I’m currently out in Poland for the Euros, but I’ll be keeping a diary to keep you bang up to speed with the inside track at the tournament.
You can hear my thoughts on the tournament every morning on Sky Sports News Radio.
Have a read and leave a Comment below.
Ireland aren’t blessed with world-class players, Damian Duff is decent, but not many of these players would get into the England squad let alone in other squads around the world.
They do have a fighting team spirit which is absolutely phenomenal. They come together as a team and give it everything they can.
You have to be realistic, Croatia have some fantastic players and Spain are littered with talent. Therefore Ireland qualifying was almost always going to be an impossible task.
I hope Ireland keep their heads but you never know this is Ireland! They’re very unpredictable and we’re expecting them to get absolutely battered by Spain, who will be a little bit wounded from their last game. But who knows? That fighting spirit may see them through. Shay Given wasn’t fantastic against Croatia and was maybe lacking some match sharpness. He could come out with the performance of the tournament. You never know, we might a little luck of the Irish, and always live in hope. Whatever happens the Irish fans have had a fantastic time, been in great spirits and great voice. Their expectations coming into the tournament were relatively low but they just appreciate being back in a big tournament.
Now for Wednesday night’s games. For the first 70 minutes the Germans were exceptional. Neuer made some good saves early on but after that they were exceptional. Schweinsteiger seems to have put the disappointment of the Champions League penalty miss behind him with two fantastic assists for the goals and Gomez provided equally fantastic finishes.
I think the worrying thing for everyone is I think the Germans can play a lot better than that. They did allow the Dutch back into the game but you expect that from a good side.
German efficiency on show
The Germans are incredibly organised, incredibly efficient and very good at what they do. Last night for long periods of the game you didn’t see Schweinsteiger. Made you think has he gone off? Are they resting him? But then he just keeps things ticking over. They do have superstars but they dont seem to pander to that. They don’t put all their eggs in one basket and rely on one player. They have good players that come off the bench, a good team spirit and you never hear of any fighting in the camp. They just get on with it and do what they do very well. It is a cliche, it is a stereotype but as I said stereotypes are there for a reason – and I think it’s worrying for everyone else the form they are showing already.