Appalling Argies, captivating Croats and Torreira the worst kept secret

Before I talk about the inevitable news re: Torreira and his potential signing, how about a word for The Argies, eh?

I mean, we thought it was England who had the monopoly on bottling it big time at the World Cup, but those Messi-led misfits completely sh*t the bed last night and now are only a gnats c*ck away from a group stage exit.

What I think we do have to say, and not for the it’s time either I recall, is that Croatia are actually a really good team. This wasn’t a bunch of painters and decorators that overturned Argentina. This was a well-oiled, very composed, full of stars, Croatian team. They’re one of those teams who I’ve sort of known are good, but didn’t realise just how good until you see some of the stellar players in their team. Perisic, Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic – it’s a long list of very very good footballers and they have a great unity about them.

I feel like every time a tournament comes around, however, we’re talking about them as ‘dark horses’. Obviously my narrative for today is along those lines, but you do wonder if they’ll go deep in this competition. I’m intrigued to find out. Plus they always have the best kits, in my opinion, to which I second with the away kit as well.

The Argies – by contrast – were a joke. A hapless rabble if thrown-together and ageing superstars being gaffer-taped by Messi who, let’s be honest, looks like he has more fun in Spain. They get what they deserve and that should be an exit within the next week.

As for the Uruguayans, they’re through, which hopefully means I get to see a bit of Torreira at some stage, because so far it’s been minimal due to their games being on during work hours for me.

The man himself has had some things to say but he’s towing the Arsenal PR party line by saying he hasn’t signed and he’s focusing on the National team. It’s all the right words and he’ll be metaphorically patted on the back by Arsenal from afar I suspect, but when players even talk about situations as openly as this it suggests that it should be done.

The other thing that makes me positive the deal should be concluded is that not even an Italian Chairman – and we all know how much Italians like to talk (I have several in my office) – has said who is signing Torreira, just that he’s gone for €30million.

Let’s not forget that this is about £4million more than his buyout clause, which suggests that Arsenal have had enough of ‘haggling’ and missing out and are just happy to get a deal done to secure a signature before somebody else comes along and nabs the player.

Fingers crossed Arsenal get this over the line but the signs are positive and we can be pleased that we look to be getting one of the bright young and upcoming stars of world football.

Hopefully one of the worst-kept Arsenal-related secrets can be sorted soon.

Today’s games are Brazil vs Costa Rica, in which I’m wondering whether Neymar can improve on his 37 swan dives from the Switzerland game, as well as Nigeria vs Iceland which could turn out to be pivotal for both. If either get a win then they could be staring down the barrel of a final day showdown to get into the next round and I have a sneaky suspicion that Iceland might cause an upset. The final game of the evening – Serbia vs Switzerland – could be the most intriguing of all because I reckon those two teams are quite evenly matched. Again, it’s a chance to see another “newbie” in the shape of Lichtsteiner. So let’s just see how he and Xhaka fair this evening.

It’s sunny in London, which is something to be pleased about but I’m off to Naples tomorrow to see what the Amalfi Coast has to offer, so blogging might be slightly intermittent for a week or so. But I’m sure I’ll get a few out whilst out in the Italian sun.

Catch y’all tomorrow.

About the Author:

Gooner born in 1982 from Harlow, Essex, with a love for Arsenal that knows. I'm not an AKb, nor am I an 'In Arsene we Rust', but I like to think that I can tip-toe between the two, occasionally veering into both camps.

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