Early Doors

Greece monkeys

Early Doors

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History suggests you should beware Greeks bearing gifts, but Early Döorß is more concerned about those who bring sod all to the party.

Otto Rehhagel's crashed Austria and Switzerland's bash, without even supplying a courtesy bottle of service station Chardonnay, and immediately raided the fridge for a six-pack of special brew.

Early Döorß would rather spend the rest of its life trapped inside a wooden horse than watch another 90 minutes of Dellas passing to Antzas, Antzas passing to Kyriakos, Kyriakos passing to Seitaridis, and Seitaridis passing back to Dellas.

After 66 minutes of wondering whether employing a sniper to pick off Rehhagel could be portrayed as a mercy killing (don't kill people, kids - it's not big or clever), Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic smashed in an old-fashioned blockbuster. Huzzah!

The good news for ITV's prime-time schedule is that they have Greece's next match against Russia on Saturday night.

Will viewers be seduced by the spectacle of young people with no discernible ability making a spectacle of themselves in front of millions and, more often than not, ending up flat on their backs?

Well, based on the runaway ratings success that was the Britain's Got Talent final, there's every chance. Although the mere sight of Greece's back five would have ED scrambling frantically for its big red 'X'.

The game could give Peter Drury a chance to redeem himself after a shaky performance. On seeing Christian Wilhelmsson pull up with a hamstring injury, he was a touch hasty in describing the winger's condition as "terminal".

It got worse, with Drury delivering a horrible, Coldplay-referencing, pay-off on the final whistle: "It was all yellow."

As if to heighten suspicions of an advertising tie-in, the unmistakably worthy silhouette of Chris Martin appeared during the subsequent ad break.

Despite being unable to lift his arms due to the sheer weight of wristbands, Martin has accepted big bucks from Apple who played his new record Viva La Vida, which, with a name like that, sounds very much like it should be the official song of Euro 2008.

Martin even named his daughter after the Makers Of Computers For Smug People, perhaps the only example to date of a corporation purchasing the naming rights to a baby.

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Spain's thrashing of Russia has got the usual quota of people who should know better foaming at the mouth about their chances of finally doing the business.

The 4-1 win was mighty impressive, but how could you not be reminded of their 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine at the World Cup? Or their opening win against, oh, Russia, at Euro 2004? Or the win against Slovenia in 2002?

The point is: Spain always thump some bunch of deadbeat Eastern Europeans in their opening game before crashing out a round or two too early.

Cesc Fabregas did not start but got on the scoresheet with an offside goal, although ED fully expects UEFA to have spent the night researching some arcane rule to 'prove' the goal was valid.

"Law 23, part C, sub-section iv dictates that any goal scored above 500m altitude shall not be given offside provided the attacker has his first name on the back of his shirt and his coach has made racially-inflammatory remarks."

- - -

UEFA have stuck to their guns over Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal against Italy, insisting it was not offside thanks to Christian Panucci's nearby corpse.

"Not many people, even in the game - and I include the players - know this interpretation," said UEFA general secretary David Taylor. That's because it's stupid.

"Even though the defender was off the field because of his momentum (being smashed in the face by Gigi Buffon), he is still deemed to be part of the game and is therefore taken into consideration as one of the last two defending players.

"As a result Ruud van Nistelrooy was not nearer the opponents' goal-line than the second last defender and therefore could not be in an offside position."

Well, first of all he was nearer the goalline. He was three yards out while Panucci was twitching near the advertising hoardings, a good five yards behind the line.

Second of all, the fact that Taylor repeatedly refers to "interpretation" rather than a cast-iron law shows there is room for a judgment call. He even admitted the law does not address the issue "directly".

Given the intrusion of common sense into the issue, surely the referee's first job is to eliminate anything as blatantly ridiculous as Van Nistelrooy's goal. And UEFA should not be supporting this idiocy. Harrumph!

- - -

It has been a quiet tournament on the WAG front given England's failure to qualify. What the English WAGs may lack in class they more than make up for in ubiquitousness - and we have had very few sightings of Alpine spa towns being raided for Prada bags and cocktails.

Of the significant others on show, Early Döorß has fallen quietly in love with the wonderful Sarah Brandner, the better-looking yin to Bastian Schweinsteiger's yang.

Elsewhere, it thought Gianluigi Buffon's missus Alena Seredova was OK until is noticed just how enormous her gob is.

At least last night's Swedish fans gave ED something to write home about (it always sends a postcard to its pervy uncle when it spots a stunner in the crowd).

To be honest, ED was a bit confused as the Greek blockade had driven it to flick between the football and Channel 4's Ten Years Younger, where they get some ropey old woman and make her look - that's right - 10 years younger.

So when ED saw one especially alluring beauty in a yellow shirt, it just thought the TYY team had done a particularly brilliant job.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "He is the king of offside," Luiz Felipe Scolari's take on Ruud van Nistelrooy. In a fight between Big Phil and the UEFA suits, Early Döorß knows who it would rather be hiding behind.

FOREIGN VIEW: ¡Villa Maravilla! - That's the Marca verdict on Spain (Villa Marvel is the less poetic English version). Notable only because it has nothing to do with Cristiano Ronaldo.

TALKING POINT: ima_fat_tw takes the fight to the spammers: "Is it wrong for a Grown man to eat sugar Puffs?? It is an absolutely disgraceful relationship, but more and more services come out on Internet focusing on this kind of relationship, such as... http://www.honeymonster.com !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And yes, Early Döorß knows all this spam isn't really on. It is being worked on. Although the evidence would suggest it is being worked on extremely slowly.

Today: Who impressed you most in the first round of group games? And which country has the most attractive fans?

COMING UP: You might have seen these before. The Czech Republic play C-Ron's Portugal at 5pm, then one of the most unlikely grudge matches imaginable - Switzerland versus Turkey.  The loser goes home.

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