By Richard Turvey

The Blaggers Guide…

Perhaps I should start by explaining who I am…my name is Richard Turvey and I’m the sound engineer at Parr St Studios for The Anfield Wrap.

I’ve never been a particularly avid football fan. I blame most of this upon one fateful evening at Vale Park in the grim heart of Burslem, Stoke, 1995; Port Vale lost to Swansea 1-0. It was my first and, with one or two exceptions, last experience of football. So it seems slightly at odds that I’m covering England at Euro 2012 for The Anfield Wrap.

Having said that, there is something about our national squad that brings out the inner optimist and football fan in me. I’ll probably be watching most of the tournament with friends who are perhaps slightly more knowledgeable in the field. In the interest of not looking an idiot I thought I’d prepare some kind of ‘Blaggers Guide’ to England and Euro 2012 just so I have the basics covered.

The Tournament…

Let’s get the basics out of the way. The first potential stumbling block for anyone without a clue is the location of the tournament. For the record… it’s taking place in Poland and Ukraine.

The Team…

Now, onto the team… I’ll be honest I didn’t really recognise any of these new younger players. Though the likes of Rooney, Gerrard and Terry will surely be familiar to the uninitiated. From what I’ve read Danny Welbeck seems to be one to watch, so it’s worth noting that he’s had a fairly good season for Manchester United just for that extra piece of knowledge.

There seems to be some controversy surrounding the exclusion of Rio Ferdinand. Take note – there are issues between him and John Terry because of an incident involving Anton Ferdinand and Terry. Don’t give an opinion; it will be your first error. It’s all a bit suspect, but extra points can be gained for acknowledging that ‘it doesn’t really resonate in the same way as Gascoigne being left out of the World Cup in 98…’ Feel free to use this quote at your peril.

Perhaps most importantly, Rooney is suspended from the first two games.

The New Manager…

My blagging friends, England has a new manager. With the exit of Fabio Capello earlier this year the FA decided to appoint Roy Hodgson in the position. If you’re watching the tournament in Liverpool, take note…Hodgson seems to play some kind of ‘boring’ football, I can’t really give too many more details but this knowledge should see me and you through.

Forgetting for a moment the animosity between Hodgson and Liverpool, he actually seems to be doing all right thus far. Having watched parts of the first two games I can report that we actually won both (You’ll seem extra on the ball when you mention that the games were against Norway and Belgium and both were 1-0 victories). Hodgson also seems to be fantastic at managing the weight of national expectation. No one is expecting to win so it’ll be a nice surprise if we do and if we don’t then we can all blame his ‘boring’ football.

The Group…

Onto our competitors…England have been drawn in group D with Ukraine, Sweden and France. The first game is against France on Monday 11th. If you’re looking for that extra detail – the game is taking place in Donetsk. France and Sweden are our main competitors, the Ukraine are there simply because they are the hosts.

The World Cup Song…

Perhaps the least important aspect to many but certainly quite humorous. All potential blaggers can pick up extra knowledge points by knowing that the national song is Chris Kamara – Sing 4 England. He also used to manage Stoke City FC, so in terms of regional pride he seems ok to me. Everyone, including the FA, secretly knows that Three Lions is actually the official song.

Can we Win?

Yes…it’s entirely possible at this moment.

Will we win?

Who knows?

In conclusion I know nothing about football but I’m going to watch Euro 2012 and hope that England win it.

For people who know about football see…