England may have let it slip in their final group game but the British Isles have all advanced to the knockout stage. 

Wales topped their group despite losing to England. England, finished second in their group. And Itea d and Northern Ireland are two of the four “best third-place teams” so they advanced as well. 

That leaves Scotland as probably the only sad ones around, but an euphoria everywhere else. 

Also exciting times in Iceland and Hungary. The tournament expansion has been a terrific success in my mind because of it. 

Tough draws for the “Ireland’s” with Northern Ireland facing Wales in Paris Saturday, and Ireand facing France in Lyon on Sunday. At least it’s not in Paris. At least one of Wales and N Ireland will continue their run, and England has another shot to be the spoiler for the littlest of “little guys” when they play Iceland. 

May the entertainment continue


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It’s been a weird tournament so far. The underdogs have been doing well, the star strikers not so well, and games haven’t been easy to predict. I think Wales will have too much for Northern Ireland, I reckon Ireland against France will be a close game either could win, and England should, on paper at least, beat Iceland. Some may see the fact Iceland are actually scoring goals as being a bad thing but it could work in England’s favour. So far England have played teams that haven’t wanted to venture out of their halves much meaning there hasn’t been much space for players like Vardy and Sturridge to play. Iceland really packed their half to begin with but have become more adventurous as the tournament has progressed. Hopefully this will give England’s attackers more space because they have been pretty smothered so far.


It’s brilliant that all three home nations are through as well as our close neighbours the Republic of Ireland. With may of their players (other than England’s) coming from the Championship it just goes to show the high standard of our second tier.