Off the Post Archives for January 2012

Yakubu bids farewell to Blackburn with amazing backhanded compliment

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Blackburn striker Yakubu has quit the club to join Chinese outfit Guangzhou Fuli but not before inadvertently wading in on the Ewood Park soap opera. He said: "I thank Blackburn Rovers, the fans, fellow players for making my one season there seem like a decade." OTP thinks Yakubu was attempting to say that he'd [.

Manchester United star Ashley Young welcomes Uefa’s new initiative

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Uefa chose last night's Euro 2012 semi-final between Italy and Germany to introduce their new 'Respect Divers' initiative. Michel Platini and co are fed up with the abuse that is being levelled at players such as Ashley Young and Cristiano Ronaldo, and are taking decisive action to allow football's diving community to go about their [.

GIF It: Germany sweeper Manuel Neuer’s halfway line diving header clearance

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While Italy's players are rightly taking all the plaudits this morning after their Euro 2012 win, it was the performance of Germany's new sweeper, Manuel Neuer, that really caught OTP's eye. In the closing stages, Neuer took to playing 'rush goalie', the highlight being this diving header clearance after he was nearly caught out of [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Germany 1-2 Italy

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1. Balotelli emerged as undisputed champion in the battle of the Super Marios. Two goals from the Manchester City man were enough to secure victory for Italy. 2. He picked up a cheap booking for taking his shirt off. OTP was hoping he'd have a 'Vy alvays me' t-shirt to display. Instead he seemed to [.

OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck predicts… Germany v Italy

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It's impossible think of tonight's game without harking back to the epic World Cup 2006 semi-final between these two nations in Dortmund. Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli has reportedly been dogged in his attempts to convince UEFA to allow him to bring in veterans Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero as injury cover.

David Beckham out of Team GB Olympic squad. Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards in

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David Beckham has been left out of the Team GB squad to compete at London 2012. The LA Galaxy man didn't manage to convince manager Stuart Pearce that he deserved a place in the squad. Pearce had visited the USA to check on Beckham's fitness and form. Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs, Liverpool and Wales [.

Video: Bruno Alves steps up to take Nani’s penalty (Spain vs Portugal)

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It was little wonder that Bruno Alves missed his penalty during last night's semi-final shootout against Spain. The Zenit St Petersburg defender couldn't even hold his nerves sufficiently to count to five, never mind fire the ball past Iker Casillas. Alves had been told to take the fourth Portugal penalty.

GIF It: Cesc ‘The Ball Whisperer’ Fabregas talks to the ball before his penalty

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Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas tucked away the winning penalty in last night's Euro 2012 semi-final against Portugal but not before seeking some reassurances from the ball. The Barcelona man went to the trouble of talking to the ball before taking his spot-kick, urging it to "make history" and not let him down.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Spain 0-0 Portugal (Spain win on penalties)

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo is either a bottler or a glory-hunter. He shirked his penalty shootout duties and ended up not being needed. The best penalty taker in the team should have been up first. 2. His only decisive input was whispering something to goalkeeper Rui Patricio ahead of Real Madrid team-mate Xabi Alonso's penalty.

Video: Germany vs Greece super slo-mo fan park reactions

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Super slo-mo has been a great addition to the football broadcaster's arsenal in recent seasons. Usually it's been deployed to give us a good look at some superb skills. But in this new adidas video, the super slo-mo cameras turn their attention to the Euro 2012 fan parks to capture in-game reactions during the Germany [.

OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck predicts… Portugal v Spain

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Despite his run of correct predictions, it's been a tough of couple of days for our Howard. Already living in a safe house after repeated kidnap attempts from leading sports bookmakers, he's also become an overnight public enemy number one, having backed Italy to overcome England on Sunday. Thankfully ducks' instinctive aversion to fire means [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Wigan Athletic

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. Wigan haven't made it easy for us, with Dave Whelan announcing the club would not be doing any business until after Euro 2012. What rumours there are aren't exactly inspiring for Latics' fans... 1.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli suffers ear-flicking from his Italy team-mates

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Italy's players saw fit to test the length of Mario Balotelli's infamously short fuse as they prepared for their Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany. Azzurri players including Alessandro Diamanti, Fabio Borini and Thiago Motta decided to start flicking Balotelli's ears during a training session. Mario takes it all in good humour.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli suffers ear-flicking from his Italy team-mates

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Italy's players saw fit to test the length of Mario Balotelli's infamously short fuse as they prepared for their Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany. Azzurri players including Alessandro Diamanti, Fabio Borini and Thiago Motta decided to start flicking Balotelli's ears during a training session. Mario takes it all in good humour.

Motorway banner slams England fan for choosing Euro 2012 quarter-final over wedding anniversary

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A few weeks ago OTP reported on a survey that suggested 10 per cent of England football fans believed that winning Euro 2012 would mean more than their wedding day. As this wonderfully vitriolic motorway banner shows, one England supporter has inadvertently confirmed himself as part of that patriotic percentile.

Motorway banner slams England fan for choosing Euro 2012 quarter-final over wedding anniversary

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A few weeks ago OTP reported on a survey that suggested 10 per cent of England football fans believed that winning Euro 2012 would mean more than their wedding day. As this wonderfully vitriolic motorway banner shows, one England supporter has inadvertently confirmed himself as part of that patriotic percentile.

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli takes an hour to provide urine sample, Italy squad miss their plane

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After a long slog attempting to grind down England's two stubborn banks of four, the Italy team must have longed for a quick getaway on their arduous journey back to their base camp in Poland. It wasn't quite smooth sailing for the Azzurri though thanks to Mario Balotelli's hesitant bladder in Kiev. The Manchester City [.

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli takes an hour to provide urine sample, Italy squad miss their plane

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After a long slog attempting to grind down England's two stubborn banks of four, the Italy team must have longed for a quick getaway on their arduous journey back to their base camp in Poland. It wasn't quite smooth sailing for the Azzurri though thanks to Mario Balotelli's hesitant bladder in Kiev. The Manchester City [.

England’s Euro 2012 goals and Andrea Pirlo’s Panenka penalty retold in stunning string animation

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When football comes with strings attached, it normally means fans are being shafted with extortionate ticket prices. Happily, on this occasion it means a delightful depiction of some of the most memorable goals in England's Euro 2012 campaign. OTP are particularly fond of the remake of Andrea Pirlo's sumptuous Panenka penalty for Italy: the lusciously languid shot that strung up [.

England’s Euro 2012 goals and Andrea Pirlo’s Panenka penalty retold in stunning string animation

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When football comes with strings attached, it normally means fans are being shafted with extortionate ticket prices. Happily, on this occasion it means a delightful depiction of some of the most memorable goals in England's Euro 2012 campaign. OTP are particularly fond of the remake of Andrea Pirlo's sumptuous Panenka penalty for Italy: the lusciously languid shot that strung up [.

Boom! Ex-England manager Fabio Capello has a cheeky dig at Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney

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Amid all the on-field action in the last week, there has been a rather tasty one-way feud bubbling up between former England boss Fabio Capello and Wayne Rooney. It all kicked off when the Manchester striker claimed that the Italian's tactical orders for the England side had all been "lost in translation".

Boom! Ex-England manager Fabio Capello has a cheeky dig at Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney

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Amid all the on-field action in the last week, there has been a rather tasty one-way feud bubbling up between former England boss Fabio Capello and Wayne Rooney. It all kicked off when the Manchester striker claimed that the Italian's tactical orders for the England side had all been "lost in translation".

Video: Former Chelsea striker Leon Knight’s crazed commentary of his goals

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This ever so slightly disturbing footage of ex-Chelsea forward Leon Knight watching videos of goals he's scored and commentating on them has surfaced. The 29-year-old was most recently on the books of Northern Irish side Glentoran but was released last week using a probationary clause in his contract.

Video: Former Chelsea striker Leon Knight’s crazed commentary of his goals

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This ever so slightly disturbing footage of ex-Chelsea forward Leon Knight watching videos of goals he's scored and commentating on them has surfaced. The 29-year-old was most recently on the books of Northern Irish side Glentoran but was released last week using a probationary clause in his contract.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: West Ham

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Grant Holt First on the list is a striker, because with Baldock, Maynard, Cole, Vaz Te, Sears, Carew, Montenegro and Piquionne on the books but joined by only six first team defenders, what West Ham need is [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: West Ham

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Grant Holt First on the list is a striker, because with Baldock, Maynard, Cole, Vaz Te, Sears, Carew, Montenegro and Piquionne on the books but joined by only six first team defenders, what West Ham need is [.

Italy’s Riccardo Montolivo already able to joke about penalty miss

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Riccardo Montolivo has discovered that missing a penalty in a shootout is no big deal as long as you team then goes on to win the match. Speaking ahead of Italy's Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany his mother's homeland the Milan man was able to poke fun at himself. Asked if he [...]


New Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski sings on awful Europop track

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Germany striker Lukas Podolski has shown he's a man of many talents by turning his hand to the world of music. The recent Arsenal signing has teamed up with Cologne band Brings to sing on the track Hallelujah. In his international football career, Podolski leaned heavily on the experience of strike partner Miroslav Klose to [.

Age finally catches up with Italy star Andrea Pirlo

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After many people noted that he played most of Sunday night's Euro 2012 quarter-final with a cigar on the go, Andrea Pirlo has been forced to compensate for all that tobacco inhalation. The 33-year-old midfielder donned an oxygen mask for training ahead of the semi-final clash with Germany. A slightly odd image, and perhaps one [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Tottenham Hotspur

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Jan Vertonghen Thank goodness that it is a summer of international football, because otherwise this dreary saga would be filling our sports pages. It seems that the deal will eventually go through, but such a delay does [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: West Brom

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Ben Foster How ever many times I say it to myself, I can't believe Foster is almost 30. With a loan move at West Brom last season proving successful, the Baggies will be keen to tie up [...]


OTP Euro 2012 Podcast – June 26th: Pen-oh-no Shootout

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June 26th Pen-Oh-No Shootout by Off The Post on Mixcloud So, as Andrea Pirlo, his magnificent mane of hair and an assortment of tight-shirted compatriots saunter into the semi-finals of Euro 2012, it's time for the OTP Podcast to get the scalpels out and start dissecting another England failure at a major tournament.

Who Are Ya? Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Olivier Giroud Age: 25 Position: Striker Signed from: Montpellier Fee: £12.8million Did you know? He was released by Grenoble in 2010, with coach Mehmed Bazdarevic claiming the striker "not have the level to play at the elite". Grenoble's treasurer is probably now ruing that assessment.

