Monday, 30 June 2008

Never Mind The Ballacks

It's all over - after just over three weeks of too much drinking, too much new food, too much spending, too much travelling around London, and too much outwardly supporting a team while secretly wanting their opponents to win.

The Euro2008InLondong blog crew watched the final with the Spanish fans in Bodega De Tapas in Camden. We arrived just after 4pm and were the first people there. We were so early, in fact, that they sent us away for a while so they could rearrange the bar in preparation.

However, our early arrival was a waste of effort as the venue became gradually more and more rammed and increasing numbers of people started standing between us and the screens.

As kick off drew near it became apparent that we would have to give up our table and our seats and peer over the shoulders and between the heads of the abnormally tall people standing a metre from the screen. We improvised bravely, sitting on tables, standing on the rungs of stools, standing near the stairs so we could see the screen upstairs...

As expected, the fans were vociferous and excitable and after a worrying bout of nerves for the first quarter of an hour Spain's attractive play encouraged the crowd further. It seems to be universally accepted that Spain deserved to win the match and most people seem to agree they were worthy winners of the tournament. I took particular delight in Spain's insistence that they needed to score the perfect goal, even after 92 minutes, when most teams would have been shielding the ball in the corner or passing it back to their keeper.

It's been exhausting and an organisational nightmare, and I've never been so sick of people standing in my line of sight, but I think it's been worth it...

Friday, 27 June 2008

Top Guiza / Arse-havin

So in the end Russia turned out to be nothing more than a team who had one exceptional game. They were brilliant against The Netherlands in the quarters but in retrospect they were poor against Spain both times, not great against a weak Greece side, and quite good against a dull Sweden.

Throughout this semi-final they looked like a determined but ultimately doomed middle-tier side against a top-tier side. They were plucky in the first half but didn't grasp their chance and were then overrun in the second half.

Anyway. That's enough about my opinions. The Euro2008InLondon blog-crew watched the game in La Perla on Charlotte St. It's a Mexican bar but that was the best we could do. Nueva Costa Dorado - our venue for the first Spain v Russia game - wasn't showing the game in the restaurant this time for some reason, and the bar was full an hour and a half before kick-off. We tried a couple of other places in the Spanish District on Hanway St and were chased out of one for "breaking in", so we decided to look further afield.

We settled on La Perla because they had a Spanish flavour and they were very accomodating, and because we were able to while away the time before kick-off making faces out of the crockery:

Spain were strongly supported and their goals and missed chances were met appropriately by cheers and groans. The Spanish victory was well deserved and well received.

So, back to my opinions. We were all taken in by the hype about Arshavin, but in retrospect it's becoming clear how he's got to the age of 27, playing for the UEFA Cup Champions, without being noticed: he's just another Karel Poborsky. Or worse, the next Tomas Brolin. Barcelona look set to splash the cash to take him to The Nou Camp but I suspect he's just timed the best two performances of his career well and that he'll disappear without much of a trace.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Turkey Laid Low

And no, the headline does not refer to the German coach's naughty habits in the barnyard but to another lucky German win.

How do they do it? I really can't believe it, they only had about four decent attacks in the whole game. Maybe if Turkey had thought about defending at all - as their backline was awful for all three German goals.

Still, at least we got lucky with the venue - after a weekend on not managing to get in anywhere we actually planned ahead and booked for the Istanbul Meze Bar.

It was amazing - some of the lovely cold meze starters can be seen on the left and the staff were very friendly and welcoming, plying us with beer, bread, meze and tender charcoal-grilled meat.

This man attempted to set the world record for the most number of kebabs on the grill simulatneously:

Unfortunately Norris McWhirter had opted to attend the Bavarian Beerhouse so the record did not stand.

The crowd were passionate but knowledgeable. You could tell who the real Turks were by three signs:

  1. They all ordered melon and took it easy instead of wolfing down meze then half a kilo of meat.
  2. They all smoked - the place was deserted at half time.
  3. They were all drinking Raki by the bucketload rather than the 23 bottles of Efes lager that we got through
When their second goal went in the place erupted:

and we all sensed there might be "something on", especially given the undoubted quality of the goal.

