Thursday 30 June 2016

SPORT: Euro 2016 - Quarter Finals (YB)

Down to the last 8 now in Euro 2016. Definitely some shockers in the last 8 and possibly more to come...

Tonight sees Poland vs Portugal. While Portugal are easy favourites, if you've been watching so far, you'll see they've been far from convincing. Poland on the other hand, have played well and tried hard and I definitely think they have a good chance at beating Portugal unless Portugal significantly up their game. I predict Poland 2-1 Portugal.


Tomorrow is Wales vs Belgium. Again, it's easy to see Belgium as favourites. Belgium got off to a rocky start, but have really started to bring their game together and their last match was really something to watch. However, equally, Wales have played their hearts out and are playing great too. I think Wales have a good chance of winning despite being the underdogs. I predict Wales 2-1 Belgium.


Saturday sees Germany take on Italy. This is a tough one to call. Both teams are playing really well and both teams play in a similar style to each other, so I think this is going to be a tough contest! I'm torn, Italy have been my underdog favourites, but I want Germany to win as I've got a bet on them to win the tournament 😜 I think it's highly likely it'll go to extra time or even penalties, but my 90 mins prediction is Germany 1-2 Italy.


Finally, Sunday sees France playing Iceland. Iceland being the serious outsiders for the tournament, yet way exceeding what was expected of them to end up in the quarter finals. Clearly, France are favourites. Their game has been a bit hit and miss except for their last game. Iceland have consistently played well against the odds. I certainly can't discount Iceland winning. I'm going to predict France 1-2 Iceland.


Saturday 25 June 2016

SPORT: Euro 2016 - My Predictions (YB)

Well, I've watched almost every match of the group stages (except where there were 2 matches on at the same time) and there's been some shockers.

I'm an England supporter, but I wonder if they'll make it much further. They haven't played that well and, in my opinion, aren't that deserving of their place in the current round of 16. I think England's problem is they go into matches with the attitude that they can't be beaten, when that, as we have seen, is so far from the truth.

Croatia have played really well, I fancied them as an outsider chance right from before the start of the tournament. They play Portugal next, and the way Portugal have played in the tournament so far, I don't think they stand much chance of progressing against a very well playing Croatian team. I predict Croatia 2-1 Portugal.


A bit of a mean draw is between Wales and Northern Ireland. These are both teams that have played their hearts out and really deserve their places in the round of 16 and it'll be shame that it'll be one of the home nations that has to knock the other home nation out. I'm pretty sure Wales will win, but Northern Ireland won't go down without a good fight (obviously not literally!). I predict Wales 2-1 Northern Ireland.


I'm currently watch the Switzerland vs Poland match. Before it, I thought Poland would win, but Switzerland are playing really well. And what an equaliser from Xherdan Shaqiri for Switzerland! Extra team, saw some very nearly settlers, but now onto penalties. Such a sorry way to end a match... Good luck to both! I predicted Switzerland 1-2 Poland.


Tomorrow sees France vs Ireland. France are heavy favourites and they have the advantage of being the home team, but Ireland have played well so far and if they give it their all as they always do, they might have a small chance of progressing. France have not been outstanding so far in this tournament in my opinion. I predict France 1-1 Ireland and France to win on penalties.


Germany have been playing well and should see easy progression against Slovakia to the next round I reckon. I'd like to Ozil get a goal in the match and maybe Gotze too... I predict Germany 3-1 Slovakia.


Hungary against Belgium is by no means and easy to pick one in my opinion. Despite Belgium being the heavy favourites, Hungary have been playing exceptionally well and aren't going to let the tournament pass them by with ease. I predict Hungary 1-2 Belgium.


Italy vs Spain is surely going to be a very interesting game. Spain are favourites, but I like Italy to win myself. They've played really well with the exception of the game against Ireland. Again, they are another of my outsider favourites. Spain do have a very good chance, but it's no certainty at all... I predict Italy 1-2 Spain.


And last, but not least, it England against Iceland. I *want* England to win, but I don't know that they will. They have quality players, but they are not playing like a winning team so far in the tournament. Iceland, however, are playing excellently. A team of mostly unknowns and they are doing so well and they are playing like they really want it. I could actually picture them taking the win. They're certainly not going to give it away easily and England can't go into the match with the mental attitude that they will win the match because they've got a poor team to play against. This will be a  very interesting match! I predict England 1-2 Iceland.


Wednesday 22 June 2016

POLITICS: EU Referendum (YB)

Just days away from the EU referndum here in the UK which will decide whether we stay a part of the EU or not. What's everyone planning on voting?

I've always been for voting leave, but for the right reasons. I do not agree with those with racist seeming views such as Nigel Farage or The Daily Mail newspaper who seem to thrive on the propaganda angle.

I believe we should leave because I don't feel the EU make the best decisions for us. To be honest, nor do I think David Cameron does, but hey, that's another blog post.

Every time the EU seems to make a decision, it seems to be more favourable to the connected European countries within the EU, than little old Britain over here separated from them.

One of those things is immigration, but not in a racist way like UKIP & other people portray it. At the end of the day, we're a relatively small island and we can't cope with the continuing increase in immigrants entering the country. Especially not when countries as big as Germany take in very few in comparison, because the EU see fit to send so many immigrants here yet a disproportionately small amount to the much bigger EU member countries.

I strongly believe we need immigrants, just in limited numbers. There's something not right when people born here are homeless, yet homes are being given away to people who have only just arrived in the country. But we also have a lot of valuable immigrant workers that are so vital to our country - in particular, doctors and nurses. And to those who are simply racist who want to get rid of immigrants, would you be so keen if that meant a shortage of doctors and nurses? What if that meant you or a loved one could not receive the care you needed in hospital? Would you hatred beat the need for a loved ones life being saved? Maybe you read this and think "well, that's irrelevant" - but is it really? No-one knows what's around the corner, and there is no person that is impervious to injury or illness. And if it was you or someone you love, wouldn't you want there to be enough qualified hospital staff to hopefully get you or them through it?

I also think we should be making our own decisions overall, not just regarding immigration. I don't think that people who it won't directly affect, should be making such important decisions for us. Again, it's bad enough that we put our trust in the likes of David Cameron (again another story for another blog post), but you could at least argue that he is British and was elected by the people of the country. The same cannot be said for the EU.

It seems that David Cameron and those in support of remaining have done their share of scaremongering too. There could be repercussions to us leaving that would have on the economy, but I feel it's not really certain to anyone what, if any, affect that would be. I was watching television earlier and saw David Cameron and all he could talk about was the effect it might have on businesses, with not really any emphasis on the effect it would have on the working class person. I feel that as he is in league with big businesses, that's his only real concern, so to listen to him is making a mistake too as he is clearly biased.

I think FACTS should be the most important factor in what you decide to vote. Not scaremongering from those in favour of remaining OR those in favour of leaving. Nor should it play a factor which of your favourite celebrities have been paid to support a certain campaign. You should be using your head to make an informed decision that you feel is right for you, your family and your country! I urge you, if you are unsure, take the next 24 hours to read the FACTS from somewhere neutral. And make your decision based on facts rather than scaremongering or propaganda being thrown around the media and from politicians. I would suggest maybe Full Fact as a place to start looking.

I really personally hope the majority vote goes to leave, but you really should read the facts and make up your own minds - don't let politicians, media or celebrities influence your decisions, just let the facts make up your mind...