Video: Manchester City star Mario Balotelli is not a fan of energy drinks

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During Sunday night's energy-sapping England v Italy match, it was essential that the players took plenty of fluids on board. Some did this more successfully than others. Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli attempted to take a swig of an energy drink, but ended up spitting it anywhere. OTP likes to think that Antonio Cassano [.

Phil Brown thinks Andrea Pirlo is homophobic for not playing in England

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Phil Brown is one of those people who doesn't have to try very hard to be an absolute muppet. It comes very naturally. The permatanned former Hull and Preston manager has taken to the airwaves to accuse Italy midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo of homophobia. The grounds for such a slanderous attack? Pirlo has never played [.

England fan flashes his World Cup Willie at Alessandro Diamanti during winning penalty

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One England fan went further than most in his attempts to help Roy Hodgson's men defeat Italy in last night's Euro 2012 quarter-final. The cheeky chap dropped his trousers as former West Ham player Alessandro Diamanti took the decisive penalty, giving the world's media a look at his own lunging tackle.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Swansea City

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Gylfi Sigurdsson This looked a nailed on deal until Brendan Rodgers upped sticks and moved to Anfield, but now it seems evident that the Iceland international would understandably also ply his trade at Liverpool.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Sunderland

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Gabriel Agbonlahor Although Sunderland have not yet made an offer for Gabby, it is clear that Martin O'Neill rates his former player highly, and would like to bring him to the Stadium of Light.

GIF It: Andrea Pirlo’s sumptuous Panenka penalty (England v Italy)

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Taking a chipped penalty takes balls of steel at the best of times. But in a shootout at a major tournament, when your team has already missed one and when you've got previous for missing Panenka penalties: that takes balls of titanium. So that clanking noise you can hear is obviously Andrea Pirlo jumping up [.

GIF It: Andrea Pirlo’s sumptuous Panenka penalty (England v Italy)

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Taking a chipped penalty takes balls of steel at the best of times. But in a shootout at a major tournament, when your team has already missed one and when you've got previous for missing Panenka penalties: that takes balls of titanium. So that clanking noise you can hear is obviously Andrea Pirlo jumping up [.

Who wore what at Euro 2012?

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Kitbag.com's Euro 2012 lads give us a rundown of who wore what at Euro 2012. All available at Kitbag.com with 10% off and free Kitbag:id embroidery worth £10. Wayne Rooney, England - Nike Total90 (Green) He may have missed the first two group games due to suspension but this gave Wayne a bit more time to polish [.

Who wore what at Euro 2012?

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Kitbag.com's Euro 2012 lads give us a rundown of who wore what at Euro 2012. All available at Kitbag.com with 10% off and free Kitbag:id embroidery worth £10. Wayne Rooney, England - Nike Total90 (Green) He may have missed the first two group games due to suspension but this gave Wayne a bit more time to polish [.

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba jokes that watching England is bad for his health

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Fabrice Muamba, who suffered an on-pitch cardiac arrest last season, joked that he needed to be hooked up to his cardiac monitoring device before England's penalty shootout defeat to Italy last night. The Bolton midfielder was clearly feeling the tension as much as the rest of us, but lightened the mood with a joke about [.

Franz Beckenbauer welcomes his son Zlatan Ibrahimovic into the world

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A Brazilian man named Franz Beckenbauer has registered the birth of his son Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Zlatan Ibrahimovic Lima da Silva was born in Recife, Pernambuco. His father, Franz Beckenbauer, claims he experienced some problems at the registry office, with a jobsworth not sure about the given name 'Zlatan Ibrahimovic'.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: England 0-0 Italy (Italy win on penalties)

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1. Don't let players called Ashley take penalties. 2. Andrea Pirlo is pure class. Ran the show all night and then threw in a Panenka penalty for good measure. He was heads and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. 3. It turns out penalty shootout defeats are a bit easier to take when there's [...

OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck predicts… England v Italy

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Paul Ince with a bandage on his head. A young Paul Scholes scoring in the 1997 Tournoi de France. Whatever happened in the 1990 World Cup third-place playoff. Ian Walker in goal in a major international. It could only be Italy against England. England's last win over Italy was in the France 98 test event, [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Southampton

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Craig Gordon Although he performed admirably last season, Kelvin Davis is now 35 years of age. Whether he is good enough for the busy work of the Premier League remains to be seen, but Southampton could do [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Stoke City

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Michael Owen Many supporters were questioning whether Tony Pulis had stagnated at Stoke City at points last season, but the fact that they are the favourites to sign Owen shows how far they have travelled in five [.

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli: “I didn’t put my arse in the nutella”

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Although the Manchester City forward has refused to give interviews in English during Euro 2012, that hasn't stopped him from providing the quote of the tournament so far. Speaking in front of the Italian press, the mesmerising maverick swerved from a rather touching sentiment, to a reference that left Italian boss Cesare Prandelli and journalists totally [.

Football fan dies after 11 all-nighters watching Euro 2012

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Every two years we all hold wild aspirations of taking in every tournament game physically possible. If you have achieved the feat yourself this summer, chances are you have balanced your Euro 2012 binges with a decent amount of shut-eye. It was reported this weekend that one football fan failed to make that crucial precaution, [.

Football fan dies after 11 all-nighters watching Euro 2012

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Every two years we all hold wild aspirations of taking in every tournament game physically possible. If you have achieved the feat yourself this summer, chances are you have balanced your Euro 2012 binges with a decent amount of shut-eye. It was reported this weekend that one football fan failed to make that crucial precaution, [.

England v Italy predictions: OTP talks to Arsenal great David Seaman

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Unless you're a particularly unscrupulous Italian player, predicting a result is haphazard at the best of times, but it certainly helps if you've had experience playing at the very top level. Step forward David 'Safe Hands' Seaman. The lovable lump, and 75-time capped England international, gave us his best guess at what will transpire when [.

40,000 seater stadium to be chiseled out of desert rock

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Just when you thought United Arab Emirates couldn't test the limits of architectural physics any further, they went and hatched this quite phenomenal plan: a 40,000 seater football stadium peeking out of a lifeless and barren land. 'The Rock Stadium' is set to be built in the Al Ain desert and will be constructed below [.

England v Italy predictions: OTP talks to Terry Venables

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Although the FA are famously allergic to him, Terry Venables remains closely nestled in many an England fans bosom. He was the man who squeezed the last drops of genius out of Paul Gascoigne and almost seduced football to come home at Euro 96. Since that unforgettable summer, the former Spurs manager has never been [.

England v Italy predictions: OTP talks to Graeme Le Saux

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Former England left-back Graeme Le Saux might be best remembered for giving Blackburn teammate David Batty a swift left hook to the chops and being invited to penetrate Robbie Fowler mid-match, but he's also renowned as being somewhat of an intellectual. Speaking exclusively to OTP, he came up with a few articulate thoughts on England's [.

GIF It: Franck Ribery’s ripped shirt and getting dressed FAIL (Spain 2-0 France)

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Proof if proof were needed that there's one or two big-headed players in France's squad. Franck Ribery couldn't even get his shirt over the top of his. The Bayern Munich man ripped his jersey in the first-half of tonight's Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat to Spain. When he attempted to swap to a spare shirt, the [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Spain 2-0 France

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1. It's safe to say this match was won in exactly as we all expected: a Xabi Alonso brace, comprising a header and a penalty. 2. France come under attack from Europe's powerhouse, do little except retreat and then give up with a whimper. Talk about stereotypes. 3. France tried to keep it tight at [..

OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck predicts… Spain v France

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www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFqNdORx7aM It's the standout tie of the Euro 2012 quarter-final line up, and Howard's back on the metaphorical prediction road to Kiev. After a hiccup earlier in the week when he backed the unfancied Czechs against Portugal, Howard stormed back to form last night, with Germany overcoming a slight wobble in the second half to [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Reading

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Pavel Pogrebnyak A deal that has almost been done, much to Fulham's annoyance. A genuinely impressive coup for Reading, who are on the verge of signing an international striker from under the noses of an established Preier [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: QPR

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. QPR have usurped me somewhat by jumping the gun ahead of Off The Post (how dare they). Rob Green, Ryan Nelsen and Andy Johnson all had to be removed from this list after Rangers completed their deals quicksmart.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and Antonio Di Natale trip Antonio Cassano

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It's all fun and games in the Italy camp and unsurprisingly Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is heavily involved. Balotelli and strike partner/rival Antonio Di Natale hatched a plan to trip team-mate Antonio Cassano. The pair each grabbed an ankle to send Cassano tumbling to the ground. Perhaps this is part of Mario's new [.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and Antonio Di Natale trip Antonio Cassano

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It's all fun and games in the Italy camp and unsurprisingly Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is heavily involved. Balotelli and strike partner/rival Antonio Di Natale hatched a plan to trip team-mate Antonio Cassano. The pair each grabbed an ankle to send Cassano tumbling to the ground. Perhaps this is part of Mario's new [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Germany 4-2 Greece

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1. Just call Joachim Loew 'Mr Muscle'. That's how easily he removed Greece from Euro 2012. 2. Greece gave it a good go in the second-half, but in the end the Germans were 4-2 strong for them. 3. The Greeks briefly wiped out their deficit, but Germany came back with considerable interest. 4. The founder [.

Ray Parlour, Martin Keown and Graeme Le Saux sign for non-league Wembley FC

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It's certainly not everyday that a 3000 capacity ground welcomes three FA Cup winners and six internationals to the wage bill, but that's what happened yesterday. Non-league Wembley FC – who play in the Combined Counties Football League – were the lucky recipients of a mid-1990s nostalgia trip yesterday with former Arsenal trio Ray Parlour, [.

OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck Predicts… Germany v Greece

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Insert your own Eurozone puns here! It's the second quarter-final of Euro 2012 tonight, and Howard The Psychic Duck is attempting to get back on track after a wildly incorrect prediction for an upset in the Czech Republic-Portugal game last night. OTP sources tell us that Howard fancied the Czechs to sneak it in extra [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Newcastle United

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Mathieu Debuchy Reportedly tracked by Newcastle before Euro 2012, the club's only hope is that the right back's impressive tournament hasn't augmented the fee too greatly. Debuchy is reportedly happy to link up with former club and [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Norwich City

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Kyle Naughton After a successful loan spell from Tottenham last season, Norwich would be keen to make the deal permanent, even with the potential £4.5million fee that Spurs may demand. However, with Paul Lambert departed, Villa may [.

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo displeases his media training tutor

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In any post-match interview with a goalscorer theses days, all you hear is stock answers prepared during media training sessions about how 'the team's performance is the most important thing' or 'obviously I would swap my goal for the team winning'. That is unless you listen to the Cristiano Ronaldo remix.