Sadly it wasn't to be and when the keystone cops resurfaced in the Turkish defence the Germans took full advantage.

Who can stop them? Probably no-one but I'd fancy a well-organised Russian team over the temperamental and dubious defending Spanish.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Turkey knock stuffing out of Croatia

Friday saw the Turks take on Croatia in a dull game only livened up only by some superb late action.

Our preferred venue was The Istanbul Meze Bar but they were full so we tried Tas Ev again but they did not have the sound on. What a shame after the great time we had there last week it was a bit puzzling that they didn't seem to have much enthusiasm for their countrymen on Friday. Football without sound is a no-no for us so we watched the game in a local pub instead.

In order to get the authentic Turkish experience we concluded the night at the Capital Kebab House on the Cut near Waterloo, just what was needed after a few pints of lager:

Simple, unpretentious but delicious and with friendly staff we heartily recommend it - the kebabs there are capital!

We've booked in to the Istanbul Meze bar for the semi-final against Germany this Wednesday and the staff there seemed excited already, here's hoping they can roast the Germans.

Friday, 20 June 2008


(We excused the por spelling on their crockery)

Oh dear,

bang go my hopes in the prediction leagues. My Poor-tuguese lions are out.

Yesterday we went to Cafe Poor-tugal, service was poor and the food was authentically Poor-tuguese (including the defrosted birds-eye vegetable "stew").

The inevitable and dreary German juggernaut draws nearer it's destination and only the courageous Dutch or the resolute Italians can seemingly stop them.

Tonight we'll be going to the Istanbul Meze Bar to watch the mighty Turks.

I'll end with a word of advice to the Poor-tuguese - don't try and play pretty football when you're one down to Germany and about to go out of the tournament, hoof it in the box.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Austrian for "Austria" sounds a bit like "Ostrich"

Prior to the match Germany were on the Frings of elimination and looking a bit like Lahms to the slaughter. Their defeat against Croatia had left them Klose to an early exit, which would have been a kick in the Ballacks for the World Cup semi-finalists.

It wasn't a classic match. Even to the Lehmann, the finishing at both ends was poor. The strikers on both teams played like uncoordinated Fuchs; Ivanshitz could have finished better than this.

The Austrians were Keinast mustard to beat their rivals but despite all the Macho talk in the Austrian press beforehand they were ulitmately unable to Standfest in defence or to Harnik the attacking power at their disposal.

Their opponents managed to Stranzl the life out of the Austrians and so the Hiden delights that were on Hoffer had they qualified will have to wait for next time. A lot of these players will have to go back to their day-jobs making Korkmaz, while the victorious Germans will be sampling Neuville cuisine Fritz for a king.


Last night's venue for the Germany v Austria game was "Zeitgeist @ The Jolly Gardener" in the Vauxhall area. We arrived about 45 minutes before kick-off to find the place absolutely rammed with Germans already. There were two fairly large bar areas, with a screen each, and both were heaving. This led to a great atmosphere but poor visiblity!..

The two German bars we've visited, The Jolly Gardener and Octoberfest, have been two of the best venues for me, with exuberant and friendly fans.

Once again the chant that sounded suspiciously like a reference to Hitler came up. As before, we asked a friendly nearby German for the translation and were told it meant "one more fits" - ie "we want one more goal". This agrees with what the last friendly German we asked told us so we'll let it drop now...

When Germany finally scored, through a Ballack free-kick, the crowd went suitably mad:

The bar is referred to in some places as an Austrian/German bar and there were indeed a small number of brave Austrians in there. One girl stood in the middle of the German crowd shouting "Os-ter-reich!" repeatedly and yet somehow survived. Another group waved an Austrian flag, again avoiding repercussions.

