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The Five Stages of the Euros Defeat Grief

Over the past month, we have all experienced something strange. And no, it hasn’t got anything to do with coronavirus. Yep, over the past five weeks, we’ve had to come to terms that we *might* actually be good at football now. There have been cries of joy rather than pangs of pain heard up and down the country, and we’ve all had to get used to the surprise we felt when we realised that, with the finals looming, we might actually be a part of them this time.

We’ve had five glorious weeks of being brought together by binge drinking and seemingly endless footie, rather than five weeks being torn apart by the usual local lockdowns and panic buying loo roll. A group of young men were sent to represent our country, and they did it with humility and bravery. Football can often be a cause for friction and hooliganism (and let’s face it, there was plenty of that before and after the match), but there was also a sense of comradery and friendship that gave, some of us at least, a bit of hope.

But that’s all over now. We lost, in case you weren’t aware – but how on earth could you not be?! Yep, an agonising two-hour match ended with a tortuous penalty shoot-out, the result of which being that we *just* missed out on Euro finals glory. When Shaw got that first goal in after just two minutes, I think we all felt as though victory was a dead cert. However, as the game progressed Italy took an increasing amount of possession, and we gave them a good match, but it just wasn’t our night.

In case you’re feeling a bit worse for wear this week, we’ve got just the tonic you’re gonna need to get you through (*hint hint* we might be putting gin in it). Here at Licklist, we’ve compiled a failsafe method to get you through even the most acute case of Euro penalty heartbreak. Hey, there’s always the world cup next year, amirite?!


1. Wallow in it

It’s okay, let it out. It’s okay to cry sometimes. In fact, it’s important to spend some time wallowing in your misery if you’re going to make it through to the stage where you’re booking drinks tables for the World Cup next December.  After the game, I think we all needed some time to decompress. After realising that you’ve just spent £300 worth of beer watching a game that we were destined to lose, and lost all your dignity in the process, I think it’s justified that you’d feel a bit upset.

Just don’t take it out on the team themselves, coz they did absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, they did everything right – that’s how we got into the finals in the first place. And don’t take it out on the Italians, coz that ain’t cool either. They were trying to win as much as we were, and you’re just gonna come across as a bit of a prat (or a lot of a prat, if you were involved in the riots) in the process.


2. Pretend it never happened!

This is a failsafe, right? Just come into work whistling ‘Sweet Caroline’ under your breathe, and ask you colleagues in the kitchen “Catch the game last night? Shaw’s goal two minutes in was a blinder!”. When people appear confused, and ask you whether you watched the 120 minutes of football that followed Shaw’s goal, feign ignorance; just say you had to do something in the garden, what happened? No one will have the heart to tell it to you straight, and I reckon you could get pretty far into your day before someone decided to burst your Euros-based euphoria.


3. Bargain with the gods of football (by which I mean Gareth Southgate)

Why?! Oh why did Southgate decide on *that* penalty line-up?! Surely, the more experienced players should’ve been given the chance!?

This attitude is also understandable, but it’s also insufferable, especially if you have to live with people who don’t care about football as much as you (I know – who are these heathens?!). Also, hindsight is always a bitch, and Southgate was just doing what he thought was best at the time. Crying and screaming and constantly posting on the Guardian Sports page about it is going to have no effect whatsoever, so get over it.


4. Get drunk

Here at Licklist, we would never explicitly advise alcohol as a way of sorting through complex emotional issues… but we definitely will *implicitly* advise you to do just that! Plus, after five weeks of Euros-related binge drinking, what you really need is another ice-cold pint. The weather is forecast to be pretty damn sunny this weekend, so get out there and do what we English do best – drink and drink till you’re sick in a hedge! Nothing gets rid of the memory of Italy’s goal in the second half like downing Sambuca shots till you pass out in Boxpark Wembley.

Hey, we’ve got plenty of suggestions for absolutely banging rooftop bars to soak up some rays on this weekend – just check ‘em out here.


5. Get excited for the World Cup!

Cheer up – the World Cup is only 493 days away! Taking place in Qatar next December (because Fifa made some very questionable decisions somewhere along their chain of command…) the World Cup is 2022 is set to be the best Christmas present you could possibly hope for! Now, get booking your perfect World Cup bottomless brunch deals now, before they get snapped up like last time…


All GIFs courtesy of GIPHY! 


Words by Rebecca Clayton