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Friday, 29 June 2012

From Russia With Little Love Lost

"I am quite good... HONESTLY."

We welcome back Dan Forman (follow him ) as he explains how, once upon a time, Andrei Arshavin could have been 'the one'. 

The first time you see them some players you just notice straight away and think wow, they can really, well, for want of a better word, play. The first time I saw Andrei Arshavin was one such experience.

It was at Wembley in September 2007 in a short-lived period when things finally, remarkably, seemed to be going quite well for Steve McClaren's England team. England ran out 3-0 winners and put their qualification campaign for Euro 2008 briefly back on track and Emile Heskey's stock as an international striker back from unpalatable to unplayable (these were strange days indeed).

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Greece Lightning Strikes Twice

"I'm not saying Italy are shit, but..."

The national football team of Greece’s collective theme seems to be that of a slow, squeaky fart. Not a smelly fart, mind you. There’s nothing noxious about the Greeks. But there is something vaguely entertaining, comedic even about their ability to collectively take on the mannerisms of a long fart for huge swathes of matches, ultimately rendering themselves likeable, non-threatening and surprisingly reliable. Greece. As reliable as a fart. They should stick that on the posters.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sliding Doors (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love England)

Lest we forget, yeah?

Emerging from the hinterland of no expectations, Roy’s England squad appear somehow different from what we’d all come to expect. Unbeaten? Check. Likeable? Apart from John Terry (Ashley we’ll let you off because you are brilliant) - check. Unbeaten and likeable after two games eh? It’s like Euro ’96 all over again isn’t it? Although it’s not, really, is it. Now before you knock us here at Spongers HQ for being Peter Pessimists or Kenneth Killjoys, please let us try and explain why we are more from the Paul Pragmatist school of thought.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chiles Play


Hello there, I’m Adrian Chiles and not, as has been widely reported, a thumb, knee, foot, pair of bollocks or any other bodily appendage wearing a suit. Welcome to the Euros on ITV.

We’ll be back after this short break.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dead and Buried


Every tournament has one, but just how deadly is ‘death’? The original ‘grupo de la muerte’ described Group Three at the 1970 World Cup and was coined by remarkably morbid/sensationalist Mexican journalists. That group contained the fatal mix of reigning champions England, ‘Best team everTM’ Brazil, the runners up in ’62 Czechoslovakia and Romania. Trumping that was probably Spain ‘82’s offering of Brazil, Italy and Argentina. Three apples of death and not an onion in sight. However, this is meant to be a piece about the Euros, apparently, and so to the Euros we must go.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Euro 2012 - We Only Went And Did Some PREDICTIONS

Jedward in Polish/Swedish nationality shocker

The Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." After we had stopped LMAOing, we decided to pay no heed to his pithy comment, and put our money where our mouth is. £1 to be exact. So here is our first brace of Euro predictions brought to you by Adam Bushby - feel free to add yours in the comments bit as we attempt to do our bit for Dave's Big Society.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Land of Home Advantage

In Semaphore, this roughly translates as "Enjoy sitting on the bench. Twat'"

Makers of tiny British flags rejoiced into their Pimms this weekend as it became abundantly clear that patriotism was alive and well, and living vicariously through the blind acceptance of fictional entitlement. And as England arrived in Krakow, there they were again, the tiny flags, only this time adorned with the cross of St. George as some local schoolchildren, presumably in detention, formed a ‘welcome party’ for the squad at the airport.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Euros - It's A Numbers Game

"Park your bus on THIS"

We welcome back the ever-excellent Rich Hall to kick off our Euro 2012 coverage. Expect cagey affairs and fewer bulls than bears, which could spell the end for Spain's reign.

What began at Wembley in the summer when football came home will end in Kiev in three weeks’ time.

Poland and Ukraine will host the fifth and final 16-team European Championship. Four years from now, 24 teams will contest Euro 2016 in France. UEFA president Michel Platini wooed voters from national associations with the promise of an expanded tournament, and therefore a greater chance of participation – and of cashing in on the financial rewards that qualification brings.