Top hair stylist warns Wayne Rooney not to use Andy Caro

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsYyeN9eoZI From a bloodied scalp stapled with new hair follicles to a large quiff fluttering in the wind, the English nation has gone on a real journey with Wayne Ronney's bonce over the past year. The Forward is now even dabbling with various eye-catching styles. A recent bonce-based highlight was Rooney's hairspray goal celebration against Ukraine, a [.

Video: Santos midfielder Adriano’s brutal attack on a ball boy

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Now, Brazilian ball boys can be troublesome characters at the best of time. But that doesn't excuse this sort of behaviour. Santos midfielder Adriano saw the ball going out of play as his side chased a deficit against Corinthians. Fearing that the ball boy was about to demonstrate his disappearing ball magic trick, Adriano decided [.

School bans football after Euro 2012 causes playground punch-ups

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With Poland and Ukraine playing host to a rather good-natured championships, it has fallen to a school in Hull to represent the biggest example of  Euro 2012-based ill-discipline. In the past few weeks, the excitement and tensions of the tournament have resulted in several scraps at the Hall Road Primary School, and teachers have responded [.

Video: Roy Hodgson stars in an Italian TV comedy sketch

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And we use the term comedy very loosely. This footage comes from England boss Roy Hodgson's time at Inter Milan. The Guardian reports that Italian TV viewers were so entertained by Hodgson's accent that he was drafted in to be the straight man in a comedy duo. Hodgson's sidekick was a strange gentleman by the [.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown compares Cristiano Ronaldo to “an NFL basketball player”

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BBC co-commentator Martin Keown found himself trending on Twitter last night and not for a good reason. The ex-Arsenal centre-back became a figure of fun after getting his American sports muddled during his commentary on Czech Republic vs Portugal. Keown said Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was "like an NFL basketball player" with the height [.

Video: Luis Figo and Eusebio celebrate Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner (Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal)

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Portugal's assorted legends were not shy about showing their delight as Cristiano Ronaldo scored against the Czech Republic last night. Luis Figo was quick off the mark, jumping out of his seat to celebrate. Next-door-neighbour Eusebio either no longer has the reaction speed or prefers to make sure the goal has been given before celebrating.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal with the sort of powerful header that can only come from the ball bouncing off a suitably shiny surface. Perhaps he's borrowed Andy Carroll's product too. 2. This was one of those matches where the unimaginative, ultra-defensive side didn't get their way in the end.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Manchester United

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Shinji Kagawa A deal that is almost done already. Terms are agreed with Borussia Dortmund, and all that remains is personal terms and a medical that will reportedly completed by the middle of next week.

Video: Manchester City star Mario Balotelli and his corner flag phallus

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The images have been doing the rounds today and now here's the video. Italy striker Mario Balotelli opted not to use a bit of downtime during a stretching session to fashion a penis for himself out of a nearby corner flag. And the Manchester City man was so worn out after all his larking [...]


OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck predicts… Czech Republic v Portugal

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Off The Post's very own aquatic answer to Nostradamus is back once again, making huge waves in the sports betting industry as he takes to football predictions like, well, a duck to water. After initially only risking his reputation on the results of England's Group D games, Howard now has a hefty psychic juggernaut behind [.

OTP Euro 2012 Podcast – June 21st: Rockin’ Blokhin

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June 21st Rockin' Blokhin by Off The Post on Mixcloud The OTP Podcast set about having a ‘man conversation' about England's progress in to the quarter-finals and quickly found themselves distracted by the apoplectic actions of Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin. We celebrate his gesture gymnastics on the sidelines and commend his fight proposal off [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Manchester City

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Robin Van Persie The boring transfer saga of this summer? Let's hope not, but there is every chance that Arsenal fans will be again left thinking what if, and Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski may just be [.

Video: When fan parks get smoke-bombed (England 1-0 Ukraine)

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Until now, if you wanted to have your view of a Euro 2012 match obscured by smoke your best bet was to attend a Croatia game. But with Slaven Bilic's side and their flare-wielding army sent packing from the tournament, the organisers have stepped up to the mark by allowing flares and smoke bombs in [.

Classic Portugal v Czech Republic moment: Ex-Manchester United star Karel Poborsky’s lob at Euro 96

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The Euro 2012 quarter-finals get underway this evening with Portugal taking on the Czech Republic. And when you think of those two nations and European Championships, you're only going to reach once conclusion: Karel Poborsky's sumptuous lob at the same stage of Euro 96. A goal so good that it earned the midfielder a move [.

Rangers to ‘buy Bury’ and play in League One

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Stricken Scottish giants Rangers are considering buying League One side Bury and taking up their fixtures next season, according to reports in The Sun. With the club in liquidation, new owner Charles Green is reportedly weighing up a move to English football. Rangers were left off the SPL fixture list and replaced by 'Club 12′.

Rangers to ‘buy Bury’ and play in League One

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Stricken Scottish giants Rangers are considering buying League One side Bury and taking up their fixtures next season, according to reports in The Sun. With the club in liquidation, new owner Charles Green is reportedly weighing up a move to English football. Rangers were left off the SPL fixture list and replaced by 'Club 12′.

Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa and Manchester City’s Samir Nasri in France bust-up

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Hatem Ben Arfa and Samir Nasri were among the players involved in an alleged bust-up in France's dressing room following their defeat to Sweden. Newcastle star Ben Arfa reportedly told France boss Laurent Blanc to send him home after substituting him in the Sweden game. He angered Blanc when the team returned to the dressing [.

Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa and Manchester City’s Samir Nasri in France bust-up

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Hatem Ben Arfa and Samir Nasri were among the players involved in an alleged bust-up in France's dressing room following their defeat to Sweden. Newcastle star Ben Arfa reportedly told France boss Laurent Blanc to send him home after substituting him in the Sweden game. He angered Blanc when the team returned to the dressing [.

Video: Brazilian linesman goes crazy with a spray paint

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In Brazil, linesmen now come equipped with a can of spray paint so they can mark the correct distances from free-kicks and ensure that nobody is creeping forward. This excitable chap thought he'd done his job. But with players standing around the ball at various angles, the ref was unhappy that some players were closer [.

Spain’s players prepare for France by hugging and holding hands

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When you're as good as Spain, you don't worry about the usual European Championship quarter-final stuff like taking penalties or making sure you can keep hold of the ball. That stuff's already taken for granted. No, the Spanish squad just relax by playing a game of tag, hugging each other and then prancing round holding [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Liverpool

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Gylfi Sigurdsson As soon as Brendan Rodgers had relocated from South Wales to Merseyside it became clear that Sigurdsson's proposed transfer to Swansea looked risky. The Icelandic international is a dreamy footballer that is incredibly easy on [.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli takes 21km walk to monastery at 3am

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It's getting to the stage of Euro 2012 where people are starting to tire and conserving energy becomes vital. But not for Italy boss Cesare Prandelli. He celebrated his side's qualification to the knockout stages by taking a 3am hike to a monastery. Prandelli was eager to visit the Camaldolese monks, originally from Italy but [.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger so confident of keeping Robin Van Persie that he bets a chocolate bar on it

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Arsene Wenger is adamant that Robin Van Persie will stay at Arsenal and he's willing to stake a chocolate bar on it. The Gunners boss dismissed reports linking RVP with a move to Juventus during an interview with an Italian newspaper. In fact, he told the journalist that he would purchase a Caramello bar [.

Win €2012 from Kitbag.com

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Kitbag.com are currently offering you the chance to win €2012. To be in with a chance to win all you have to do is answer this very simple question: Which English team did Cristiano Ronaldo play for? A) Port Vale, B) Manchester United, C) Manchester City. It's really that simple. No purchase necessary.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Fulham

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Pavel Pogrebnyak Fulham's on-loan Russian striker impressed more than anyone could imagine in the latter of the previous campaign, and Fulham would be foolish to not try and make the move permanent.

Greece set to knock Germany out of Euro 2012

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At least if Monty Python's imagining of events is anything to by!


Video: All 60 goals of the Euro 2012 group stages

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Be it popping out to the loo at the wrong time or getting stuck at the workplace, chances are you haven't quite managed to visually gulp down every single goal that graced the Euro 2012 group stages. Well fear not, for someone has embarked on a bigger editing process than cleaning up a Joe Kinnear [.

Chelsea staff suspended for snapping off Champions League trophy handle

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Traditionally, football trophies are dropped and damaged by talented football professionals, who can expect nothing more than a clip around the ear and a viral video for their cumbersome calamity. Unfortunately, that judicial system clearly doesn't extend to more modest club employees after the Daily Mail reported that three members of Chelsea's staff have been [.

England fans in bizarre Sol Campbell coffin procession

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A group of England supporters paraded through the streets of Donetsk with a coffin to mock former international Sol Campbell's comments about the dangers of travelling to Ukraine. Campbell has spoken out, warning black and Asian fans not to make the trip. He had told the BBC: "Stay at home, watch it on TV.

Wayne Rooney gets fired up for England victory with Bon Jovi, Cat Stevens and Eric Clapton

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England match-winner Wayne Rooney has revealed his pre-match Spotify playlist and it's not exactly what you might expect from a Premier League footballer getting pumped up for a match. The 26-year-old circulated his mellow match music via Twitter before last night's 1-0 over Ukraine. The appearance of the likes of Cat Stevens, Damien Rice [.

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish now dressing as St George and supporting England

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Ex-Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has clearly had a massive change of direction since leaving his post. OTP was surprised to see King Kenny dressed as St George and cheering England on during one of their Euro 2012 group stage matches. The image comes from an ITV pre-match montage ahead of last night's victory over Ukraine.

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin offers to fight a journalist

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Oleg Blohkin offered a Ukrainian journalist the chance to 'step outside' after a row at his post-match press conference. The Ukraine coach was not pleased with the reporter's line of questioning after his side's 1-0 defeat to England and Euro 2012 exit. He said: "Respect my job. Let's go this one on one.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: England 1-0 Ukraine

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1. It's just like we were saying in summer 2010: goal-line technology would needlessly slow the game. There's no need for it. Ahem. 2. Wayne Rooney is back. Not with a bang, but with a winning goal. And that's all we can ask for really. 3. For once John Terry's team-mates were pleased to see [...]


Wayne Rooney’s hairspray celebration a nod to Andy Carroll’s ‘product’ (England 1-0 Ukraine)

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Wayne Rooney has revealed his goal celebration after scoring England's winner against Ukraine was a thank you to Andy Carroll and his generous approach to haircare. Rooney, who famously had a hair transplant but still has some work to do before he catches Carroll, was scrounging from the Liverpool striker before kick-off.

