Glenn, Slovakia, Saint Etienne. So Tough, for England

21 Jun

England are through to the last 16 of EURO 2016. Wales topped the group. Russia are going home (presumably to huge cheers all round). Slovakia are now hanging on for other results after a peculiar brand of anti-football that, fair play to them, shut out Roy’s boys and leaves them waiting to see if third place can be secured.

Those are the headlines as group B came to a close for England in St. Etienne but there was so much more to it than that. Roy tinkered. Roy lost out.

It was a demonstration, if ever us Brentford fans needed another one after some of the Marinus era performances, that stats and possession don’t win games. Although, to be fair, at least England managed some shots (come on Bees fans, it’s all good now !). The BBC figures show how one sided a game this was in all but the key category – goals scored – as the match ended 0-0.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 05.29.31

BBC stats don’t lie….


Jack Wilshere was anonymous whilst Postman Pat after an all night ‘bender’ would still have offered better delivery than Jordan Henderson showed. In what seemed to be a wonderful atmosphere – so loud even ‘that band’ were drowned out for vast swathes of the game – England had the chances but just couldn’t take them. Any of them. Not even one.

Then there was Glenn Hoddle. Oh, for some level of decent co-commentary on ITV. Talking to one New Road observer during the game, his take on it was that Glenn had been replaced by a random sentence generator. Another, that Sacha Baron Cohen was filling in for him.

Whatever the answer, his performance was the normal drivel infused nonsense . “I think that’s a tactical move,” he observed after one substitution aswell as noting that “Sturridge has just had a mouthful.”

Glenn went on to explain how the lack of England’s ability to breakdown Slovakia was because “We’ve got all footballers out there at the moment”, with the solution to this being a call for Andy Carroll.

I could go on. Those are but a handful of the examples plucked at random although , equally, perhaps it is something that ITV are putting in the water. Over in the Wales  – Russia game  my sources tell me how Tony Pulis noted that, at 3-0 up, “Wales will be happy to stay in front here” .

Yes. Gareth Bale made it 3 goals from 3 to see his team top the group by a point after what seems to be a steamrollering of Russia. I didn’t see it, can’t comment but can only say “well done”.

Outside of all this, England ARE through. England remain unbeaten. They now face a last 16 game agasint the second placed team in Group F which, all things considered, could have been a lot worse on paper. Mind you, so should a game against Slovakia have been. On paper.

It will take a better man than me to call who Roy & co face next out of Hungary, Iceland, Portugal or Austria. The only thing I’d say for sure is that given recent history, what chance another encounter with Cristiano Ronaldo? He of ‘cheeky wink’ infamy.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 07.09.00

Ronaldo, a cheeky wink never too far away

It isn’t all doom and gloom, whatever you read.

It would have been wonderful to top that group and failure to breakdown a bus parking defence has cost England dear in that respect. Yet is it that bad?

Roy has ended the group stages happy. Indeed having dominated three games to such a level that he told reporters after the game, “That gives me some sort of satisfaction.”


A Slovakian bus, parked. England couldn’t get past


For now, though, the most important task of escaping the group has been achieved. There’s a few day’s break until Monday, 8pm, when England ‘go again’.

Until then, there’s four more groups to play out and, of course, the release of the Championship fixtures tomorrow (Wednesday). For us Brentford fans, this will make a nice diversion and a chance to see how our next 9 months will map out.

Until Sky get the carving knife out…

For now, here’s St.Etienne….

St.Etienne. So Tough. Why do I bother….

Nick Bruzon


6 Responses to “Glenn, Slovakia, Saint Etienne. So Tough, for England”

  1. RebelBee June 21, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    Agree with all you say today. A mess of a team from Roy, 6 changes is madness, Plastic Betrand (showing my age), Hendo and Wiltshite top of the flops, throw the doddering Smalling into the mix and voila – we limp out of one of the weaker groups in Euro 16. Such a pity that Martinez managed to ruin Stones and Barkley, we’re crying out for a better CH and a ball carrying midfielder. A million corners last night and Hendo found the 1st defender with each of his, well done – better call up GP and loan out our dead ball coach!

    England fans – immense last night…

    Well done the Weshies,in truth their star man and their midfield gooner are way better than our star man and our midfield gooner.

    As for punditry, you are right – new lows being achieved on both channels and radio. The once interesting Glenn is shot to bits, sarcastic, spiteful Lawro truly awful, Keown & Dixon dull. Only Danny Murphy and Billic come over as decent with a few others in the bearable camp. Then we come to Ray (Butch) Wilkins, where have they dug him up from? How often can he say “such a smashing young gentleman who takes lovely care of the football” has he been in a cryogenic chamber since Euro 96? The world has moved on Ray – catch up fella!

    Oh well England might as well go up against someone decent next, let’s see what we really have when a team can actually be arsed to come out and attack us.

  2. Andrew Anderson June 21, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Nice blog Nick. Glenn Hoddle’s inane witterings got on my nerves. Just a note that England’s last 16 game is on Monday at 8pm not 5pm.

    • nickbruzon June 21, 2016 at 11:27 am #

      thank you, Mr Anderson. Happy to have done the needful. Glad it’s not just me re Glenn Hoddle….

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) June 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    I thought about watching England-Slovakia yesterday for all of 2 minutes before deciding to watch Battle of the Bastards in Game of Thrones instead. I think I made the right choice.

    • nickbruzon June 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

      I have no idea what the Battle of the Bastards is/was, but it sounds infinitely better than the blunt edged attacks on offer last night

  4. martin June 21, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    we outplayed Russia ,wales and Slovakia,save the goals for last 16. wales sneaked a win against Slovakia and thumped the crappiest Russian team.who were lucky to squeeze a draw against us.

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