The BBC Euro 2012 pundits are off to an impressive start

Hansen and Shearer raise eyebrows with wild pre-tournament picks


The BBC asked its 16 finest football presenters, pundits and commentators to name their Euro 2012 winners, runners-up, semi-finalists, 14 of the crowd giving boldness the elbow by tipping Spain or Germany as their champions.

Alan Hansen found another way to enrich the blandness of choosing Holland and Germany to join Spain in the semi-finals – picking out Portugal to defy the tournament structure by joining their Group B buddies in the final four.

Whichever subs failed to spot the slight oversight initially were since called into action – presumably alerted to their error by an avalanche of “we pay his wages” Twitter comments – and amended it, but STV’s Jamie Borthwick moved swiftly to capture the above screenshot.

Hansen’s gaffe was nowhere near as entertaining as Alan Shearer’s incisive punditry to explain why he had gone against his 15 other colleagues by allocating England one of his semi-final places.

He channelled Ian Wright to thoughtfully muse: “I have picked England to reach the semi-finals because I am English, I am patriotic and I want them to do well – in fact I am desperate for them to do well.”

Sounds fair enough, hence why Whiteboard is backing Robert Green to reconsider and sign a five-year deal with 2012/13 Premier League winners West Ham, and Jay Spearing to find a way into the England squad this week.

Shearer’s confusing initial hypothesis is muddled further by his follow-up statement that despite really, really wanting England to do well, and this being enough to tip them for the semis, “we are not good enough to win it yet”. Does that mean he doesn’t quite want it enough?

Finally, a word of praise for Mark Lawrenson, whose predictions attract a steady stream of sniggers. At least he is willing to risk ridicule by being a bit brave, identifying France as winners while Gary Lineker, Hansen, Shearer and Lee Dixon all churned out Spain v Germany finals.

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