What England?

The Euro 2008 coverage offers distractions from disappointment

Who needs England, or Scotland, Wales and Ireland? So nice not to have to worry about their boring injuries, will they won't they get through the first round, score a goal or even manage a corner kick. Farewell to all that agony. Just sit back and enjoy, admire and wonder.

My first wondering was about that BBC Euro 2008 studio. Are they under water or sitting by their hotel pool? You suddenly get this expanse of deep blue, for no apparent reason.

Then I've become obsessed by Uefa boss Michel Platini. He still can't get a shirt collar to fit him, nor can Slaven Bilic, the Croatian manager. Don't they have mums to sort them out before they play?

The young German coach, Joachim öw, isn't he lovely, so handsome, thick dark hair, only the slightest hint of a tum, should be in a boy band, not with all those ruffians. I wondered who he reminded me of at first, then I realised - me. I did look a bit like him at his age, well, in my mind's eye, looking back.

I still haven't had a proper look at the German physio, the long-haired one who dashes onto the pitch to soothe ravaged, savaged thighs. He looks like Tiny Tim, or Laurence Olivier in that funny Shakespearean wig.

Motty has been on top form, considering he's Motty. At least he keeps me awake, unlike Alan Shearer. His presence is a mystery, contributing absolutely nothing except the bleedin' obvious.

I do at least listen to Motty's pearls, if just to scream. In the first game, Switzerland-Czech Republic, he got excited when he saw the coaches standing "out in the technical area, belying their years". Bloody ageist cheek. They are aged only 64 and 68, the young shavers. Does Motty think you can no longer stand up over the age of 60? How old is Motty, anyway? I'd always assumed he was 95.

The TV direction is interesting - done presumably by Swiss and Austrian TV crews - and has already caught Motty out a few times. They showed one alleged penalty claim three times, without him realising. He has no idea, of course, who the local officials are, when they do close-ups, any more than I do, but what's noticeable is their avoidance of corny shots of pretty girls, which all Brit directors love.

They have a different mindset, concentrating on different angles, close-ups and expressions. They are not obsessed by celeb managers picking their noses or chewing gum, as we are in the Premiership.

Most unusual of all are the aerial shots, done from an overhead balloon, I presume. It totally confused me at first, suddenly looking down on what appeared to be an enormous flat field scattered with midget heads. I thought it must be the whole pitch, but it was only the penalty area, made to look enormous.

The games, yeah, I've been watching them as well. Portugal and Germany are doing well, as everyone predicted. My little heart swells to think their two best players - Ronaldo and Ballack - are really 'wor lads.

It flutters more when I hear the announcements in English, see signs saying "no to racism" in English, and spot stewards with the word "steward" on their backs. I think, yeah, we might not be playing, but by God, there is a real English presence after all.

Then I pause and say, you stupid twat. What are you on about? You know you are still furious that the England team is not there. They totally let us down, and themselves, what idiots, I hope they're ashamed. I have tried, but no, I can't forgive them. Bastards.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.