Weblog: The football punter
England can keep living down to expectations
I CAN'T remember a tournament like this one – classic match after classic match with managers hell-bent on laying on a show rather than boring their way into the knockout stage.
But – and there's always a but – there has to be an exception to the rule and Friday night's the night cos England are in town.
The irony, of course, is that Roy Hodgson doesn't actually have to worry about his long-term job prospects despite the fact that everyone he listens to has told him that he's crap, his team are crap, we'll be lucky to get out of the group and haven't got a cat in hell's chance of winning the tournament. And because of that we're rewarding you with a four-year contract.
So living down to expectations is clearly all part of the masterplan and I'm sure we can do that effortlessly enough against Sweden. Catenaccio, something our lovely wags have got down as a side order at Costa, is here to stay and it wears Three Lions.
Always a pleasure to see the Swedes in town. Forget the footy – which in their case is easy enough – but they've a nice kit, lots of lovely lady footy fans for the TV producers to ogle at from time to time (well you'd rather that than the long lens picking out some ugly, tattooed monster from Hornchurch or her husband) and a fancy price tag.
Sweden have never lost in seven competitive matches against England and since you'd struggle to have our lads in for more than one goal, the chances are they won't be losing this time either.
Can they win it? Probably not but they are probably good enough not to lose and take their chances against the French next week who by then should be in the midst of a dressing room civil war. The draw it is then.