Euro 2012 round-up
SO, you want an alternative to Giovanni Trapattoni? Well, a fascinating contender emerged yesterday. A chap called Raymond Domenech. You might remember the name.
"Win or lose, they are drunk and partying," said Domenech of the Irish fans, words that will no doubt have Roy Keane spinning in his studio. Raymond was, of course, the French manager during the 'Hand of Henry' debacle.
It was something of a miracle that he survived in the job that long. Admittedly, he did take Les Bleus to the World Cup final in 2006, but his subsequent four years in the job proved to be something of a calamity, culminating in abject failure at the World Cup in South Africa.
A keen fan of astrology, Domenech dislikes the Scorpio and Leo star signs, so his unlikely arrival would be bad news for Stephen Hunt, Darron Gibson, Kevin Foley and Marc Wilson. Although, on reflection, that quartet would probably prefer Domenech to Trapattoni at this moment in time.
bendtner no innocent victim in bookies' stunt
Well done to ***** ***** who have taken the noble gesture of paying the fine for Nicklas Bendtner's €100,000 fine for revealing the bookmaker's logo on the waistband of his underpants while celebrating a goal in Denmark's 3-2 loss to Portugal.
The sanction was ridiculous, given the paltry punishments dished out to countries whose fans were found guilty of racist chants, but we reckon Nicklas is still in a position to afford it -- one can only assume he received a healthy sum for the original gesture.
Perhaps the bookmaker in question would receive some positive publicity by making a considerable contribution to a Show the Racism the Red Card campaign. Now that really would make UEFA look stupid. Bendtner is hardly an innocent victim.
German fan rues irish exit
For the Irish fans who lit up the tournament, the long road home started yesterday morning. They've made such an impression in Poland that their departure was mourned.
This tribute from a German fan on uefa.com was broadcast across the continent. Pardon the spelling mistakes, but it's not his first language. It just about sums up the Irish contribution to the party in Sopot.
"What a pitty to loose them!" said Heinz. "Sopot is totally in Irish hands! No chance to get a draft beer, because everything is already drunken! Having a party 24/7 for several days now, everybody totally having fun, singing and cheering all the day. And Irish players including Trapatoni just walking on the streets for several times, giving autographs, shooting photos and with the fans! And no trouble, no police, no bad words. Great!"
Sopot was a considerably quieter place last night.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
56 The pass completion percentage rate of the Irish team against Italy. Trap's men successfully executed 195 from 351 attempts. The Italians managed a 78pc strike rate -- with 489 of their 626 finding their intended destination.