Euro 2024: security questions after pitch invaders get to Ronaldo – live updates

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Nick Bandini shares some thoughts on Italy, who were given a 1-0 tousing by Spain last week. I can’t see a way the holders can successfully defend their title, but we’ve said similar of the Azzurri

Potentially bad news for Mexico and Edson Álvarez.

And while we’re looking at football beyond European borders…

How amazing was this?

It’s also worth reupping this important piece that Morgan Ofori wrote after England’s Iceland defeat.

I’d like to have seen more of Kobbie Mainoo than we have so far. In both games, Gareth Southgate has turned to Conor Gallagher first, but England’s principal issue is – to me at least – a lack of control not a lack of energy, though Mainoo brings the latter as well as the former.

Like a lot of us, I imagine, I was shocked by N’Golo Kanté’s performance against Austria in the first game – I didn’t think he could still get about the park like that. The problem France have, though, is that their strategy seems based around solidity, with Kylian Mbappé doing the rest, and now who knows?

Tagentially, it’s been apparent, I think, that the less fancied sides are really fit, perhaps because more of their players are peaking now, for this, whereas it’s possible that players who were challenging for titles and such at the end of last season are hanging on a little.

Not many understand these issues better than Nick Ames.

I’ve been wondering to myself if it might work to move Bukayo Saka to left-back, assuming Luke Shaw won’t be available until the knockouts. England need to open up that the side of the pitch, and Saka was excellent in that role when he first broke into the Arsenal side. Sticking him there would also allow for the inclusion of another wide attacker – Cole Palmer, say, whose ability to change the pace of attacks could be very useful.

Karen Carney has some thoughts on how England should line up, and she’s gone for a back three. That happened in 1990 after a poor start, and though I’m not crazy about that way of playing, it might just cover weaknesses and accentuate strengths.

I really like Jarrod Bowen as a player, but I’m not totally certain why he’s come in both England games. He just doesn’t seem the best option to change things – there are others in the squad with far greater game-breaking ability.

Wharton is, I think, the player England need – or at least one of them. His ability to take the ball on the half-turn and then pass it forward is one they’ve been lacking so far – but I do still have questions about Rice’s quality on the ball when deployed further forward.

This is such a shame. Tierney is a good player and seems a good character too; his frustration must be very taxing to assimilate.

Looking at the bracket, though, if both sides win their groups, that couldn’t happen until the final (I don’t think). But Spain might (I think) have to beat Portugal to get there – what a semi that could be.

Fabián is a player and Spain might just be the hardest team to beat. They lack a bit of firepower, but their ability to retain possession and work gaps, though not quite what once it was, is still better than anyone else’s. In particular, I think they’d be a dreadful matchup for England.

I actually think the reffing – and varring – has been pretty good so far.


They might eventually find their lack of an elite-level centre-forward does for them, but Germany look decent don’t they? A midfield of Toni Kroos, Robert Andrich, Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan is absolutely not to be messed with, and it’ll take something significant to stop them.

What a joy Georgia have been so far. They’ll need to beat Portugal now to stay involved and that seems unlikely – though perhaps Martínez, with his team qualified, will rotate – but even if they go home, they’ve enriched our lives over the last week.

If Roberto Martínez gets his Portugal side right, they’ll take some stopping. Bruno Fernandes ended the club season in rare form and looks right in the mood at this tournament, while Bernardo Silva is also at it. Behind them, João Palhinha and Vitinha supply ballast – and quality – while alongside them, Rafael Leão gives cutting edge and on the bench, a panoply of options mean no match-situation should faze them.

We’ll also have a look back at yesterday’s action. Belgium got themselves going, Kevin de Bruyne to the fore as they dealt with Turkey. They seemed to have better cohesion with Your Tielemans in the side – I was surprised he didn’t come on sooner against Slovakia – and Amadou Onana looked much better next to him.

Hello there! And welcome to today’s blog, which’ll take you from now up until this evening’s games which conclude Group A. We’ll bring you Scotland v Hungary and Switzerland v Germany, but prior to then we’l have all the chat and news from what’s shaping up to be a classic tournament. Off we go


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