The German team was disappointing. With some more clinical finishing they would have won by more, although Austria might have grabbed a goal too. On this form Germany shouldn't win the tournament, but of course you can never write them off...

Monday, 16 June 2008


We watched the Turkey v Czech Republic showdown in Tas Ev, just off The Cut near Southwark tube station.

There wasn't much support at the beginning of the game - just us lot from the Euro2008InLondon blog, the bar staff and a few others. The bar staff asked us who we were supporting, and when we replied "Turkey" they were quick to tell us that we were free to support the Czechs if we wanted!

We chose wisely, however, sticking with the Turks even when they were 2-0 down with 15 minutes to go. It's being referred to as the greatest European Championships match ever, which isn't too far off the mark. In the last 20 minutes the Czechs hit the post to narrowly miss making it 3-0, then Turkey scored three to win it without even needing penalties, including my goal of the tournament from Nihat, and then of course the Turkey goalkeeper needlessly got himself sent off - presumably just to run the clock down. What a game!

The bar filled out as the game progressed and the crowd got gradually more vociferous. In the second half Turkey were dominant, which spurred on the supporters, and of course the comeback, when it did arrive, was greeted by increasing cheers as the goals went in.

The food was great too. I had a steak as big as the table, others had the equally generous lamb (pictured right).

Much Efes beer was consumed and the deserts were certainly unconventional but lovely.

This Kazandibi (milk,mazaki (pine resin),rose-water,lemon rind,corn flour) doesn't look to appetising but was really delicious:

All in all a great game and a great venue.

Sunday, 15 June 2008



Saturday saw us visit Nordic Bar in Noho:

Entry for all of Sweden's games is by ticket / guest list only but they're free and if you're interested in a lively Scandinavian atmosphere then I advise phoning the venue well in advance.

I didn't sample any food today as I didn't like the look of the chef:

To be serious I have heard the food is very good but to feel part of the crowd I enjoyed a couple of bottles of the refreshing Koppaberg fruit cider.

Anyway, onto the football - Spain were not as imposing as in their previous game against Russia and found life difficult against a well-organised Sweden team. A well worked Spanish corner saw Torres open the scoring early on and slightly dimmed the enthusiasm of the crowd at Nordic bar.

The atmosphere lifted again after Ibrahimovic's equaliser but the Swedes knew they were lucky to escape a strong penalty appeal just before halftime.

With Sweden sitting back Spain found it even more difficult in the second half, Fabregas helped a little but there seemed to be no way through. Then, at the last, Villa sealed a place in the Quarter-finals in the 92nd minute which considering the penalty that never was and the style of football played was well deserved by Spain.

Nordic bar was good fun but I do advise booking a ticket and even then getting there extremely early. We got there with 25 minutes to go and we didn't get much of a view - they're so damn tall:

Vi ses snart!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Italia Be Allright On The Night

Sore heads this morning at blog towers following a most enjoyable night of football, food and wine.

First up was Italy v Romania at the wonderful Stef's Italian restaurant. The screen was pretty big, very easy to see and there was lots of space

I'd heartily recommend Stef's as a venue for Italy v France next week but would advise getting there in plenty of time for that must-win game.

As it was the last day of our footballing holiday (back to work next week as the games all kick-off at 19.45BST from tomorrow) I decided to eat and drink well.

I kicked off with the Antipasto Misto:

Italy started well and created a number of chances but Luca Toni did little to suggest how he's scored 39 goals last season at Bayern and 31 goals in a season at Fiorentina - "better service" was our Italian hosts' verdict.

Romania were much improved on their previous game with Mutu looking sharp in particular, creating a number of chances.

Our hosts were jubilant at Buffon's late penalty save as they knew they'd had a close shave and as the final whistle blew we left pretty quickly to make the short trip to Manouche.

The small cellar cafe-bar on Goodge St provided a similarly authentic atmosphere. Our generous and very friendly French host providing us with all the best that France has to offer:

On the field the team were equally generous to their Dutch opponents. France were much improved over their previous performance but still sloppy and work-shy in places. The Dutch were in scintillating form and look to be strong contenders for the championship.

