Euro 2012 Draw

Euro 2012 Draw

IT Fri, Dec 2
 

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  • 16:05
    Oh, we don't know where were going,
    but we really don't care,
    I guess we'd like Poland,
    But we'll travel anywhere,
    'Cos for twenty-four years
    we've been tryin' to get back to the Euros.

    (Euros! We're goin' to the Euros!) 

    That's mine, that is. Record deals and royalties c/o Carl O'Malley, The Irish Times, Tara Street.

    (Ahem, red-faced acknowledgement that it is, in fact, not mine, to follow)

    It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to our coverage of the Euro 2012 draw which will take place in Kiev this evening.
  • 16:09
    The ceremony starts at 5pm, but there'll be the usual palaver of multi-lingual pleasantries and nostalgia, so we don’t expect to know who will face in Poland or Ukraine until closer to 6.
  • 16:10
    In the meantime, let’s indulge in our own trip down memory lane. 24 years is a long aul’ wait. Here’s what we’ve been missing, starting with the moment Ray Houghton wrote himself into Irish footballing folklore.

    “We’ll do them for yis today!”
  • 16:10
  • 16:21

    And then, of course, there was that goal from Ronnie ‘me hair’s still the same’ Whelan.

  • 16:21
  • 16:26
    Just off the phone to our man in Kiev, who has confirmed the actual draw is scheduled to take place at 5.35pm.
  • 16:30

    Of course, Euro ’88 was ultimately ended by a jammy header from Wim Kieft. I collapsed to the floor in a campsite in Nice. My dreams shattered, I descended into a blubbering nine-year-old mess. Sympathetic Dutch holidayers tried to console me, but they didn’t realise. It would be 24 years!

  • 16:30
  • 16:31
    Anyone else out there have football-related traumatic childhood memories they'd like to share with the group? Feel free.
  • 16:36
    No doubt you've been through the permutations by now but just in case you're not sure who we can face. Here's Mary Hannigan's take on it.
  • 16:40
    Oh, no. Well, I'm red-faced. It's been done already.  Apologies to these guys, who's idea I clearly, albeit subconciously, plagiarised.
  • 16:40
  • 16:45
    Also for those of you thinking of travelling, and more specifically, for those of you thinking of flying. Here's some idea of the sort of prices you're looking at.
  • 17:00
    So, any thoughts on who we actually want?
  • 17:05
    My preference is for Poland, because they are on paper the weakest team and it would keep us in one city for three games, England, for a multitude of obvious reasons, and Sweden, because a colleague on Twitter last night reminded me that Celtic's bumbling centre half Daniel Majstorović plays for them.

    Pot 1: Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine
    Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia
    Pot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden
    Pot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland
  • 17:08
    They're live on Sky Sports with BRIAN KERR, Glenn Hoddle and Alan Smith, and it is the latter who suggests Ireland might be the cushty draw for England. For shame, Alan.
  • 17:09
    Kerr's having a laugh at Trap for not knowing who he wants to play. He reckons he's settled on Holland, Russia and Croatia. Crikey.
  • 17:12
    Oh, Phil Babb's there too. Wonder how he'll celebrate an Irish win at the Euros.
  • 17:17
    Rooney's appeal against his suspension for the group stages is the topic of the conversation on Sky now. Hoddle reckons he should go regardless, but Crazyhorse hasn't indicated whether he thinks the United striker picked up the red card because of sins he committed in a previous life.
  • 17:21
    'We could have a whole program talking about Wayne Rooney on his own', scoffs the Sky guy.

    Please don't.
  • 17:28
    They're talking about our lot on Sky now. The first words out of Babbsy's mouth are "Irish spirit". Uuuggghhh.

    Kerr believes Ireland have much stronger options going forward than they have had in previous years, but says the big question is whether Trap is going to adjust the system to prevent getting overrun. 'I think he's going to have to adapt that,' he says.

    I got slaughtered for saying the same thing in a blog recently. It's just a damn popularity contest with you kids.
  • 17:29
    Glenn doesn't want England to get Ireland, pointing to the defence and the players who get in the box. "Not many managers will want to meet them."
  • 17:30
    Babbsy on the fans: "The fans are always up for the craic". Oh, Phil.
  • 17:31
    RTE coverage is one and we're five minutes away from the draw. There's Darragh Moloney, he's joined by Dunphy and that man Houghton.

    In the dress rehearsal, Ireland were drawn with Poland, Germany and Greece. Could be worse.
  • 17:35
    Ray wouldn't like a group meeting with England, didn't really explain why, other than the fact that he wants to meet them in the later stages.

    Eamo wouldn't be worried about Portugal, Sweden or Greece. Croatia and little Modric, he doesn't fancy.
  • 17:36
    There is a brief tribute to the late Gary Speed, as only there should be.
  • 17:38
    So, almost there.

    Group A: Poland
    Group B
    Group C
    Group D Ukraine
  • 17:40
    Dutch legend Marco Van Basten is the first on duty. Spain or Netherlands to Group B.

