Euro 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Carlisles united as Clarke delves deep into racism in the game

Can you feel it? We’re in that disorientating period in the football calendar when everything’s not quite right. There’s no football on the TV; other sports like cricket and bloody cycling are beginning to barge their way onto the back pages, and most distressing of all your squads on Fifa are all...


Saturday, 30 June 2012

Euro 2012 - Team Of The Tournament

With just the final to go its time to decide which players made the most impact in Poland and Ukraine. In recent years FIFAand UEFA have picked a squad of the top performers at tournaments but wheres the fun in that? Very few fans come up with the same eleven and thats when it gets interesting, so h...


Friday, 29 June 2012

England: Time for a Change part 3: Looking Forward

It is a myth that England can’t play like Spain or Germany or Italy because we don’t have the right types of players. We may not have them in abundance but we have a handful but that is all it takes to change a team’s philosophy. The only way to increase this output of technically gifted play...


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Euro 2012 Semi-final: Can Germany End Their Italy Hoodoo?

So you think England have a complex about facing Germany? Thats nothing compared to the way that the Germans feel when Azzuri blue shirts come into view. Bear in mind that Germany (and West Germany) expect to win matches. They are serial winners and finalists at international level - but only when t...


England: Time for a Change part 2: Out with the Old

Brazil 2014 is the next major tournament and I would like to see a different approach to the game from England, my first bone of contention being with the formation. Roy Hodgson throughout his career has typically employed a rigid 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation. If you look at all the best teams in ...


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

England: Isn't it nice to have no excuses?

Since what appears to be forever, ‘never’ has plagued the England national team. Our bordering on cruel failure to hit the net from 12 yards; our ability to royally screw ourselves over; the way we perpetuate heroes just to contradict ourselves when they do not fulfil the prophecies we cultivat...


England: Time for a Change part one: Inquisition

“England did well to get as far as penalties because the gulf in class between the two teams was embarrassing. Big hearts can only take you so far and I think the quarter-finals was the furthest England could go” Alan Hansen on Englands Defeat to Italy. Perfectly summed up in two sentences, th...


Outside the Box – Football on TV: Lawro plays the Twit as BBC confidence turns to England despair

It’s easy afterwards, in the hazy mist of reflection that hangs mournfully across the country each time the England team are wrenched from a major tournament, to neatly nestle back into the default self-loathing English mind-set and pretend we were always doomed to fail, fated to forever chase the...


Monday, 25 June 2012

England v Italy - Player ratings

So it was penalties again but this time losing from the spot didnt feel so bad. Probably because England hardly deserved to be in the game after being taken apart by an Italian side who would be a massive danger if only they could find some reliable strikers. Heres the ratings for the England eleve...


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Euro 2012 - France: From rebellion to respite

If England fans believe the past 15 years were eventful, one only has to glance at the recently expelled French team to see that our drama pales in comparison to that of Les Bleus. For while we and our roaring Three Lions have suffered the usual heartbreak, blame game and penalty misses that alwa...


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Euro 2012: England v Italy - The History

Since the first meeting between England and Italy back in 1933 the Azzuri just have the edge in the head-to head, winning nine of their 22 encounters to Englands seven. But both sides have enjoyed periods of ascendancy in a rivalry that has rarely included matches at major tournament finals. Sunday...


Friday, 22 June 2012

Euro 2012: Let's enjoy England with no strings attached

The England job is not necessarily a position which has strings attached … it is one big string. A bullys dream; a place where logic is traded in and all hell breaks loose. And so often have we seen these strings work their magic. Even though Sir Bobby Robson is now considered by fans and Press...


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

England v Ukraine: Was Gerrard or Rooney England's main man?

So they made it. England not only made the last eight but topped the group for good measure. The 1-0 win over Ukraine wasnt without problems but Roy Hodgsons New Model England are unbeaten in five starts and thats generating a lot of unexpected optimism. Joe Hart - 7 Difficult to see who can dis...


Spurs: Has Laurent Blanc always been the man to replace Redknapp?

Its been over a week since Spurs sacked Harry the best manager weve had since the sixties Redknapp andnews on his successoris eerily quiet. Those expected to be front runners, Moyes Martinez,appear to be rank outsiders, and one that is not wanted by anyone, AVB, appears to be one ofthe first choi...


