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 Post subject: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:42 am 
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Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012

After compiling ten lovely things about the tournament, Nick Miller has gone all grumpy and looked at the most irritating aspects of Euro 2012. No prizes for guessing who's top...


Nick Miller - F365.com


10 - FAI chief executive John Delaney's big night out

There are several aspects of Ireland's Euro 2012 campaign that wouldn't exactly feature on a highlights reel, from Trap's tactics to the spanking by Spain and the patronising pats on the head received by their fans, who had a lovely time you know. However, fairly low down on the dignity scale was Delaney out on the lash, FAI tie at first askew then removed, amid boozed-up Irish fans in Poznan. And then, there was this interview, by Dion Fanning in The Irish Independent. It's worth your time.




9 - The end of the tournament team

Or '23 famous people' as it should perhaps have been called. The UEFA 'eleven-man technical team' (which actually contains a few pretty impressive names, so one would hope they might know better) basically seemed to select the players everyone had heard of. While this is obviously a subjective thing, did Mats Hummels really not do enough for an inclusion in the 23? Or Joao Moutinho? Or Gebre Selassie? A little imagination, or even an acknowledgement that they had watched the games, rather than just read the teamsheets, would have been splendid.


8 - Nick Parker, foreign correspondent of The Sun

While his buddies on the foreign desks of Fleet Street were reporting on great international crises or the G20 in Mexico, The Sun sent their man to Ukraine to ask the England squad what sort of hair gel they all use. We're just concerned for his career, as much as anything.


7 - The tailing-off of the tournament

After the group stages, and with no 0-0 draws to tax our gnat-sized attention spans, we all thought what a terrific tournament this had been. However, when the tournament switched to a knock-out format, were there really any 'great' games? There were six goals in Germany v Greece, but it was so one-sided it was difficult to call it a contest. The Germany v Italy semi-final was an interesting enough game, but not one to wax lyrical about in years to come. And Spain's showing in the final was, again, a rout to admire, rather than a contest to savour. It has been a very good tournament, for sure, but perhaps not as great as we had all hoped.


6 - Empty seats

There are reasons for the seemingly quite poor turn-out at many of the biggest games - not least, Sol Campbell and Panorama's contribution to the Ukraine tourist industry. The logistics of getting around both countries discouraged many, as did the rather spicy prices demanded by hotels and air travel companies. However, these things are true anywhere (try getting a Travelodge in London during August), so it was still disappointing that there seemed to be such large gaps in the crowds, often during some pretty big games. England v France springs to mind, as does Spain v France in the quarter-finals. It was particularly disappointing as the 'Fanzones' in the centres of the host cities were by all accounts terrific fun and gathered everyone together in a great big Euro hug. A hug that apparently didn't make it through the turnstiles.


5 - The countdown and assorted other UEFA show nonsense

In order to try and whip those that did show up into a frantic frenzy, UEFA employed various wacky schemes to create an atmosphere before each game. The 'announcers' from each home country were bad enough (England's was the chap at Arsenal who, until recently, tried the 'I shout their first name, you shout the surname' thing when reading out the teams. Success was...limited in the refined surrounds of the Emirates), but by far the most cringey was the countdown before each game. Referees start the game with a whistle, when everyone is ready, not some twonk with a megaphone.


4 - Mexican waves

Or, more accurately, how bloody early they seemed to start in this tournament. Mexican waves are minor irritations (but ones that do carry some redeeming features by really annoying Alan Green), but in the past only appeared when a crowd grew bored of a tedious game. However, the earliest wave I counted at Euro 2012 was around the 13-minute mark. No. Stop it.


3 - The fines, and Nicky Bendtner's pants

Yes, I know it isn't quite as simple as many have often made out, because there are personal responsibility questions to take into account. It is much easier to apportion blame and punish one dappy Dane for breaking rules that he should know about than it is to punish a federation for the actions of a few knuggle-dragging fans. However, when the penalty for showing off the waistband of a pair of sponsored pants exceeds the cumulative fines for several incidents of racism, it's almost impossible to take UEFA's insistence that they're taking racism in football seriously, erm, seriously. Almost as irritating were journalists' insistence on complaining about said pant-sponsors 'publicity-seeking tactics', while simultaneously using that sponsor's name, thus giving them the publicity they were seeking. But not quite.


