Euro 2008: a couple more questions

Euro2008RomaFra

Now I’m losing my grip. I recorded the Romania-France game (as I was still at work) and subsequently the Netherlands-Italy and watched them about two hours after they’d both finished, thus pushing myself into the Tired Zone. I actually nodded off during the last 20 minutes of the second game, although woke up for the third Dutch goal, which was handy. A note about “supporting” another team in lieu of England, as prompted by JW’s comment on the previous entry: I was asked by Five Live on Friday to say which back-up nation I was going “support” in Euro 2008 (a question presumably asked pretty much every two years of Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and Irish fans). I hadn’t given it much thought, but they were preparing a video map for their website*, which can be viewed in all its glory here, where you click on a country and a little film of a Five Live presenter/contributor comes up explaining their preference. So I am on record saying that I support Romania! (Wearing a yellow shirt.) This doesn’t mean the same thing as supporting my home team (a love-hate arrangement at the worst of times). I was delighted that Romania, the underdogs, kept France out of their goal for 90 minutes last night. (Or yesterday afternoon if you saw it live.) They can’t win the Group Of Death, but to score a point is a moral victory for them. Good. Here are my questions:

1) When will British commentators stop calling Romania “Roomania”?
2) Which of the French players is it who clearly went to the same rubbish tattooist as Amy Winehouse?
3) Who the fuck designed ITV’s studio set?
4) When Alan Hansen said that Romania-France was “the worst match I’ve ever seen” was he saying it for effect?
5) I ask this as a non-football follower: once an offside goal is allowed, can it ever be disallowed at a later date? Or is that it? (Not that it was crucial to the final score, but I’m sure Italian fans will be saying that the first goal gave the Dutch the confidence they needed to score a second, and so on.)
6) (A late question just in:) Does Gary Lineker have a team of gag-writers, or did he come up with the “Poles apart” Polish-defence quip himself while watching the second half?

* Ha ha, here it is:

Euro2008me

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20 thoughts on “Euro 2008: a couple more questions

  1. And 7) Who was it in the McDonalds marketing department that decided “proud supplier of player escorts to Euro 2008” would be a good tag line? Surely Christiano Ronaldo can find his own?

  2. I’m supporting German because it is the country of Blixa Bargled and Einsturzende Neubauten. I don’t know the answers to your questions (although I reckon Gary could have managed that quip on his own), but I find the whole ITV commentary team almost unbearable, may have to watch it with a radio commentary instead or something.

  3. Nicky Campbell got it right yesterday morning when he said that asking ‘Who will you be supporting’ is a ridiculous question for a football fan. My instincts tell me to support Portugal because I go there a lot and the people are lovely. But then I watched them the other night I just could not bring myself to support them. Don’t know why. Just instinct. Football has much more to do with emotion than intellect.As to your questions are you aping Mark Kermode ? He tried to claim he did not know what had happened in 1966. Well that is just thick. Even if you arenot afootball fan you should surely know that if you have any interest in the history of the country.

  4. With number 5, Mr Collins, you expose the brutal truth regarding the idiocy of modern football. Hundreds of cameras following the action – both digital stills and digital video – yet the referee has to use his own recollection and that of his hapless linesmen to judge something that happened a split second ago, that they may not have even seen.And on that, multimillion pound/euro careers are made and finished. Seems a bit silly, eh?I speak as an Arsenal fan who still can’t believe what happened with the penalties in the two legs of the champions league matches against liverpool. Those bastard referees.

  5. Pierre, I am not “aping Mark Kermode”, even though I am called upon to actually professionally do that on a regular basis. My questions are – gulp! – supposed to be a bit of fun, partly rhetorical, partly discursive or intended to spark comment. It feels silly to have to explain that. I know what happened in 1966. I am not thick.

  6. “Now I’m losing my grip. I recorded the Romania-France”If you watched it in its entirety without the use of fastforward, then I would politely suggest you might be losing your grip. It really was a stinker. The only note of interest was romania stealing scotland’s revolutionary flatback10 defense to great effect.

  7. Well, according to the head of referees for the English Premier League and the UEFA general secretary, it wasn’t offside. The Italian that was lying off the pitch behind the goals was playing him onside. This sounds like nonsense to me; an attacking player isn’t counted as offside if he’s off the pitch so why would a defender count?

  8. As others have said the dodgy goals stand if the ref has allowed it at the time. The only retrospective decisions (that I know of) are: 1) appeals against red/yellow cards, 2) dubious goal committee that decides who actually scored a particular goal (i.e. own goal or not).These dodgy decisions tend to even out over a game (the Arsenal fan above may not agree). For example, later in the match, van Persie was put through but this was ruled offside. Having said that a goal, particularly the first one, wil dramatically alter the course of the match.

