I was really looking forward to the quarter-finals, but with England out it feels gone for me. I was very excited. I hope Wales do well. There’s no judgement for me for how they celebrated England going out, that’s human nature. I was looking forward to England having a really long stay in this tournament. No England players spoke after we went out and that was a bit of a disappointment, in my opinion.
First up is Poland v Portugal on Thursday night. It’s one of those games where if Poland do their job, they should win the game. I think Poland are very organised and very committed. I think they go onto the pitch with the attitude of “we’re not going to lose”. If either team is going to win in in 90 minutes, it’s Poland for me. Portugal have been very average.
For me, in all three group games, Portugal have done nothing to impress me. I don’t think they’ve got that extra step. Ronaldo, for me, has been poor. All he does is put his hands up like he’s moaning all the time. It’s like he’s moaning because he hasn’t got the ball. He hasn’t played a part yet, for me. Against Poland, Portugal are going to find it very hard. Poland’s better attitude on the football pitch will get them through. 2-1 Poland.
Game two is Wales v Belgium on Friday. This game, along with Germany v Italy, are the games that people will look forward to. Wales have been fantastic. On individual players, Belgium are better, but individuals don’t always win you games. I think it will be a tense yet very exciting game. It could be a classic 0-0 after 90 minutes. I get a sneaky feeling that one of the goalkeepers could be outstanding.
It’s obviously fantastic to score first and then it’s up to the management to decide if a side should go for a second goal. That’s where talking comes into it. The first goal is important, but that is where if you score in the first five minutes you should go for the quick second. I think this one will go to extra time.
Will Ashley Williams be fit? Will he last the whole game? That would be a concern for me. Belgium look to be improving all the time. Wales need their first XI to stay on the pitch, for as long as possible.
I think Bale will go out and play hard for his team. Speak to his teammates, encourage them and do what he does for club and country. See if Belgium are willing to give him free-kicks! Ramsey is good at free-kicks too. Both of these two teams have the ability to win this match. It’s the toughest call for me.
I want Wales to win. Chris Coleman has done a terrific job. And I forgive them for their celebrations! I’ll go for a Wales win in extra-time. That’s my heart saying that! My head says, it’s so close! I really thought it could be a Wales v England final. Wales work so hard for each other.
Saturday sees Germany v Italy. I’m surprised that Germany have never beaten Italy in competitive matches, but Saturday can be the day. The Italians are so well organised, but I just see the Germans opening them up. Out of the teams left, Germany are possibly the only team left that could. Germany are loving the occasion. Italy, they don’t do it very often, but I think they might freeze a little bit.
Muller’s still got it. I think Germany will go for it and have that extra little factor. They both have big strikers, in Gomez and Pelle, but I have also been very impressed by the German number 11, Julian Draxler. Some of the things he did, his vision, his dribbling skills. The Germans love going forward and will cause Italy problems form the start. I think Germany will have a plan for how to break Italy down. When the Germans are in the zone, they are very hard to beat for me. I think Germany are going to win 2-0.
The last quarter-final comes on Sunday, France v Iceland. Can Iceland keep their cool? They won’t freeze! I think Iceland will be over the moon with the result over England, but France have so many fantastic individuals. I think the management will say “Just go and perform”. There’s no doubt in my mind that the French will win. I think France have individuals that will turn up on the day.
Only Roy Hodgson knows why our players didn’t turn up on the day, against Iceland. I think that France, if they need to step up, then they can. With the individual strength that France have got, they are going to overpower Iceland. At some stage, it’s got to get to Iceland, especially if France perform the way they can. I think France will win 3-0. It’s an unexpected last eight, but we could have one of the big outsiders possibly winning the tournament.
Just to update, after the first game: I did think Poland could be that surprise team that wins it and I wouldn’t have said that at the start of the tournament. Now, they’re out! I have a sneaky feeling for a Wales v Germany final. I’d love to see Wales win it and I do think england fans would be pleased for them.