Tuesday, 31 May 2016

England's Euro 2016 Squad Named

Roy Hodgson has named the England squad. And, rather predictably, he's named it 'England'.

No major quibbles really. Rashford deserved to be in, but Danny Drinkwater can feel unlucky to be missing out. The likes of Evian, Volvic and Perrier will be gutted, as a walking advert for their product is being left at home. Water shame.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Predict The Results Of Euro 2016 And Win

Mugs' game this predicting lark.

So many variables, like unexpected injuries, sendings off, freak own goals, inexplicable losses of form. You need more than a slice of luck to do well at it and make money from it.

Think you're luckier than a horseshoe in a field of four leaf clovers?

Here's your chance to prove it. Register at Smalltrees, pay a fiver, and see if you're better than everyone else at predicting the scores, the group winners, top scorers, finalists etc.

Finish top of the predictors and you'll win cash, £5 of it mine.

Good luck (ish).

Who Will Qualify From Euro 2016 Group C?

Here’s where the World Champions Germany reside for the early stages of the tournament, and it would take a brave lad or lass to back against them sweeping this group with three wins out of three. 

Neighbours Poland will perhaps provide the stiffest test, and I’d expect them to finish runners-up, closely followed by Ukraine, who will get enough points to make it through to the next phase as one of the best third placers.

Northern Ireland? I’d love it if some of that spirit of ’82 could be rekindled. Jennings, Armstrong et al left a lasting impression back then, and there’s a chance the latest generation could do likewise. But I’d still predict them to prop up this group and head home early.


Friday, 27 May 2016

Who Will Qualify From Euro 2016 Group B?

Must not B Biased. Must B Balanced. But Believe. Believe that we can’t B as Bad as we were in Brazil.

Yes, England’s group, and interest declared, I’m English. So we’re going to win the tournament Blah Blah.

Bollocks I hear some say.
Bloody right. We won’t even win this group. But we will qualify.

For the winners, we must look east to Russia. I see them strong, wanting to put on a good show ahead of them hosting the 2018 World Cup. England to be runners-up, slipping up with a couple of draws. England likes to draw a group game and leave it all down to the last, must-win game.

Wales have Bale But that’s about it. Expect him to be marked out into oblivion. Slovakia, my scout reports suggest they could spring a surprise, But I’m not Backing them to do well enough to grab one of the third place qualifier Berths. Soz.

GROUP B PREDICTION: 1: RUSSIA  2: ENGLAND  3: Slovakia  4: Wales

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Who Will Qualify From Euro 2016 Group A?

A twist. A complication. Call it what you will, calling the qualifiers from this extra fatty European Championships is going to be tricksier than a Ronaldo step-over. 

Six groups, with the top two in each progressing, along with the four third placers with the best record. So basically, two weeks of group stage football eliminates just 8 teams. Worth it?

Anyways, Group A is the hosts to lose. But I think they will win it. Watch out for stories about team disharmony though, as that’s a French speciality, like Tuna Nicoise. They will have too much for their fellow groupies and will finish unbeaten. 

Not much to choose between the Swiss and Romanians. I think both will qualify. Mainly because I think Albania will finish win-less, point-less, but not goal-less.


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Lens Booze Ban & Ronaldo’s Thigh

The 2015/16 club season has a few days left before it must surrender backpage column inches to the Euros. 

Saturday’s UCL final will usher another season into the record books with a Madrid win. Atletico for my money. Hungry to avenge 2014 when they got so close. 

In the run-up, there's been bad news for opponents Real and Portugal with Ronaldo showing a lot of thigh during training, and leaving early. He says he’ll be fine. Unlike tense English and Welsh fans who’ve been told there’ll not be a drop of drink to buy or sup on the day of their game in Euro 2016. Gulp. (Or not, as the case will be.)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

England's Injured Arsenal Players

Like lemonade and pencil shavings, it seems Arsenal and England do not mix. Play for club and be too crocked to turn out for country.

Take Alex The Ox Chamberlain. Crocked. Danny Not Very Welbeck, out again for - pregnant pause - a full 9 months. Another injury for the lad surely earns him not the moniker SickNote but the more full-on SickNovel. Then there's Jack Wilshere, no stranger to the physio's massaging fingertips.Will he make the squad? Would you risk him if you were born with the names Roy and Hodgson?

That leaves Theo Walcott. He's fit but hasn't exactly set the Premier League alight. Which is good, as that would be arson. I'd take the lad. Assuming he doesn't get injured between now and the squad selection.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Bonjour, no?

Euro Schmuro. Brexit Schmexit. In or out, shake it all about. There's been a lot of talk about the referendum, maybe too much talk. There'll be none of it on this blog let me tell you. It's international football all the way from here til the final in Paris.

Who'll win it? Who'll flunk it? Which star players will shine? Which no-names will make a name for themselves? I've absolutely no idea. But that won't stop me making my usual wildly inaccurate predictions and sharing thoughts on the games and the British TV coverage from my sofa.

Want insights into tactics, scoops about squad numbers, and vivid descriptions of the atmosphere at the games? You'll get none of that here. I'll be sat on my sofa, probably with a non-alcoholic beverage, and spouting irreverent irrelevance.

The Armchair Manifesto is even if the game's shit, there's always an opportunity to spout some wit.

Join me.