Today I'm off to the Nordic bar to sample the meatballs and the Kopparberg fruit cider, Skal!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Austrian draw shows Polish

Welcome readers and after our dreadful evening on Wednesday I'm delighted to say we had another fantastic night of hospitality yesterday courtesy of the Poles.

We knew we had to get to the famous White Eagle Club early in order to guarantee entry so we went down to Balham for the first game which we watched in the functional Balham Tup.

Germany were poor and Croatia were clearly not the dreary team we saw last Sunday. Although much improved I still do not consider Croatia to be championship contenders - though well organised I think they'll lack the flair to break down some teams.

On to the main event...

The White Eagle club was very easy to find about 100 yards down from Balham station. We entered to find a large hall with huge screen, lots of rows of seats and numerous stalls selling food, drinks and football regalia.

A big-up first of all to the bigos:

this is a sausage and cabbage stew which I had served with another grilled Polish sausage (kielbasa), rye bread and mustard. There was a good selection of other stews but I have to say this was the tastiest food I've enjoyed on our travels. I washed it down with a "Lech" beer and then changed to the strong Tyskie beer which was very good indeed.

Support in the cavernous hall was excellent - the best we've seen so far. They were not muted even by the early Austrian dominance. When the surprise Polish goal came they all went ballistic, truly a sight of joy to behold.

I think it's around this stage that the drumming started somewhere from the front which ensured the chanting was incessant.

The second half started in style, Poland had clearly been told to go for the jugular and get a second goal and they came close on a number of occasions. It wasn't to be however and Austria started to push them back a little more.

Still, in the closing minutes it looked as though Poland had pulled it off. They were denied however by a controversial penalty from the English referee Howard Webb. I certainly didn't see much wrong. The atmosphere certainly turned a little negative so we hot-footed it away pretty quickly.

1-1 was probably the correct result in reflection of the early Austrian dominance but I can't help feeling sorry for the Polish in the way they conceded, especially given their voracious support.

It's the return of the group of death today and we're off to Bar Italia and Manouche, hope to see you there (though get to Bar Italia early).

Thursday, 12 June 2008


We watched the Czech Republic take on Portugal at the Czech and Slovak Club in West Hampstead. It was a slightly peculiar venue; it just seemed to be a large house. The toilets were up the spiral staircase, the screen was in the front-room, etc...

As befitted such a setting and kick-off time, the Czechs were relatively calm. They cheered when the equaliser went in but didn't seem to show much emotion other than that, and calmly accepted all three Portuguese goals.

I'm not sure the 3-1 scoreline tells the whole story. For long periods, especially during the first half, the Czech Republic were the dominant team. They passed the ball nicely and could have scored more, giving the Portuguese something of a reality Czech. Admittedly, Portugal always looked like they would do enough to win it, but I was far less impressed than I was by their performance against the Turks. Ronaldo was relatively quiet too, for him, although every shot seemed to fall to him and he did score his compulsory goal.

Tony Hart said he was pleased with his team's performance despite their defeat. Here he is looking pleased:

As is customary, we sampled the "local" cuisine, ordering some goose liver and a potato pancake. The pancake, pictured below, was just £2.50 and thoroughly filled me up, and the goose liver received favourable reports too.

As soon as the final whistle went, we eagerly set off for the St Moritz Restaurant, but as you'll know from the post below, we won't be doing that again. I can only assume they didn't know who we were. They'll be out of business before the summer's out.

What a bunch of Swiss bankers

I'm still so infuriated I can't be bothered to construct a proper post so instead I'll just list the events of the day.

12pm - Joe phones the St. Moritz Swiss Restaurant to book a table for the game, he's told that he doesn't need to book and it will be fine to just turn up - we're sceptical.

3.45pm - Joe and myself set off for the Czech and Slovak club in West Hampstead - more to follow.