GIF It: Scott Parker invents the snail tackle (England 1-0 Ukraine)

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England midfielder Scott Parker managed to invent the snail tackle during tonight's win over Ukraine. The Spurs man was practically crawling around the penalty area on his belly attempting to get a tackle in for his head. GIF via 101GG


Top 10 summer transfer targets: Chelsea

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Hulk If Chelsea are in the market for a brute of a striker with the departure of Didier Drogba, then Hulk is the perfect replacement. Big and strong don't really cover it, and with the player wanting [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Everton

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Top 10 summer transfer targets: Everton OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Steven Pienaar I think even Pienaar himself would concede that his move to White Hart Lane did not unfold exactly as he planned, and his four goals in fourteen games after [.

Top five all-time European Championship flops

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Here's the Kitbag.com Euro 2012 lads larking about in a pub during last night's tense Group B showdown. Whilst we won't be seeing the Netherlands lifting anything other than a pina colada by the pool for the rest of the summer, Portugal progressed to the quarter's to face Group A winner Czech Republic.

Video: How Giovanni Trapattoni may have debriefed his Republic of Ireland team last night

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Unfortunately, OTP doesn't have inside access to the Irish changing room, but the above video gives us an enjoyable approximation of the ferocious dressing down the Republic of Ireland team no doubt received from their fiery Italian manager last night. Speaking after his team's third loss at Euro 2012, Giovanni Trapattoni told the press that [.

Where’s Mesut Ozil?

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If you follow us on Twitter, you might have seen this last night. But it's too good not to share with the rest of the class. This is the Where's Mesut Ozil? game. It's a bit like Where's Wally? except your mission is to track down Germany's playmaker. Let us know how you get on.


Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland

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1. No matter how loud or how often you shout "Get Ray Houghton on!" at the TV, it won't actually happen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXauYVy_dws 2. The pupil beat his master. Csare Prandelli played under Giovanni Trapattoni at Juventus in the 1980s, and despite playing in fits and starts, his side did just enough to send Ireland home [.

Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric auditions for Barcelona transfer

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Spurs star Luka Modric was linked with a move to Barcelona in yesterday's papers. While it's difficult to imagine a club less in need of a playmaker, he certainly pulled out all the stops against many of his would-be team-mates last night. Everton manager David Moyes, working as a pundit for the BBC, noted that [.

Video: Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli gagged during goal celebration (Italy 2-0 Republic of Ireland)

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Italy star Mario Balotelli had to be shut up by team-mate Leonardo Bonucci after finding the net against the Republic of Ireland. The Manchester City man had just launched into a rant in the general direction of the dugout when he was told in no uncertain terms to shut his Trapattoni. The angry reaction to [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Croatia 0-1 Spain

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1. Spain delivered the ultimate 'up yours' to us all. After 87 minutes of sniping about their lack of penetration and subsequent lack of a striker, they literally walked it into the net. 2. The reigning champions did look precarious at one point. Fortunately, they had Jesus (Navas) to be their saviour.

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner given one-match international ban for sponsored pants

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Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner has picked up a one-match ban and been fined 100,000€ (£80,000) for revealing sponsored pants during his goal celebration against Portugal. The Arsenal man lifted his shirt and lowered his shorts to reveal a pair of green underpants bearing the logo of bookmakers Paddy Power.

OTP’s Howard The Psychic Duck predicts… Ukraine v England

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He's back! After successfully foreseeing England's squeaky-bum victory over Sweden on Friday night, amphibious soothsayer Howard makes his triumphant return for Roy's Boys'final group game against the co-hosts. While his predicting powers are not in question indeed, several major sports bookmakers are said to have put a price on his head not so [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Aston Villa

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Grant Holt One of those transfers that just makes perfect sense. Holt wants away from Norwich, and his former manager is at Villa Park. Villa in turn have got rid of Emile Heskey, and will want a [.

Top 10 summer transfer targets: Arsenal

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OTP's guide to some of the impending, probable and possible transfer moves at every Premier League club. 1. Robin Van Persie A little bit of a cheat, perhaps, but if Arsenal were to make just one signing this summer, it would be getting RVP's signature on a piece of paper. Manchester City will be sniffing [.

Hard Tackle: Rafael Van Der Vaart tries to pull down Wesley Sneijder’s shorts

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Very little has gone right for the Netherlands at Euro 2012. Even when Rafael Van Der Vaart tried to pull down team-mate Wesley Sneijder's shorts it didn't quite go to plan. Perhaps Sneijder had sponsored pants on and was hoping somebody would pull his shorts down. Video via 101GG


Happy Ray Houghton Day!

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Good morning, OTP fans, and Happy Ray Houghton Day one and all. It is, of course, 18 years to the day that the 5ft 7in magician scooped the ball up and over Gianluca Pagliuca to give the Republic of Ireland a shock 1-0 win over Italy at the 1994 World Cup. The anniversary is being [...]


Video: Referee hits Joao Pereira (Portugal 2-1 Netherlands)

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One of the more unusual moments of this evening's match between Portugal and the Netherlands was this incident in which the ref appeared to hit Joao Pereira. The Portugal right-back was not pleased to be getting a yellow card and was clearly giving the official a bit of verbal. The ref decided he wasn't going [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Denmark 1-2 Germany

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1. A below-par Germany performance, but they still ease to victory: this wasn't a football match it was a 90-minute stereotype. 2. Nicklas Bendtner has obviously decided he'll get into less trouble with assists than goals. He set-up Denmark's equaliser for Michael Krohn-Dehli and kept his pants to himself.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Portugal 2-1 Netherlands

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www.dailygoalz.com P 2-1 H by DailyGoalz 1. Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived at Euro 2012. To be fair, he missed as many chances tonight as he has in the first two games, but at least he found the net twice tonight as well. 2. CR7 can't wait to get back to his hotel now to [...]


Top five ‘Did he mean it?’ goals

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While OTP is quite convinced Danny Welbeck fully intended his back-heeled winner against Sweden, the exquisitely taken goal remains a touch marred by the accusation by some observers that it was a very fortunate outcome of a miss control. The 'Did he mean it?' debate is a rather juicy one in football and always seems to [.

Liquid mind games: Zlatan Ibrahimovich has a gulp of England keeper Joe Hart’s water bottle

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We all witnessed Zlatan Ibrahimovich get all up in Joe Hart's grill immediately after Sweden scored their second goal against England on Friday night. What you didn't see was the delightfully childish follow up by the mercurial AC Milan giant. Not content with bludgeoning Hart's face with trash talk ten minutes previous, the above picture shows that Ibra waltzed [.

England team’s tactics passed to Sweden before game by spying journalist

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Forget shambolic defending or the absence of Wayne Rooney, it emerged today that Swedish espionage and a humble curtain very nearly put pay to England's Euro 2012 hopes last Friday evening. Ola Billger, of Svenksa Dagbladet ­newspaper, was in his hotel room in Krakow on the eve of the England-Sweden game when he realised his [.

An alternative Euro 2012: Denmark v Germany porn star match

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What better way for Euro 2012 to show its inclusion and appreciation of the women's game than to have a ladies game involving Denmark and Germany, taking place 24 hours before the men's teams face each other to determine qualification for the quarter-finals of the tournament? Unfortunately, the two teams didn't exactly do their bit [.

Has Diego Maradona been sacked again?

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Reports are emerging this morning that Al Wasl have sacked manager Diego Maradona. Sky News Arabia and Sharjah Sports TV both tweeted that directors at the club had moved to sack the former Agentinian manager, although the club denied the rumours on their official twitter feed. It is thought that this is, however, simply a [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Greece 1-0 Russia

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1. Giorgos Karagounis had every right to be furious to be booked for that 'dive'. He'll now miss the quarter final, and the chance to break Theodoros Zagorakis' Greek caps record. 2. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Greece looked dead and buried in both of their first two group games, and yet they've still [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Czech Republic 1-0 Poland

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1. We've got some early exit Poles in the Greek election. 2. Czech Republic were nailed on for the Group A wooden spoon after being humiliated by Russia. Now they've knocked the hosts out and topped the group. It's a funny old game. 3. Petr Jiracek sent all his friends in his native Middle Earth [...

GIF It: Touchline sex education with Fernando Santos (Greece vs Russia)

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Former Greece coach Otto Rehhagel used to be concerned about having gay players in his squad. Current coach Fernando Santos is just concerned that his boys don't know what they're doing. Via CJZero


OTP Euro 2012 Podcast – June 16th: Swede ‘n’ Sour

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June 16th Swede 'n' Sour by Off The Post on Mixcloud England involved in an exciting game at a major tournament. Helder Postiga and Nicklas Bentdner appearing on the same pitch and both scoring. Olof Mellberg challenging for the Golden Boot. It's all going off in Poland and Ukraine. So, as things step up [.

Kitman: Italian side Parma feature all season ticket holders on new kit

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Serie A side Parma have come up with a canny plan to endear themselves to their supporters and boost their kit sales. The club has included the names of all season ticket holders on its new kit. The names appear in grey on the white areas of the new shirt. How many fans who wouldn't [...]


Video: Mad Central African Republic keeper Geoffrey Lembet punches his goalpost

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Central African Republic recorded a shock 3-2 win over Egypt last night. But the highlight of the match was this bizarre incident involving goalkeeper Geoffrey Lembet. Some sort of dispute appears to break about regarding Lembet receiving medical treatment. It appears the ref tries to send him of the pitch for treatment.

GIF It: Liverpool striker Andy Carroll blasts the ball at the ref’s balls (Sweden 2-3 England)

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England striker Andy Carroll enjoyed an eventful night against Sweden yesterday. Not only did he score a fantastic opening goal, he also managed to ensure the referee is walking like John Wayne today. The Liverpool man fired the ball full pelt at the ref's testicles. The Slovakian official accepted that there was no malice and [.

BBC backs Mark Lawrenson over ‘Eric the Eel’ racism row

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The BBC has given its support to co-commentator Mark Lawrenson over what sounded to OTP's ears to be a casual racist comment he made during the match between Germany and Portugal. Spotting a spectator wearing an all-over black lycra outfit, Lawro compared him to celebrated Olympic swimming flop Eric the Eel.

Ukranian TV reporter attempts the impossible football report

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In fairness, what was she or the news station thinking? There are a few famous rules in television: don't work with children, animals, or drunk football fans. One Ukrainian female TV reporter found this out the hard way as she tried to deliver a piece during a stream of Holland fans walking to the stadium [.

