Didn’t watch

So England are through to another Euros final. I don’t think they’ll be favourites to win it, but then a lot of people didn’t think that they would even get out of the group, so we can all be wrong, can’t we?

I didn’t watch. Not my thing watching the national team. Not my thing to enjoy games where I’m only slightly invested in the outcome. So I watched an amazing documentary about the Sami people of Lapland. Some incredible scenery and cinematography. And this place. Breathtaking.

I woke up this morning to the result, sadly completely overshadowed by the controversy of one single decision on the penalty.

One (English) footy group saying no. Another (local) one saying yes. A few individual opinions. It even caused a rift in the referees forum that I occasionally visit. They – all qualified FA refs – came down 80-20 in favour of the decision. And the more replays I see of it (and the more I read the laws of the game), the more I’m convinced it was right.

It was not a “good defensive block” that was penalised.

If you don’t want to be penalised for a good defensive block, then:

1) Don’t do it studs up.
2) Do make contact with the ball.
3) Don’t make contact with the opponents leg.
4) If you can’t manage any of the above, do it outside the box, so it’s only a free kick, not a penalty.

And if it had have been outside the box, there would have been a free kick given and there would have been absolutely none of the fuss about any of this.

I know not everyone agrees with me. It’s one of those where if it gets given against you, you’re furious, and if it’s not given for you, you’re also pretty pissed off.

A no win situation.

Not like the match.

Will I watch the final on Sunday?
Depends what’s on the other channel.

England: winners

Well done to the England Women’s Football team. Won a hard fought final against Germany and take the Euro 2020 Championship.
Quality wasn’t always evident, but in an often attritional 120 minutes at Wembley, they came out on top.

And some wonderful game management at the end. Lovely to watch.

Day 472 – Back for the final

But not by choice.

So this is an interesting one. We’re heading back home today, and we’ll be back in time for the Euro 2020 Final this evening. We’re not coming home specifically for the final. I think that even if England were in it, I probably wouldn’t be doing that.
And maybe England are in it. Or maybe they’re not.
As I write this, we’re more than 60 hours away from their semi-final kick off, so I have no idea what’s going to happen.


If you’re wanting my predictions, you’re foolish. I can’t even manage to predict the result of one lot of games right, so asking me to predict to two lots is clearly ridiculous when I probably don’t even have the right teams to choose from for the second one.

Anyway, may the better team win and all that.

(I will not be staying up for the big show down between whichever South American teams end up in their final, either.)

Day 453 – Rain and England

Over 100mm of rain today has soon put me in my place as far as celebrating the lack of winter goes.

Never mind though. We had a successful trip out to The Flats this morning to renew some passports (no, we’re not going anywhere), and there’s a free-standing fireplace to light and an England game to ‘look forward to’ this evening.

Yes, I enjoy watching football, and yes, I’m English, but I’m no huge fan of the England national team.
Sure, I’ll watch them if I’ve nothing else on, and I’ll support them against the other team, but it’s not life-ending for me when they don’t do well.
‘Nice when they win, meh when they don’t’ sums it up nicely.

I was saying recently that this is likely because when I was growing up, the England team had no relevance to me. All the games were played at Wembley. That was somewhere I’d never been and never seen – it meant nothing to me. (It still means very little to me.) So it was always based in London, and London was a long way away and… well… had no relevance to me. Added to that, the fact that none of my heroes were ever involved, and you really shouldn’t underestimate the effect that can have on a young kid’s level of interest.

Then there was the playing style. English domestic football was always more physical, more rough and tumble; harder and faster. And yet when I watched the England team, they always slowed it all down and played to the foreign opposition’s strengths instead of their own. I never understood that.

Aside from the matches of the 1990 World Cup, most of which I spent in Germany and had to be seen to be a total England supporter, I can only think of one other memorable England game: the 2001 5-1 win against Germany. For some reason (beer, probably) I felt like a proper fan that evening, as we watching in the Britannia in Headington before heading down the Cowley Road. That was a fun day.

But look, I’d much rather be watching Sheffield United: then and now.

That said, it’s either the England game or sitting outside in the rain tonight, so I think I’ll still be watching this evening.

Day 100, part 2 – What we will see, what we won’t see.

I’m about to walk the beagle in the sunshine, but I did want to put this quick prediction out before tomorrow.

As described above, some pubs in England re-opened today. Some people thought that this was not a good idea, that it wasn’t the right time, that people would abuse the privilege.
Well, there’s never going to be a right time, and some people will abuse the privilege, and those are the images that we’ll see in the newspapers and all over social media this weekend.

None of this sort of thing, illegal until just this morning:

Because that doesn’t fit the narrative.

There’s already been condemnation that the Government allowed pubs “to open from 6am”. No-one cared to expand that they was because they told pubs that they couldn’t open at midnight.

If you don’t want to go to a pub, don’t go.
I’m not going to a pub.
You choose.

But it’s like:

Only by forcing people to make the right choice can we have freedom to make our own decisions.

But don’t tar everyone with the same brush.

Pub owners (already a dying breed) have worked hard and spent a lot of money getting their businesses ready for today. Please don’t join in with the rabble and undermine their efforts or their right to earn a living.