It was all about belief for the Irish in Poznan. But who really believed?
‘We believe,’ said Adrian Chiles.
‘They have to believe,’ added Patrick Vieira.
‘All 11 players have to believe, really,’ chipped in Jim Beglin.
And for almost four minutes, some did. Then Fernando Torres scored – and no-one could believe it.
It’s a shame to see the Irish go out. I’ve had a soft spot for them since they provided me with my highlight of the 1994 World Cup finals – the sight of Pompey’s Alan McLoughlin warming up on the touchline. We Pompey fans were easily pleased in those days, a bit like now.
As the ‘believers’ on ITV would have to admit, Ireland simply weren’t good enough.
Their hopes were summed up by them putting their faith in Simon Cox up front. He was at West Brom last season and didn’t exactly set the place alight – imagine if England were to put their faith in someone who’d been at West – ah, hold on...
At least the Ireland fans were memorable. But as the incisive Roy Keane pointed out after the 4-0 defeat, Ireland’s mentality needs to change from one where they’re just going to tournaments to have a party.
You can’t help thinking if they’d have been so easy to beat with Roy as manager.
ITV’s coverage got off to a false start when the voiceover lady described Spain as ‘European Cup champions’.
Later, Peter Drury’s comment that the wet surface had helped Spain was a failed attempt to be kind to the Irish. We all know the gulf would have been just as great if they’d played on treacle.
Drury’s commentary is another one that polarises opinion. He’s much easier on the ear than Tyldo, and I’ve liked him since his memorable commentary on the Pompey v Spurs Cup semi.
Going back 24 hours earlier to the Holland-Germany game, we had Martin Keown pitchside talking about the Dutch.
I half-expected Ruud van Nistelrooy to appear and Keown to start jumping around in his face like he did to him once at Old Trafford.
Last night’s Euro highlight in the Bone household was the pizza we had to celebrate Italy’s latest appearance.
‘Shall I cut the pizza into six slices?’ my wife asked.
‘No,’ I replied. ‘I’m hungry – cut it into eight.’
Got a view on the TV coverage of the Euros? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me - @stevebone1