IF the build-up to Euro 2012 was low key, the first week certainly hasn’t been. So far, so good as far as I’m concerned.
The same could be said of England, who showed enough on Monday to suggest Roy Hodgson’s side will at least be competitive. Opening up against France was always going to be tough and a draw suits us well.
Hopefully we’ll make a tweak to the team for Friday night’s Sweden clash, though – James Milner must be axed in favour of Theo Walcott.
Milner, an incredibly limited footballer, is lucky to be in the squad – but I did see the sense in starting him against the French to nullify Frank Ribéry.
Sweden possess no such wide threat and the pace of Walcott – in addition to the already pacy Danny Welbeck, Ashley Young and teen ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – will make us a potent threat against a side that really have to beat us.
The inclusion of “The Ox” in favour of Stewart Downing, another man lucky to be at the finals, was encouraging to see. If England believe in themselves a little more, the semi-finals are still a realistic target.
HAVING missed Tuesday night’s live action, I was forced to endure Robbie Savage and Colin Murray on the BBC’s highlight show.
I do wonder what Savage has on the BBC bosses. He must have some kind of leverage.
Average at best as a player, his analysis is absolute drivel. Everything is either “fantastic” or “terrible.”
Murray, bearable as a radio host, grates on me too, as does the increasingly erratic Adrian Chiles. At least ITV has the straight-talking Roy Keane, the ever-impressive Patrick Vieira and a surprisingly articulate Jamie Carragher on their books.
MOMENTS of the tournament so far: Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine double; Poland skipper Jacob Błaszczykowski’s stunning strike against Russia; Denmark upsetting much-fancied Holland; average Ireland finally being exposed.