2 - The 'Spain are boring' debate

To start with, some apologies. Firstly, to John Nicholson, a great man who has written many times on the subject. Secondly, to you the readers, because F365 has contributed to the great debate of whether or not Spain are a boring football team. Frankly, the whole thing makes my eyes bleed. My response to one person saying 'I find Spain boring' would be to raise one eyebrow and say 'Oh, that's interesting, I don't' before returning to my sandwich, relatively unconcerned about the mild exchange of views that just occurred. However, when half the people with a vague thought in their head weighs in and says 'THEY'RE DULL' only for the other half to bawl 'WHAT? NO THEY'RE NOT! PHILISTINE', I start the process that will begin with gentle rocking in a corner and end with my mugshot on the news, a lady from ITN interviewing my neighbours and them saying I was a quiet sort and they never expected me to be involved with anything so horrific. What does and does not bore somebody is so subjective as to be virtually impossible to argue about, and I wish it to cease now, please.


1 - Mark Lawrenson

Look, having a pop at Lawro is like shooting fish in a barrel. If you were shooting them with a bazooka. And all the fish were dead. And already filleted and served with some nice parsley sauce and peas. However, Lawrenson has long since passed the point where he makes watching football on the BBC a chore. It's not just the lack of effort or research, or the excessive sarcasm, or even the snide snipes at even the most straightforward incident. It's that he seems to be a thoroughly miserable human. Lawrenson has a brilliant job, but goes about his work as if he's a bored call centre worker being bugged by confused 75-year-old grannies who can't get their TV to work. A reader commented on Monday that watching Spain play with him commentating was like visiting the Sistine Chapel with a complaining 13-year-old, BBMing and whining about their feet hurting.

Sadly, the BBC might decide that, after absolutely mullering ITV in the ratings for the final (something like six to one), everything is dandy, and that no changes are required. But surely even they must recognise that Lawrenson's rancid attitude has gone too far. With people like Alan Shearer or Alan Hansen, their inanity allows you to more or less ignore them, as long as you forget that they're walking off with a reasonable chunk of your license fee, but Lawrenson is actively noxious. Impossible to ignore, and with no redeeming features.

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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:55 am 
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But it wasn't all bad...

This Chap's Had A Good Trip



I'm at the tail end of our epic Euro 2012 road trip (currently sat in a campsite in Bavaria drinking red wine from a plastic bottle bought in Hungary yesterday, looking forward to a snifter of Moldovan brandy bought 2 days ago following a rather good "gypsy schnitzel" at the campsite bar NB: no gypsies were hurt in the production of said schnitzel I am assured) and inspired by AGR's conclusions about the tournament thought I would add my thoughts.....

* It's been commented on ad nauseum but I have to repeat that in my view it a total disgrace that a previously well respected analytical programme like Panorama can be allowed to present such an unbalanced programme including the infamous Sol Campbell comments. We were met with kindness and concerns from locals that the English all thought the Ukrainians were scum. Following the England Ukraine game in Donetsk we lost count of the number of people shaking our hands and congratulating us on the victory and every single one also found it necessary to apologise for the image seen in panorama of their country. When the England fans sang ____ off Sol Campbell we'll do what we like it was from the heart.

* Both Poles and Ukrainians were wonderfully friendly and welcoming people (ignoring Ukrainian traffic police). Quietly watching a game in a pub in a Warsaw suburb en route to Ukraine I was fed vodka and taken to three 'after parties' to welcome their special guest. The offering of vodka and plate of pure pig fat that a 'mind's guest house owner insisted on sharing in Ukraine was....erm... a cultural experience.

* They clearly were doing their best but for the independent traveller getting around Ukraine was tough work, limited signage and largely terrible roads were not made up for by the hundreds of helpful volunteers surrounding the stadia when you'd already found it.

* The German fans were fabulous, the only country in the knock out stages to rival England's support. The French were pathetic. Barely a handful at the quarter final. French TV even asked our thoughts on the game at Donetsk camping park as they couldn't find more than a couple of French fans.....

* We have (largely) shed the unpleasant element of our fanbase. The fans were in great voice, supportive throughout and shared drinks and space with the other side before and after games without any trouble I saw. The Ukrainians of course deserve credit for their grace in defeat. Even so I hardly expected a 'guard of honour ' for the England band down the high street in Donetsk!

* Ukraine is hotter than you'd think.

* Ukrainian ladies are the most beautiful on the planet!

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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:49 am 
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Mexican waves are awesome!! :fonz:

He's spot on about the rest though.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:08 am 
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Heh. They're good when everybody gets involved, not so good when just a few try and pull one off on their own.

He's especially correct about Mark Lawrenson - what a twunt, he wanted us all to feel sorry for him for having to endure the awfulness of all this boring football (from his free VIP commentator's seat) all the while forgetting to mention his at least £500k a year for his trouble. :doh:

Tell you what Mark, why don't you just go and let somebody who likes football take your place...

The BBC's pundits really are dire.

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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:10 am 
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conscience wrote:
Heh. They're good when everybody gets involved, not so good when just a few try and pull one off on their own.

