Come on Poland!

I think we can all agree that, after the weekend’s events, the priority is to ensure that Serbia don’t qualify. They play very dull, defensive football at every tournament they go to, whereas Finland have not yet had the opportunity to play dull, defensive football at a major tournament. Portugal will be the most likely to enhance the competition, but their coach punches people. Finland’s coach is an Englishman, and the English are well known for never defacing international football matches with violence.

So that’s the moral high ground sorted. What of the rest? Well, all seven living former Finland coaches contacted by MTV3 today said that they ‘believe’ Finland can do it. That might be worrying, it might not, but it would be uncharitable to wonder how any of them would have any idea what it takes to qualify. Positivity is the key, so lets move onto team news.

Mika Värynen longs to be on the pitch. He might make it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hodgson starts with Heikkinen, as the more defensive, battle hardened player. That’d be risky in my view, Heikkinen made some mistakes against Poland that would be ruthlessly exploited against Portugal, but this is Hodgson and he knows what he’s going to do. The players are right behind him, and they have had some bad luck in the last three 0-0 draws, so maybe Porto is where they cash it in?

btw: if you watched that clip and, like me, are jealous of the presenter Ari Virtanen, you should bear in mind that he spent all day at the Finnish cup finals recently. That’s at least 8 hours in the dreadful, freezing Finnair stadium, with scant supplies of coffee and heaters that were only turned on after3.5 hours, when the men’s teams got there. Porto is the other side of the coin, and it isn’t that nice right now anyway – pissing down with rain and only about 10 degrees. That’s about 12 degrees warmer than Finland, but still. They’re not playing in Madeira.

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to some brave Finnish heroes, people who are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to see Roy’s boys make it to the Euros. Bill Shankly said that football wasn’t a matter of life and death, but he would be astonished to see that there are Finns – normal, honest, hard working Finns – who are as I type actually spending the night at Stansted Airport. Suomi fans: I salute you.

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3 Responses

  1. What a gay punch.

    The MEN says that Vidic won’t play on Saturday because Fergie won’t let him. The game is now outside of the sanctioned international window so you might see the foreign based players being pulled out. are there Serbian league fixtures on Saturday? Be funny if their reserves got stuffed…

  2. Bless you, you pink faced forelock tugging glazer loving twat. It would be funny if that happened, but I’ve seen Kazakhstan play and I don’t think they could stuff Gnistan’s reserves, never mind Serbia’s….

  3. Well, Poland did their stuff OK. Shame Finland were as bad as England at taking advantage of a favour.

    The omens were bad about quarter past three GMT yesterday, when a five-year old gelding by Timber Country trailed in last in the novice chase at Hexham.

    Horse’s name? Finland – and in a rush of enthusiasm I,d been daft enough to back it.

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