Well it was certainly a relief to see an exciting Euro 2008 game at last, with the Netherlands trouncing the world champions Italy 3-0 in the sixth game of the tournament last night - a scoreline few would have predicted beforehand. To add to the surreal atmosphere, Ruud van Nistelrooy spurned a chance to go down in the area for what would have been a clear penalty, and Dirk Kuyt played a blinder. Quite bizarre! The Dutch fans were terrific too, as ever.
Actually, the whole spectacle reminded me very much of England's even more unexpected 4-1 thrashing of the Dutch themselves at Euro '96. Highly enjoyable stuff.
Back to 2008's tournament, and up until Monday night's game the first five matches had been almost universally rubbish, so this minor classic was long overdue. Fingers crossed we get a few more over the coming weeks now.
Away from the pitch, the best thing, for me, about the '08 Championships has been The Guardian Football Daily podcasts with James Richardson & Barry Glendenning. They're a terrific listen, and far more entertaining than anything you'll hear from the pundits in the Match of the Day studios (with the honourable exceptions of messrs O'Neill, Strachan & possibly Dixon). For example, it's hard to imagine the Alans Shearer and Hansen having an argument about who'd win a fight between Bruce Hornsby & The Range and Huey Lewis & The News!
You don't even have to go to the trouble of downloading the podcasts either; they can be streamed directly from here.
Anyway, I don't know about you but it's normally about this time that I like to listen to a couple of classic Teenage Fanclub covers!
Teenage Fanclub - The Ballad of John and Yoko mp3
Teenage Fanclub - Like A Virgin mp3
(mp3s available for a week)
Buy Teenage Fanclub stuff.
When We Rise - A cast of young unknowns steal the show in this honest, angry look at the rise of the modern gay movement.
1 hour ago