Nine things that will definitely happen during Euro 2020
Euros fever has got us all
Euro 2020 has arrived, and with it, all the weird and wonderful quirks of tournament football. At no other time will an entire nation be gripped to a match between Finland and Russia to find out which third placed side will miss out on the second round of the tournament. At no other time will entire offices basically stop working for two hours to keep an eye on Croatia vs Czech Republic. Tournaments are special, they transcend the usual boundaries of football fandom. Your mum bought a Vuvuzela from Lidl in 2010. It changes all of us.
The stuff that happens on the pitch, though, is generally quite predictable. Here are X things that will definitely happen during Euro 2020.
The entirety of England will sing Three Lions for exactly five days after a scrappy 2-1 win over Croatia
Remember when England beat Tunisia in 2018? They just about scraped through after a pretty unconvincing first performance during which Kyle Walker gave away a penalty and both of England's goals came from almost identical corner routines. That didn't matter at the time. England had won, and so the beer flowed, everyone burst into a never ending chorus of Three Lions (It's Coming Home), because England have the right attitude: never let realism get in the way of a good time. Delusional optimism runs through our veins.
The same thing is going to happen on Sunday, when England play Croatia. Gareth Southgate's side are rightly favourites for this tie, despite Croatia winning the World Cup semi-final in 2018. England have the more talented and youthful side, with one of the best forwards in the world. We should win, but it won't be easy. The half-time discussion will focus on our lack of control in midfield, then someone (probably Kane) will squeeze in a deflected goal in the last 15 minutes, and we will take to the streets in bucket hats and shorts, proclaiming that once again, football is indeed, coming home. We never learn.
Tory MPs will stage photoshoots of them celebrating England goals
If there's anything politicians enjoy more than disobeying the laws they impose, it's posing for photos that make them look normal and pretending to love football. Purely from looking at him, you can tell Boris Johnson has never been to a football match in his life, but expect to see him wearing a Euro 96 shirt, 'candidly' shot celebrating an England goal with Carrie Symonds splashed all social media.
Every single England XI will be greeted with outrage
PLAY GREALISH. PLAY FODEN. ALSO PLAY SANCHO. AND MOUNT. AND BELLINGHAM. WHY ARE WE PLAYING THREE AT THE BACK. WHY IS TRIPPIER STARTING. PICKFORD IS RUBBISH. SOUTHGATE IS A FRAUD.
Every. Single. Time.
Raheem Sterling will get vilified for training with his shoelaces undone
For all the good will that the England squad attracted during the World Cup, let's not forget Raheem Sterling was subject to some very negative, unfair headlines that focused on a tattoo he had gotten a long time before the tournament that had a deeply personal meaning. All it will take is one bad performance for certain sections of the media to turn on him again.
The Gazza goal vs Scotland will get 48 hours air time non stop before England vs Scotland
Did you know Paul Gascoigne scored against Scotland once? Yeah. Euro 96. He flicked the ball over the defender's head and did a funny celebration. Oh, you did know that? Cool, watch it another hundred times just in case.
Ronaldo will throw a tantrum when Portugal lose a group game
Portugal go into this tournament as reigning champions with an incredibly strong team going into this tournament, but they have been drawn into an extremely competitive group, alongside France and Germany. It's highly likely that Ronaldo and co. will fall victim to at least one of those two powerhouses, and if there's one thing we know about Ronaldo, it's that he really hates losing. Don't be shocked to see him throw one of his infamous hissy fits when a late VAR decision goes against Portugal, costing them a key result.
Roy Keane will get irrationally angry about club teammates hugging after a game
For what it's worth, I don't think Roy Keane is anywhere near as bitter and angry as his television persona would suggest. But rest assured if the opportunity arises, ITV producers will demand a take from him on club teammates playing against each other in the Euros being friendly to each other after the game. He'll use words like 'war', 'battle', 'pride' 'respect' and conclude by saying, 'nah, that's not for me' with a face of stone. Again, I'm entirely convinced he believes his white hot takes, but something's got to pay the bills.
Scotland fans fill up Trafalgar Square fountains with washing up liquid
It wouldn't be an England vs Scotland derby without Scottish fans filling up the fountains at Trafalgar Square with washing up liquid, you know, for a laugh. They've got to find some way of having fun, as the game most definitely won't be.
Bukayo Saka will emerge as the new funniest member of the England squad
Every international squad needs a player to keep people smiling and keep spirits high. In 2018 it was Jesse Lingard, who also happened to be pretty useful that tournament. But his primary purpose in that squad was to provide positive vibes. Having been replaced in the squad by Bukayo Saka, the mantle has been passed on. Arsenal's wonderkid, as well as being a supremely talented and versatile option of the bench, must step up to the plate as the banter merchant in the camp. And going by recent videos on social media, already seems to be fulfilling the role.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 9, 2021