After the infamous incidents, which will be come to known, Zaire-style, as ‘The Mither In Maseille’, it didn’t seem like this tournament could get more mental.
However, that was without factoring in those crazy Croatians, one of those countries who are described as ‘a proud nation’, which is essentially code for ‘really, really not a great place to be an ethnic minority’.
Their hugely impressive team was leading 2-1 towards the very end of their match against the Czech Republic when their supporters started going utterly bat shit, knocking lumps out of each other and slinging flares onto the pitch. Their players looked genuinely upset as they implored with the gingham gobshites to knock it on the head, and even more gutted when, deep into the stoppage time added for the bother, the Czech’s won and converted a penalty.
This Guardian article gives some background to unrest among the Croatian support. Fair play to them, like. If it was over here they would probably start a sternly worded e-petition and organise an 88th minute walk out.
Spain battered the terminally underwhelming Turkey and in the other game, a well-taken solo goal by Eder clinched the win for Italy against Sweden.
Eder is the second most ironically named player at the tournament, thanks to the fact that he is not very good in the air. The first is obviously Poland’s Łukasz Piszczek, who has never, ever been drug tested.
Back at Everton, Ronald Koeman finally arrived on Merseyside aboard Mosh-Wing One. There’s an ace video on the official site of him carrying his briefcase around Finch Farm. What on earth could he have in it apart from The Daily Mirror, an apple and a Yop?
The increasingly Dickensian-eyebrowed Bill Kenwright looked made up to see him, but not as much as the jovial David Unsworth who looked like he was about to appear on This Morning to give his opinions on how the Russians have well over-stepped the mark over in France, and to plug his new book, Teargas and TK Maxx – My Life Volleying Scarfers.