Everyone knows England are the most predictable side in world football when it comes to tournaments. That’s because it’s all scripted, just like a good movie or soap opera. We got our hands on England’s Euro 2012 script…
ACT 1 – The Build Up
Action. Cue the video montage of quiet English towns up and down the country slowly wakening up to a new day… milkmen, postmen and waste disposal technicians all go about their morning duties as the great British public wander around their semi detached houses sticking kettles on, brushing their teeth and hanging flags out of windows… eventually it will all lead in to packed pubs and stadiums all singing:
Three lions on the shirt….
Jules Rimet still gleaming…
30 years of hurt…
A famous football anthem. All you have to do is swap ’30’ for whatever the current year is minus 1966. It’s the ‘when will England next win a major tournament’ formula. This year it’s ’46’ years of hurt. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it but they’ll soon be approaching the 50 mark and it’ll roll off the tongue a little easier… no doubt we’ll see Golden Jubilee celebrations up and down the country too in 2016 to mark the greatest moment in world history – the 1966 world cup final. England won that, y’know. They were world champions.
ACT 2 – Group Stages
Can England beat the likes of Spain, Germany, Holland and win euro 2012 this summer? Not if they stick to the script. As usual, we can expect them to stutter through the group stages having played poorly but grinded out results. That will result in some criticism but because nobody else will have played to their potential, England will have as good a chance as any. The tournament will have sprung more surprises than any in living memory. The little guys will be winning matches, the big players won’t be performing, it will be anyone’s trophy. On their day (classic get out of jail free card for pundits), England will be capable of beating anyone and 2012 could just be their year… at least that will be the view of pundits and the British media.
ACT 3 – Quarter Final
Having slowing created a false sense of security and confidence which will have filtered out on to the pitch, England will face tough opponents in the quarter finals. Most likely Italy. On the face of it, this is a clash of the heavyweights… the mighty Italians are seen as invincible. Nesta, Cannavaro, Del Piero, Baggio, Maldini… it won’t matter that these guys won’t actually be playing… they’ll just be used to hype the crap out of the modern day Italian side and raise expectations. This will be followed swiftly by a “but we can take them, because we’re England and we’ve better players” attitude.
“It’ll be a tight clash. The Italians will give nothing away. They’ll have danger up front.” – quote from a Generic Pundit. In reality, Italy will be a spent force who’ll have been lucky to make it out of the group stages. England will probably beat them, narrowly. They’ll then progress to the semi finals a.k.a 180 minutes away from winning the tournament and lifting their first trophy in 46 years. The t-shirts will already be heading off to the printers.
ACT 4 – Semi Final
It’ll be Germany or Holland up next. Either way, this is where it all ends in tears. A sending off, a goal that maybe / should’ve been / wasn’t a goal, a dodgy offside, a missed penalty… England always need a scapegoat. It’s in every English football script. They must never be beaten by a classy move that results in a goal. There needs to be drama… the guy that scores the goal needs to have kicked out at someone off camera which should have resulted in a red card. He shouldn’t have been on the pitch. That kind of drama is how England’s final match in Euro 2012 will be remembered.