Weblog: The football punter
I'm backing Spain to put France out of their miserySURPRISE, surprise, it’s all kicking off in the French camp.
Those who took the 1-100 that it would all go Pete Tong for Laurent Blanc and his not-so-happy campers had a bit of a sweat up early on when things were chugging along merrily but that defeat against Sweden has seen memories come stirring back to their shambolic effort at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
It was always no offers that Hatem Ben Arfa and Samir Nasri would be involved somewhere along the line and so it has proved. These two troublemakers could start a fight in a monastery so in a dressing-room full of egos it was always likely to be a recipe for disaster and Spain should be good things to beat them in Saturday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final.
France assistant coach Alain Boghossian attempted to play down the arguments by telling Uefa.com: After everyone had had a cold shower, and some time to cool off, we sat down together at the hotel and talked things through, face-to-face. Everybody said what he felt he needed to say. That's important. It's like with a couple – if you don't talk to each other things can build up."
If I told Mrs B everything I wanted to say we would be heading for divorce and by my reckoning telling a few home truths is just about the worst thing you can do. Shutting up is the only way for a happy marriage.
Anyway back to the betting - and here is a prime example where what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her - and I’m all over Spain.
Everyone reckons Spain are not quite what they were but even so they finished the group stage with the most goals scored, the fewest conceded and the most attempts on goal. No team made more passes, no team had the ball for longer and no team forced more corners.
Yep, the European and world champions have clearly gone at the game!