As Whitesnake almost sang: Here we go again on our own. Ireland will finish their Euro 2012 campaign with defea… a game against Italy tonight. We’ll hang out here for the day. Join in and contribute to the fun and frolics by tweeting @TheScore_ie or checking out our Facebook page.
17.58 – For all of you stats nerds, here’s a look at how the two main men — Italy’s Andrea Pirlo and Croatia’s Luka Modric have fared in this first half.
27 passes made by Pirlo with a 77% completion rate… he has a goal too.
Modric has 23 completed — an 82% success rate.
10.42 – Let’s do this. Whatever happens tonight, today is Ireland’s last day at Euro 2012, so we might as well make the most of it. Ireland take on Italy in Poznan while Spain and Croatia face off in Gdansk. We’ll obviously liveblog the games while Miguel Delaney is currently on his way to the stadium. So how are we feeling out there?
Who knows at this stage? Or as our manager Giovanni Trapattoni is quoted as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport today: “The ball is always round and sometimes there’s a rabbit inside it.”
Indeed, there is.
10.49 – So, our colleague Brendan sent us this by DC Tempest this morning. The song is “dedicated to the Irish supporters who touched the world with their undying love for their national football team as they suffered a huge defeat to Spain in Poland at Euro 2012 in such a painful fashion, but they just kept singing,” the band say.
What do you think? Roy Keane need not comment.
11.08 – Will you be watching the game tonight? Our colleagues at TheJournal have asked that very question in their poll this morning.
11.27 – This has to be one of the pictures of the tournament. One Dubliner and his trumpet posing by a police fan in Poznan this morning at 6am. There’s more from photographer Mateusz Kulik here.
The Netherlands didn’t just fail to qualify from a group stage for the first time since 1980. It was the first time they’ve ever lost three games in a row. That, of course, is all the more startling given that they reached the World Cup final only two years ago. But, even then, there were suggestions this side wasn’t quite as good as their record argued. In this tournament, the gaps in their ‘tactically broken’ team became chasms. They were atrociously loose. And not even Wesley Sneijder’s supreme tournament could prevent it. The saddest thing to be said is that a team that features the talents of the Inter playmaker, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben will be no real loss to the tournament.
12.21 – Kevin Kilbane’s column in the Daily Mail has been really enjoyable so far. Today’s is a good read:
“As a player who was subjected to his fair amount of criticism at the hands of the Irish media, I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed giving the ratings for the media match in Gdynia this week. Some of the journalists out in Poland, who attempted to play in a football game at the training ground – and I mean attempted – have not taken kindly to the marks out of ten and the observations I made. I have been forwarded threatening e-mails and texts. I have been threatened with legal action by a fellow member of Team Daily Mail.”
12.50 – It may not be strictly Euro 2012 news, but whatever happens tonight in Poznan, it’s a bad day for Irish football: Monaghan United have pulled out of the League of Ireland. The full story is here.
13.07 – An appeal has been issued for an Irish fan in Poland who has been missing since last Saturday afternoon, we’ve been told.
James Nolan, 21, has been following Ireland at the European Championships and was last seen in Bydgoszcz, about 130 kilometres south west of Poznan where Ireland are playing Italy tonight in their final game. From Blessington in Co Wicklow, he was last seen around 1-1.30pm local time. James was wearing a white t-shirt with a picture of Chuck Norris, dark blue jeans and grey runners. His family are said to be very anxious to hear from him.
Any one with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Irish Embassy in Poland on 00 48 692 495 692.
13.29 – One Irish fan hits back at Roy Keane, via 101greatgoals:
14.05 – Off The Ball’s Ciarán Murphy writes a weekly GAA column for us, you might know. But obviously he’s in Poland for the past fortnight with the show. I think he’s about ready to get back to patrolling the sideline at GAA grounds throughout the country if his battle-weary piece today is anything to go by.
