Euro 2016 – The Last 16 Round Up

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The knockout rounds have begun, no more teams tactically playing for 3rd place leaving themselves with a hope of staying in France for a few days longer.

It’s best we start off by saying…Thank goodness for Sunday and Monday. The 6 teams that played on Saturday provided us with a poor spectacle for the latter stages of a major international tournament.

Poland v Switzerland opened proceedings in St Etienne and produced 2 talking points. An outrageous overhead kick from Stoke’s Shaqiri and a woeful penalty in the shootout from Arsenal’s new £30Mil man Granit Xhaka. Poland progress and that’s without the prolific Lewandowski finding the net so far.

Moving to the highly anticipated “Battle of Britain.” It very much disappointed as Wales and Northern Ireland produced a cagey affair. It was settled after a Bale cross delivered into the dreaded corridor of uncertainty and was touched past his own keeper by the unfortunate McAuley, the challenge had to be made with Robson-Kanu awaiting a tap in.

To finish the day, a terrible match produced an extra time win for Ronaldo and co. Quaresma’s nod over the line was the game’s 1st on target attempt in the 117th minute and we were all relieved to be able to turn off in time for the Joshua fight! Portugal are in the quarters having yet to win a game in normal time.

Sunday needed to raise our spirits and it did just that…

As expected a spirited ROI gave hosts France a scare with a 2nd minute penalty from man-of-the-moment Robbie Brady. Then Antione Griezmann decide to silence his critics by turning up to the party, a fantastic 2nd half display saw him terrorise the Irish backline and score twice completing a 2-1 comeback win.

Fearfully for the remaining sides, Germany and Belgium destroyed their opposition to comfortably progress. 3-0 and 4-0 wins respectively and it could have been a lot more for either, do not be surprised if these two contest the final on 10th July.

Monday saw us reach the conclusion of the round and it produced the biggest shock the competition has EVER seen, Iceland 2-1 England!

An early Rooney penalty should have settled any lingering nerves for the favourites but within seconds it was 1-1 and minutes the turnaround was complete. Joe Hart should have kept out a Sigthorsson effort but just like Bale’s free kick, his left hand wasn’t strong enough.

Out-battled and out-thought seems a fair way to sum up a woeful night for the English with Hodgson resigning immediately after the defeat.

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In the earlier game Italy produced and stellar “Italian” performance, occasionally threatening going forward and unbeatable at the back. Just like the Belgium game it was wrapped up with a late Pelle volley for a 2-0 scoreline. A mouth-watering Quarter Final with Germany awaits for what was supposed to be their worst side for 50 years.

The Quarter Finals start on Thursday and with every team just 2 games from the showpiece final it should be an exciting watch.

Some of the usual suspects will know what to expect in terms of pressure however the appearance of Iceland, Poland and Wales provides a possible twist for sides that in effect have nothing to lose.

Have we seen the last twist of Euro 2016? Possibly not.

Euro 2016 image sourced from; www.scmp.com
Iceland image sourced from; www.indianexpress.com


We’re delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be the dedicated Euro blogger for the cool clothing brand Xile Clothing. Based in Scotland, this edgy brand has 3 stores in (Edinburgh, Glasgow & Livingston) plus you can shop online at www.xileclothing.com.

Check out their blog (https://www.xileclothing.com/blog/)for all their latest news and trends and it would be awesome if you could support our blog posts on there too! ;-P 

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Euro 2016 – Full 1st Round Review

Well that’s come and gone quickly! We waited in anticipation for one of the most wide open European Championships to get underway and in the blink of an eye we have had the chance to see every team in action.

Qualified

Group A Group B Group C
France Wales Germany
Switzerland England Poland
Slovakia Northern Ireland
Group D Group E Group F
Croatia Italy Hungary
Spain Belgium Iceland
Rep Ireland Portugal

So just who has impressed, disappointed or held their own in the 1st round?

Made an impression

We’ll start with the obvious in Italy and Germany, 2 of the big boys went about their jobs in a professional fashion and will be hoping for a prolonged stay.

Croatia could very well be an outsider worth keeping an eye on, a wonder strike from Luka Modric is going to take some beating for goal of the tournament. Add in a deserved victory against Spain and an “easier” run to the final and you never know.

Additional mentions for Hungary, Poland and Wales. All have impressed with the way they have attempted to play. Lewandowski and Bale are match winners for the Poles and Welsh whereas Hungary who have turned up without anything to lose, currently boast the most goals scored in the competition (6 in 3 games).

Will be disappointed

England will be kicking themselves by not negotiating Group B in the way they should have. A 2nd placed finish has left them in the much tougher half of the latter stages.

Controversially going to say the host nation France, without the resurgence of the talented Payet you have to wonder what might have been. They’ll need to improve to progress past a spirited Rep Ireland.

Sweden, Russia and Austria all came through the same “weak” qualification group and perhaps no major surprise to see them all on the 1st plane home given how they have performed.

Stood their ground

Little Iceland, a country with a population half the size of Glasgow holding the mighty Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to a 1-1 draw and deservedly progressing from the group. Lots of talk about fairy stories this season and the men from Reykjavik need adding to this list.

A strange category for Spain to be mentioned, Iniesta has proved once again to be a maestro. A tough 2nd round match vs. Italy awaits after a Sergio Ramos missed penalty against Croatia. They’ll probably still be there or thereabouts but they are not the all-conquering side of recent years.

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We are starting to see Euro 2016 spark to life and knockout football will only aid this even further.

One thing we have certainly been impressed with is that every game has been well contested, played in the right spirit and the general standard of refereeing has been high so far and long may it continue.

It’s been entertaining albeit tense, but hopefully there is more good football to be seen in the next few days.

Certainly make no plans this weekend with 6 games split over Saturday and Sunday!

All the best to your supported nations for the rest of the championship.

Euro 2016 image sourced from; www.scmp.com
Last 16 image sourced from; www.goal.com


We’re delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be the dedicated Euro blogger for the cool clothing brand Xile Clothing. Based in Scotland, this edgy brand has 3 stores in (Edinburgh, Glasgow & Livingston) plus you can shop online at www.xileclothing.com.

Check out their blog (https://www.xileclothing.com/blog/)for all their latest news and trends and it would be awesome if you could support our blog posts on there too! ;-P 

Leicester City – A Post of Appreciation

Leicester City…what hasn’t yet been said about them? Not a lot to be fair.

We felt we need to create a small post to express just what The Foxes have brought to us this season.

5000/1 as the season started back in August 2015, they had just completed pre-season warm up’s against Lincoln City & Mansfield town.

From the moment they kicked off the Premier League campaign with a 4-2 victory over Sunderland they never really looked back.

Defeated by only 2 clubs from their 19 challengers (Arsenal x 2 & Liverpool)

Somehow the much maligned Claudio Ranieri has turned Albrighton, Simpson and Ulloa into Champions League footballers.

We’ve all watched as clubs have tried to copy the Barca model and play tika-taka football but we need to finally realise that there is little wrong with sticking to the basics of the game.

A good goalkeeper, 2 solid centre half’s, a midfield general, a tricky winger and a striker who plays without fear.

There is a distinct possibility that we will never see a less fashionable team win the top flight in England again so this has to go down as one of the biggest surprises of all time in the game we love.

To sum up:

We’ve been smiling in disbelief
They’ve played with passion, desire and full on heart
An amazing team spirit has brought them their biggest prize
They believed when the rest of us didn’t…
Congratulations to Leicester City!

PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2015/16

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