OFFICIAL – Ukraine fan is world’s worst dancer

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Now don't get me wrong, I'm no Justin Timberlake on the dancefloor, rather more a sort of sway from side to side before trying to get into a late-night clinch with some poor unfortunate. But I have nothing on the Ukranian fan pictured on ITV last night after rain had forced the temporary suspension of [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Sweden 2-3 England

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1. Down with ambition. Boring pragmatism is much less stressful. 2. Andy Carroll defeated Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the battle of the ponytailed strikers. The Liverpool man justified his selection with a great goal. 3. Theo Walcott taking an England game by the scruff of its neck: who'd have thought it? The pacy winger was direct, [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions Ukraine 0-2 France

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1. It's always good to see a few brilliant flashes early in a match, but not at the expense of the game. There were some crazy scenes as the players ran for cover from the lightning bolts overhead. 2. Rain stopped play and in the end it could have been a cricket score. France [...]


Video: Anatoliy Tymoshchuk gives Bayern Munich team-mate Franck Ribery a rude gesture (Ukraine v France)

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What with a thunderstorm forcing play to be suspended, there hasn't been a great deal of action in the Ukraine v France match. In fact, the highlight probably came in the tunnel. Ukraine's Anatoliy Tymoshchuk went for a chat with Bayern Munich team-mate Franck Ribery. They shared a joke, but the Frenchman didn't look impressed [.

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler kidnapped and interrogated

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Ukrainian Prime Minister in trouble for post-match pint with Sweden fan in his office

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov is facing the wrath of opposition politicians after drinking beer with a Sweden fan after Ukraine's victory on Monday. The PM had bet Sweden fan Ola Sjostedt that Ukraine would win the match. And his winnings amounted to a beer. Azarov invited Sjostedt to the government offices in Kiev to [.

Swansea City appoint Michael Laudrup as new manager

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Denmark legend Michael Laudrup has been confirmed as the new manager of Swansea City.


Top 10 candidates to be the next Tottenham manager

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1. David Moyes The Evertonian Scotsman was seen as the obvious successor after a few moneyless seasons at Goodison. Started as odds-on favourite, but his price has drifted. While he might want a step-up, is he too much of a risk for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy? Bear in mind this man spent £8million on James [.

The world’s worst Mario Balotelli fans?

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Whilst the Italian team will appreciate fans travelling hundreds of miles to watch their team play at Euro 2012, I'm not sure that Mario Balotelli will appreciate the efforts of these supporters. Putting on one of his famous t-shirts, fine. Copying one of his zany hairstyles, fine. But blacking yourself with shoe polish in a [.

Top five memorable England vs Sweden moments

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Ahead of tonight's big match, here are a few England vs Sweden moments from yesteryear that you'll probably recall. 1. Brolin-Dahlin-Brolin (1992) This well worked one-two has come to be one of the snapshots that represents England failures over the years. Swedish pie fan Tomas Brolin put paid to England's Euro 92 hopes with this [.

Everton and Wolves target Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson ‘mentally broken’ by Lillestrom

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Iceland international Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson claims he has been left "mentally broken" after his current club Lillestrom refused to let him move to England. The Norwegian side are keen to keep hold of the 21-year-old amid interest from several clubs, including Everton and Wolves. The Molineux outfit, now managed by ex-Lillestrom player Stale Solbakken, made [.

Sky advert correctly envisages Shay Given’s night against Spain

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This advert for Sky accurately portrays the rate at which Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given was forced to dive around last night, albeit the save ratio is probably slightly higher in the ad than it was during this match. Also, featured is England goalkeeper Joe Hart who's pounding the treadmill and teaching the [.

GIF It: Keith Andrews fouled by ref Pedro Proenca (Spain 4-0 Republic of Ireland)

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Very little went the Republic of Ireland's way last night. Even on the odd occasion that they did look capable of launching a counter-attack, the referee soon steeped in to break things up. On this occasion Pedro Proenca blatantly shoved midfielder Keith Andrews to the ground to stop him receiving the ball.

Mercenary Belgium fans sell their Euro 2012 support to Holland on eBay

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Remember we told you about the Belgium supporters who had put their Euro 2012 allegiances up for grabs on eBay? Well, the auction has ended. The lot was won by an anonymous Dutch bidder who paid £2,400 to have the 20,000 Belgians support the Netherlands during the tournament. Unfortunately, it might be too little, too [.

Gerard Pique loses goatee, acquires backheel ball-juggling skills (Spain 4-0 Republic of Ireland)

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Spain defender Gerard Pique treated himself to a mini paella after finding a small collection of rice secreted within his goatee. The Barcelona man has ditched his trademark facial hair for Euro 2012. The results appear to be impressive so far, with Pique unleashing some backheel ball-juggling before last night's victory over the Republic of [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Spain 4-0 Republic of Ireland

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Spain 2-0 Rep. of Ireland (Euro 2012 Group C) by fasthighlights-2012 1. It seemed like a pummeling at first, but it wasn't. But then it was. 2. The ball boys caught more shots than Iker Casillas. Each. 3. Somebody should sign up this Torres boy. He looks like a bit of a player. 4. [...]


Video: Gary Lineker says ‘That’s sick’ on BBC’s Euro 2012 coverage

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BBC presenter Gary Lineker found himself trending on Twitter after getting down with the kids during this afternoon's Euro 2012 coverage. The former England international responded to a video montage by noting: "That's sick."


Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Italy 1-1 Croatia

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1. Not many people would have predicted two 1-1 draws to start Italy's campaign but most of their players probably backed it. 2. This was the stereotypical game of two halves. Italy were a constant threat in the first-half and pretty blunt after the interval. 3. Mario Mandzukic's departure on a stretcher will be [.

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Manchester City’s Joe Hart play head-tennis in swimming pool, Roy Keane not amused

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After letting us in on a table-tennis clash between England squad members earlier in the week, the FA has now given us another revealing snapshot of the Three Lions' ‘behind-closed-doors' activity. In the build-up to the Sweden game they released footage of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Hart recovering from the France match with a spot [.

OTP’s Howard the Psychic Duck predicts… England v Sweden

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With Paul the Octopus sadly passing away just months after successfully predicting the results of World Cup 2010, a whole new breed of charlatans have attempted to take his visionary mantle for Euro 2012. Nicholas the Llama incorrectly went for an England win against France and Citta the Elephant exposed herself as a fraud after [.

Harry Redknapp leaves Tottenham, his awful 2012 continues

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Harry Redknapp has gone from supposedly having his pick from two of English football's biggest jobs to being unemployed. And all in the space of a few weeks. 'Arry has left Tottenham after failing to agree a new deal with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. Although Redknapp had a year left on his current deal, the [.

Harry Redknapp leaves Tottenham, his awful 2012 continues

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Harry Redknapp has gone from supposedly having his pick from two of English football's biggest jobs to being unemployed. And all in the space of a few weeks. 'Arry has left Tottenham after failing to agree a new deal with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. Although Redknapp had a year left on his current deal, the [.

First sighting of ex-Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp on the streets of Dorset

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Newly unemployed Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has reportedly already found a new job. His horrendous commute to London is now a thing of the past as 'Arry has secured work much close to his home in Dorset. OTP can only assume that somebody else wrote his sign for him. Image: Rudy Neeser


First sighting of ex-Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp on the streets of Dorset

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Newly unemployed Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has reportedly already found a new job. His horrendous commute to London is now a thing of the past as 'Arry has secured work much close to his home in Dorset. OTP can only assume that somebody else wrote his sign for him. Image: Rudy Neeser


GIF It: Stroppy Arjen Robben ditches his shirt after being subbed (Netherlands 1-2 Germany)

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Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben wasn't exactly a current fan favourite with the Netherlands supporters after a selfish and ineffectual display against Denmark. And he didn't endear himself to them during last night's defeat to Germany. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid man turned his substituion into a theatrical display, removing his shirt and pretty [.

Denmark and Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner in trouble over Paddy Power sponsored pants

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Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner is likely to find himself in hot water after revealed a pair of Paddy Power-branded pants as part of a goal celebration. The 24-year-old lifted his jersey to reveal the top of the green underwear as he wheeled away to celebrate his second goal in the 80th minute of last night's [.

Video: Germany coach Joachim Löw bullies a Euro 2012 ball boy

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Joachim Löw: on the surface he's a well-presented, successful football manager. On the inside, he has a mental age of three. After being caught picking his nose and eating it yet again during Germany's opening match against Portugal, last night he took the opportunity to steal another kid's toy.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Netherlands 1-2 Germany

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1. Mario Gomez is getting some good karma to follow the very bad karma he experienced in the Champions League Final. He's right in the thick of the Golden Boot running after his brace tonight. 2. One man who doesn't look like getting near the Golden Boot is Robin Van Persie. He eventually found his [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Denmark 2-3 Portugal

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1. Boring, boring Portugal finally found their goals. They still made hard work of it, but they created an exciting finale in the process. 2. Denmark v Portugal games take place in a strange parallel universe where Nicklas Bendtner is as good as he thinks he is. 3. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't recorded the sort of [.

Sweden keeper Johan Wiland enjoys a game of ‘red arse’ with his team-mates

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You might think that all the, erm, joys of amateur football have left the pros by the team they reach international level. Not so in the Sweden camp, where yesterday's training session was rounded off with a game of 'red arse'. Backup keeper Johan Wiland lost a game of keepy-uppies between the players who didn't [.

GIF It: Liverpool’s Glen Johnson goes for a jog, misses the team photo (England v France)

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Lining up to represent your country in the opening match of a major tournament is a great honour. But while Liverpool defender Glen Johnson lined up on the pitch to face France, he did not line-up for the team photo. After the national anthems, a pumped up Johnson went skipping across the pitch to warm [.

Mark Lawrenson’s casual racism during Germany v Portugal

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Along with all decent people, UEFA were worried about racism during Euro 2012, and these fears were exacerbated when Dutch players were subjected to monkey chants during a pre-tournament public training session. Thankfully, however, instances have been isolated at worst, and the group stage has thus far passed by without too many alarming scenes.

Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack slams England for ‘parking three buses’ against France

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Opinion has been very much divided on England's performance against Les Bleus on Monday. One person who falls very much on the acutely unimpressed side of the spectrum is former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack. Using a phrase made famous by his previous coach Jose Mourinho, Ballack accused Roy Hodsgon of "parking three coaches" to achieve their point [.

Norway fans revel in showing Sweden’s Mikael Lustig how to guard his post

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Ukraine fans weren't the only ones enjoying Andriy Shevchenko's winner against Sweden on Monday night it went down quite well with Norway supporters too. So much so that Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet has put together this little feature of various readers handily showing Sweden player Mikael Lustig the correct way to guard the near post [.

