Day: June 12, 2012

Euro 2012: Czech Republic 2-1 Greece

Greece’s manager Fernando Santos knew what was coming – in the first half at least. He had his head down, his eyes shut and his hand wiping a furrowed brow (a neat facial trick if your eyes are closed). The speech bubble “oh no, here we go again” wrote itself. I’m sure it has been noted somewhere that Santos would be a shoo-in for any Greek remake of the Inspector Wexford Mysteries. Yet he must either be the answer, or have the answer, to one of this tournament’s biggest mysteries to date – why Greece have been so bad in first halves and so much less bad in the second halves. Their two matches at Euro 2012 have resembled most Everton seasons under David Moyes. Although Everton, of course, are a far better side (before anyone writes in). Those finishing work at five o’clock and heading for the nearest pub to watch this game on the way home missed its decisive moments, which were replayed by ITV after the match to the sound of a Warsaw police siren, which added even more of a “Keystone cops” feel to the pictures. Yet despite being two down to a grateful Czech Republic after six minutes, Greece ended up being a little unlucky, as they were an errant arm away from a 2-1 half-time scoreline – one which all the money in...

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Euro 2012: Poland 1-1 Russia

Some matches have a backdrop that is more than just about football, and with more than a dozen military conflicts between the two nations over the last millennia, feelings run high. As well as a presence of around 6000 Polish police officers, an estimated 5000 Russian fans marched through Warsaw. This march wasn’t one proclaiming military might, but political freedom, as June 12 is Russia Day, a national holiday to commemorate the day the Russian parliament declared sovereignty from the former Soviet Union. With the historical context, and the warnings of hooliganism being rife in Poland, there was always a likelihood of conflict off the pitch, and while there have been skirmishes between rival fans, the feeling coming out of Poland at the time of writing is that this has been blown up by the media to satisfy their moral panic coming into the tournament.   The Russian national anthem is accompanied by a huge banner proclaiming “THIS IS RUSSIA”. It is also accompanied by a lot of boos, so much so that the local TV producers seemingly cut the microphones to all but the ladies singing the anthem, and the area in front of the Russian fans. When the music stops, the booing is all that is left, and it is a cacophony, ringing round this packed Warsaw stadium. The Polish national anthem is sung with more gust...

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Magical Flag Moments From Euro 2012

Liverpool-based artist Dave Williams has designed sixteen magic moments for this years European Championships – one for each competing country – based upon the flags of this summers competing nations. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to share them all with you. Feel free to click on an image, which should open up a full-size version in gallery for you to scroll through. Dave’s website is here and he is available for hire. Should you wish to follow him on Twitter, you can do so by clicking here. Slideshow [nggallery id=1] You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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For The King, The Empire And John Terry: The Wing Commander Writes On England Vs France

Regular – or indeed occasional – readers of the When Saturday Comes magazine forum will probably already be aware of the writings of the Wing Commander, the last living remnant of the British Empire and a man who holds a very particular type of Englishman very close to his bosom. Having already had one book of his reports published, we are delighted to welcome him to Twohundredpercent for the first time for his views on Englands match against our arch imperial foes, France.    Excellent England Force Fearful French To Fall Back Onto Own Swords   The renegade nation...

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Euro 2012: Ukraine 2-1 Sweden

So when did Kiev host the Olympics? I always thought that an Olympic Stadium had to have at least held one. Not that it matters, of course, as the stadium in question will be Shevchenko Stadium from now on, after two Andriy Shevchenko headers in seven second-half minutes clinched Ukraine’s storybook come-from-behind win over Sweden. The BBC studio pundits, with a bit of outside broadcast support from the increasingly polished Jake Humphrey, took about nine opportunities to crack the Shevchenko stadium joke, or variants thereof (Shevchenko fan park, Shevchenko beer etc…). Indeed, Gary Lineker had been tweeting it from the moment Shevchenko equalised. This was all rather unfair on Andriy Voronin; the “former Liverpool misfit” – as commentator Jonathan Pearce kindly styled him – was more often the driving force than the ex-Chelsea flop. I was half-right and half-very-wrong to write “time for Shevchenko to come off and Ukraine’s tempo to rise” after Sweden scored. However, until then, Shevchenko more resembled a veteran playing in, or on the peripheries of, his own testimonial than an international captain looking to inspire his people. “A sentimental pick,” I had noted before kick-off. For 35 minutes, this game threatened to be the first out-and-out stinker of the tournament. Shevchenko gave no hint whatsoever of the personal glories to come with a horrible finish to a pinpoint pass from Liverpool’s former misfit. And...

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