7.18pm - After watching a thoroughly good game of football with quiet but welcoming people we arrive at St. Moritz with Leah and Kev.

7.20pm - As we are stood around looking for a seat the Swiss-German manager delivers a diatribe of German to Kev who, not being fluent in Germanic languages, just nods a little and walks away - note, we've been here less than five minutes.

7.23pm - Just as we've sat down and organised ourselves the same manager brings a waitress over to present Kev with his bill "this is the man, Bratwurst" he says - we're confused we tell the waitress we couldn't possibly have had a bratwurst in the five minutes we'd been there.

7.25pm - Joe was told there was no food in the bar area (the bit showing the football) so we were delighted to find "Euro 2008 special" menus scattered about the place. We're all hungry, especially Leah so she attempts to order. The manager (yes, him again) says "the waitress will come round but the restaurant must take priority over the bar for food"

7.35pm - The waitress has not been seen so Leah again attracts the manager's attention, he looked a little like this:but maybe he didn't have the bear face on, I can't honestly remember.

Anyway he just re-iterated his point that "The restaurant takes priority wah wah wah...". We suggested that maybe he, or the waitress, could take our order and prioritise it accordingly.

No, rules and regulations must be followed.

8.20pm - Leah is on her last gasps of energy so we send Denning to get some food - he comes back with two packets of nuts, it's a start.

8.32pm - Halftime and I venture to the bar to ask about ordering food "A waitress will come round" he says - I wonder if she's been knocked out by the bear. I enquire as to the wine list "we have house white wine and house red wine" - wow, I take the white and a bag of crisps.

9.32pm - In a moment which to outside observers must have appeared like the meeting of Stanley with Dr. Livingstone the waitress appeared. "You want to order food?" she says. We did but now we're only ten minutes away from going upstairs to the restaurant for some fondue. Leah enquires if we could just have some rosti (the special menu has rosti with everything: bratwurst, salad, toboggan ) but we're not allowed that. We send her away.

9.47pm - Yay, Turkey won - the Swiss hadn't really endeared themselves to us.

9.50pm - We've journeyed upstairs to the restaurant and we ask for a table for five. "No, no tables free". There was clearly a big reserved table not being used and some other people were just finishing up. Considering this Joe asks if it would be worth our while waiting say ten or fifteen minutes. "No, no tables" - we get the feeling we're not wanted despite having spent a decent sum in their bar already.

9.53pm - We're waiting outside on Wardour St trying to decide where to go. Leah really wanted the fondue however so she goes back in for one last attempt. By talking directly to the customers then the waitress she manages to secure the table of the people that were just leaving. When she comes outside to tell us guys we're less than impressed. Remember it was only a couple of minutes ago that the same waitress told us it wasn't worth our while waiting. We leave in disgust - no one crosses us.

Having read the reviews here (and on numerous other food sites) I can understand this now. We certainly won't be going back there - they attitude stunk as much as the musty cellar bar.

Well done Turkey.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Let's go for a really Swissh Venue

Quick heads-up that tonight we'll be watching the first game at the Czech and Slovak Club, West Hampstead.

Then we've decided to really push the boat out and go to a really Swissh restaurant, so we've chosen the St. Moritz Swiss Restaurant on Wardour Street.

Let's hope we don't get our fingers Berne-t trying to get all that way in time.

Spain Score More Goals Than Russia

We were in Nueva Costa Dorada for this match, in what seems to be London's Spanish district - Hanway Street in Fitzrovia. Apparently, due to popular demand they have set up a screen this year to show Spain's matches; I remember we asked them if they were showing Spain's World Cup games a couple of years back so I think we can take the credit for that.

The match was projected from one of the customer tables onto an oddly proportioned screen, that was longer than it was wide. The atmosphere was excellent, especially considering the early kick-off time while most people would still be at work, and the crowd went suitably mad whenever Spain scored.

Spain were predictable impressive but the question remains about whether they can keep it up. Torres and Villa were brilliant together but the defence were shakey at best, which is surprising considering the presence of players like Puyol and Sergio Ramos.