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: England make it hard to watch, while Sky’s legend makes the game look easy

Another week, another panic-inducing evening spent watching the England team then. This whole edge-of-our-seat, fine line between death and glory shtick that England have peddled out for years is now growing quite tiresome. Just for once, couldn’t we be like Germany and be ruthlessly efficient and...


Friday, 15 June 2012

Euro 2012: Netherlands And the Trouble With 4-2-3-1

So Holland have now lost two games and the Oranje are lucky to still have even a slim chance of reaching the last eight. If they are going to beat Portugal they need to free themselves from the straitjacket that is the 4-2-3-1 system. One of the great ironies of modern football is that while Spain ...


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Euro 2012: Italy's Prandelli takes over as the Tinkerman

Theres an awful lot of things that make international football tournaments such compulsive viewing - far too many to list here. But for the committed football fan (aka tactics nerd) theres nothing to match the compulsive tinkering by coaches. Claudio Ranieri hasnt coached at international level, wh...


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Euro Vision begins as ITV and the BBC vie for Championship glory

Ok, so it might not feel too much like summer right now. It’s about 10°C outside, caravan parks are under water and the only suntans in sight are painted on the vacuous plebs of Geordie Shore. But I promise you, we are there and that of course means only one thing: the European Championships have ...


Monday, 11 June 2012

Euro 2012: Can England or Portugal reach the final?

The tournament finally kicked off on Friday with a lot of fanfare and the usual fervor. For the next three weeks, Poland and Ukraine will be where pundits and fans have their eyes glued on. Since the close of the club football calendar, speculations have been rife as to which team will conquer...


Euro 2012: Can England actually win the tournament?

Euro 2012 is in full swing and shaping up to be a tournament we will never forget, but there are many questions that need answering. Just who will be lifting the coveted trophy aloft on July 1? What can England realistically achieve and who will be this summer’s surprise package? I’ve put these que...


England: 46 years of hurt and there will probably be a few more too

So another tournament for England, another chance for our much lauded players to show the world just how good they are on one of the biggest stages of all. Yet for once we arent among the favourites and the whole country is hoping for some good results rather than expecting good results as we all...


England: World in Motion or Three Lions - What has been the greatest song?

England take on France this afternoon in their first game of Euro2012 but expectations of Roy Hodgson guiding the country to glory are as low as those racist yobs in Poland and Ukraine who are grabbing all the headlines. Music could hold the key. England have had some notable tournament songs i...


Wednesday, 06 June 2012

Euro 2012 Fantasy Football invitation

Calling all fantasy football fans. Have we got a treat for you. If you think you are a better manager than Englands Roy Hodgson or that you could leave Germanys Joachim Low feeling really down in the dumps then why dont you prove it? Weve set up our own Euro 2012 mini-league with the Sun and youve...


Monday, 04 June 2012

England: Who should start against France?

It has been a winning but unimpressive start for Roy Hodgson as England manager. Two 1-0 victories over Norway and Belgium have hardly put the fear of God into their Euro 2012 opponents but another six results like that will see England wipe away 46 years of hurt and being crowned European champions...


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Euro 2012: Can England win Euro 2012?

Despite having won nothing since 1966 England always start major tournaments as one of the favourites. Their passionate fans are full of optimism, having been brainwashed by the Press that their players are world beaters, only for their hopes to be ripped apart as their flaws are exposed by tactical...


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Euro 2012: Gomez, RVP or Ronaldo: Who will win the Golden Boot?

Arsenals Robin Van Persie scored 37 goals in all competitions last season. Bayern Munichs Mario Gomez bagged 41 while Cristiano Ronaldo found the bag of the net an astonishing 60 times, but who will lift the coveted Golden Boot at Euro 2012? Germany are one of the favourites to win the competition ...


Tuesday, 01 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A bad week for some as United falter and the Olympics fail to inspire

It ended with Liam Gallagher bopping along to his own record at the Etihad last night in the her-uge title showdown between the Manchester giants on Live Ford Monday Night Football. Basking in his own genius is probably a nightly ritual for Gallagher junior but what certainly hasn’t been a regular o...


Saturday, 04 February 2012

A Scott to be England captain . . . Why Parker is the right man for Fabio

So its official, John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy AGAIN! After previously having the armband removed as a result of his alleged affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, his latest dethroning comes as a result of the on-going race scandal involving Anton Ferdinand. Stripping T...


