The neutral's choice
With the Home Countries failing to qualify who should we support in order to make Euro 2008 more interesting?
Last Updated: 02/06/08 4:05pm
With England's players hitting the beaches or - in Wayne Rooney's case - preparing to tie the knot, to whom should we grant temporary allegiance in order to make Euro 2008 more interesting? We run the rule over the competing teams in Austria and Switzerland.
Reasons to cheer: It would be nice to see 68-year-old head coach Karel Bruckner win the big one before retirement.
Reasons to boo: Ujfalusi? Zapotocny? They would play havoc with your request for a replica shirt.
Cheer: It's everything Cristiano Ronaldo deserves for his outstanding Premier League campaign.
Boo: The last thing we want is to give that lot at Old Trafford something else to crow about.
Cheer: There is absolutely nothing to dislike about the land of cuckoo clocks, cheese and Heidi.
Boo: Cuckoo clocks, cheese and Heidi.
Cheer: Their undoubted passion for the game guarantees a high-octane supporting experience.
Boo: Anyone who has been 'Welcomed To Hell' may think twice about proffering their warm and unstinting support.
Cheer: Memories of Franz Klammer tearing down the Hannekahm are enough to turn heads towards the land of his birth.
Boo: Not too many Franz Klammers in this team. More like a bunch of Konrad Bartelskis.
Cheer: You've got to admire a head coach who holds a law degree, is fluent in four languages and plays bass in a rock band - plus if you're Scottish you may just be thankful for their part in England's exit.
Boo: Scott Carson fumbling Niko Kranjcar's speculative drive? Mladen Petric's 25-yarder? It's enough to put you off red and white checks for life.
Cheer: They are bidding for their record fourth title and you wouldn't dare bet against them. Even though they are not the form horse going into the finals, ignore what the neighbours say, and back a winner.
Boo: Penalties. Enough said.
Cheer: So many Poles have moved to Britain in recent years that finding a few pals for a big match night party would not be a problem.
Boo: That goalkeeper bloke. Tomas-whatsisname. You know the one. It still rankles some 35 years on.
Cheer: They are our closest qualified neighbours, so crack open another bottle of beajoulais and cheer them on.
Boo: Contrary to what the folks down Ramsay Street claim, good neighbours do not always become good friends.
Cheer: We might have the richest and most successful league in the world but we still can't hold a candle to the Azzurri for the sheer theatre of the thing.
Boo: Another major trophy would just be greedy.
Cheer: Marco van Basten's volley from the byline. Ruud Gullit's flapping dreadlocks. Cruyff. Neeskens. Krol.
Boo: Robben's dives. Seedorf's constant bickering. Melchiot. Landzaat. Van der Vaart.
Cheer: They dyed their hair blond en masse for the 1998 World Cup in France. Granted it was a long time ago. But you have still got to love them for it.
Boo: Dan Petrescu's last-minute winner in the 1998 World Cup group phase, which hastened England's elimination.
Cheer: Their transformation from hopeless underdogs into European champions four years ago gave hope to also-rans everywhere.
Boo: Their players' names are particularly unchantable plus they bored the pants off us four years ago. Would you really want a repeat?
Cheer: Roman's roubles have helped make the Premier League title race a much more interesting affair.
Boo: They have also vastly inflated wages and restricted the opportunities of English-born players. Plus that accursed plastic pitch which proved Steve McClaren's undoing in Moscow.
Cheer: At least we've got Geoff Hurst to prattle on about. The Spaniards have got no-one. The heart bleeds.
Boo: Head coach Luis Aragones is not exactly the kind of man you wish to see holding one of the continent's most prestigious trophies aloft.
Cheer: Sweden boasts more Miss World winners than any of the other 15 qualifiers.
Boo: None of them are expected to be present on the terraces in the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne.