A Spain in the Pass

Italy? They made just two mistakes.
1. They tried so hard to get to the final. Battling through the group, a feat they were not guaranteed to achieve, entitled them to 120 minutes of running versus England. Then a performance of heroic proportions allowed them, as usual, to vanquish the Germans. (what England wouldn’t give for that power by the way). Simply put, they and Pirlo, ran out of puff.

2. Against all good advice and contradicting all available evidence, Italy tried to give Spain a game. Sadly this approach failed them, though fair play for trying. Italy could, and perhaps should, have reverted to defensive type. Then maybe nil-nil parity might have been achieved through 90 minutes. Maybe Ballotelli would have pinched a goal, or even, maybe penalties.

But that is the ultimate strength of this Spain team, you cannot play them at football, they will ultimately hurt you.

Luckily, despite all the wins and stuff, they are not the best team ever. Firstly, if this Spain side tried to play in any other era, even venturing back such a short distance as the 90’s, they would be unceremoniously kicked out of existence. Where is their Gerd Muller up front? Their Vieira in Midfield?

England were criticised in this tournament for only defending, and rightly so. But Spain are now like the boy who practices playstation FIFA every night, they may win, but nobody likes them for it.

Roll on 2014, and please, let’s hope hope someone can wrest the ball back from Spain, and if they don’t like it and want to go home? Then good.

Wine ever not? - Squeaky Bum Stream Bet 1

Things have been going very poorly so I’ll keep this very brief.

Greece must win, Russia can score with ease.

Bet 1 is £1 on Greece v Russia over 2.5 goals, even money with StanJames.

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A good start? EMS - Bet 1

So yesterday evening England’s fortunes mirrored those of 20steps. Just as a 1-1 draw versus France leaves us no closer to knowing whether ‘Roy’s-Boys’ will qualify from group D, so it also means that bet 1 of the Eng-ger-land memorial stream was null and void.

For 20steps that means back to the old drawing board, while I suspect for England things might be a little rosier. Last night down the ‘Lion I found myself constantly having to reassure my fellow drinkers that 1-each versus France and their friend Monsieur Referee was not a bad result. This after all was only Hodgo’s third game in charge, in Championship Manager it would only have been a a pre-season friendly for crying out loud. Roy’s team can only get better.

But there was another reason for optimism last night. Every time a promising England move broke down or a finish was poorly executed the camera would cut to the most anxious man in the stadium. Wayne Rooney, underneath his exquisite barnet, looked like the archetypal tortured soul, forced to watch England’s two opening games from the touchline thanks to his own stupidity. The mission for England is simple. Stay alive in the competition until Rooney is available, then unleash him on the Ukraine, he made his name at Euro 2004, maybe in 2012 he will write it alongside those of European legend?

Watch these spaces for a new bet 1, coming soon…

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Welkom bij 20 stappen Euro stijl

So the Euro’s are well underway. The first two games produced goals, excitement, drama, sending-offs and a fabulous performance from the Russians. Hopefully for them it will not prove as useful as Argentina’s 4-1 drubbing of South Korea at the 2010 World Cup. (The Argentines bowed out in the quarters by the way)

Yesterday also saw the demise of the Knee Jerk Reaction Stream. If you want a bet you can be sure about, then don’t nail your colours to the Poles. So today begins a 20steps European Championships special, and given the utter failure of 20steps so far, I am mixing it up a bit. Time is short so I will be brief. Bet 1 requires £1 to double into £2 and so the following bets will be placed on the Netherlands v Denmark game.

All Netherlands to win at Victor Chandler:

27p on 1-0 @ 13/2

24p on 2-0 @ 15/2

14p on 3-0 @ 14/1

23p on 2-1 @ 8/1

14p on 3-1 @ 14/1

If any of them come in we will have over the requisite £2. Total outlay by the way is £1.02. (what’s two penneth between friends!)

Knee Jerk Reaction Stream - Bet 2 

Tonight in Oslo the new England boss Roy Hodgson will oversee his first match in charge of the national team. And while expectation for the upcoming European Championships is at an all time low (current sitings of plastic car flags = nil), history will certainly be on Roy’s side in the Ullevaal Stadium.

Sir Bobby Robson began his England career with a two-all draw away in Denmark in 1982, and since then the last seven full time England managers have begun their reigns with victory. Even Steve McClodface enjoyed a 4-0 win over Greece in his international debut.  