Friday, 16 December 2011

Scandinavian Spotlight: Small countires with big ambitions - just don't tell Fulham

With the Danish Season now into its winter shutdown this weeks Europa League ties were the last on-field action for a while with Odense involved in Wednesday nights most dramatic match. Fulham were leading 2-1 and the game was in time added on when the hosts spurned a good chance to put things out ...


Wednesday, 07 December 2011

England: Euro Draw Could Have Been Worse But This Will Not Be A Walk In The Park

Depending on your national orientation, emotions following last Friday’s Euro 2012 group stage draw will have been mixed. If you are Irish, you will presumably be quite gutted that, having qualified for your first major finals in 10 years, perennial powerhouses Spain and Italy were drawn in your gr...


Tuesday, 06 December 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: The rise and fall of the sprightly Savage is far from a waltz in the park

Do you remember the first time you ever saw Star Wars? That intoxicating and bedazzling rush of pure unadulterated excitement as you sat slack-jawed, unable to wrench your eyes away from all the bright lights, whizzing space ships and questionable acting? And perhaps you also remember the desolate f...


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A test of comedy quizzing is passed with help from the inspiring Irish

Ok, before we go any further let me first congratulate the Irish team on their impressive qualification for the European Championships next summer. There was the inevitable party mood for the second leg of the Republic of Ireland v Estonia match last Tuesday and I’m sure there are not many that begr...


Thursday, 17 November 2011

England: What Happens If Capello Loses Joe Hart?

The friendly against Sweden gave Fabio Capello a lot of useful information about players like Kyle Walker and Jack Rodwell, but he didnt learn a great deal about his resources in one key position - the goalkeeper role. Scott Carson came out of the international wilderness for the second half and di...


Monday, 17 October 2011

Ireland: 10 Handy Facts About Estonia

The Republic of Ireland probably received the draw they wanted when they were paired with Estonia in the Euro 2012 play-offs. The Baltic state have never qualified for anWorld Cup or Eurotournament, or a play-off, before. 1. Estonia have been in action since 1991 after the break-up of the Soviet Un...


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Republic Of Ireland Seeded But Tough Opponents Still Await

The news that the Republic of Ireland are seeded for the Euro 2012 play-offs will at least allow Giovanni Trappatonis squad to avoid the most dangerous side in the draw - Portugal - but the cliche there are no easy games really does apply here. And it especially applies to Ireland. In six play-off ...


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Rooney and Savage liven up the tedious break in play

There are not many things that evoke a true hatred and frustration in my usually dreary and featureless disposition, in fact there are only three: anybody who thinks the enjoyment of a night out is heightened by the commencement of dancing, any television programme in which the words “Piers” and ...


Monday, 10 October 2011

Scotland: Can Levein’s men shock the world champions Spain?

Scotland’s narrow win over Liechtenstein, combined with Spain’s 2-0 win over the Czech Republic, has given Craig Levein’s men a glimmer of hope of qualifying for their first major tournament since France 98. All they need to do is better what the Czechs do against Lithunia. Unfortunately their oppon...


Saturday, 08 October 2011

England: Does anyone know what is wrong with England?

Fabio Capellos England qualified for Euro 2012 last night with a point at Montenegro. Despite Wayne Rooneys red card and blowing a two goal lead, England fans will be travelling to Poland and Ukraine in mass in the summer. But in the build-up to the game the same tired questions were being asked ag...


Friday, 09 September 2011

Scandinavian spotlight: Happy days for the Danes, not so for Norway

As the dust settles on another international break some in the Scandinavian football fraternity have more reason to be satisfied than others. The Danes will be very happy, Sweden reasonably so and Norway very disappointed. As mentioned last week the Danes had the first matchday off and could afford...


Tuesday, 06 September 2011

Who's Going To Be At Euro 2012?

The qualifying groups for Euro 2012 are reaching the business end and its becoming a little clearer which players will be in Poland and Ukraine and which ones will be spending extra time on the beach. Places Booked As usual Germany have headed the way in qualification. Aside from a sticky period a...


Sunday, 07 February 2010

Ireland must be pleased with Euro 2012 draw

After being so cruelly denied by the hand of Henry in the World Cup qualifiers, Ireland will have been hoping for better luck in the next qualifying section. And by the look of the Group B draw for Euro 2012 it appears that they have got it. Euro 2012 GROUP B: Andorra, Armenia, Macedonia, Republic...



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