? What? Fresh?

    Now you can call me Mr Picky, but if his idea of fresh is something from two years ago then I'm never going round his gaff for dinner.

    He ended the proceedings in breathtaking fashion by informing us that after their win in their first group match, Russia had now a 100% record in the Finals. WOW what a mathmatical genius he must be.


    The one good thing about this first highlight show of the Euro's is the thought that the next one can only get better. *famous last words*

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  65. I know it's got a cyclists name in there,but it's well worth a read.

    http://bikesoup.cc/07/cycling-articles/bradley-wiggins-the-hero-weve-been-waiting-for/

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    1. Is indeed a decent article.

      Two things come to mind;

      i) I used to really enjoy the tv show Superstars.

      ii) That football players are idiots is more of a reflection on our society as a whole rather then the footballers themselves. Top sporters in the US for example are largely college educated, most athletes get scolarships to schools of higher education and as far as I know have to maintain a certain grade average to be eligible to compete. Meaning that even the less academically gifted still have some degree of a decent education.

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  66. You couldn't get a ticket for the Ned v Den game here, yet the stadium is nowhere near full.

    Well done Uefa.

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  67. I see Robben continuing his fine form from the CL finals into the Euros.

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  68. My business just took a big hit :(

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  69. Sombre atmosphere here in My Old Dutch pannenkoken restaurant in high holborn, H.

    Just self sacrificially taken my boys to walk round emirates. Nearest they'll get to an arsenal game.

    Saw 200 naked cyclists ... or did I just dream it?

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    1. Anything's possible around Holloway, mate.

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  70. none of the games so far have really gotten the juices flowing.. Its all been rather meh... Germany/ portugal was rather disappointing..

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    Replies
    1. Russia v Czech wasn't too bad, NL v Den neither, except for the terrible finishing from the Dutch.

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  71. Harry says he would have taken the England job if offered. At a time when he's after a new contract at Spurs, he admits he would have walked away if offered another job. He was right when he said he wasn't that bright during his court case.

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    1. A bit confused to why that would surprise you Noel, isn't this the man that dropped Pompey, a club he'd already betrayed once by joining their local rivals, like a bad habit the moment Levy came knocking?

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    2. His lack of loyalty doesn't surprise me H, just that he's after a new contract at Spurs, so surely he'd be keeping quiet about wanting to leave now?!

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  72. The Football Association has booked a jet to bring the England squad back from Euro 2012 on June 20 - the day after their final group match.

    Full story: The Sun

    I'd be more worried if they had booked the plane for the day before their last game.

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  73. Sharapova surely the hottest tennis player ever to complete a career slam. After all these years, she still has it both as a player and a looker.

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  74. nah... The czech - russia match wasnt so enjoyable for me.. It was like watching the arsenal defence play.. I kept getting horrible flashbacks.. Petr cech must have been so pissed.. His left-back left more open spaces than that deserted spot where john terry's conscience resides.

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  75. spain - italy in a few hours and i'm really hopin the italians make a match of it.. Those spaniards can be really boring with their pointless triangle passes.. Give me speedy, counter-attacking football any day.

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    Replies
    1. You mean like how the Russians played against the Czechs?

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  76. Noni I agree barca play with the perfection of a boney blank eyed catwalk model who of course you wish was yours but somehow....not.

    Anyway their midfield is to die (of tika taka boredom) for, but their front line looks pretty ordinary to me, none of them has scored that many goals this year. Top five scorers it says here in la ligua all foreign this year and as for poor old torres, Roman must use some kind of creepily debilitating voodoo to feed off his youth

    Italy 1-0 Spain with Spain having 71% of possession confirming the swing of the pendulum back to catennacio as with Chelski and come to think of it mourinhos Inter the year before. Door bolt defending.

    My tip for euro victory therefore is Ireland under Trappatoni who has the irresistible forces of Opus Dei, damien duff and the Mafia behind him.

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    Replies
    1. I can't see beyond the Germans.

      There's a group of them sitting on the beer terrace and they're rather large.

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  77. The Spanish succession is over.

    Rising in the north west, a new star. An unlikely rag bag of alf tupper-like rejects. No one thought they could do it.

    But then one Andy Carroll emerges like a latter day geoff hurst (when was the last time anyone called their baby boy Jeff? I've never met anyone called Jeff apart from that cunt Archer was it reserved for 1960s footballers?) to score a much disputed hat trick in the final vs Ireland, only to be killed off one by one by damien duff who has been brainwashed like in the manchurian candidate by Opus Dei.

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  78. And now to watch the game.

    Forza Italia!

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  79. It seems to be the year of surprises and underdogs with the so called best teams not comming out on top.

    It's in the bag for Engerlaaaannndd.

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  80. Fabregas playing in the CF position.

    Don't Spain have a striker?

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  81. it is in the bag for England, some of us knew that and declared it 2 years ago. The hour is upon us, well, almost. Just don't mess with Stevie G's music selection and we're home and dry.

