Column: Same old Euro song as Britain makes it’s collective impression

Daniel Sturridge will be hoping to take England into the final stages of Euro 2016.
Daniel Sturridge will be hoping to take England into the final stages of Euro 2016.
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What do you think of it so far?

Eric Morecambe had an answer to that.

But where does Euro 2016 really rank among recent tournaments?

So far there’s been a bit of everything but not much of anything.

We’ve seen brilliance and mediocrity, heat, hail and tear gas, a LOT of beer supped, rainstorms, self-destruct shirts, burst balls, fantastic support, sickening violence, more beer supped and the spread of the ‘please don’t take me home’ song.

We have the slightly contrived Gallicism of the TV theme tunes and the ever-growing squads of ex-pro pundits, rotated to keep them tournament-fresh and quip-sharp for a whole month of the action.

We can’t complain about the overall spectacle of the thing and we do have that European electoral event to fit in on Thursday. What timing!

We tell Europe what we think of it even as we drink their beer, inhale their tear gas and reap the returns on our hooliganism export.

But the football’s not been great has it?

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With a few exciting exceptions – Payet’s late goal in the opener for France, Northern Ireland’s first goals in a finals, Modric’s volley and Daniel Sturridge’s late playground scoop-stab shot to give England the win against Wales – there hasn’t been great quality in the football played. But there rarely is at this stage.

Every tournament is like this. You won’t remember the early rounds if your team qualifies for the last 16. Who remembers England’s 2-2 with Macedonia in 2004? France 1 England 1 in 2012? Not many.

But after this weekend it starts to get tasty.

And it does look as though, as in the words of that song, we won’t be coming home just yet.

The droning dirge is synonymous - as it’s become since around 2012 - with England fans outside bars, eyes glazed, arms akimbo looking round for support, beer and TV cameras so their mums and mates can see them at home.

It’s innocent enough, juvenile and indicative of a subservient culture of beery shirkers and waistrels which doesn’t speak very well of the British male but fairly harmless. And it’s popular.

Originally a Newcastle United song it seems, the other British Isles teams have been singing it as long as England have - maybe longer - and now the rest of Europe wants to join in.

According to social media French, Italian and Croatian fans among others now have it in their repertoires.

And people say we have no cultural influence in Europe…