Date:Wednesday June 20 2012
How would Ukrainian fans react to being knocked out of the Euro 2012 on home soil, was a question that was answered last night in the best way possible. Stopping you for photos on the way in to the stadium is one thing but being stopped on the way out after rather fortuitously dumping out a nation on its home soil is something else. These guys were fantastic losers; the English stayed behind celebrating for some time as you can imagine but were still greeted by thousands of locals who wanted to shake your hand, wish you luck and swear to support England for the rest of the tournament. Similar scenes followed for the rest of the evening.
Once again our media's prophecies of doom and danger proved to be ridiculous. A certain ex-England star warned that we could come home in a coffin; this has been celebrated at each game by singing his name with a punch-line of "We'll do what we like". Our support has been exceptional, a point commented on by many Ukrainians.
Were we lucky? Yes, I suppose we were. Would goal-line technology have given their 'goal'? Yes, I'm told it would have. But Hodgson has, in such a short time, introduced a togetherness and appetite, spirit and fight to this squad that we haven't seen in years. None show their passion more than Joe Hart, but all the players now acknowledge the fans at the final whistle even Mr Rooney, he of the expletives towards supporters in South Africa. Do players ever realise how much this means to travelling fans?
And so back to Kyiv; many of us would have preferred to stay in Donetsk. Kyiv was good; the people were friendly and helpful but Donetsk was arguably better. Certainly doing the work we do, Donetsk was easier - more compact, more negotiable. We had pleasant apartments, with two of the three flats close to our Fans' Embassy location AND we had wifi! The guarantees that we would have it in Kyiv failed to happen and in fact when we got back here to the Donbass region, it crashed in our flat in this country that is trying so hard to catch up with the rest of Europe in all areas.
I had a blog of our time there written and ready to send - I won't bother now as we will soon be back there.
We're off to work now though I doubt that we'll have much to do today. Perhaps a lost passport or two after last night's giant party and many enquiries about trains or planes to the next destination.
Once again, if you have friends or loved ones here and our press have caused you to worry about them - don't!!! They are in more danger from the home-brewed vodka that locals insist you join them in than they are from forecasted violence.
Date:Wednesday June 20 2012
McManaman Ruled Out (Saturday May 18 2013)
Captain Cole? (Saturday May 18 2013)
Dream Come True For McCarthy (Saturday May 18 2013)
Pearce On His Squad (Saturday May 18 2013)
England squad announced. (Thursday May 16 2013)
ITV Secure England Games (Thursday May 16 2013)
Another Young Coach Earmarked (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Ferdinand (Finally) Calls Time On England (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Euro U21 Championship Squad Named (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Wilshere To Miss England Friendlies (Tuesday May 14 2013)
|McManaman Ruled Out
» England : 18/05/2013 14:05:00
» England : 18/05/2013 11:22:00
|Dream Come True For McCarthy
» England : 18/05/2013 10:43:00
|Pearce On His Squad
» England : 18/05/2013 10:15:00
|England squad announced.
» England : 16/05/2013 16:29:00
|ITV Secure England Games
» England : 16/05/2013 09:35:00
|Another Young Coach Earmarked
» England : 15/05/2013 17:57:00