So, some congratulations are in order for a certain Hector Bellerin, who yesterday became one of ten Arsenal internationals to be selected for the Euro’s. It is clear reward for a guy who has not only established himself in the Arsenal team as a regular, but shown that he’s one of – if not the – best right backs in the league.
He has effectively ended Debuchy’s Arsenal career and whilst we can lament that given the pedigree the Frenchman came from, we can’t be anything but happy that young Hector is now rubbing shoulders with the best.
Whether or not he gets much game time, that remains to be seen, but regardless of that he’ll be over the moon with his progress and so will Arsenal. I spoke last week about how Barca were sniffing and if Bellerin plays any major part in the tournament then I expect them to continue their pursuit, but that has to be a concern for another day, because we should just be happy that we’ve got the makings of a world-class right back in the little Spaniard.
At least the signs are good in terms of his loyalty towards the club, as Andries Jonker talks about on the official site. Bellerin has established himself as a first teamer but the ability to be humble and recognise the importance that the youth set up has played in his development, is really important, especially if we want him to stay grounded and stick around at the club for a few years.
The other Arsenal players called up for duty at the Euro’s included the usual suspects: Cech, Koscielny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Özil Giroud, as well as Szczesny, Rosicky and Xhaka. Interestingly, as opposed to previous tournaments, it feels like there are plenty of players who will be getting rests this summer. No Monreal or Mertesacker, which will surprise nobody, but no Santi Cazorla either. It’s clearly because Spain have enough competition in that midfield area, but for a guy who has been a mainstay in the Spanish team for most of their games they’ve played in the last few years, it does seem quite sad that he won’t make what might be his last ever international tournament.
The plus side for us is that he can prepare well for the new season, as can Theo and The Ox (assuming they are still at the club), so it does mean that whilst some players will not come back as fit, many will still be looking in ship-shape condition to impact the start of the season.
I’m looking forward to seeing our new boy in action, I have to say, so for once an international tournament is holding more intrigue with me than it usually does. I went for a couple of pints with a Newcastle fan last night and he watches plenty of football and some German football. His words about Xhaka’s ability to pick a pass was exciting to hear and if he and Özil spark up some kind of a connection, then only good things can come from the middle of the park as far as I’m concerned.
So yes, I’ll be keeping an eye on the Switzerland games, that’s for sure. The last time I decided to watch another international team with such intrigue, was when we sign Rosicky back in 2006. It was a World Cup year and I can’t remember who the Czech Republic were playing, but Rosicky picked the ball up halfway between the centre circle and dribbled towards the ‘D’ before leathering a ball in to the top corner. I was running in the gym whilst watching it at the time and I remember thinking “wow. And we’ve just signed this guy!”. It was something to put a smile on my face for the rest of the afternoon and I hope Granit can put in similar displays to get me excited for next season too.
Aside from that, not a lot else going on in afraid, such is the quietness caused by the pre-Euro preparations. So I’ll take my leave for another day and see you in the morrow.