Euro 2012 Déjà Vu

A packed sports bar at 3am in Shanghai

During the last world cup in 2010 I realised many readers completely tuned out of the blog because they weren’t interested in football, so I have avoided a daily update of the Euro 2012 competition, but now that England are out of the competition, I thought I’d just write a short post.

I’ve been supporting England from my sofa at home despite the horrific timings with most matches starting at 2.45am and ending at 4.30am. It’s the worst possible time. A little earlier and I could sleep afterwards. A little later and I could sleep before and then go straight to work after the match.

For (what turned out to be) England’s final match, a quarter final encounter with Italy, I decided I needed to be out among other fans to soak up some of the atmosphere, so I popped down to O’Mally’s. It was 8 years to the day (24th June 2004) that I watched England lose after extra time and penalties (to Portugal) at the very same bar. I remember walking the streets after the match, trying to get a taxi home in the rain. And so it was again on 24th June 2012, England were knocked out after extra time and penalties which meant instead of 4.30am, it was closer to 6am when I got home. Barely enough time to put my England shirt in the washing machine and get ready for work – I wonder if I will be walking home with heavy shoulders from O’Mally’s again in June 2020!

My support now turns to Spain who if they win, will become the first team ever to win 3 back to back international tournaments and the first ever country to win back to back Euro competitions. Pretty incredible for a country who had never won a world cup until 2010 and only won the Euros once in 1964! Of course when I say “support” I don’t mean I will be watching the matches live – that would be crazy. But I wish them the best of luck against the Germans in the final.

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22 Responses to Euro 2012 Déjà Vu

  1. wisemanofasia says:

    I would rather Germany won. I have no like of the Spanish whatsoever!!!! I think England played OK this tournament, especially considering they had little time to prepare and also because its the first time in a long time I felt they had any team spirit! I know it wasn’t fun to watch, but they did alright. Shame they flunked the penalties….Anyway, it was also 8 years ago that I sat in The Den and watched them lose…this time I was in Malaysia but the time difference was the same….Bloody awful….but that’s just the way it is….

  2. flutter-by says:

    Finally, a football post!
    My condolences for England being out of the show. I feel your pain. None football fan can be immune to this kind of experience, just different odds.
    To be honest, I’m very delighted with that match result as I’m a fan of Italy! I believe many football fans initially start their affection with this sport from a team, and a superstar. For me, it’s Italy at 1994 USA world cup, and the star is Roberto Baggio. I’ll never ever forget that night – Baggio missed the last penalty and Italy lost the cup. Just as Hamlet is more famous than Twelfth Night, tragedies are usually more memorable than comedies.
    And maybe you should choose another bar in 2016 to change your luck.

  3. WoAi says:

    @Wiseman – Ah yes, The Den is where Chengdusticksguy and myself watched the opening England game of the same 2004 competition against France and it was a shocker – we were winning 1-0 after 90 minutes and then Zidane scored TWO goals in the dying minutes to steal the game. I was still living in Beijing in 2004, but was on a business trip to Shanghai for England’s last game, hence the O’Mally’s choice.

    @Flutter-by – Thanks for the sympathy. Last night I was out with a few Taiwanese colleagues and they were all very sympathetic too. I don’t remember the USA 1994 final, but that’s probably because England didn’t feature. It is interesting how everyone has teams they like and dislike. I used to dislike the Italians because it seemed they were the most dramatic if any contact is made and they would roll over and grimace in agony like 5 year old girls. I didn’t see much of that this year so perhaps they’ve moved on and good luck to them against Germany. But which is your native country? I hope you support them ahead of Italy!

  4. Stimpy says:

    Funny, I thought Portugal and Italy were still in the running. Seems I have slept through the semi-finals….

  5. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – Yes, since I am limited to just one football post, I had to skip forward to the finals, but you are of course correct that Portugal and Italy could make it to the finals … in theory!

  6. Stimpy says:

    Stranger things have happened! I just wish I could watch them, but the times make it impossible. And why oh why couldn’t they have made the final on the Saturday night rather than Sunday night?!

