The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


It's summer in an even-numbered year, which means there's a month-long football tournament to ease the wait until next season. The 2008 European Championship starts today: yahoo! With a higher concentration of evenly-matched teams, the Euro finals are usually more entertaining than the World Cup.

French captai Michel Platini lifts the European Championship trophy in 1984France are one of the favourites to win Euro 2008, provided they escape from the group of death (every competition has one) that sees them up against decent-enough Romania, old enemies Italy and the Netherlands, of whom more later. Most French fans we know have mixed feelings about their team's chances; on top of the tough draw les bleus no longer have their beloved talisman, Zinedine Zidane. Franck Ribèry, his successor as French playmaker, carries the pressure and expectation of a nation.

Ireland didn't make it to the finals, of course. However, to the incomprehension of our French friends, your Paris correspondent won't be switching his allegiance to France. What's more, for a combination of sentimental reasons your blogger has a soft spot for Dutch football. So, we hope to watch most of the tournament (up to the final, even) at the Port d'Amsterdam, a small but wonderful Dutch bar near the Bourse. Is that treasonous of us?

Aside from football, the European Championship has given us the greatest football song ever. 'Three Lions' by Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, the unofficial English anthem of 1996, is blessed with that spine-tingling chant of "football's coming home". Triumphant Kerry fans sang it at that summer's Munster Final, inciting 'Liveline'-esque traditionalist controversy on the county's airwaves the following day.

By contrast, here's one of the worst football-related songs you'll ever hear, "We've Got A Feeling" by Chris Waddle and Basile Boli. Waddle, who had previously duetted with Glenn Hoddle, was playing for Marseille and had become a cult hero to the OM fans. (Astoundingly, a couple of years later these same ultras worshipped Tony Cascarino.) Boli, never a subtle footballer, now co-presents a bizarre pools-type programme on French television where he picks the best bets for the weekend footie.

The video is just as bad as the song. Your blogger cringed so hard he almost broke his spine, so we advise our English readers to listen to 'Three Lions' instead:

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Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).