So, as England’s quest for tournament glory is about to start once again, and the supporters are cajoled to #believe in the Three Lions once more, against their better judgement, I’m sat here on the plane heading towards Marseille asking myself one question. Why should I genuinely entertain the notion that it’s not going to all end in tears again?
I’ve been at every Euros tournament England have participated in for their past 20 years, and have seen first hand the, often traumatic, sometimes pathetic, exits. Underachievement on an epic scale.
My immediate memories from Holland-Belgium, from Portugal and Ukraine are all non-football related – the personal highlights of each trip are of happy times with great friends, of sunshine and beer… Being able to say I’ve had a Chicken Kiev, in Kiev… but not a Brussel Sprout in Brussels unfortunately.
I was there to watch England capitulate against Romania in Charloi… in Lisbon when hosts Portugal stuffed us on penalties… watched on, dripping wet and distraught, against Croatia as we fluffed qualification altogether for Austria-Switzerland… then again to watch history repeat itself versus Italy four years ago in Kiev… I believed then, that that time would not be not like every other time. But this time? Forget it! I’m not falling for that again.
On the plus side, it is almost impossible for England to fail in the group stage as three teams progress from pretty much every group, then we are in the lap of the gods as to who we meet in the next phase… Or indeed what England tram turns up. But you know and I know that our defence is going to be the Achilles heal at some stage. And against the very best in Europe that’s where we will come up short.
I honestly feel that England are good enough to make the quarters or semis, but let’s not kid ourselves we’re equipped to win this thing.
But if we do, perhaps I’ll take a leaf out of Gary Lineker’s book and offer to do the next Beeotted podcast wearing just my underpants!
We will be doing the usual blogging, blogging and podcasting – all on the Beesotted channel in association with our other channels Football FanCam and The72 Review – as Beesotted travels around France.
With tickets all the way through to the final – assuming England qualify – plus other random games here and there, it’s going to be an action packed month.
You can check our blogs on the Beesotted website.