He's especially correct about Mark Lawrenson - what a twunt, he wanted us all to feel sorry for him for having to endure the awfulness of all this boring football (from his free VIP commentator's seat) all the while forgetting to mention his at least £500k a year for his trouble. :doh:

Tell you what Mark, why don't you just go and let somebody who likes football take your place...

The BBC's pundits really are dire.


They're best when a few people don't get involved but the majority do... then you can call them miserable bar stewards. I think it was an England v USA match I was at a couple of years back at Wembley where all the English fans were doing the wave, then it got to the corner with the US fans who ignored it. They got some stick!! :lol:

So did Crouch though, cos he wouldn't give us a wave.

I would literally kill for Lawro's job... at least I'd kill Lawro for his job :lol:

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:17 am 
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The mexican wave is fine in mexico at matches now it's basically an acknowledgement that there is no atmosphere in the ground and it gets kids interested.

Totally 100% spot on with Lawro surely the BBC will realise just how the country has turned on this guy and yes they beat ITV 6 - 1 in the ratings but a huge chunk of that was because there's no half time adverts.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:18 am 
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I dunno JSP, the BBC have stuck by Lawro pretty staunchly so far, I can't see that changing until he just gives up and slits his wrists mid-match

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:23 am 
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I am in the minority here.

I actually find Lawro commentating hilarious! Its for all the wrong reasons, but still. I don't feel I need someone particularly knowledgable telling me about the game cause I'm watching it for myself. Its almost like a bit of light relief on the side for me. The more miserable he is, the funnier I find it.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:31 am 
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Spawny wrote:
I dunno JSP, the BBC have stuck by Lawro pretty staunchly so far, I can't see that changing until he just gives up and slits his wrists mid-match


Maybe but I think with the advances in social media like twitter the masses have well and truely spoken when it comes to Lawro. He's just f*cking miserable when he's on these tours but he's one of the boys so he probably pretty bullet proof. He's not there to be some sort of light relief they don't have some idiot cracking sh*t jokes when they're covering the rugby, golf or the olympics so why let it happen during the football.

Look how much better Sky's coverage is without Keys & Grey the BBC need the same kind of thing really with Hanson & Lawro they're sitting there talking about football like it's still the 70's & 80's the game has changed.

Personal highlight of the tournament from a pundit was Shearer saying Balotelli hadn't achieved anything yet in the game. Well he's got 3 serie A titles, 1 European cup, 1 FA Cup & 1 Premier League title now Shearer lets see your medals.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:33 am 
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Moyes_Is_God wrote:
I am in the minority here.

I actually find Lawro commentating hilarious! Its for all the wrong reasons, but still. I don't feel I need someone particularly knowledgable telling me about the game cause I'm watching it for myself. Its almost like a bit of light relief on the side for me. The more miserable he is, the funnier I find it.


Light relief? If listening to a man droning endlessly with no discernible enthusiasm for any aspect of his life is entertaining then I'd rather be un-entertained.

Now Big Ron as a pundit was good for light relief :fonz:

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:37 am 
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Spawny wrote:
Moyes_Is_God wrote:
I am in the minority here.

I actually find Lawro commentating hilarious! Its for all the wrong reasons, but still. I don't feel I need someone particularly knowledgable telling me about the game cause I'm watching it for myself. Its almost like a bit of light relief on the side for me. The more miserable he is, the funnier I find it.


Light relief? If listening to a man droning endlessly with no discernible enthusiasm for any aspect of his life is entertaining then I'd rather be un-entertained.

Now Big Ron as a pundit was good for light relief :fonz:


I guess I've just got a strange sense of humour, I genuinely get more excited about watching a match when I hear Lawro is commentating :blink:
I especially enjoy his quiet (attempted off the mic) laughing his arse off when someone messes up on the pitch.
He doesn't hold back either does he? And he absolutely never agrees with his co commentator :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:40 am 
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Moyes_Is_God wrote:
I guess I've just got a strange sense of humour, I genuinely get more excited about watching a match when I hear Lawro is commentating :blink:
I especially enjoy his quiet (attempted off the mic) laughing his arse off when someone messes up on the pitch.
He doesn't hold back either does he? And he absolutely never agrees with his co commentator :lol:


He never agrees with anything, and he's always wrong. He'll sit there and slate a refereeing decision, then when the replay shows beyond doubt that the ref was right he still argues cos he wont back down.

I honestly think that if the BBC are going to continue to employ him then a portion of his pay should be given to a hooker to give him a blowie before kick-off... might cheer him up a bit.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Top Ten Lowlights Of Euro 2012
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:30 am 
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I enjoyed it in the final when Lawro said something along the lines of "It's lucky i'm not allowed to sware on air" he was having a right rant about someone play acting :lol:

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