Euro 2016: An alternative look – Group B
England: Once again England will take their hoards of inebriated racists to another country this summer under the pretence of watching some football. If the rest of Europe forget why they hate the English, then a major football tournament every two years gives them a timely reminder and the possibility of a British EU exit halfway through the tournament will not help relations. The French police’s decision to ban alcohol in Lens for the Wales game is probably a good idea, although the bigger match for the fans will become who can smuggle the most contraband beer into the city beforehand. As for the football itself, my allegiance to England does not cloud the gaping deficiencies in the squad at centre back which will hail another early exit from a tournament despite the potential potency of the forwards. Should be exciting to watch but will ultimately prove not good enough once again. Prediction: Quarter-finals
Russia: Possibly the only country disliked more throughout Europe than England, the Russians will no doubt be incredibly motivated by Putin’s threat of execution when they return to the Kremlin should they fail. It’s nice of them to let Ukraine enter their own team as well instead of poaching their best players, claiming they are all native Russians historically and that they all would rather play for them instead. I suppose FIFA would think it would harm their unimpeachable reputation if they allowed themselves to be bought by the Russians. Average team which is past its best. Prediction: Last 16
Slovakia: The most, sorry only, noteworthy thing about the Slovaks is their fetish for ridiculous hairstyles, with the mohican their personal favourite. One of several Eastern European countries who have qualified on the back of one quality player and the increased size of the finals. However, Marek Hamsik will not be enough to see them through the group. Prediction: Bottom of the group
Wales: The definition of the one-man-team but Gareth Bale FC may well have enough to get through the group if he has a good tournament. Their fans may have another opinion about the quality of the rest of their squad but they also still watch football and wonder why the ball is round. Don’t be surprised to see them celebrate 3 points every time Bale smashes the ball over the bar from 35 yards because he’s decided that his teammates are not good enough to be trusted with the ball. Prediction: Last 16
This a fairly tight group with England obviously expected to top it. Could be one of the groups from which 3 qualify for the last 16. Don’t expect any of them to go much further though. England vs Wales should be fun but Russia vs Slovakia is definitely one to avoid if you value your time.