Watto's Euro 2004 Diary


The tournament starts, and Paul Watson watches from afar 


 Day 4: Sunday 13 June 2004

Quiet night; no trouble — thank God.  Ledley King is in the team, and Prince Wayne is up front; I can't wait. I think we'll win or draw tonight; we just need a bit of luck to beat them. I hate to see our Wayne in a red shirt, just doesn't look right.  Have you seen his shirt in the Cola adverts (Coca or Pepsi I don't know — £10M wasted in advertizing), makes me shudder.  I also hate all the speculation. 

Goods news is that no-one is mentioning Joey Yobo — looks as though we'll keep him.  He is our other class player.  I also rate McFadden.  Croatia v Switzerland?  Two tricky teams, but I don't think we are in the group of death.  Croatia will edge it, one of the Swiss centrebacks will be sent off for hand ball, and about time too.

Did you hear Jimmy Armfield on Five-Live talking about the ball? He must have read Watto's Euro2004 fan's diary on ToffeeWeb!  Why Five-live?  Why not a TV pundit?  Erm I'm sorry but I saw the match in Asda.  Give and take.  The wife's letting me go to Portugal, so going shopping now and then is alright.  Buying things for Portugal.  I now have a car flag.  I wasn't going to have one, but we have to do something against Political Correctness.  In England you should be able to fly your own flag.

The Greeks... "just there to make up the numbers,"  Oh dear!  Blue team deserved the win: nice strip.  I thought Portugal were really nervous; if their next game was against Spain, I think they would be out.  It takes something away from the competition if the hosts go out too early, but means they won't need their tickets...  Figo set up the goal, but Ronaldo and Deco are their best 7 and 10.  I would drop Rui Costa or play him deeper.

In the post match interview, "That penalty wouldn't have been given at Old Trafford" says Ronny the Giraffe, and then trips over the mike!  Remember Euro 2000 and Phil Neville?  It was 2-2 and we were through, then Phil hacks down a Romanian in the area.  OK, Keegan's team (then as well as now) were poor, but I swapped my Portugal v Turkey ticket with Stefan for England v Italy.  Turned out to be Romania v Italy.  I actually saw Phil Neville once, in the Trafford Centre.  He had a black eye: he deserved it.

The Spanish.  They look OK.  It was great to see a team playing attacking football like they did.  One of the good things about this competition is the fact that everyone has to win, there is no third place for the Scots to miss out on by goal difference.  The ref was poor: 8 yellows and 1 red.  Did you see the defender move his arm for the ball to hand non-penalty?  Also I think it was Raul that waved at the ball as it went over him from a cross, just before he came off.  The Leeds (we would have to be in a European leauge) fans know all about him.  The other guy patted the ball into the net.  Spain could light up the tournament, but I wish they wouldn't cheat. 

Our new man Big Bulykin didn't really set the game alight fro Russia.  Smertin had a good game, but the guy looks out of place; he looks like a hermit that has been living in a cave for about 20 years.  Group A is wide open, my game in Faro, Poccna v the Greeks isn't dead.  Still no confirmation e.mail from Ticketmaster or Uefa...  I will write today. 

Meanwhile, my story continues...

It is now the end of October 2003.  Stefan e.mails me, "Have you got your tickets yet?"  His wife says we can stay at her dad's house.  I have a look; there are still tickets.  I pick my stadia.  Porto on 18th; Lisbon Luz on 21st; and Braga on 23rd.  In Esperanto that is C4-C1, B3-B1 and D4-D2.  Portugal are A1, England will be x2.  Do not hit any key, your application is being processed. MI5, MI6, KGB, Interpol, CIA, the Feds, Special branch each take a couple of minutes to check me out.

At this point, I must explain why there may be two black marks against my name.  Firstly, Man Utd v Sheff Wed, League Cup Semi 1st Leg at Old Trafford.  Nilsson gets injured, Giggs skips past him and scores, 1-0.  I wander past the shop, and there is a commotion.  Something inside me says, walk over, stop the fight and calm things down.  From whence that thought came, I do not know.  I approach a red-shirted gentleman and a red-faced Yorkshireman, they are both shouting. 

"Wait 'til you come to Sheffield," quoth the ruddy-faced youth. 

"You are a big Yorkshire sausage," said he of the red shirt.

With that retort the argument was settled.  These are the exact words. 

Second and far more serious: my nephew.  We were on the front row of the Top Balcony, below were probably millionaires, gangsters, maybe Sven or Pele.  Numbered amongst the great and good were a few gentleman sporting Zinedine Zidane's latest coiffure.  Too much for a ten year old.  At that age I could outdo any statto.  My nephew was in another heaven.  Even though we had won 5-0, he was spitting at the big shots below.  Aiming for a baldy bull's-eye on someone's ZZtop.

Still checking after fifteen minutes.  I can't do it, I must hit a key.  That feels better.  Application processed.  Application processed.  I write to Uefa in my best English: please cancel my duplicate application and retain the original.  I get a confirmation from Uefa.  Stefan is married to a Portuguese gal, so maybe I'll get into a few A1s.  D2 in Braga is my only chance.  The draw takes place...  I have no idea what I have got.

Paul Watson


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