Euro 2016 – Review of Week 1

Thoughts on the Championships so far;

It feels like a whirlwind. Or perhaps that’s just the combination of late nights and assortment of lagers but the last week of football has well and truly delivered. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had quite such a variation of emotions like I did during the ENG vs WAL game. Whilst travelling the globe you come across a plethora of people, I haven’t yet found anyone in Sydney who watched that game and wasn’t captivated from start to finish; pure emotion.

So we are more than a week into the Championships now. What’s happened so far?

Winners so far;

Albania – They came, they played their hearts out and can easily walk away with their heads held high. Briefly catching the highlights from their victorious last group game against Romania, they look very promising indeed.

Iceland – Fair bloody play! They might receive some criticism, but not from me. Clearly well drilled and prepared to hit the ground running. They believed they could get something against Portugal, and they did. Sounds like sour grapes Cristiano!

France – Okay I’ll take some flack, I put the classic commentators curse on them with my previous article. But, France have flattered to deceive so far, at certain points they have shown snapshots of how dangerous a force they could well be. I’m still saying watch out Europe!

And now for the Losers;

Germany – I’ll try not to take too much enjoyment in this one. Die Mannschaft aren’t quite clicking at the moment. A 0-0 draw against Poland isn’t what Germany want to be remembered for at Euro 2016, then again neither is Joachim Löw’s ‘sniffing-gate’.

Belgium – How many journalists predicted after the previous European Championships in 2012 and then the World Cup, that this would be the tournament where ‘The Golden Generation’ established themselves as a world force? As starting line – up’s go, Belgium’s is like a night at the Oscars. One High profile character after the next. Didn’t turn up against Italy, then took ROI apart 3-0. Very temperamental side. If Wilmots can get it right, Belgium should skate to the semi’s. Big If mind.

You may have noticed that I have barely touched on a certain team. Yes that’s right let’s talk about England. We all knew it was going to happen at some point during the article. As I sit here now trying to re-capture every emotion which was experienced during Friday morning’s pulsating game with Wales. (God bless Sydney and their Casino 24 hour drinking laws!) I feel torn between criticising ‘Woy and praising him.

With 45 minutes left to save his European adventure, Hodgson had no choice but to go for broke with Daniel Sturridge and the main man himself Jamie Vardy. Obviously what happened after that was pure escasty for any patriotic Englishman.

But why did it have to get to this stage before a change was made? So there I was enduring Half Time with a rather smug Welshman next to me, crying into a Carlton Dry. (recommend!) Wondering where it all went wrong. ‘But we were undefeated in qualifying’ springs to mind. Quickly followed by ‘Why the chuffing hell isn’t Jamie Vardy on the pitch!!’

After scanning the Beeb (BBC) tonight, I see Roy is supposedly planning on making up to 6 changes to the team that started against Wales. Vardy has to start, and yes through the middle too.

In my opinion, Wilshere should have started against Wales, in the first half unfortunately Alli received a bit of a lesson at the hands of Ramsey. I think Jack, *touch wood * fully fit would have dominated that midfield which included a 50% fit Joe Ledley.

I must admit I was critical of Walker starting ahead of Clyne, but it’s worked superbly in the first 2 games so far. What an outlet. Kyle is becoming a key player for England purely for his gizelle like speed and acceleration. Although he is still the type of player on FIFA or FM that you would be putting on ‘Intense Training’ for crossing…
In all realistic terms England should breeze through tonight’s game against Slovakia and guarantee themselves Top of The Group, but then again this is England we are talking about.

Heart Says 3-1 to ENG

Head says 2-1 (Vardy Winner)

Yeah that’s right let’s all get on the Jamie Vardy bandwagon.

Thanks for reading,




Author: ClarkeyTotalFootball

Sports Graduate. Ever faithful that England will succeed at a major tournament one day. Once I scored a 5 - a - side hat-trick. Those were the days!

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