    Group A: Poland
    Group B: Netherlands
    Group C
    Group D Ukraine
  • 17:41
    Therefore, Spain are in Group C. All above board.

    Group A: Poland
    Group B: Netherlands
    Group C: Spain
    Group D Ukraine
  • 17:42
    Ireland's pot now. Looking for group A.
  • 17:43
    Czechs get it though.

    Group A: Poland, Czech Rep
    Group B: Netherlands
    Group C: Spain
    Group D Ukraine

  • 17:43
    Group A: Poland, Czech Rep
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark
    Group C: Spain
    Group D Ukraine
  • 17:44
    Still 50-50 as to Poland or Ukraine for Ireland
  • 17:44
    Spain it is!!

    Group A
    : Poland, Czec Rep
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland
    Group D Ukraine
  • 17:45
    That means we are in Poland. At least Michael O'Leary will be over the moon. So will the fans in fairness.
  • 17:46
    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland
    Group D Ukraine, France
  • 17:46
    France in with Ukraine, so, completing the draw to the halfway stage.
  • 17:47
    The Greeks in with Poland and the Czechs

    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland
    Group D Ukraine, France
  • 17:48
    Ireland will play their first game on SUnday 10th of June. Against who, we don't know. Portugal drawn in Group B.

    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland
    Group D Ukraine, France
  • 17:49
    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland, Croatia
    Group D Ukraine, France
  • 17:50
    We've got Croatia, Dunphy won't be happy. This is a horrible group. That will be our first game on June 10th in Poznan
  • 17:50
    That leaves the Swedes in Group D.

    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland, Croatia
    Group D Ukraine, France, Sweden
  • 17:51
    Pot 2 to come. England, Germany, Italy, Russia
  • 17:52
    It's the Russians drawn with the Poles. They'll fancy that group

    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece, Russia
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland, Croatia
    Group D Ukraine, France, Sweden
  • 17:52
    Group B, who will join Netherlands, Denmark and Portugal?
  • 17:53
    Gasps around the audience as Germany are slected to face Holland. Feisty!

    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece, Russia
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Germany
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland, Croatia
    Group D Ukraine, France, Sweden
  • 17:54
    Ireland's group up next. England are still there and Italy. Either way it's a big tie for the paddy's or their Italian manager.
  • 17:54
    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece, Russia
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Germany
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland, Croatia, Italy
    Group D Ukraine, France, Sweden
  • 17:55
    It's Italy. Trapattoni and his homeland. We beat them 2-0 in the summer but the had a brilliant campaign. It was never going to be easy but it didn't have to be a stinker. Oh, well.
  • 17:56
    Group A: Poland, Czec Rep, Greece, Russia
    Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Germany
    Group C: Spain, Rep of Ireland, Croatia, Italy
    Group D Ukraine, France, Sweden, England
  • 17:58
    For Ireland, that means a game in Poznan, then up to Gdansk to face Spain and then back to Poznan to meet Italy.
  • 17:59
    If Ireland get out of that group they could face England, Ukraine, France or Sweden.

  • 18:00
    Eamonn thinks Italy are a "very, very ordinary side indeed". He thinks Spain pass too much and "might not be worst thing in the world for us". Oddly optimistic, for him. Croatia are a concern for him.

    "I don't think it's terrifying", he says, reassuringly.
  • 18:02
    So, to recap. Ireland are based in Poland where they will face Croatia, Spain and Italy in that order. If they qualify, they'll meet one of the four from Group D - England, France, Ukraine or Sweden.
  • 18:08
  • 18:25
    Giovanni Trapattoni
     
    “It’s impossible to say which group is better because we know our position in ranking. We have to think in football, everything is possible.

    “We have to play with the same mentality. Obviously, all the teams are very difficult, but I am confident.

    “I know better Italy but every game is different. We also have to play Spain and Croatia are not easy.

    “Spain are the world champions and are a strong team. We have to think about games against the famous, like Italy and Brazil.

    “We have to think about our moment, it is a good moment, with our attitude and  mentality. It is important that our squad stays without injury.”
  • 19:34
    Spain coach Vicente del Bosque

    "We have in our group a team with more prestige like Italy and two sides that went through the playoffs with authority. As far as Italy go, our first opponents, we played them recently (and lost) and they are a very strong team. Group B looks the toughest but it will be a very competitive European championship." 

    Italy coach Cesare Prandelli

    "I wanted to avoid (Ireland coach Giovanni) Trapattoni. Spain are very strong, for the first game against them we must arrive mentally prepared." 

    Croatia coach Slaven Bilic

    "It is a tough group but you can't get easy opponents, it's the 16 best teams in Europe. We are privileged to play the world champions (Spain) and the former world champions (Italy). 

    "Spain are the favourites. Trapattoni is also a genius and a top man and I am looking forward to playing against him." 
  • 20:02