  7. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – Well your point was proved last night with Spain unable to score against Portugal after 120 minutes of play and could easily have got knocked out. I’m going to stick my neck out here and say Germany will not have the same problem against Italy which must also make them favourites to beat Spain in the final.

  8. wisemanofasia says:

    I think the Germans have been favourites all along, they have looked excellent the whole tournament. I shall be supporting them against the Spanish whom I dislike more….I also expect them to destroy Italy! It would be nice to see a good game of football….on the repeat of course!

  9. WoAi says:

    @Wiseman – Yes it is not looking good for Spain, they’ve reverted to their old ways, under-achievers with some amazing players. Tonight should be a good indication of how close (or not) the final will be. I can’t work out when they will show repeats in China so I can’t watch (no way I am staying up again). So just the Guardian news reports tomorrow morning for me.

  10. Bittermelon says:

    It’s not looking so good for Germany (at half time). I have a solution for England: try to avoid a shoot out at all cost. Best is try to win the game during regular time. Failing that, try to win the game during overtime. Failing that, just give up and go home to avoid another humiliating shoot out lose.

  11. Lil bro says:

    Good result! Super Marioooooo!

  12. Stimpy says:

    Woai- better than Paul the octopus! ;)

  13. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – I’m absolutely shocked. The good news is it means England are CLEARLY better than Germany. Italians couldn’t score against us even in extra time and it was down the the lottery of penalties to get them past us. For Germany it was basically 2-0 by the end of 90 minutes. Amazing!

    @Bittermelon – Yes, there’s no point even trying on penalties. I have no recollection of EVER winning a shootout (but I am sure we have somewhere).

    @Lil bro – Like so many tortured geniuses.

  14. Stimpy says:

    England penalty win- Euro 96, vs Spain. Quarter finals.

    Since then:

    Euro 96- Loss vs Germany
    WC 98- Loss vs Argentina
    Euro 04- Loss vs Portugal
    WC 06- Loss vs Portugal
    Euro 12- Loss vs Italy.

    Nice record!

  15. WoAi says:

    Thanks Stimpy. Shocking record and I reckon it’s 90% in the mind when it comes to penalties. Which means practicing is a waste of time unless you can create the same level of tension on the practice field which you can’t. We should just practice not being nervous!

  16. DaveNYC says:

    watched the semifinals. it was a great win…first 25 mins lol.

  17. Lil bro says:

    The commentator joke that the Italians should erect a statue of Balotelli striking his pose outside the national stadium.

  18. Lil bro says:

    And Torres wins the Golden Boot.

  19. WoAi says:

    @DaveNYC – Didn’t realise American’s watched “soccer”. There was a great moment in Mad Men where someone mentioned “the world cup” and then someone else says “the world cup of what?”.

    @Lil bro – That is ridiculous. 3 goals wins you the golden boot! And two of the three were against Norther Ireland. That should just count as one goal or whoever scored against Germany should get extra points. He still looks to me like a man trapped in a girl’s body, or a girl trapped in a man’s body … or something!

  20. menokki says:

    successful teams come from the top clubs ( the 1st 2 at the most)- thats because of the understanding which come with playing week in and week out and being successful.
    Examples are everywhere- major example Spain- Real Mardid and Barca

    Problem with England is their major clubs are mostly populated by foreign players so they have to select from the more inferior clubs but who also do not play the ball.

    Next you watch EPL, do this study. Over say a 15 miunte period, see how many passes a team makes before they lose the ball. I did this sometime back ( with Leicester and Zola’s Chelsea) and I found that both only averaged about 2.5 passes. Can you imagine trying to control a game with 2.5 passes. ( to be more stringent back passes dont count)

  21. menokki says:

    this was the official/unofficial song for the WC in France I think.
    Its title is Indian dish name but also a play on WAterloo ( where the English defeeated the French)
    Watch and enjoy: Only the English (with their underwith can do this)

  22. menokki says:

    that should be underwit

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