14.41 – “Some of the accommodation over here is relatively Spartan and one lad was staying in a hostel in a room with no door. He came back one morning very much worse for wear, went to sleep and when he woke up later that afternoon the workmen had been in and had fitted the room with a door. For which he had no key and they had helpfully left locked for him. The people running the hostel had gone out for the evening to watch the Poland match so he was trapped in his sweat-box of a room for a number of hours with a murderous hangover, a fierce thirst and no water and reckoned he was close to losing his marbles at one stage.”
For more from Cian O’Callaghan, head through this unlocked door.
15.18 – It was 18 years ago, today…
15.51 – Nicklas Bendtner was today banned for one match and fined €100,000 for flashing the sponsored waistband of his underpants while celebrating a goal during Euro 2012, UEFA said. Ooopsies.
16.30 – After being omitted from the starting line-up to face Italy tonight, James McClean has obviously found himself twiddling his thumbs a bit.
He’s back on Twitter and he has vowed to be ‘a good boy’ this time around.
Hopefully he won’t be live-tweeting the game and will instead be pushed into the action early in the second half.
17.05 – The secret of football is to spot talent early and develop it into greatness – somebody else must have said that before I did, just there.
But how do you recognise a talented footballer when he has barely learned to run?
Well, he might look a little like this:
17.05 – The boys in green are assembled in Poznan’s main square and ready for the game. Here’s live webcam proof.
Watch out for the bouncing of: stand up /sit down for the boys in green. Looks even better from a distance.
17.29 – BREAKING: Swedish coach does stuff like everybody else.
17.33 – There could be some delay in filling the stadium in Gdansk tonight…
17.54 – Conor Nagle here, Sean’s away microwaving a bowl of… something (inital reconnaissance, conducted from a disatance of 20 yards, reveals the substance to be edible and red).
Someone missed yesterday’s team announcement. Must have been at the Eucharistic Congress.
18.06 – It wouldn’t be a major international tournament without an “England to win it” narrative and, sure enough, this summer’s edition (Hodge v1.0) is beginning to reach critical mass.
Sir David of Becks has weighed in on his nation’s title chances:
“Looking at who is left in the competition, if we can get a good result now against Ukraine and then push forward, I don’t see why we can’t go all the way.”
I’m not sure what he’s trying to suggest here: both of the tournament favourites are left in the competition.
18.27 – This spooky “Test” screen has appeared on monitors in Gdansk’s PGE Arena, venue for tonight’s Croatia-Spain match.
Test… or brief glimpse at a mammoth UEFA-led conspiracy? Only time will tell… although, They probably have a contingency plan in place to deal with accidental leaks like this, anyway. We’ll remain none the wise, until it’s too late and we’re enslaved by the race of extraterrestrial shape-shifting lizards David Icke warned us about.
Wake up, sheeple!
18.31 – Ah, Opta Jean – with these fascinating statistical tidbits, you are spoiling us!
18.44 – The ongoing imprisonment of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has proven something of a diplomatic embarrassment for the regime of Viktor Yanukovich, but rather than bow to pressure from Germany, Britain and the UN, his regime appears to have escalated the dispute.
Ukrainian state prosecutors have announced they intend to charge the 51-year-old in connection with the 1996 murder of Yevhen Shcherban, a prominent businessman and legislator.
“Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper published Monday that there is enough evidence to charge Tymoshenko in connection with the murder 16 years ago of Yevhen Shcherban, an influential lawmaker and businessman…
“‘We have enough evidence that prove Tymoshenko’s involvement in that murder and we intend to file charges against her,’ Kuzmin was quoted as saying.”
18.46 – Okay, that’s it for this evening, folks!
To keep up with the rest of the evening’s action, turn your attention to our Italy v. Ireland liveblog.
19.28 – Eamon Dunphy is back to doing what he does best, following his shenanigans on Grafton Street earlier today. He reckons Rooney’s “underperformed” at major tournaments.
That’s surely the cue for a Rooney hat-trick tonight so.
19.49 – If you’re wondering why Theo Walcott isn’t starting owing to the considerable impact he had after being introduced in England’s last game, it’s because he was only deemed fit enough to make the bench.