Norway fans revel in showing Sweden’s Mikael Lustig how to guard his post

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Ukraine fans weren't the only ones enjoying Andriy Shevchenko's winner against Sweden on Monday night it went down quite well with Norway supporters too. So much so that Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet has put together this little feature of various readers handily showing Sweden player Mikael Lustig the correct way to guard the near post [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Poland 1-1 Russia

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[www.online-soccer.ru] Russia 1-1 Poland by all-goals 1. The real winners this evening were the Warsaw police. This was probably the best result for them (albeit it's all relative). 2. If you had Alan Dzagoev for Golden Boot, you're laughing at the minute. 3. Blaszczykowski knows how to blast the ball.

River Plate’s Leo Ponzio ruptures a haemorrhoid during match

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We'd warn you about letting your food settle before watching the video above, but since you've set about reading a post entitled 'River Plate's Leo Ponzio ruptures a haemorrhoid during match', OTP can only assume that digestion is the least of your concerns. This is the sorry tale of River Plate midfielder Leo Ponzio, who [.

England and Arsenal star Theo Walcott: ‘Roy Hodgson doesn’t play us at table tennis’

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England's Euro 2012 training camp has succumbed to table tennis fever. But winger Theo Walcott has revealed that manager Roy Hodgson has not yet caught the bug. Asked on BBC Radio One whether Hodgson has been joining in, Walcott said: "No, no. He doesn't I'll leave it at that. No, he's brilliant. He's very [.

Polish and Russian fans fight before Euro 2012 match

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Although there were fears of extreme hooliganism before the tournament, the first week thankfully didn't see much football-related violence. However, Poland vs Russia was always likely to be the one match of the group stage that would invite some bother, and it seems that is exactly the case. 56 arrests were made and seven people [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Greece 1-2 Czech Republic

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1. Greece look set to be out of the Euros before they're out of the Euro (if you took advantage of that novelty bet). 2. After their lethargic start, Greece were left with a deficit that not even Germany could write a Czech for. 3. Football is all about relativity. The Czech Republic looked like [...

Who Are Ya? Nick Powell (Manchester United)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Nick Powell Age: 18 Position: Midfielder/second striker Signed from: Crewe Fee: Undisclosed (rumoured £4million). Did you know? Powell recently became the first player in Crewe's history to do a clean sweep of the club's end-of-season awards, including winning goal of the season, player of the [.

England band banned from Euro 2012

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Apart from Yohan Cabaye somehow avoiding a good 20 nailed-on yellow cards, the other remarkable feature from the England-France game yesterday was the somewhat subdued crowd atmosphere. There was certainly a jovial cacophony missing from our speakers that we couldn't quite place. Now we can. Today it was reported that the England Supporters Band were [.

Video: Brazilian brawl produces 12 red cards

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In most countries this incident would have resulted in a fairly predictable penalty, plus a red card for the goalkeeper. In Brazil, you get all that and more. For example, a massive brawl and 11 further red cards. Votuporanguense were awarded a spot-kick in their regional league match against Fernandopolis.

Kitman: New Manchester City home kit leaked by Australian retailer

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Manchester City's new kit has seen the light of day earlier than anticipated after its release date was unofficially brought forward by a shop in Australia. The Premier League champions' new home kit was placed on display by a sports retailer Rebel Sports in Brisbane without the club's permission. It was spotted by a City [.

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #34 Slaven Bilic

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Name: Slaven Bilic In his 90s prime for: West Ham, Everton Lowdown: After looking for a Euro 2012 theme to this week's entrant, we settled on Bilic after realising there were no foreign players at the tournament that played Premier League football in the last millennium. The Croatian defender began his career at Hadjuk Split [.

OTP Euro 2012 Podcast – June 12th: Job Done-tsk

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June 12th Job Done-tsk by Off The Post on Mixcloud England stuck well and truly to the routine script yesterday: a nerve-jangling performance with the odd positive for fans to massage into something resembling hope. Mere minutes after the final whistle in Donetsk, the OTP Podcast set about reviewing Roy Hodgson's first competitive directorial [.

OTP Euro 2012 Podcast – June 12th: Job Done-tsk

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June 12th Job Done-tsk by Off The Post on Mixcloud England stuck well and truly to the routine script yesterday: a nerve-jangling performance with the odd positive for fans to massage into something resembling hope. Mere minutes after the final whistle in Donetsk, the OTP Podcast set about reviewing Roy Hodgson's first competitive directorial [.

The basin cut Ukraine kid loves it when Andriy Shevchenko scores

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Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko was undoubtedly last night's hero as his two goals gave the co-hosts victory over Sweden. But among the former Chelsea's man's supporting cast was this curious young chap. After another long day being picked on at school for his close resemblance to a mushroom, this Ukraine fan was able to overlook [.

The basin cut Ukraine kid loves it when Andriy Shevchenko scores

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Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko was undoubtedly last night's hero as his two goals gave the co-hosts victory over Sweden. But among the former Chelsea's man's supporting cast was this curious young chap. After another long day being picked on at school for his close resemblance to a mushroom, this Ukraine fan was able to overlook [.

Video: Fat France fan falls asleep at the match

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Granted, last night's encounter between France and England probably wasn't a source of great entertainment for the neutral, but you would have expected the partisan members of the crowd to be able to keep their eyes open. No such luck for this mustachioed gentlemen, who drifted off to dream of a Karim Benzema winner.

Video: Fat France fan falls asleep at the match

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Granted, last night's encounter between France and England probably wasn't a source of great entertainment for the neutral, but you would have expected the partisan members of the crowd to be able to keep their eyes open. No such luck for this mustachioed gentlemen, who drifted off to dream of a Karim Benzema winner.

Rivalry between England’s Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain continues… over table tennis

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In the last year, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has superseded his senior teammate Theo Walcott in several quarters, including winning the affections of Arsenal fans and grabbing a starting place in England's Euro 2012 opener against France yesterday. And this table tennis bout shows the inevitably competitive relationship played out away from 60,000 seater stadiums and in the [.

Rivalry between England’s Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain continues… over table tennis

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In the last year, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has superseded his senior teammate Theo Walcott in several quarters, including winning the affections of Arsenal fans and grabbing a starting place in England's Euro 2012 opener against France yesterday. And this table tennis bout shows the inevitably competitive relationship played out away from 60,000 seater stadiums and in the [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Ukraine 2-1 Sweden

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1. That was quite possibly the moment of the tournament. His selection had been written off as a sentimental decision before kick-off, but Andriy Shevchenko proved he was there to do a job. Magical stuff. 2. Sheva showed that the rewards can be great if Ukraine your neck. Two headers from the veteran striker.

Top 10 tips for an England victory over France

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1. Steven Gerrard: do not play any backpasses. 2. If a France player vomits on the pitch, convince the referee that they really ought to leave the field for treatment. Especially if they're about to take a decisive penalty. 3. Tell Joleon Lescott not to just hoof the ball to the striker like he did [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: France 1-1 England

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1. England will take that. A draw against France is a good platform to build upon. 2. But having taken the lead, and given Roy Hodgson's short history of 1-0 wins, it was a shame that England couldn't keep France at bay until half-time and taken it from there. 3. Referee Nicola Rizzoli was an [...]


Former England international Michael Gray undergoes a live hair transplant

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Ex-England international and Sunderland stalwart Michael Gray is currently undergoing the UK's first ever live hair transplant. Dr Bessam Farjo is performing the procedure while Gray happily chats about his career, his hair and baldness in general. Incredible scenes. Watch 'the action' here.


VIdeo: Mario Mandzukic knocks over Giovanni Trapattoni (Republic of Ireland 1-3 Croatia)

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Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic made it his business to make the Republic of Ireland look like mugs last night. First there was his soft 13-yard header for the opening goal, then he forced goalkeeper Shay Given into scoring an own goal, and he also sent manager Giovanni Trapattoni tumbling to the ground.

Arsenal hero Robert Pires tells OTP that Wayne Rooney’s absence will give France the edge against England

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Former France international Robert Pires says Wayne Rooney's suspension will help his compatriots to victory against but he would have backed them to win regardless. Speaking exclusively to OTP, the once iconic goatee wearer said: "I am sorry but I will always have to say France, they will win, no Rooney, good news for [.

Video: Holland fan pranks Germany’s team bus with orange wheel-clamp

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Germany v Netherlands is one of international football's great rivalries, so fans of both teams will go to great lengths to give their team the edge over their neighbours. Take this enterprising Dutch fan, for example. He sneaked beneath some security gates in order to place an orange wheel-clamp on the German squad's bus!

Czech Republic players perform outstanding ballet sequence during loss to Russia

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After walloping the Czech Republic 4-1 on Friday night, it was clear to see that the mesmeric Russians had given the Czechs a footballing lesson. What we hadn't realised was that Dick Advocaat's men had also taught the opposition some sumptuous synchronised ballet moves. With Russia the spiritual home of a darn good pirouette, it's [.

Polish commentator reacts to Robert Lewandowski goal with lung-bursting screaming fit

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Over the past few years OTP's affections for crazed commentators has stuck primarily with Italian reporter Tiziano Crudeli, who reacts to goals as if he has scored it himself, won the lottery and stepped on shattered glass. Tiziano provides a visual treat, but for pure audio exultation we may have a new love interest.

New Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach Mark Bosnich blamed for Croatia defeat

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Reports from the Republic of Ireland camp suggest that a controversial new training regime introduced by Mark Bosnich could be responsible for their 3-1 defeat to Croatia.


Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions Republic of Ireland 1-3 Croatia

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1. The bubble might have burst slightly on the pitch, but you can always rely on the Republic of Ireland fans to make a right Rakitic. 2. Ireland made a nice collection of the stereotypical worst times to concede: first five minutes, just before half-time and just after half-time. 3. Not even the dream Long-Cox [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Spain 1-1 Italy

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1. Italy owe Spain one. It's not often they can counter the ultra-defensive sterotypes by saying: 'Well the other team didn't even have a striker on the pitch.' 2. Vicente Del Bosque brought Fernando Torres on for a cameo performance to demonstrate why he had preferred to start the match with six midfielders.

Republic of Ireland fans clash with riot police in Poznan

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There were a few arrests in Poznan ahead of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 opener against Croatia this evening. But judging by this photograph, most fans were in pretty good humour. This pair reenacted an iconic Father Ted moment after riot police had been deployed. Via @JamesPorteous


GIF It: Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli’s vicious assault on an ant (Italy v Spain)

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Italy star Mario Balotelli threatened to let his wild side boil over once again during the first-half of his side's Euro 2012 match against Spain. After having a free-kick given against him, he launched into this assault on the pitch. Better the pitch than an opponent, we suppose. He was booked shortly afterwards for a [.

