Tuesday, 14 June 2016

What do do if England are kicked out of Euro 2016

It's only been one match and a couple of arrests but it's worth having your Euro 2016 exit strategy ready! Should the worst come to the worst you're going to need a boisterous bar in which to watch your new adopted homeland...

Come on the Poles!
  • Where? The Belvedere, Acton
  • Why? It’s only London’s foremost Polish sports bar! Buddy, you can't even think about Polish sports bars until you've been here. 
  • How to fit in: Say “whew, that was a close escape!” slightly too loudly to attract attention and start talking about how Robert Lewandowski nearly joined Blackburn Rovers. Top conversation fodder.
Portugal 'til I die!
  • Where? Sporting Clube De Londres, Westbourne Park
  • Why? Great name, isn't it? Sounds like what our lower-league teams would be called if they didn't have stupid names like Brentford. But it's a social club for Portuguese expats, with a BBQ fired up for the Portugal games.
  • How to fit in: Whinge about how the golden generation – Luis Figo, Fernando Couto, Rui Costa etc – was "forever let down by the lack of a truly ruthless striker". Then, with confidence building, a daring quip: "Nuno Gomes? More like No-no Gomes!"

Hoorah for Germany!
  • Where? Zeitgeist, Vauxhall
  • Why? Boisterous German bar whose £10 price of entry for German games includes a none-more-Deutsch plate of wurst and chips. And a "vodka brause". No idea what it is, but it sounds authentic.
  • How to fit in: Very easy. You've entered a bizarro world where white is black, up is down and admitting you find Thomas Hassler cool is okay! Welcome to a universe where Gareth Southgate's shambles of a penalty at Euro 96 didn't send the nine-year-old you scampering up the stairs and nestling, tearfully, under your SuperTed quilt.

Sweden is my favourite!
  • Where? The Duke Of York, Marylebone
  • Why? Nice story: while regular Swedish haunt The Harcourt was being refurbished, this nearby pub reinvented itself as a Swede-friendly spot to give those poor denim-clad Svens somewhere to go. The Harcourt's back now, but this remains the sporty Swedish place.
  • How to fit in: Swedish people are thoroughly attractive, enlightened and pleasant. Try and see the fact that you're British, grotesque and hairy as a positive. Re-imagine yourself as an exotic "jester" figure.

All glory to Albania!
  • Where? The Queens Arms, Kilburn
  • Why? Established by Rita Ora's Albanian dad. Has a history of putting on gigs by Albanian bands.
  • How to fit in: At half-time, tap one of your Albanian brothers on the shoulder and say, "This is great and all, but when are Tri Gerdhojat coming on?