The venue was excellent and the Tapas was some of the best I've had. The atmosphere would presumably be even better for an evening kick-off but I'm not sure the layout of the restaurant will necessarily work for many more people, and I may be tempted to try an old favourite like BarSelona on Old Compton Street.

Villa By The C, where C=3

Spain were absolutely Fabregas yesterday, and were clearly in a Russia to beat the Soviets, who had a Torres time trying to keep the Spaniards at bay as they began to Sergio forward with increasing ease.

Puyol Russia looked uncharacteristically shakey at the back and the Russian coach would have be forgiven for setting Aniukov in the dressing room afterwards.

Having said that, the Spanish defence also looked pretty Xavi and they will need to tighten up at the back if they want to take anything better than a Silva medal from this tournament, otherwise they may be taking part Iniesta nother disappointment.

Pavyluchenko gave himself a chance to take his Zhirkov in celebration late on with a consolation goal for the Russians, but Spain went straight down the other end and Capdevila master-class with yet another goal.

Spain were Marchena beat of their own by the end and were Casillas hell at times. Is Senna one going to be able to stop them? There's Alonso way to go yet but the other teams may have to up the Santi in their bids to stop them.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Romanian Around London

Well the less said about Romania v France the better, France were dire and deserve not to qualify. Romania set out their game-plan and stuck to it, nearly pulling off a surprise victory with some frantic set-pieces near fulltime.

Instead lets have a look at some of the excellent cuisine we sampled at 32OldBailey, the Romanian restaurant.

Continuing our tripe odyssey here's ciorbă de burtă (tripe soup):

With the addition of sour-cream, chillies and vinegar this was a lot like hot and sour thai soup - delicious.

Here's the pork-knuckle with beans, equally delicious (bit like the pulled pork and BBQ beans of America):

All in all I thoroughly reccomend the food and drink at 32OldBailey - avoid Monday nights in general though as there's usually a salsa class.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Poland Dodgy At The Bak

After the Austria v Croatia game we set off immediately on the walk from West Kensington to Octoberfest at Fulham Broadway. When we arrived there was a queue and people were handing over tickets but we thought we'd try our luck anyway. When we reached the front of the queue, the bouncer paused to think for a while, performed some mental arithmetic and then decided to let us in. It was already fairly packed with a really good atmosphere and filled up a bit more in the minutes leading up to the match.

We managed to wedge ourselves in quite a good spot at the side behind some of the seats, with a great view of the screen and all the German fans, but with no room to move a muscle...

At couple of minutes into the game, a member of staff went through the seated area at the front of the room telling anyone who was standing to sit down so that everyone else could see properly; a fine example of German efficiency.

The 2-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game. Poland's defensive line was particularly dubious in the first half, which flattered their opposition but the Germans did move the ball around midfield effectively. Poland made a couple of good chances but failed to capitalise and never really looked like bothering the Germans.

The fans were enthusiastic and good-natured throughout, and seemed particularly pleased when Shweinsteiger came on. There was a worrying moment late in the second half when they seemed to be chanting something about Hitler which prompted worried glances between us non-Germans. A nearby German told us they were simply asking for more goals, which would be something like "mehr Ziele" according to Babelfish, which sounds feasible so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Octoberfest was a brilliant venue with a really good atmosphere and I'd be keen to go back during the tournament or indeed after.

Macho Austria Just Fail To Standfest Against Croatia

We watched this game in The Famous Three Kings a West Kensington, where there was a fairly strong Croatian contingent.

The Croatian fans were very quiet in the first half, only really reacting to the goal, apart from one Scottish man in a Crotia shirt who was all too vociferous at fairly random points. Crotia dominated the first half with some nice attacking play, and I was particularly impressed by Srna and new Spurs signing Modric.

I had been led to believe that Austria were going to be an embarassment to the tournament and for a few minutes after the early Croatian goal it looked like that might be the case, but they grew in confidence and played increasingly effective football, especially throughout the second half. The Croatia fans in the F3K now seemed to have woken up but their team had fallen asleep and hung on grimly against the Austrians.