  9. The ITV commentary team is far worse when they cover the European Champions League so, having had a season to get used to them I can handle their idiotic statements – it’s a bit like having a number of hyperactive John Motsons. The offside rule is now ridiculous – if the Italian that was off the pitch was playing the Dutch scorer onside then I propose that we further confuse the situation by changing the rule to exclude defenders that aren’t interfering with play as well!The answer to your question Andrew is that no, an incorrectly made offside decision cannot be changed later. Personally I think that, if photographic evidence can highlight an injustice then decisions should be reversed during the match – that might even include allowing sent off players to return to the pitch. And does Mcdonalds really drive the players to the stadia in beaten up cars? Wouldn’t the supply of Focuses be more appropriate?

  10. Why would anyone want to ape Mark Kermode? You’d go bankrupt buying all that Pluko Black & White stuff. Not to mention the hours you’d need to put into hair sculpture.I concede to the above commenter that usually dodgy decisions even out. Unless Man U are involved – this really was disgraceful…On the Euros – how did Gary Neville get a job as a pundit? I mean, how on Earth is this possible?

  11. So far it’s a very attractive, human-friendly tournament. A glimpse of the future as it should be, I’ve decided – clean, tidy, civilised. I like the way the perfect pitches are the stars of the small stadiums. I liked the opening ceremony – and despise the lazy cynicism of Hansen “the opening match was better than the opening ceremony” and Lawrenson “co-hosted tournaments don’t work”. I liked Holland’s kit – in contrast to Italy’s which has been getting progressively uglier – what’s up with Italy? (The bad tattoos could belong to Italy’s Zidane-butted Materazzi). It would be good if the linesman was right all along and every single pundit 100% ignorant of the rules. Also if it’s true then the one bit of information we needed to know was the one – and only – bit of information Clive Tyldesley didn’t give. Talks way too much.

  12. I’m glad that the Euros are on as I hate Big Brother so it gives us something to watch in our house. My money’s on Spain as they have super Cesc Fabregas. I can’t support Portugal even though I too have been there and found the people to be lovely, as I hate Ronaldo with a passion. I cannot stand his smug bastard face. Hopefully I won’t have to put up with it in the premier league for much longer. Yes I am an Arsenal fan.ZoePS I’m not ready for The Apprentice to finish tomorrow! Can’t they eke it out for a few more weeks???

  13. And why aren’t BBC making greater use of their best ‘leftfield’ pundits, Lee Dixon and Gavin Peacock? I hate the way they have first and second division punditry. They started the season relegating Adrian Chiles et al from Match of the Day 2 whenever the TOP Premier League clubs were playing head to heads on Sunday. Which was ridiculous because he had established a much more quirky, less blokey approach that actually made the Sunday show a better watch. Thankfully, after ITV tried to poach him, they seem to have stopped that.

  14. HiI’d just like to point out the border line Autistic commentary we’ve been getting for the championship. Every single little link to England they can find they have to say it, it’s driving me mad! Why can’t they face the fact that England never made it therefore all the teams in the tournment are offically better than us!Stephen

  15. Hi AndrewI’m moving slowly from indifference to interest after the Italy/Holland match. I’ve chosen to support the Italians because I have an Alfa Romeo, my European club team is AC Milan and the players are somehow cooler…Two points:1. From a graphics point of view, the Holland v. Italy match was interesting because I thought the kits were by far the best. The Dutch numbers are very ‘Dutch’ style modern typography, while the Italians have gone for a bit more typographical flair. Both teams have the simple approach to actual kit colour and design, unlike, say, Rooomania.2. Isn’t the ITV coverage just, I don’t know, just REALLY ‘ITV’ish? It’s a bit like the co-op – well meaning, but slightly cheap and tacky…Stephen (Euro2008 Typographic Correspondent)

  16. I was not implying you were thick Andrew. I was expressing a long held irritation with Mark’s deliberate (and I think phony) ignorance of football. Of course it is nothing to do with you but the pair of you are inextricably linked in my head. Sorry you got caught in the collateral fire.The comment was meant to be gently mocking but as ever in internet land tone it is difficult to carry off without sounding abusive.To reinforce my earlier comment though about it being about emotion who you follw. After seeing all the teams I want Sweden to win. A decison that could not be made without the experience of watching them play.

  17. 1. Roomania is where Wayne Rooney comes from2. Think you might be refering to Toulalan who has some fancy inscription on his bicep. If you think that is bad count yourself lucky Cisse was not selected as he is covered virtually head to tow in tattoos3. A blind man with no taste.4. Yes he was but it was an awful match5. No. Plenty of offside goals every season are given. Just have to live with it. Part of the beauty of football.6.Gary is a sporting and broadcasting legend and perfectly able to come up with his unique brand of fromage on his own.p.s. Football braodcasters rely on cliches. It really is their bread and butter. If I had a pound every time I heard the phrase “perennial underachievers” or “group of death” I could retire to the caribbean.

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