Euro 2008: a couple of questions

Of course, being a racist Englishman, I didn’t intend to be watching Euro 2008 with quite the life-stopping fervour of the last World Cup, or Euro 2004, or the previous World Cup, or Euro 2000, or the etc. but last night’s Germany Poland match (2-0) was highly entertaining, if slightly unbalanced, and I can feel the bug biting already. (Actually, it’s quite relaxing not having England in the tournament. I have decided to support Romania, because a very nice Romanian woman came round to fix my computer.) For anyone just tuning in, I have made it very plain in previous blogs about football that I don’t claim to be a fan in the diehard sense, as I don’t follow league football. But I enjoy European and international tournaments, and I never pretend to know more about them than I do. I draw your attention to my extensive layman’s match reports during the World Cup, which start in June ’06, naturally.

Anyway, two questions:

1) What must it have felt like for the Poles to lose because of two goals scored by a man born in Poland? (see: picture)
2) Why did it take them so long to remove that long trail of white toilet paper from the pitch? It stayed there for most of the first half, although being up the German goal end, it wasn’t as often seen as it might have been. I thought Austria and Switzerland were tidy.

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10 thoughts on “Euro 2008: a couple of questions

  1. I’m a Middlesbrough fan so obviously I also look forward to international tournaments too. And this one has got off to a pretty good start. Well apart from the French, who I always support when England aren’t around. And I drew Turkey in the office sweeps so there should be plenty to keep me interested.However, I know we are all supposed to pretend that it’s so much better without England’s fans or eternally under-achieving team, but it just lacks something for me. I think it’s because normally I would watch a cracking game like Germany v Poland, knowing in the back of my mind that we would go out to one of them in the quarter-finals i.e England’s presence adds context to all the other games.Cue loads of posts from people professing to hate football altogether. Yawn.

  2. Can’t answer 1) but having a Polish driver get the first Grand Prix win for BMW Sauber (German team) ahead of his team mate Nick Heidfeld (German driver) earlier in the day might have helped a little.

  3. Apparently Germany have half-inched a number of potential players including stars like Ballack and Klose who have Polish ancestry but have opted to play for the fatherland.I should imagine this lose galls even more then getting invaded all those years ago by the keyboard player from Sparks.Then again there is always the plumbing to fall back on.

  4. I’ve become a Croatian for the duration. Being another Englishman, if Romania beat Croatia at any point I’ll have to fight you.I’m really enjoying it. Tonight’s Holland/Italy was fab. Keeps Big Brother off the tv as well.

  5. I am enjoying this tournament and it is almost a relief England aren’t there underachieving. I guess The Polish supporters will be pretty peeved to say the least. The only match I can think of which was similar, took place in Euro 88. Republic of Ireland beat England 1-0 with the winning goal scored by a Glaswegian ! Not quite the same I know but it still hurt.As for your second question I think if I was the official UEFA ‘Pitch Toilet Paper Remover’, I would want to make damm sure the roll hadn’t been used. You’ve got to take precautions in a hazardous occupation like that !

  6. My second teams in international competitions are usually Holland and Portugal, on account of having had nice times there, I like the people etc, and also because there are no guarantees as to how either team might play on any given day – sometimes brilliant, sometimes awful. So when they win I kind of think it’s an affirmation of some kind that they managed to get it together and keep the show on the road. In that sense just like England. I see no reason to change my allegiances at this stage though! And I agree it is a relaxing watch without the flickering sense of potential embarrassment looming every few days. But it loses something though. For me.To your questions; The Polish seem to be taking it calmly:http://nwe.pl/Sports.php?article_id=502They make the point that he is ‘Silesian’ born though, is that a code for something?Anyway I would think it is more an issue for the Germans to be honest.Toilet roll? It may have been a symbolic protest against the German team (see above), which the officials felt unable to interfere with for reasons of neutrality.

  7. This seems to be a BBC thing (but perhaps it’s just the annoying trailers on 6Music that makes me think that) but why does everyone feel the need to “support” someone? If the team you really want to win (in my case England) has already been knocked out then why not just watch it for the football? What happens if the team you’re “supporting” gets knocked out in the first round? Are you supposed to pick someone else or stop watching? I enjoyed the Italy/Holland match last night and I couldn’t care less who won.

  8. I wouldn’t take the whole “supporting” thing too seriously, JW. It’s just a bit of fun. I was asked by Five Live to choose a team and I chose Romania for what I felt were fairly arbitary reasons. I enjoyed Holland-Italy last night without any preference for who I wanted to win. I really did just enjoy the football. And I know Romania aren’t going to win. It was good to see them keep France out of their goal for 90 mins, but not because I “support” them. I agree that it is more relaxing without England in.

  9. It’s a natural reaction, to support a team in a tournament, whether or not anything is at stake. I have a few French friends so I’m hoping they do well. A nil nil draw yesterday doesn’t bode well, but I’d rather a shaky start than a trailblazing win like Holland’s – going to be difficult for them to follow that. They were immense.Like everyone else who commented, now it’s finally here I’m glad we didn’t scrape in. Imagine the humiliation of McLaren leading us to a whimpering disappointment in front of the world.

  10. I’ve surprisingly loved this tournament. I’ve missed Crouch from england the most, but really, our NT does mainly consist of a lot of overpaid princesses and overpaid primadonnas like Shrek and Stevie Me.I started out supporting Czech Republic, Turkey and Germany. Now it’s just the latter two. Against each other.

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