GIF It: England manager Roy Hodgson does strange bunny hops on the training ground

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The pressure is beginning to tell on England boss Roy Hodgson. Much to the bemusement of his coaching staff and amusement of his players, Hodgson has taken to doing strange animal impersonations during training sessions.


Lionel Messi’s amazing hat trick against Brazil

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There might be an international tournament going on, but that hasn't stopped Lionel Messi from reminding the world that he is very much still the main attraction. Whilst his contemporary Cristiano Ronaldo was toiling against Germany to ultimately no avail, Messi's Argentina faced an understrength Brazil side in New York.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Netherlands 0-1 Denmark

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1. Euro 2012 has its first mini-shock. Denmark were supposed to be the poor relatives of the Group of Death. This has thrown a cat and a pigeon into the applecart. 2. Netherlands missed so many chances that they looked they would've struggled to score in one of Amsterdam's seedier districts. 3. The Danes were [.

Top 10 Euro 2012 conclusions: Germany 1-0 Portugal

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1. The Group of Death is clearly going to be slow and painful in nature. 2. After his terrible performance in the Champions League final and almost being non-existent for most of this match, Mario Gomez produced a decisive piece of quality. And we were just pleased to see a goal. 3. Damn you, Chelsea.

Video: Joachim Löw caught picking his nose and eating it. Again. (Germany 1-0 Portugal)

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Germany coach Joachim Löw always strikes you as a clever bloke. He's also pretty stylish. So why does he always get caught picking his nose and eating it? Despite having his primary school habit busted by television cameras on numerous occasions, Jogi still insists on tucking into his favourite green snack during matches.

Toxic Poland shirt should be ‘banned outright’

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You may have clocked that Poland striker Robert Lewandowski came awfully close to ripping his shirt off after scoring the first goal of the tournament on Friday. Normally we would put that down to pure exuberance, but it may well have been because the Poland shirt is riddled with toxic chemicals.

Video: Poland’s first Euro 2012 goal sends Warsaw Fan Zone in to ecstacy

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In the last few major tournaments the Fan Zone has become a key attraction for ticketless football fans, delivering enormous screens and a perimeter of unending beer vendors. Best of all it makes for a pretty sensational video when a goal is scored. On this occasion, a reported 100,000 Poland fans welcomed in their team's first goal of [.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp mocks Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger’s water bottle antics

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Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp took the opportunity to take a dig at Arsene Wenger. The jibe came during Redknapp's Euro 2012 punditry for the BBC. Debating a penalty decision in the Netherlands v Denmark game, Lee Dixon suggested that the Spurs boss would want a penalty given if a similar incident happened in a game [.

The Psychological Test One-Word Caption Competition #1

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After a suggestion from OTP reader Ron Kaslasi (we welcome your suggestions too) we're trialling this competition, based loosely on the Rorschach test. All you have to do is look at the image above and write the first word that comes into your head as a comment below. No thinking just type the first [.

John Terry’s defence lawyer raises concerns about his client’s new taste in decor

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England defender John Terry took a trip to the Schindler Factory yesterday along with other members of the squad. While it's good to see the Chelsea captain getting to grips with the local history around the squad's base in Krakow, it did throw up one or two unfortunate photo opportunities. Take, for instance, this image [.

Wesley Sneijder with incredible backheel golazo in training

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Wesley Sneijder celebrates his birthday on Saturday, and will mark the occasion by playing for his country in their opening Euro 2012 game against Denmark. One would imagine that he will be keen to celebrate the day with a goal, but one suspects that his amazing flick goal in training was not a preparation for [.

Republic of Ireland fans go viral with ‘Angela Merkel Thinks We’re At Work’ flag

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A group of Republic of Ireland supporters have taken the internet by storm with a cheeky flag aimed at German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Irish fan Gerry Nolan and a group of friends from Limerick are behind the topical banner. He told the BBC: "It was purely a joke, it wasn't political at all. "We were [.

Top 10 conclusions Russia 4-1 Czech Republic

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1. If Russia don't coast to top spot in Group A then they've done something very wrong. 2. Alan Dzagoev has put himself in prime position for an assault on the Golden Boot with his two goals. 3. Andrey Arshavin tearing it up in the Euros looking for a transfer. Hello, 2008! 4. We certainly [...]


GIF It: Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny celebrates as the penalty he conceded is saved (Poland 1-1 Greece)

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Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was a relieved man as he watched sub goalie Przemyslaw Tyton save the spot-kick he had conceded in the opening match of Euro 2012. The Arsenal man was sent-off after bringing down Greece's Dimitris Salpigidis in the box with the score at 1-1. Szczesny watched the resulting penalty on a TV [.

Euro 2012 opening ceremony: why did nobody tell virtuoso pianist Adam Gyorgy about Diana Ross?

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So, Euro 2012 is underway. OTP was expecting the first football action to involve Poland and Greece, but we hadn't counted on pianist Adam Gyorgy getting in on the act. After successfully doing what he does best with a tribute to Polish composer Chopin, Gyorgy foolishly decided to show off his football skills.

Video: Bizarre ref makes up his own rules in Singapore v Malaysia match

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Euro 2012 isn't the only international tournament taking place at the moment. In the Far East, Malaysia and Singapore met in the Causeway Challenge today. Both tournaments have been blighted with some strange refereeing. This video starts with Malaysia's goalkeeper having just saved a Singapore penalty.

Top 10 conclusions: Poland 1-1 Greece

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1. The opening match of Euro 2012 was a tale of dodgy goalkeeping, dodgy refereeing and bags of action. 2. Robert Lewandowski decided to show why Manchester United want him. Or why they don't want him but lots of people think they do. Either way, he scored the first goal of the tournament. 3. Wojciech [.

Ex-England manager Fabio Capello will attend Euro 2012 after all

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Don't worry, a contractual loophole won't see Fabio Capello back on the England bench this summer. The former international coach will be attending the European Championships in a UEFA capacity only. The Italian, who resigned as England boss in February, will be joined by former Liverpool manager Gerard Houlllier on a panel that will examine [.

Top five fairly underwhelming major tournament opening matches (on paper)

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Don't get us wrong, we'd be tuning in to watch this afternoon's Euro 2012 opener if it was San Marino v Andorra, but Poland v Greece isn't exactly a glamour fixure. In fact, it's arguably the least mouthwatering prospect of a tournament opener ever. Here are five first matches that didn't exactly set the pulse [.

Top 10 players you can’t believe are at Euro 2012

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Whether they be Premier League flops, raw untested youngsters or over-the-hill has-beens, there are a plenty of players at the European Championships that make you do a double take at the squad lists. Here are some of OTP's favourites: 1. Anders Svensson It's not just that Svensson is 35 years old, and seems to have [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Pre-tournament betting tips for Euro 2012

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An international tournament has finally arrived, allowing us the chance to smash some of our (hard-earned?) pennies. OTP will bring you a betting tips column at various stages throughout the three weeks, but today we start with our pre-tournament bets. Get them on quickly: Winner Is there any value in going for Spain or Germany?

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda reckons star striker Robert Lewandowski is heading to Manchester United

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International tournaments are a great opportunities for coaches who are usually restricted to monthly meet-ups with their players to get the scent of the transfer window in their noses once again. That scent has become too much for Poland coach Franciszek Smuda to resist and he's gone and stuck his oar into club transfer affairs.

Russia release rousing but thoroughly odd Euro 2012 song

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Official national team songs are dead in the water these days. They are in England anyway, certainly ever since the FA believed a Spice Girls song could ignite terrace passions for France 98. Thankfully, not everyone has given up hope. Take a listen to this beauty from Russia. It's fair to say you really get [.

Watch England’s open training session live. Right now!

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One in 10 men admit Euro 2012 glory would be better than their wedding day

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So far the build up to this international tournament has had everything – injuries, controversial squad selection, comatose friendlies and Alan Hansen talking absolute twaddle. Yet no sign of a pointless but undeniably intriguing football survey. Thankfully that glaring omission has been remedied. Courtesy of a survey from electrical chain Comet, we now know that [.

England’s Euro 2012 bus driver is a famous Polish composer

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Considering that England's success at Euro 2012 relies almost solely on the ability to ‘park the bus', it's only right that we tell you about the rather remarkable man behind the team bus wheel. Remember the name Zygmunt Kukla. When he's not driving the Three Lions back and forth to training and groin scan centres, Zygmunt [.

Netherlands players racially abused during open training session in Poland

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Black players in the Netherlands squad were racially abused during an open training session in Krakow, according to their captain Mark Van Bommel. The Dutch skipper was leading his side in a lap of the pitch in front of 20,000 fans when the abuse was heard by the players. After completing a second lap and [.

40 per cent of Euro 2012 players expected to be dosed up on painkillers

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OTP saw a stat that told us that there had been more player withdrawals from preliminary Euro 2012 squads than any other European Championships in history. The current figure – to which England made a handsome contribution sits at 57. That huge glut of injuries may well be explained by the incredible number of [.

100ft Roy Hodgson statue erected, visible from France

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A 100ft statue of England manager Roy Hodgson has been erected on the English coastline and it's visible to Euro 2012 opponents France. The giant Roy the Redeemer statue is bookmaker Paddy Power's homage to Rio De Janeiro's famous Christ the Redeemer. The huge work of art has been placed above the white cliffs [.

Euro 2012 – The Injured XI

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With numerous players pulling out of the upcoming tournament, OTP examines a Euro 2012 Injured XI. It's good enough to win the bloody thing! Goalkeeper – Thomas Sorensen Hurt his back in a friendly against Brazil, and has failed to recover in time. Replaced by Kasper Schmeichel, but Sorensen was the Danes no.

OTP Euro 2012 Podcast – June 7th: Krakow Calling

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June 7th Kraków Calling by Off The Post on Mixcloud The Pod is back for the Euros and, suitably, we've gone all continental: recording in a vegetarian café somewhere in Europe... possibly in Poland, very possibly in London. In our tournament preview show we size up all 16 runners and riders and ruthlessly expose [.

Republic of Ireland fans give England squad a warm welcome to Poland

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When international squads arrive for major tournaments, they're usually greeted by the world's media, fervent travelling supporters and/or inquisitive locals. Bizarrely, England were predominantly met by Republic of Ireland fans as they arrived at their Euro 2012 base in Krakow. The Irish supporters seemed to outnumber English fans in the Polish city, meaning that Roy [.

England striker Jermain Defoe flies home from Euro 2012 after father’s death

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Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe is returning to London from England's Euro 2012 base in Krakow following the tragic death of his dad. Jimmy Defoe, aged 49, passed away last night. He is believed to have been ill for some time. A statement from the Football Association read: "England striker Jermain Defoe has returned home to [.