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  82. Spain are missing something - Messi.

    Italy have Mick jaggers dad (pirlo)

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  83. Footballer eh?

    Police were twice called to the wedding of ex-Newcastle United footballer Danny Guthrie after the reception descended into a brawl in which guests flung lobster thermidor at each other.

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    Replies
    1. No, Blog. Traditional Geordie wedding. Not complete without a decent scrap. I've been to a few. Including one where all the male guests pissed off at 2pm to go and watch the Toon. Priorities! (The Groom did stay, though!!)


      Jedi

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  84. The booking of balotelli looked a bit racist to me

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    Replies
    1. Take the yellow out of the refs hand and that was nothing more then a nazi salute.

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  85. Balotelli: So close to becoming a legend.
    Ramos, genius tackle.

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  86. there was once a great striker called Torres...

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  87. No obvious end in sight to the pathos of Torres' tribulations.

    Balotelli is just embarrassing.

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  89. Time to pour a Guinni with a Jameson on the side, stuff your pipe with four leaved clover and get behind the most underist of underdogs, b'jayzus.

    COYBIG

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  90. Nice goal from a guy I never heard of.

    COYBIG

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  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  92. Irish for own goal = That's a Given away

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  93. Still waiting for an obligatory Dunne own goal...

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  94. Thought the lads showed a lot of heart, just missed a little bit of luck and a lot of quality.

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    Replies
    1. next, u'll be talking about mental strength and taking their hands off the brakes.... Or whatever car analogy wenger decides to use as an excuse..

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    2. It wasn't meant to be a Wengerism, just how I saw it.

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  95. Just a quick one for Noel really,with the Tour less than 3 weeks away.

    Cadel v Bradley I think.Cadel looks as though he's fully recovered from the illness he had at the start of the season.I think it's between those two really.

    As for England a little later on today,a very unscientific poll taken by asking customers seems to show that getting out of the group would be a massive achievement and noone (wherever he is now) is expecting a great deal from England at all.

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    Replies
    1. jacks i saw this >>> in London on Saturday. very funny. they should run it as a comedy interlude for the Tour. some of the participants would bring a tear to a glass eye....

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2012/jun/10/world-naked-bike-ride-pictures

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    2. Oh dear,not a pretty sight.

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  96. Yeah it's looking that way, Jacks. Aussie TV has really stepped up their cycling coverage since Cadel's victory last year, so I've been able to watch all the Classics this season, as well as the Giro, with the Tour and the Vuelta to come.

    Brad's looking like his team will be better equipped to support him throughout the Tour - it may well come down to that. But either way, it's looking like a fascinating Tour. Just hope I don't have to spend too much time looking at Andy Schleck's face on my TV.

    As far as the footie is concerned, I've lost count of how many times I've heard an 'expert' on the BBC saying that with low expectations we really stand a good chance of winning. Surely that's a high expectation?

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    Replies
    1. The Whiny Schlek brothers both look very short of form.They seem to have fallen out with their team management as well Noel.There are plenty of other riders in with a shout,but I think it'll be a Cadel or Bradley win.

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  97. after all the hype probably a 0-0 draw tonight with Terry getting sent off and Lescott injured and Hodgson wishing he hadn't bottled calling up Rio

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    Replies
    1. Your own manager says he isn't fit enough to play 2 games in 4 days,hence him not going.

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  98. come on, adam, you couldnt take both of them for the obvious "footballing reason" that rio would have probably have stabbed terry which is likely to have had a detrimental effect on team morale.

    come to think of it though...

    my predo : cagey stalemate with carroll coming on five minutes from time to clinch the winner, scoring when a scuffed clearance from evra hits him on the back of the head

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  99. four nil, four nil, four nil, four nil.

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  100. Noel.

    The way some of these experts are bringing it, I get the feeling that they think by lowering their expectations they indirectly help England to play better.

    If it turns out to be true then may I suggest that they all go take a running jump off the highest building they can find.

    We'll be champions for sure!

    Allez Angleterre

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  101. http://that1980ssportsblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/euro-88-england-v-ireland.html

    Cracking read.

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  102. the young and fearless oxtail chamberpot to start ahead of downing. thats a good call imho.

    getting nervous. this could be the one that lights the red white and blue touchpaper..

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  103. Senior football reporter Ian Dennis on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think we all thought Roy Hodgson with his pragmatic approach and conservative nature.

    It is really refreshing he is plumping for Oxlade-Chamberlain.

    He only made his first start last weekend against Belgian.

    It is a sign of extent that Hodgson isn't just here to park the bus against the French."
    -------------------------------------------

    This on BBC Radio? Did he think he was on twitter ?

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    Replies
    1. I'll have to put up with the miserable excuse for a human being that Alan Green is for my drive home from work AH.Radio 5 (dead) is truly excruciating at times.

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  104. Milner you son of a bitch. Oxtail chamberpot looking pretty darn good so far.

