Early Doors

Scolari, oh oh

Early Doors

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The clock showed 67:16 in the frankly bonkers match between Switzerland and Turkey when news broke that Big Phil Scolari will be Chelsea's next manager from July 1.

Early Döorß only wishes that it had happened during Portugal's match against the Czech Republic earlier that evening, just to see the reaction of the Portuguese fans.

The statement from Chelsea that revealed their new appointment included the line "He gets the best out of a talented squad of players." Like losing to Greece twice within a month, eh?

But cynicism aside kids, despite the fact that the Portugal job is his first in Europe, the two parties seem like a perfect match.

Scolari's teams play fairly attractive football, and like former boss Jose Mourinho he has a pragmatic, no nonsense approach that creates a siege mentality amongst his squad.

The man described as "the Brazilian Brian Clough" should be enough to keep any dissenters quiet, judging by the left jab he threw at Serbia's Ivica Dragutinovic last year. Though quite what Ashley Cole will make of Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War' is anyone's guess.

'Felipao' also has more than enough potential to match Jose for enigmatic quotes and slanging matches with his contemporaries. As subtly charming as Avram Grant's quiet magnanimity was, Chelsea fans both demand and deserve someone more obnoxious.

- - -

Well, who'd have thunk it? Looking at the pre-tournament fixture list, it would have been hard for anyone to guess that Switzerland v Turkey would turn out to be one of the most memorable matches of the tournament.

As a born-and-bred central European, Early Döorß is a lover of all forms of slapstick comedy, believing Eurosport's Remi to be the pinnacle of modern humour.

So it had an absolute ball watching the torrential downpour in Basel last night that turned a previously inauspicious match into a right rollercoaster where 'fire it in the mixer' was the wisest tactical step.

ED's only regret is that the rain had not hit the Stade de Geneve earlier, in which case it would be having heaps of fun with a whole host of 'Lake Geneva' jokes. Well, that one anyway.

The ridiculousness of the conditions was shown up for the opening goal, when Erin Derdiyok's low cross stopped dead in a puddle in the six-yard box, allowing Hakan Yakin to score the easiest international goal since David Nugent completed his 100% strike rate for England by blasting in from dead on the goal line against Andorra.

After that 'strike', Yakin then tapped another shot woefully wide from the same range less than five minutes later.

Ian Wright may not be at the Beeb anymore, concentrating his talents on meatheads whacking each other with giant cotton buds, but there was plenty of fodder for his next 'hilarious and humiliating' gaffes DVD.

But, as the rain stopped, the pitch dried and Turkey got better, they came back to clinch a win that knocks the poor old Swiss out after just five days.

That was thanks in no small part to ex-Brighton and Sheffield united striker Colin-Kazim Richards, or Kazim, Kazim and thrice Kazim as he has been dubbed since moving to Fenerbahce, whose late appearance as a substitute means that he has now made more major finals appearances than a whole host of England's young and highly-paid internationals.

- - -

Spare a thought for those poor money men at ITV. No really.

The national teams of Portugal and Netherlands both drew 80% of the viewing public in their respective homelands for their opening matches.

Half of the people in front of a German television set at the time watched the Dutch pound Italy and, despite their impressive apathy before the tournament, three out of five Austrians watched their boys' impressively apathetic performance against Croatia.

Whereas in sorry little Blighty, hardly anyone has been watching, with just as many people watching that show on Channel Four that features such characters as - to quote the Sun's front page - a "flop star", an "ex-hoodlum" and a "mincer".

There was more than a hint of smugness from UEFA Communications director William Gaillard when he said: "It is obvious when one of the large European nations like England is absent we won't get the large audiences we would have if that team had been playing on that day.

"We can't expect to have 25 million British viewers because we have no British teams involved."

- - -

QUOTES OF DAY: on a record-busting 368 comment day, gpcharrion was so pleased with himself for this effort that he posted it multiple times. ED only reproduces it now to show how much he needn't have bothered: "BREAKING NEWS: DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT TIME eNGLAND PLAY TONIGHT? APPARENTLY SO FAR THERE IS NO TRACE OF THIS GRATE nATIONAL tEAM THAT WAS OUTPLAYED AND DUMPED…. (blah blah blah). MAYBE YOU CAN ALSO HAVE A SAUSAGE IN THE MEANWHILE THAT IS A VERY GOOD PAINKILLER AHAHAHAHAH"

Andywalker269 echoed the thoughts of daily alpine football blogs that are forced to subsist on a thin muesli of UHT milk and cardboard everywhere when he said: "Wow, bumper comment day today, and to be honest, I couldn't be @rsed trawling through them all."

G_hine's attempt to steer the chat away from the board's latest race-hate panic was admirable, and somehow ended up here: "But as out universe is finite, there is a centre. This is approximately where the Big Bang occurred."

FOREIGN VIEW: Seeing as there has been no mention of C-Ron so far, here's Marca's attempt at humour by reporting his joke about Portugal's second strip: Ronaldo - "I really like the White… Of Portugal!" Hmm.

TALKING POINT: Is Big Phil actually going to be any good? And has a tournament host ever exited so quickly from their own tournament? And how exactly do you use sausages as a painkiller?

COMING UP: Group B takes it's turn to shine tonight as Croatia take on Germany and Austria attempt to avoid embarrassment against Poland. Follow our LIVE comments form 17:00 UK time.

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