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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Location: The pig-farming bit of Nottinghamshire
Andy wrote:
Rumour is that Oxlade-Chamberlain starts, as does Welbeck. I hope this is true. Must surely be better than Milner and Carroll. I imagine the bus will still be parked, but at least we'd be less likely to totally rely on "a long ball game" (Roy Hodgson, June 2012).


That is good news if true Andy. The thought of the vastly overrated Stevie Gee punting the ball forward to Big Andy was too much to bear.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:18 pm 
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The way I'd look at it, if I were an England supporter, is that this is an opportunity to go out and build a new team with new reputations. you already have a top goalie, you have a bit of experience in defence and Gerard to keep the kids in line. It's all good.

Sure, it could all go wrong, but wouldn't you rather have the *potential* of this team rather than the known quantity of the previous one? I would.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:20 pm 
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I'm going to keep an open mind Neil - if they play some half-decent football and get out of the group I'll be a lot happier than I was at the last world cup!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Lynda - agreed, Italy and Spain were both excellent last night. It was a really beautiful tactical set-up. Spanish attach versus Italy defence. Really intelligent, creative stuff. And yes, Ireland got it badly wrong last night. Such a shame. Their next two matches are going to be very hard.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:28 pm 
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One thing I will say, Andy, is that there are a lot of worried Scots right now. The punters up here prefer it when England is full of confidence. This sudden bout of realism is giving us the willies ("who are you and what have you done with the real England", etc.).


Btw I came to a personal compromise on this issue a few years ago after repeatedly being asked by English friends whether I was an ABE type of Scot. My response was that when I see an England team playing thrilling, skilful, beautiful football, then I am quite happy for them to win. It hasn't happened often but, for example, I can't not admire Gazza's Euro 96 goal, even if it was against us.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:30 pm 
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My big moment later on - Ukraine Vs Sweden. Have I drawn the very shortest straw? I could get behind a bunch of no-hopers easily enough (and at this point I'll preempt the 'you do it every other week' gag), but no-hopers representing a hideous regime?

And, I suppose, that tees up another obvious gag...

Oh well they may surprise me and be made of stern stuff like Greece (the other team out of the draw in this household).


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Nice, England! Cue me counting up my winnings!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Spoke too soon. I always do.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Decent England performance against a talented but cynical French team. Biased ref. Both teams look good bets for the quarter-finals but not more than that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:23 am 
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Brave words before you saw what Ukraine and Sweden have to offer, Vaughan! There'll be more points shared around this group before its over. Any 2 from 4 for me at the moment.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:23 am 
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NeilW wrote:
Brave words before you saw what Ukraine and Sweden have to offer, Vaughan! There'll be more points shared around this group before its over. Any 2 from 4 for me at the moment.

Indeed! Surprises all round, so far. I think England ought to be able to beat Sweden, though admittedly they've not managed it before in a tournament. Not so confident about getting something from Ukraine in front of their supporters, though.

Denmark versus Greece in the Final...

(Yep, my predictions are reliably unreliable.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:39 am 
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I'm still not optimistic about the Czech Republic team's prospects, despite their win last night. They should have buried Greece after that first six minutes of mayhem. I can't see them beating Poland.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:36 am 
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Looks like Russia will beat Greece pretty easily, so it'll be down to the Poles v the Czechs for the other qualifying spot. But the Poles will need to win it whereas the Czechs will just need to draw - so it will be a really tense one I think, and could go either way.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:53 pm 
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Stop Press: Portugal get justice.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Hard luck Denmark, what a come back but just not enough.

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