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  105. Yep but Johnson is a fucking liability

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  106. four one, four one, four one, four one

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  107. Right back is our weakness. Johnson/ milner.

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  108. Typically Hodgson-esque organization to the team, but would like to see a little more intent going forward. Unless the plan is to draw this one and win the other two. Either way, so far, reasonable performance.

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    Replies
    1. Except that they surrender pocession way too easily.

      Need a little more belief in themelves

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    2. Much better performance so far in the second half.

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  109. oh my lord, looks like henderson is coming on.

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    Replies
    1. Parker seeing him coming on says he'll play on with the broken achhilles. god bless him.

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  110. and his brother in law (in yellow shirt) is also a count.

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  111. Henderson on to score glorious winner.

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  112. Has he even touched the ball H?

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  113. not a classic but not the total humiliation we were expecting

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  114. Is anyone actually surprised by the performance of the ref? You don't get picked to referee the final if you give decisions against Platini's team.

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  115. Not a bad start for Hodgson. Given the time he has had to get his shit together, I think today's performance, if the first in the rebuilding effort, was good enough for me. If we follow this up with more attacking performances against Ukraine and Sweden, I will be a happy man.

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  116. Looked to me to be a game against two teams who’s main objective was not to lose.

    England should be happy with a draw and hope that the ref in the next game is not a big a cuntbucket as this one was.

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    Replies
    1. Fair chance of that. Not playing the team that Platini used to captain.


      Jedi

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  117. Only one more game before rooney returns, turns red, kicks the ref in the balls and the Ukrainian racists win 12-0

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  118. The MotD junket chums, lineker et al (al shearer) seem strangely jaunty. Even Hanson is smiling, creepily.

    What's different?

    Of course. That miserable bastard lawro is missing.

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  119. Jonathan lieuw ... lawro is like a cross between a grieving panda and a melted Findus pancake

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  120. how long have Findus been making pancakes? Turn your back for 23 years and everything changes!

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  121. The ancient geezer equalises.

    Now it’s starting to look like a game.

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  122. Is it just me watching tonight's game and thinking we'll be lucky to get anything against Sweden or Ukraine?

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    Replies
    1. I think it's just you mate, I'm not impressed yet.

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    2. That said, we weren't that great either.

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  123. Glad the swedes scored while the ukranian was writhing in agony at being breathed on! The more that happens the more likely the diving will stop...... Great finishes by schev got to said
    Bisq

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  124. Sweden in trouble.

    El Mandy to the rescue?

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  125. haha, you know times are tough when El Mandy is your impact sub!

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  126. So no El Mandy goals and Henderson didn't set the world alight either.

    It's a funny ol' game.

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  127. The good news trott is that 23 years is long enough for everything to change and then for everything to change back to how it was before, except with everyone wearing silvery suits and driving hover cars

    findus crispy pancakes (imagine dog shit nuked inside two battered, cardboard- mounted photographs of lawro) took the British food world by storm winning 3 michelin stars in the microwaveable category and were recently voted no.1 retro food ahead of curly wurlies, wagon wheels, fab ice lollies and then discontinued when everyone realised they tasted like dog shit etc etc I don't know if they still make them again now maybe I hope not

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  128. the mancity players did good last night; so mancini must be proud

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  129. Does anybody else think the referee had agood game? I thought he was great
    Signed

    Michel Platini

    And why didn't we swap Milner and the Ox. Both better on other wing IMHO. Probably RH thought Milner could cover Johnson better. And how can a striker win norm if he doesnt have one single shot all game?

    Rastafairy

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  130. Well done whoever confiscated the brass bands instruments hope it was cornelia parker. I blame them and then alone with their shite "music" for englands failures over the years.

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  131. Btw who was that 12 year old scouse schoolgirl on helium who looks like Jamie carragher?

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  132. Got to hand it to Roy for going against the grain last night and putting out a team of players whom he thought were best suited to play against the French, rather then a team based on reputation.

    But once again, after a so so performance, the designer shirt brigade from Pundit on Couchville seem to get rather excited exclaiming how England should have "nothing to fear" from their upcoming opponenants, wierd, because I saw nothing from England that would really frighten any other team either.

    I haven't read any reports yet or visited other sites, but I hope that it's not the case that, after one semi decent result, the whole media go mad with over expectation again.

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  133. No H. Reactions havent been over the top. Most journalists have accepted the draw as a fair result and looking at the positives while there are still some naysayers who believe that Ukraine’s win over Sweden has made things complicated for England. Danny Welbeck’s performance has been appreciated by most of them and he’s supposedly gave the MOM performance yesterday. In a slow and boring 1-1 draw how can a player who neither scored nor made an assist get MOM award!?!?

    I don’t know how to describe England’s performance yesterday but I can say that they have to improve a lot. With this setup they are more reliant on Hart to make saves than themselves creating a few chances. Without getting too sentimental about Ox’s selection I feel he is still raw and should be used as impact sub.

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