Jun 092008

Ah, the media are really going to struggle for the next month. If England had actually qualified for Euro 2008 rather than play like a bunch of uncoordinated fools, all the stories would be around niggling injuries, dangerous opponents, and just how clear it was that this was THE year.

Instead, a few columns are dedicated to those who actually made it, leaving pages available to the complete rubbish that we’re reading on a daily basis.

Just to be clear, very little transfer activity happens during a major tournament. Those not playing are available, while those that are generally answer with ‘I’ll sort it out after the tournament’. Already that line has been spun into all sorts of stories, from ‘I’ll sign a new contract’, or ‘I’m leaving’, on the whim of the writer.

So all that remains is to dismiss about the transfer rumours of those not involved (Adebayor), talk about the ongoing boredom of Hleb leaving, and….no, that’s dull. That would involve me recycling non-stories all summer, and we can leave the paid press to that. When something interesting happens, I’ll talk about it.

In the meantime, the real interest is the Euros themselves, but so far they’ve been a little flat. Germany and Portugal both looked decent, and my pre-tournament bet that Podolski would end up top scorer is now looking a little tasty, but you sense that the real action starts tonight, in the Holland-Italy-France-Romania group.

Arsenal interest has also been thin so far, Senderos playing well in Switzerland’s unfortunate loss to the Czechs, while Croatia laboured to victory over the other hosts, Austria, without Eduardo, who Bilic claims could be back in training in a matter of weeks. If that is true, it really is fantastic news, but to be honest, if he’s back by Christmas that’s good given how bad the injury.

And that’s about it. Van Persie’s out of tonight’s game with Italy, and for amusement sake I’d like to see Romania beat France. Come on, you know it’d raise a chuckle with you too.

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