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Eine Kleine Dantmusik - Euro 2024 Day 2 15/6/24

Eggs and bacon for breakfast in the hotel Saturday morning. I may have to apologise in advance to m’colleagues for any subsequent after effects.

We went back to Volksparkstadion straight after brekkie to make sure broadcast lines in our commentary position were up and running (which they were) and just to get our bearings ahead of Sunday’s game. We immediately managed to get our hands on some Euro 2024 Media swag - namely a backpack suspiciously decked out in Portuguese colours of burgundy and green. Not sure if UEFA are doing something subliminal here or whether CR7 slipped them a few Euros to help with production costs, but us media types will accept any and all freebies no questions asked.

I saw Reading FC’s press officer Mark Bradley in the Hamburg media production office. You never know who you might bump into who’s either working directly for UEFA (as Mark is) or a colleague from the press box moonlighting for a broadcaster other than the one they’re usually known for back home. He remarked that I’d brought the weather with me, which was true - tipped it down most of the morning whilst we were there

Trooping The Colour back home I notice, and it was lovely to read our talkSPORT colleague Ally McCoist has been given an OBE in the King’s birthday honours list. I can imagine his immediate reaction in my head…Just to paraphrase him from that recent viral clip of him in a stadium….

“Is that an OBE?….if a letter comes through the post next it has to be…It is!!!!….Oh, ye cannae beat an OBE man….Buck House 2024….Charles dabbing the old shoulders with a sword, there…and then Gascoigne runs in, nicks the sword off Charlie and lobs ma heed off right there and then! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

Or something like that, anyway :) Congratulations Ally - such a deserved award, we all love you dearly.

I deserved an award for drinking possibly the worst cup of tea sold to me in the media hub before we headed back to our hotel. After asking for just ‘ein bissien’ of milk from the server, not even an extra tea bag could rescue it from its off-white state. I have brought the PG Tips with me like the right old little Englander…they’re going in the Portuguese swag bag straight away for when we come back in the morning!

Had a ride in a Tesla cab to get back from stadium to hotel. Not my first Tesla experience - I heard Modern Day Cowboy when I was 20 (in joke for rock fans only) - and I wonder how you can safely drive one of those things without being totally distracted by the 42” colour telly right next to your steering wheel! Ok, slight exaggeration on the 42” there, but it is bloody huge that screen, certainly compared with all other sat nav/screen options on new cars now.

The hotel management were having a bit of a mare upon our return trying to set up a telly in the lobby so that patrons could watch Hungary Switzerland (no access to this particular match from the TV’s in our rooms - must’ve been on a pay channel this game - and were getting nowhere fast. Enter Darren Bent from his travels across to us having left Berlin this morning, and he swiftly produced his iPad/Slingbox contraption, so we ended up seeing the game on a screen almost as big as the one in that Tesla whilst getting English commentary from ITV. Good work that man.

Benty has somewhat surprisingly only brought 6 pairs of trainers with him to Germany. Known as the “sneaker freak” at talkSPORT, you may have seen him on Insta publishing regular content on the relative merits of the Nike hi-top such and such - he’d have had better luck doing “the history of basketball footwear” on Mastermind than when he tried answering questions on James Bond instead!

Anyway, he’s here and he’s perfect. We had a lovely dinner in a local steak restaurant and we are ready to attack the day tomorrow and provide our first commentary for Poland vs Netherlands. Fans of both nations started to arrive in numbers at our hotel on Saturday - probably 70/30 in favour of the Dutch…you might say that mirrors the chances of either side at the game itself. Both have injury problems, Lewandowski for Poland the most high-profile. Let’s see how they cope without their talisman against Koeman’s men who’ve lost lots of central midfielders to injury right before these championships.

Can’t wait to get going!

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