Hoping England Qualify, Wherever It Takes Them

Philip Cornwall is enjoying his European Championship odyssey and is pleasantly surprised at Donetsk's warm welcome. He's hoping England qualify, wherever it takes them...

Last Updated: 19/06/12 at 16:20 Post Comment

Latest Articles

A Step In The Right Direction For Spurs...

Post comment

It's certainly taken them some time, but have Spurs finally mastered this 'transfer' lark? Toby Alderweireld would represent a huge step in the right direction...

Doesn't Delph To Arsenal Make More Sense?

Post comment

We have reaction to our Top Ten regarding Philipp Lahm and Dave Mackay, why we all love Harry Kane, Fabian Delph to Arsenal and what United can get away with...

All Articles

First impressions are not always reliable. Donetsk has suffered from whatever comes before - pre-impressions. The reality is a pleasant surprise.

However industrial it may be it is, genuinely, green. Not of the Beijing Olympics kind, where they painted the grass green. But in the sense that what are admittedly nondescript wide boulevards are tree-lined, the parks are plentiful, the water well maintained and safe enough for the locals to swim in and fish in.

I am in an eastern bloc Milton Keynes; though it's the Don here, not the Dons.

Another assumption was that this would be a less welcoming city than Kiev. The capital has been fantastic to be in, overflowing with goodwill to all-comers, but at times it can seem studded with grey in the shape of the high-capped police and those with what seems to be "Militar" on their uniforms; even on my 25-minute dawn walk to the station this morning, there they were, emerging from the not-yet-officially-open metro as I went past. Donetsk seems much less officious. I am sure the police are there but they are in the background.

As an example, the ticket collection point in Kiev on matchday was ringed with fencing and the one entry point to the cordon was manned by a group of high-hats to whom you had to show some UEFA paperwork 100 yards from the door, as if you were going through airport security. Here you simply stroll up to a queue.

Two immediate issues remain: transport and geography. We are on the road or rail to nowhere and should England come second in their group and need to be back here on Saturday then there will be an almighty scramble for the few remaining rooms and to find a train or plane here from somewhere. I don't imagine winter would be as much fun either.

Right now, though, if you could parachute Donetsk to somewhere in the middle of the triangle formed by Ukraine's other three hosts then I'd feel delighted with qualification wherever it took us.

Philip Cornwall

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is all good fun, but anyone who thinks United are 4th best in England for anything more than a blip is properly f***ing mental. And Domenech is properly f***ing mental.

megabrow (cufc)
Schneiderlin must join United - Domenech

I

f the answer is Matt Phillips, the question should never be Who is one of your major transfer targets?

jelasfirsttouch
The Twosome Gossip

I

s this Chris Smalling playing the 'Race' card?

hump3.
Smalling wants United race

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Roberto Firmino eyeing trophy success at Liverpool after saying bye to Hoffenheim

Liverpool's £29m summer signing Roberto Firmino hopes to celebrate "a lot of success" at Anfield and 'can't wait test himself in the Premier League'.

Manchester United 'agree Matteo Darmian fee with Torino'

Manchester United have agreed a fee with Torino for Italy right-back Matteo Darmian, according to Sky Italia sources.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba not joining Barcelona this year

Barcelona have insisted they are "not planning" a move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba this calendar year.

Mail Box

Doesn't Delph To Arsenal Make More Sense?

We have reaction to our Top Ten regarding Philipp Lahm and Dave Mackay, why we all love Harry Kane, Fabian Delph to Arsenal and what United can get away with...

Why Is Kane More Likeable Than Carrick?

A Mailbox which covers topics including Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Robin van Persie, handballs, transfer reporting and Rodgers bingo. It's not us being mean...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company