So first I should say that I rather fluked the timings. I think (unless I have re-invented the course of events) that I had actually booked my holiday before realising the potential overlap with the tournament. That moment of utter horror as I clicked the "pay now" button and then realised I may have just made a bad mistake was then followed by a big scramble to find a fixture list.
The only match I would miss would be the opener - France vs Romania. Of all the games to be in rural France for, this was the one. My track record with French TV is not good. I normally spend the first 4 hours of any holiday in France cycling through the 400 odd satellite channels that all houses there seem to have, only to get reception to about 3 channels - none of which ever show sport.
This time around, I did my research - targeted the necessary channels - and then, (and only then), picked up the remote.
TF1 was the second channel I found, and in that short moment I got confirmation that an unlikely clean sweep of football watching was well and truly on!
Things I learned:
- TF1 shows and absolute f&*k tonne of adverts
- All of these adverts seem to be for cars
- Or electronic gates behind which you'd park one of these cars
- Or aftershave that you'd apply, before heading out in your new car
- The French should give opening ceremonies a miss (it was poor; though credit to them for keeping it brief).
Then in the game itself I learned that France have a shocking defence. I thought they'd win the tournament until I saw their laboured attempts to deal with opposition attacks. Good teams will surely expose both fullbacks as well as the poor Rami. I also learned that Giroud leads a charmed life - being selected for both Arsenal and his country when he is a 1 in 8 type striker, constantly missing good chances. How much better did they look once Martial and Coman were on the pitch.
Obviously it was Payet who stole the show, a masterly performance in midfield, pulling the strings and looking every bit the Man Utd/PSG player he will doubtless be in 6 weeks' time...
A promising start.