Michel Platini says players who react to racism will be booked

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Uefa president Michel Platini has said players will receive a yellow card if they walk off the pitch to protest against racism during Euro 2012. Responding to comments made by Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, who threatened to leave the field if he was abused, Platini said: "It's a yellow card.

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin suggests food poisoning ‘sabatoge’

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Ukraine manager Oleg Blokhin reckons an attempt to sabotage his players could be behind an outbreak of food poisoning among the squad. The illness affected 10 players ahead of Ukraine's 2-0 defeat to Turkey, which was held in Germany, and Blokhin suspects foul play. He said: "It happened in Germany, but it is impossible to [.

Villarreal coach Manuel Preciado dies after 24 hours in the job

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Newly appointed Villarreal boss Manuel Preciado has died of a heart attack just a day after taking up his post. The 54-year-old had agreed to take over the recently relegated Yellow Submarine for the 2012-13 season. Preciado had previously been in charge of Sporting Gijon. During his time their he claimed the scalp of Jose [.

GIF It: Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong’s cynical foul on Polish kid

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Netherlands midfielder Nigel De Jong committed this cynical foul on a Polish youngster who dared to outpace him during a kickabout. The child found himself yanked back by his training bib, but will probably consider himself lucky not to have been karate kicked in the chest. The incident was the highlight of the opening of [.

OTP Podcast receives late Euro 2012 call-up

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After callously shoving Gary Cahill in the back, the OTP Podcast has received an unexpected call-up for Euro 2012. The Pod's season seemed to have fizzled out after a dismal performance in the Champions League Final, but it is now back by the sort of almost imperceptible popular demand that has also secured John Terry's [.

The story of the last day of the season that Manchester City and United fans didn’t get to see

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This short film was sent to OTP by Ed Kear, who plays Reg, one of the lead roles. Untitled: The Last Day of the Premier League recounts the incredible climax to the season through the eyes of the poor blokes responsible for delivering the trophy to the winners.


BBC pundit Alan Hansen baffles everyone with impossible Euro 2012 prediction

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Keyboard warriors throughout England are demanding a refund on their BBC licence fee after Alan Hansen predicted an impossible semi-final scenario at Euro 2012. The ex-Liverpool defender reckons Spain, Germany, Holland and Portugal will be the last four standing in Poland and Ukraine. But with Germany, Holland and Portugal all competing for two quarter-final places [.

‘Do Are Ya? Djibril Cisse’s blue mohawk and half beard

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QPR striker Djibril Cisse is no stranger to an unusual hairdo, but his latest effort is special even by his own high standards. The blue mohawk is pretty 'out-there', but it's no surprise that the France international has reached for the hair-dye. What really intrigues us is his incredible half beard.

Paul Gascoigne confesses to pretty much all his pranks ever reported

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We should never forget that before Mario Balotelli there was the original prankster, Paul Gascoigne. A reminder of the England legend's jovial high-jinx is always welcome and that is exactly what we get in this light hearted video interview, courtesy of England shirt sponsors Umbro. Whilst it's still difficult to look at 'Gazza' without being somewhat concerned for his [.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s face gets constructed from hundreds of football stadiums

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Ever wondered what Cristiano Ronaldo's face would look like if it was constructed entirely from football stadiums spotted on Google Earth? Thanks to artist Elena Gonzalez, we now have that very image to admire. The rather clever composition is an impressive feat of imagination, although it can be quite tricky to identify the stadiums.

Spoof: The Three Lions threaten to resign from England badge

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England last night received yet another crushing blow to their hopes of winning the European Championships. At a hastily arranged Wembley press conference, the Three Lions issued a joint-statement revealing that their position on the England badge was becoming 'increasingly untenable'. The three mournful looking mammals – who are kept behind titanium reinforced cages in the [.

Meet Euro 2012 star Mario Barwuah Balotelli (the artist formerly known as Mario Balotelli)

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Mario Balotelli is out of Euro 2012. But Mario Barwuah Balotelli is very much part of the Italy squad. The Manchester City striker has registered both his family names for the tournament, meaning his shirt will read 'Barwuah Balotelli'. The 21-year-old was born Mario Barwuah, but swapped the surname of his Ghanaian parents for that [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Ukraine

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Home: It's definitely the most 'out there' of the Euro 2012 kits. It looks like somebody has gone mad with a Microsoft Paint brush tool to create the feature in the middle of the shirt. Away: Erm, exactly the same as above but in different colours.


Euro 2012 alternative team guide: England

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Perennial underachievers with rock-bottom expectations and a new manager. Coach: Roy Hodgson Parachuted in to replace Fabio Capello after completing his duties as West Brom boss, Roy Hodgson arrives with the lowest demands any England manager has every faced at an [.

Manchester United sign Shinji Kagawa

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This morning Manchester United announced that Alex Ferguson had made his first signing of the summer, with Japanese international Shinji Kagawa joining from Borussia Dortmund for a fee believed to be £12million rising to £17million based on appearances and success. The transfer is set to be completed pending the completion of contract negotiations and obtaining [.

Danish team get surprise send-off at the airport

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The England national team is used to pulling a stunt before a major tournament (trashing a plane on the way back from Hong Kong pre-Euro 96 springs to mind) but Danske Bank, the Danish finance company, bid farewell to their players in a much more classy manner. With the squad gathering at Copenhagen airport to [.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: France

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Bouncing back from rock-bottom with a talented new generation. Coach: Laurent Blanc The legendary former France skipper was brought in to play bad cop and rebuild after the farcical end to Raymond Domenech's reign. Qualifying wasn't convincing, but France ultimately topped [.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: France

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Bouncing back from rock-bottom with a talented new generation. Coach: Laurent Blanc The legendary former France skipper was brought in to play bad cop and rebuild after the farcical end to Raymond Domenech's reign. Qualifying wasn't convincing, but France ultimately topped [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Sweden

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Home: Very nice. Once you're stuck with the obligation to produce a yellow shirt, this is a pretty good direction in which to take it. It does that Umbro trick of being quite 1980s in some aspects, but very up-to-date in overall appearance. Away: It's like an Argentinian peace jersey: Boca Juniors colours and River [.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Ukraine

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Hosts hoping home advantage will help overcome patchy recent form. Coach: Oleg Blokhin The former Dynamo Kiev and Soviet Union striker is back for a second stint in charge of Ukraine. He enjoyed success between 2003 and 2007, albeit with a [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Spain

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Home: The Spain home kit is one of those that you can't meddle with too much, especially since it's been performing so well in recent years. Nice v-neck collar, but fairly unremarkable in most other departments. Away: Bit of a departure for the Spaniards. It's another Adidas kit that employs the opposition-dizzying optical features.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Sweden

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Unfancied best runners-up in decent form. Need 'good' Zlatan. Coach: Erik Hamren The 54-year-old is well known in Scandinavian football having managed in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Since taking over from Lars Lagerback in 2009, he's given a very good account [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Russia

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Home: Perhaps Spain rejected the idea of a victory sash after their recent tournament wins, so the idea was passed to Russia. It's OK, but it's not the best kit in this post. Away: This is the best kit in this post. The concept worksmuch better in this colour scheme. In fact, we like this [...]


Greatest European Championships Moments…. In Lego

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The arrival of an international tournament brings the.... alternative side of football love to the fore. Come one, come all, we've always said that. So step forward 18-year-old Graham Love, who has clearly played with Lego too much in his formulative years, and has create an amazing viral video which celebrates the greatest moments in [.

Montenegrin pitch invader scores free kick

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Carlsberg don't make pitch intruders, but if they did this would undoubtedly be the best pitch intruder in the world. With Buducnost Podgorica having their title win confirmed moving into stoppage time, despite trailing 1-0 at home, a fan ran onto the pitch dressed in replica kit and with a painted face ran onto the [.

Montenegrin pitch invader scores free kick

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Carlsberg don't make pitch intruders, but if they did this would undoubtedly be the best pitch intruder in the world. With Buducnost Podgorica having their title win confirmed moving into stoppage time, despite trailing 1-0 at home, a fan ran onto the pitch dressed in replica kit and with a painted face ran onto the [.

Belgium fans sell themselves on ebay. Key acquisition for England?

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 Amidst a rather tedious game, Belgium fans provided all the energy and excitement at Wembley yesterday in their 1-0 loss to England. The seven thousand strong away support from the land of the waffle were in great voice and initiated several Mexican waves. All in all – a fervent support that any national side [.

Top 10 conclusions: England 1-0 Belgium

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1. Grabbing slender victories, chucking men behind the ball, effective on the counter-attack. It's official. England are the new Chelsea... and the new George Graham-era Arsenal... and the new Greece Euro 2004 squad. 2. The same old flaws that we witnessed in South Africa remain present. Most notable, was the tendency to treat the ball [.

Video: OTP interviews Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola

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Two weeks ago OTP had a chat with Premier League icon Gianfanco Zola. Today we finally have the video of the encounter in our excitable mitts. The key cornerstone of the video interview revolved around the most important issue of all – did Zola take part in Bonnie Tyler's famous music video ‘Total eclipse of the heart.

‘Let’s not be having you’ – Norwich lose Paul Lambert and Grant Holt

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Not too dissimilar from Swansea, Norwich have gone from nailed-on mid-table battlers to relegation favourites in the space of week. Both teams have lost managers instrumental to their success and Norwich have suffered extra ignominy – losing their top scorer and cult-favourite talisman, Grant Holt.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Croatia

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Anything beyond the group stage would be a big upset. Coach: Slaven Bilic Everybody's favourite rock guitarist international manager is on stage for his encore. The much sought after Bilic is taking over as Lokomotiv Moscow gaffer after the tournament.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Republic of Ireland

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Home: This is a nice kit. OTP can see Aston Villa or Manchester City wearing this as a mid-1990s away kit. Also great camouflage if Trap's men want to hide on the pitch. The big 3 logo will presumably go for the tournament version, unless they can convince Michel Platini that they've picked 23 left [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Portugal

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Home: Simple, but effective. OTP can see Eusebio wearing this one. It's in the trademark red with green trim, of course. Away: Perhaps this takes inspiration from a Lisbon metro map. It's not won us over immediately, but it is something a bit different. Perhaps it'll grow on us.


Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Republic of Ireland

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Rank outsiders relishing being back on the major tournament scene. Coach: Giovanni Trapattoni Vastly experienced / old, Trap has guided RoI to their first international tournament in 10 years. His reward is a draw against his home nation, Italy, and the [.