All four representatives from Euro2008InLondon that were present admitted that they'd started off wanting Croatia to win but had finished off supporting Austria. I can't quite put my finger on it but the Croatian supporters didn't quite do it for me and to my mind the host country deserved at least a draw.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

New ball goes back to the old school

Ignore the usual tedious debate about their increasingly devilish aerodynamical properties - the best thing about the Euro 2008 ball is that it's black and white! We may never again see the truncated icosahedron grace a major tournament but there's something very satisfying about seeing those black spots spin across the grass.


We enjoyed a really good start to the competition yesterday as we spent the day in the Portuguese district (just at the top of the South Lambeth Road) and in particular the wonderful cafe bar pictured here:

Most places in the area were either fully reserved, full or reluctant to let us English take up space of potential Portuguese support but the owner of the cafe was amazingly friendly. As well as rearranging lots of tables and chairs to accomodate us he also plied us with free tapas: olives, steak in a wine sauce and, best of all, 'Tripas à moda do Porto' (Tripe with white beans) - Tripe is a speciality of Porto and the colourful history of this dish can be found halfway down this page.

The first game was moderately dull and I may well have over-estimated the Czech's strength. The result was pretty harsh on the Swiss, especially compounded by the injury to Frei.

The cafe began to fill up towards the end of the first game, Sangria and Sagres flowing. The second game was excellent to watch, a lot more like a Premiership game. Turkey had their moments but lacked a cutting edge but Portugal were awesome. The touch and technique they all posess and the desire to attack were amazing to watch and they were deserved winners.

We had some qualms about how much the bill was going to be (ten of us had been eating and drinking for five hours) but it was remarkably cheap. As we walked down the South Lambeth Road to get the Stockwell tube the atmosphere was manic:

Beeping car horns, drums and lots of whistling and cheering - goodness knows what would happen if they actually won the competition.

Boa Sorte Portugal!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Just Time To Make Our Final Czechs

Euro2008 is finally upon us and the excitement is properly kicking in now. This is the first time for a while that I've been absolutely certain that England won't go out on penalites. The suffering is already over. Surely.

In the first fixture of the tournament, I expect to see the Swiss roll over against the Czechs, before Portugal make a turkey out of... the Ottomans.

The Euro2008InLondon team will be loitering in the Vauxhall area for the first game, ready to be with the Portuguese for the second match in Estrella. I'll be keeping an eye out in particular to see if Ronaldo's got any energy left for some more trademark brilliance or if he's been left exhausted by his recent string of contradictory interviews over his potential move to Real Madrid...

Monday, 2 June 2008

The Hunt For Red Octoberfest


a minor scheduling change for Sunday 6th June.

Austria v Croatia - 17:00 BST

We'll watch this at the famous three kings in West Kensington

this is organised by the Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network.

We'll then nip over to Fulham Broadway to watch

Germany v Poland - 19:45 BST

at the Octoberfest Pub

Hope to see you there.

Who's going to Wankdorf?

The Dutch, of course! They'll be playing all their group games at the Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf, formerly known as the Wankdorf Stadium and home to (you couldn't make it up) Young Boys FC. Looking forward to seeing a few commentator innuendos on this one.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

What might have been

Here are some photos from what would have been our penultimate warmup match, the dreary friendly against the USA:

I attended the champions league semi-final at Old Trafford where the equivalent sign spelt "Believe", unfortunately England fans all to often have to follow the advice of the Jackson sisters and "believe in miracles".

Are those clowns in front of me attempting a "Sieg Heil"? I'm not too sure.

It was however a strange mix of families and stockbrokers from Surrey with 'yoof' taking a holiday from the town centres and bus stops of Essex to "'ave it large" at Wembley (Note to Government quangos - increasing the price of alcohol to £3.50 a bottle of lager did not deter them (nor me)).