Euro’s – early thoughts

There has been a lot of concern over the last couple of months, regarding the holding of the Euro’s in Poland and Ukraine. I stayed away from a lot of the coverage prior to travelling out to Poland for work. I didn’t want my attitude to be coloured in any way by the media reports. For me, as long as there are no recommendations by the government to not travel somewhere, then it’s alright.

In the time since I have arrived, there has only been one day in Warsaw which has been ‘bad’ – Poland v Russia held in the capital. Other than this, there has been generally a great atmosphere with fans outside chanting, singing and generally being in good spirits. I don’t want to dwell on the behaviour of the isolated few on Tuesday, but it was impressive to see the number of police vans and the water cannon that appeared in the square where we are based, after the game.

So, back to the important stuff… the Football.

So far, I have been impressed by the games I’ve seen. Yes, even England. For me, they started brighter than they have done in a far few years. the second half (particularly toward the end) was slightly less impressive, but they started out chasing the ball and having that hunger that has been missing for so long. Even if they’re flying home next week, I think the squad is looking better and with time will come together. It all depends on whether they given the break they desperately need and deserve from the English public and press. Sorry, don’t care how poor the England team been in the past, they are not the same people, give them a chance.

The disorganisation of the Netherlands team has been a surprise, but I’m still hoping the last games in group B will throw it wide open and possibly give them the chance to qualify. You never know. This is a tournament, not a season. One good/bad performance will make or break it.

As for Republic of Ireland, I hope that they will get something back. So long out of the competition, I love to see them get a win. Or at least a point!

I’m not sure on a winner just yet, but Germany and Portugal are looking strongest for me. Croatia may be one to watch, but sadly Ireland’s performance wasn’t the strongest so I think we’ll need to wait to judge them.

Start of the Poland adventure

The trip to Poland was supposed to fairly simple. Get on plane, get off plane, get cab to studio. For me, this entailed getting stuck for an hour in passport control and then nearly getting left behind by my cab. ┬áPassport control was basically my fault. If you’re ever behind me in a queue in a supermarket, pick another queue. No matter how long it is, do it. The queue I’m in will always take the longest.

Have to say that things have improved since then. ┬áThe biggest thing for me since I arrived is how quiet it is here in Warsaw. Other than the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) there’s very little around Warsaw which promotes Euro 2012. There have been a few people/cars with flags begin to appear, so I’m assuming it might ramp up a bit in the coming days.

Despite only being on my third day, I feel like I’ve been here weeks. The Polish have been very welcoming but I’m still scared to attempt to use any of my limited Polish language skills… I think it’s safer not to try. I know I’ll only end up getting stuck/confused/offending someone/everyone.