We Still Believe / 60 Years Of Hurt etc etc…
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Another draw for England, failing to be positive, decisive, clinical and have some kind of cutting edge to beat Slovakia. Still unbeaten though, plenty of possession and maybe playing against a decent side we’d have more space and play a more attacking, pacier game (or get stuffed against a decent attack).
What was Woy thinking about making changes? A lot of despair after the game, a few thoughts about not bothering with the Round of 16 even – all corrected by the morning though over croissants in the sunshine…
Plenty of strange results though and what looks like an unbalanced draw with this format seeing all the home nations progress (except Scotland) to the round of 16 and now the thousands of England fans have to make their way down to Nice to play Iceland rather than Paris – where unbelievably if they progress we’d go next, followed by all the way back South to Marseille then back up to Paris! No one will complain if we’re in the final of course… Ha!
Plenty of La Tania regulars and workers in St Etienne (and Lyon the day before) – see who you can spot on the pics. Great pre-match in St Etienne with plenty of music and outside bars – organisation lacking again though in road delays before the game and massive delays on the trains after the game with fans trying to get back to Lyon etc.
From the Côte d’Azur to Lens, Arras and the Ardeche some great times, food, scenery and people we’ve caught up with.
Now for Lyon the Gastro capital of France and more friends to catch up with prior to St Ettiene and Slovakia on Monday.
Seems unlike previous tournaments there’s not TV screens in every bar and every public place though – we’ve ended up not watching as many games on TV through a tournament as we usually do.
The fact every game is not on free to air terrestrial TV in France is a bit weird and in Nice airport there was nowhere to watch a game in Terminal 1 (T2 did have a small lounge area with the games on – it was alcohol free though unlike T1 – why?)
After the misery of many previous tournaments, this was looking the same way until the Sturridge last gasp winner!
Absolutely no trouble in Lens despite the highest profile game (and the highest risk according to UEFA) with around 55,000 fans from Wales and England in town.
Some tickets going for a “reasonable” €300 for a €55 face value ticket in our hotel – some for more than €800 on the street and the highest prices on re-sale sites for any game outside the final.
There was also no alcohol ban at all – we even took bottles of wine and glasses in to the street and stood in front of the riot police – loads of outside bars and Welsh & English mixing well. England fans even helping unload kegs and crates as small bars and restaurants ran out of beer and needed re-suppling!
No surprise to us really – there were no Russians (or French hooligans) there to cause trouble. Everyone just wanted to enjoy the day.
The walk to the ground and organisation was very poor. No signs or stewards with gate numbers etc. Usually these are excellent for UEFA or FIFA games.
Anyway, good result in the end but when we realised the team was unchanged the mood was not very good. Surely we should start the next game as we finished. Maybe Wilshere in for Lallana for a bit more creativity?
All the people in Lens and Arras were very friendly, got a lift back from an Algerian restaurant in Lens owned by a fat Riyad Mahrez! And yes we played arras in Arras… Then, we went to a golf court toget some food and play a while, since I stopped playing a year ago and I wanted to get the habit back again. We meet an amazing coach called Jack Smith and he gave us some advice while we where having some drinks after the game. I wanted to know what are the top drivers in 2019 that are being used by the best PGA players. We had a very great time.
This was probably the most celebrated result since Rooney’s brace v Croatia in the 4-2 win in Lisbon in 2004 – or maybe the 3-2 win over Sweden at the last Euros (Berlin & Glasgow were friendlies).
Roll on the Ardeche, Lyon and St Ettiene and a proper La Tania reunion…
Watch your backs and look after each other in Toulouse Welsh fans if the Russian military haven’t been deported by then…
As most experience sports journalists and long time England fans predicted the off field antics are catching the headlines today.
While England fans are certainly no angels the sight of organised masked Russians wearing hoodies pulled up in 30°C temperatures and armed with all manner of weapons takes hoolaginism to a new depressing level.
Saying that, we had a great day with nice food & wine in the sunshine near the beach. The stadium looked really good too – completely rebuilt since my last visit for a UEFA Cup semi-final with The Toon in 2004.
Our Woy really needs to answer some questions – no bigger one than why has he brought Rashford and Vardy with him if he doesn’t play them when this game desperately needed a change from Sterling, Kane and Lallana. Quite impressed with Rooney however, good distribution and vision all night.
Everyone could see a change up front was needed – what does Neville do, surely he could see what a waste of time Sterling was? Should have been easy for England and hugely frustrating when the inevitable equaliser came right at the end.
Don’t let us even start on Kane taking corners or the scenes at the end – could have been another Heysel. Back in 98 the only major trouble was in Marseille, let’s hope things calm down now but there’ll be a lot of English & Russia fans in Lille on Wednesday and Northern Ireland & Polish fans clashed in Nice last night ahead of their first game today, re watch it at this website and enjoy from home.
Roll on Lens and the Wales game with England under pressure already…