Interest rate at all time low in Eurozone

With all the news of crisis in the financial institutions of the Eurozone, Pete Sixsmith’s anticipation of football’s equivalent matches his enthusiasm for the Jubilee. It’s not even as if he could appreciate the long bank holiday now he is no longer required to clock in for work everyday. Durham County Cricket Club’s dismal start to the season with rain scuppering their chances of a first Championship victory and not even Cleater Moor Celtic v AFC Wulfonians to look forward to this weekend brings an air of gloom to the nether regions of Shildon.

The Jubilee weekend has been and gone and was successfully avoided at Sixsmith Towers . No time for bowing and scraping here, although I was amused by the attempts of the heir to the throne in attempting to finish his parents off, by making them stand on a boat for 4 hours in the damp and then have Cliff Richard and Co. make a racket outside the front door.
Now, as the rain tips down in County Durham and the bearded man up the street completes a large wooden boat, which seems to have two cats, two dogs and two guinea pigs living in it, we can turn our attention to Euro 2012.
Or we could if there was a great deal of interest and for me, there isn’t a great deal. Maybe I am becoming disillusioned with big football, but I can’t summon up any enthusiasm for this tournament and I usually prefer the Euros to the World Cup.
However, this is the last time it has 16 teams competing in the finals. From 2016, there will be 24 nations charging around France in 6 groups, allowing smaller nations who rarely qualify for tournaments (I’m thinking Scotland , Austria , The Faroe Islands), to attempt to make an impact by grabbing a point in the group stages.
This time round, we have 13 of the world’s top 18 teams involved and there are some clashes that almost fill me with enthusiasm. Tomorrow we have Holland v Denmark. There is a potential cracker after that between Germany and Portugal, but group games can be cagey affairs, so I don’t see a lot of goals.
My main interest will be in watching how our 4 players perform and seeing whether any of them are truly up to international class.
Sunday is the day of the Republic’s first game. John O’Shea is expected to start, while Kieran Westwood’s appearances depend on Shay Given’s fitness. Expect to see Westwood play at least once.
Then there is James McClean. The young Derry man has created a bit of a debate about where his allegiances should lie. I have enjoyed the debate on Salut with regard to this and I can see both points of view. Plenty of Derry men have played for Northern Ireland (Martin O’Neill and Johnnie Crossan spring to mind), but he has the option of playing for the Republic and he has taken it. Football and loyalty are words that hardly go together now – about as much as Prince Charles and common sense.
Trappatoni is talking about playing him on the right and McGeady on the left. That could be a sight that we see at the Stadium next season as the rumour mill is throwing up the former Celtic players name in connection with us. We shall see.
Seb Larsson should be playing for Sweden against Ukraine on Monday. After trying to supply one moody centre forward in Nicklas Bendtner, he now has to work with the most unpredictable one of them all in Zlatan Ibrahamovic (good Swedish name, that one). Larsson is a good player and I hope he does well. He was an important part of our team last year and was probably Bruce’s most important signing.
As for England, to quote Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, “Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn.” They will probably scrape through the group stages, will go out to the first decent side they meet and Hodgson will be slated by the majority of the papers for not being “Good Ol’ ‘Arry” When it is all over on the 23rd or 24thJune, he will be wishing he were back in the relative security of the manager’s seat at The Hawthorns.
There were some disquieting reports from Krakow of the black players in the Dutch team being abused at their open training session. England have a similar one today and if the reaction is repeated it will create a very difficult situation – not least for John Terry.
Maybe by this afternoon I will have garnered up some enthusiasm for the tournament, but I am a bit down about all football at the moment. Then we can start to see what kind of team we may have for 2012-13, the 50th anniversary of my going to Sunderland on a regular basis. Expect nostalgia by the bucketful as the season rolls on.

12 thoughts on “Interest rate at all time low in Eurozone”

  1. It’s proven good enough to get someone as cynical as the Sixer interested by now. Some surprises in terms of results and some canny football so far. I expect that to stop when England take the field v France though.

  2. I feel a stirring in my metaphorical loins after watching Russia v Czech Republic. Cracking game and even Howard Webb had a decent game.
    Both games have featured wide players who operate like McClean and put teasing crosses in.
    Russians looked very, very good. 6-1 wouldn’t have been a wrong score.

  3. The theory of the group games being cagey affairs seem to have gone out the window. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

  4. The Polish player had lost his balance and was on the way down when the Greek lad made contact with him. Not even a harsh decision; just the wrong one.

  5. Opening game was ok, although the first sending off was ridiculous. It really is getting like basketball and netball, with no physical contact allowed.
    Preparing for Russia v Czech Republic -a grudge match if ever there was one.
    I remember them playing each other at ice hockey in the 68 Winter Olympics. It was just after the tanks had rolled in and the Czechs used the game to show the Russians what they thought of them. Made last World Cup Final look like a Teddy Bears Picnic.

  6. The prospect of seeing McClean on the right is something that intrigues me and I was surprised we didn’t see him switched in games, particularly in the later games of the season in which Larsson was missing. Left footers on the right and vice versa is something a lot of coaches have experimented with in the top flight in recent seasons so it was disappointing that the experiment wasn’t run at the SoL with McClean. I think he may be even more effective down the right cutting in.

    My expectations for exciting football or any English success are not high, in fact at an all time low. I will still watch it with a great deal of interest and in fact will not miss a minute in truth, but such dedication is forced by habit and the triumph of hope over experience.

  7. I was wondering more about the group stages at the tournament itself. Euro 96 aside, these tournaments are generally disastrous for us anyway. Never forget us going two up against a fine Portugal side in 2000 only for Keegan, in true Keegan style, to display his ineptitude on the tactics front and refuse to tighten up or restructure shape. We lost 3-2.

  8. It will be 12 group winners and runners up and then the 4 best third placed teams.
    Whatever they do, it dilutes the quality of the tournament. But, it’s an extra marketing opportunity – more countries involved, the more advertising and sponsorship can be sold.
    And that’s what the game is all about now.

  9. It’s an interesting one, the increase in teams to participate in four years time. I think 24 sounds better in the qualitative aspects, I think it gives more teams a chance, the likes who aren’t woeful but won’t get world cup qualification. Europe is strong in footballing standard. I doubt teams of Faroe Island’s calibre will ever qualify.

    The problem is, how are the groups to be re-structured to make it mathematically cohesive? 3 teams from a group is very amateurish and a non starter for me. Increasing it to 32 to combat this would then cross the line of reducing the overall quality. Interesting to see what they come up with.

  10. This reminds me of the First Annual General Meeting of The Apathetic League Of Great Britain. It was a huge success. Nobody turned up!

Comments are closed.

Next Post