Euro 2012 Diary

DA, DA, DA, DA… DA, DA, DA, DA

Bad news for all Euro 2012 ear-users. After Ukrainian jobsworths took pity on us all and confiscated the England band’s instruments before the French game, the FA stepped in to bang their drum and ensured the buglers have received full permission to showcase their varied repertoire during tonight’s match with Sweden.

Come back vuvuzelas, all is forgiven.

BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR

Surely there was more to Nicklas Bendtner’s choice of underwear against Portugal than whatever few shillings Paddy Power was willing to throw his way? A clue, perhaps, from the tournament preview on Ladbrokes.com?

“Denmark can flourish if Bendtner lives up to his own hype.”

Might sensitive Nick have expected a little less dismissiveness from a company who is one of Denmark’s main sponsors? Whatever the reason, the Danish FA have smelt a problem and ordered Bendtner to change his jocks before Denmark’s final game.

Communications director Lars Berendt said: “We have spoken to the player and he will not play in those against Germany on Sunday.”

FLAMIN’ DRONGOS

God save Ireland! Blind Freddy can see that the lusty rendition of the Home and Away theme tune by Irish fans in Poznan has gone down a treat with the cast of the used-to-be-good-but-hasn’t-had-a-murder-mystery-in-an-age Aussie soap.

The Euros themselves, however, may be passing Summer Bay by.

Irene, aka Lynne McGranger, took time out from sticking her beak into other people’s business to tweet “hahaha love it!! Did Ireland win??”

Her diner colleague Leah (Ada Nicodemou) was just as impressed. “That’s awesome!! Very funny,” while full-time dropkick Heath Braxton (Dan Ewing) managed “Hahahaha”.

Alas, the only seal of approval we truly crave has yet to arrive. Alf Stewart is not on Twitter.

Watch the song again here: bit.ly/summerbayirl

CHANT OF THE DAY

Pat Kenny has arrived in Poland and immediately attracted some attention among Ireland supporters:

@paulkellington

Irish fans to Pat Kenny while walking down main street in Gdansk ‘Where’s your garden gone?’

Just one thing; didn’t Pat end up with the land?

CUTTING TO THE CHASE

A wide range of Irish flags have been making the headlines so far this tournament, with the “Angela Merkel Thinks We’re at Work” standard-setter making the front cover of German newspaper Bild.

Now, following the romantic endeavours of Eamon Keegan, another group of Irish fans hope their banner will also work its magic with a very specific Polish audience: “Szukasz meza? Pogadajz nami.”

Loose translation: “Are you looking for a husband — talk to us.”

KID A & B

Euro 2012 TV directors have, for the most part, stuck with tradition and allowed attractive ladies take centre stage when a close-up crowd celebration shot is required.

But one youngster bucked the group stage trend; a little six-year-old became a national celebrity in the Ukraine after his enthusiastic reaction to Andriy Shevchenko’s second goal against Sweden.

When Sheva made that near post dart, young Timur widened his eyes to improbably cute dimensions and extended his yellow scarf above his head in a passionate show of national pride.

Watch the celebration here: bit.ly/shevakid.

On Wednesday he got his reward for becoming the symbol of a nation’s childish glee. Timur was invited to a Ukraine training session where he joined several other youngsters for a kickabout and posed for a photo with hero Sheva, who gave him a brand new national shirt.

Mind you, Timur has competition from the Netherlands in the cute stakes, where two-year-old Noah has shot to fame after a YouTube clip shows him reciting the names of all 23 players in the Dutch squad.

Watch here: bit.ly/dutchkid

BOOT RACE

Never mind Nick Bendtner’s lucky underpants, the biggest branding hullaballoo of the group stages has surrounded Roy Hodgson’s footwear. Hodgson has been putting his foot in it with England sponsors Umbro by continually wearing a pair of Adidas boots on the training pitch. His excuse; the three-stripe boots have a custom orthotic built in to give him extra support around the heel.

Since Hodgson was rather sprung on everyone just a few weeks ago, Umbro hadn’t been able to oblige with a similar pair in time for the tournament. But now, so commercially valuable is the precious space on the side of Roy’s feet, the company have knocked heads together and are working on a solution. A spokesman said: “We will endeavour to provide him with the right footwear as soon as possible.”

Get the feeling a couple of goals from Ibra tonight might make them forget the whole thing?

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