I had an absolute skinful on Saturday night at a friends BBQ, which was followed yesterday by an all-day football tournament, hence why I wrote off writing anything until this morning. Bt what did I learn from the football I’ve watched since then?
Well, firstly, England have taken up the Spurs’ing mantle. What with bottling a game by dominating and still managing to bugger it up in the end. I actually think England didn’t play that badly, but perhaps that’s because I was pretty inebriated by the time I started watching, so my frame of reference is a little off. Jack got some time off the bench and I just wonder if he’ll be unleashed from the start in at least one of the group stages. Woy was the guy who wanted to bring Jack, he’s the one who has been given plenty of game time in friendlies to prove his fitness, but the only way he’ll really be able to light up in the middle of the park (no, not literally, people) is to be chucked in from the start. 15 minutes here or there isn’t going to really help anybody, especially when you’re a central midfielder, as you need to get in to the swing of the game. You need to be given plenty of touches, you need to grow in to a game. It isn’t like being a centre forward where you can be completely off pace, yet still be a hero by banging in a winning in the dying seconds, midfield requires a player to be involved and in action in build up. So you need to instantly get into the pace of the game and that’s not an easy thing to do.
I have also learned that Arsenal are pretty well represented across all nations at these Euro’s. Obvious statement I know, but I was trying to work out over the weekend, how many back-to-back matches there would be before Arsenal are not represented with at least one player from the first game in the competition. It turns out that it was five. Turkey and Croatia yesterday broke the streak, but we’ve now had seven games and Arsenal players have been involved in six of them (if you count Szczesny for Poland, which I do). I don’t really know if there’s anything remotely interesting to glean from that, but it’s kept me entertained for a couple of days.
I thought Mesut did OK yesterday. He got a fantastic assist for Schweinsteiger, from a fantastically pinpoint pass in the dying seconds, whilst never really putting a foot wrong. But he didn’t sparkle as much as I thought he would. He was tidy, efficient with the ball, but it was Tony Kroos who dictated play more yesterday. Kroos is a fantastic player and you can see why he’s so highly regarded, although the idea that Real Madrid might use him as a makeweight for getting Paul Pogba, seems madness to me. It smacks of Özil/Bale and Madrid’s never-ending pursuit to break the bank every year to sign whatever player is the latest ‘flavour of the month’. Just because you sign loads of great players, it doesn’t mean you can just cram as many of them in to a system as possible, which is why they don’t win the league as much as they’d expect to. You’d have thought they’d have learned that lesson by now, but clearly not.
Anyway, more football to be feasted on today, but I just have to get this pesky ‘work’ thing out of the way first. See thee in the morrow.