As England geared up for certain victory over minnows San Marino I geared myself up for the game by traipsing around at the last minute to find some form of substance to sustain me for what most likely be 90 minutes of relentless pressure filled in by grains of disillusion and disappointment.
The usual life-raft of a portion of chips from the local chippy with a battered sausage came to my rescue and while standing outside in that British tradition of queuing with as much personal space as possible from every man and their dog I noticed my local bookies had a few odds on the side of the door that caught my eye.
Firstly I must announce my betting history. I don’t gamble; no accumulators, first goalscorer’s or goals, goals, goals from me. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t always so unfrivolous, the exact opposite in fact.
I can still remember some of the bets that have got me into the most trouble. Giancarlo Fisichella winning the F1 Drivers Championship taught me to never trust pre-season testing ever again. Czech Republic to win Euro 2004 could have come true if it wasn’t for those pesky and plucky Greeks. As for Janko Tipsarevic winning Wimbledon many years ago, before he was the top ten player of today, that one was more a rash impulse decision.
I gave up betting after spending more and more time and money down at my local greyhound track betting silly money on any names that caught my eye with little or no respect to the form of the respective runners. Trap 6 because his name was Racing Vieri, like Christian was one I can remember.
I even went with current Reading midfielder Jem Karacan on one occasion, not that he will remember, but I digress.
The odds being offered were 25/1 on Germany to equal or better England’s score against San Marino in their match with Republic of Ireland. Now don’t get me wrong I love the Irish team, and their fans but I haven’t seen much to inspire me about their chances against the mighty Mannschaaft, especially at Euro 2012 where they were by some distance the worst team on show.
I really thought about it, I had an extra tenner; I had a sudden impulse I was absolutely certain that this would come in for me. But I turned around, took a bit of my battered sausage and wondered the entire time on my short trip home whether I had made the right decision.
I would have been up a cool £250 quid if I had gone with my gut instinct. What I am saying is that if you have even the slightest inkling as to a potential result in tomorrow’s qualifiers then why not go for it, even if it is a bet between friends. I am not condoning gambling, simply saying that if it is something you are certain about then do a Felix Baumgartner, take a leap, even if it’s just the odd quid on Armenia, and see if you come out the other end beaming.
If not you can direct abuse to me at my Twitter account.