Belgium in the right gear as Glenn and Martin lock horns

27 Jun

Monday sees the last 16 of the Euros conclude with two stonking matches. Of course, England and Iceland meet for a quarter final shot at hosts France whilst, prior to that, the draw has conspired to produce Spain v Italy, with the winner taking on Germany. If ever there was a time for things to be all quiet on the domestic football front (and specifically Brentford) then it is now.

To get us to this place we had yesterday’s excitement which began with Ireland taking an early 1-0 lead over France and then holding it. And holding it. With the score unchanged at half time, could they hang on?

Sadly not. In  a demonstration that stats, shots and possession can win games, 25 efforts at goal and 67% ball control would eventually translate to a 2-1 victory for the hosts. It was a heroic effort all round and, from the victor’s perspective, a lesson Roy would be well to bear in mind tonight where he can expect Iceland to line up with a similar mentality to last week’s Slovakia.

As for Belgium – Hungary, it saw the clash between the two most outstanding bits of tournament kit. Belgium’s ‘away’ shirt v goalkeeper Gábor Király and his tracksuit trousers.

Gabor Belgium away

football fashionistas were purring

And it was Belgium who found themselves in the right gear, opening up the throttle to turn 1-0 into 4-0 late on. That’s not say Hungary didn’t have their chances prior to then but, for once, class ‘on paper’ actually translated into a wonderful denouement. Three top quality goals in the final 15 minutes giving the scoreline a look that, if we are being honest, was probably deserved based on the performance.

Those complaining about England ‘only’ finishing second can, at least, take consolation in the fact that Belgium are avoided for now. Until then, it’s just Iceland, France and any one of Germany/Italy/Spain blocking the route to the final. Piece of cake…..

The other point of interest from the Belgium game was the BBC’s Martin Keown taking ownership of Glenn Hoddle’s punditry handbook. The former Tottenham man has been widely criticised for his banal / bizarre punditry. And rightly so. However, in what is more and more seeming like a private bet between the respective commentary teams about who can come out with the oddest comment, Martin has now joined in.

His description of Belgium having “acres and acres of time” was one that had more than a few heads scratching. With the bar having been raised, it’s back to ITV tonight where Glenn gets the chance to go again.

Will he see Roy manage to get past Iceland? The simple answer is, yes. But it’s going to be another tight one.Don’t expect a goal-fest such as we saw yesterday. This game will finish 1-0 or, even, via the dreaded penalty shoot out for a place in next Sunday’s quarter final.

Then again, what do I know? As ever, the motto for this one will simply be to sit back and enjoy. The atmosphere is sure to be a stunning one, despite the potential presence of ‘that band’.

Certainly, reports suggest that the England fans are in fine voice and good humour over in France (it is amazing what a difference the now absent Russian thugs have made to those stories being reported back home).

Here’s hoping that can be translated onto the pitch at 8pm.

quarters

The quarter final line up will be completed tonight

Nick Bruzon

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2 Responses to “Belgium in the right gear as Glenn and Martin lock horns”

  1. RebelBee June 27, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    Will England opt out of Europe for the second time in a few days, leaving Wales in, or can the team give us all a lift from the political turmoil? Come on England – time to join the party..

    Well said re England fans, funny how it has all settled down and yet our fans are still our there in huge numbers. Could it be the Russians have gone home, and that the policing and organisation has improved?

    • Rob Walker June 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

      Unfortunately the answer is No. …how painful was that

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