Bet 2 of the Knee Jerk Reaction Stream expects Roy to continue in this fine tradition tonight. With such little preparation time before the Euro 2012 kick-off all the players on show tonight will feel that a good performance could bag them a starting spot against France on June 11th. And with a few squad members yet to join up with the party we may be spared the depressing bout of substitutions normally associated with friendly internationals.

Take England to beat Norway at 5/4 with that nice man Victor Chandler.

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KJRS Bet 1 - £1 on Chelsea v Bayern Munich - Less than 2.5 goals - WON - £2

KJRS Bet 2 - £2 on England to beat Norway at 5/4 with Victor Chandler

What a Day… and TRotSS - Bet 4

1536 - Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII is beheaded for adultery, treason and incest.

1962 - Marilyn Monroe, performs ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ for JFK at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


The 19th May is a date steeped in more than it’s fair share of history, both modern and ancient. Take a look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_19th

…if you don’t believe me.

And today the earth may shift, the stars will perhaps align as another cataclysmic occurrence adds itself to the cluttered chronicle above. First West Ham and Blackpool will thrash it out in the Championship Playoff Final, the winners set to become the first relegated side to make an immediate return to the top flight via the Playoffs. Then, this evening, once the Wembley dust has settled The Allianz Arena in Munich will bounce to the beat of the Champions League Final. A fifth win for Bayern will see them tie Liverpool for third place in the all-time list of European Cup Wins. Whilst victory for Chelsea will give the city of London it’s first ever European Champions.

But these are not the historic occasions of which I speak, no. Today more than a year since it’s inception, probably, and after more attempts than I can be bothered to count, 20steps will sweat over the first ever bet 4 in it’s history.

Back under the arch at Wembley the action promises to be as tense as usual, but sadly for West Ham I think Blackpool will go through this afternoon. Ian Holloway’s side won the 2010 final and that experience could prove vital today, particularly with the Hammers having the heavy tag of favouritism hanging from their necks.

So bet 4 is Blackpool to win in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market this afternoon, that’s £10.74 going on at 2/1 with bet365.

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TRotSS bet 1 - £1 on Justin Rose at 11/8 - WON - £2.38

TRotSS bet 2 - £2.38 on Barca v Chelsea - OVER 50 bookings points at Evens - WON - £4.88

TRotSS bet 3 - £4.88 on Liverpool to beat Chelsea at 6/5 - WON - £10.74

TRotSS bet 4 - £10.74 on Blackpool to beat West Ham (Draw No Bet) at 2/1 with bet365

Don’t know why I feel the need to take these crap photo’s but I do.

Don’t know why I feel the need to take these crap photo’s but I do.

Bet 2 - The Return Of The Stepper Stream (TRotSS)

Tempers will be frayed, nerves will be on edge, finger nails will be bitten. Tonight’s big game is the Champions League semi-final 2nd leg between Barcelona and Chelsea, and it promises to be an absolute hum-dinger of an evening. 90,000 fans in the (Camp) (The) Nou (Camp) and zillions of armchair spectators around the globe (20steps included) will watch a match perfectly poised to provide drama and excitement.

Chelsea have a 1-0 lead courtesy of Didier Drogdive’s 2nd half goal at Stamford Bridge, meaning that Barcelona must come out and attack, attack, attack. Such a policy may well leave gaps at the back for Chelsea to exploit, goals tonight will not be in short supply. Such occasions also tend to produce highly charged atmosphere’s and so yellow and red cards should be plentiful also.

In the 2009 edition of this semi-final the first leg at (Camp) (The) Nou (Camp), produced a healthy 4 yellow cards, whilst the second leg at Stamford Bridge yielded a gigantic 7 yellows and one straight red. Last weeks first leg in London also featured 4 yellow cards, and with so much at stake tonight, I am banking on tempers to fray and history to repeat itself.

So bet 2 of ‘TRotSS’ is for the total bookings points tonight to be over 50* with Blue Square at even money. Fingers crossed for a lively encounter.

*(10 points are awarded for every yellow card shown, 25 points for a red)

Follow the game with me tonight on Twitter @marcusbraeburn

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TRotSS bet 1 - £1 on Justin Rose at 11/8 - WON - £2.38

TRotSS bet 2 - £2.38 on Barca v Chelsea - OVER 50 bookings points - Evens with Blue Sq.

And so 20steps will return, once more stepping from the shadows, and attempting to make 1 million pounds from the humble starting point of a single pound.

Fingers crossed that things will go a little better than last time, here’s the original introductory video to kick off.

First bet of a new stream tomorrow…

Watch This Space For ‘Exciting’ 20steps News…

Bet you can’t wait can you?