I’ve been up in the North East of the country at the weekend, which has meant travelling down south yesterday by far and only being able to catch the games on the radio, which inevitably meant that there were more goals and excitement in every half yesterday compared to the shower of the proverbial that I watched on Saturday.
The Germans, French and Belgians make it to the quarters and tonight one of England and Iceland, as well as one of Spain and Italy, will complete the eight. My bet would be on Italy and England to progress, but you just never know in this game, so maybe Iceland have a trick up their sleeve.
The Belgians are looking good for the final right now though, I have to say, which shouldn’t surprise anyone given their perfect storm of talent at Wilmots’ disposal. It even looks like Eden Hazard can suddenly be arsed to play, which is a big boost for them, so I think we’ll see them swat aside Wales and get a shot at Ronaldo’s Portugal in the semis. I’m sure they’re loving life on that side of the draw, because on England’s side there’s nought but a pathway of difficulties in which France, then probably the best team in the tournament Germany, await. Good luck getting your extension, Woy.
At least the standard of football has picked up and I hope we get a heavyweight slug-fest between Italy and Spain. I don’t expect we will given the composition of both sides, but it’s nice to have that hope anyway. Spain will have 90% possession, Italy will let them have it until the final third and then ensure there’s no way through the blue wall, then it’ll be one mistake that decides it. That’s my guess anyway.
Then it’ll be on to the quarters, in which most of the good games start appearing as the traditional footballing juggernaughts come head-to-head, which I can’t wait for.
In domestic matters, Sky Sports have decided to break our hearts a little by confirming that United are on the verge of signing Henrikh from Dortmund for around £27million, which if it happens will be a shame because I’d have loved us to go after him. He’s a player who’s impressed me when I’ve seen him live and in the flesh at The Emirates and I thought he was an Arsenal fan, so given that most of us Gooners recognise the need for perhaps one more wide forward in the side, it felt like the sort of transfer Arsenal would want to be involved in. Contract dispute, player wants to play in England, selling club probably wants a bit more cash rather than lose on a free, it all seemed to feel very Arsenal and very Arsène Wenger. But Jose Spendalot is doing what he does best and shifting a shed load of cash to create himself a strong side to challenge for a title. Let’s just hope Arsène has something up his sleeve. Let’s hope he’s going to get his chequebook out post Euro’s, because I’d love us to go ‘all in’ this summer. We’ve had too many years in the last decade where we’ve settled for a player. Let’s have a summer like the one we signed Alexis in. Come on Arsène, you know you want to.
Well, actually, we know he probably doesn’t want to. We know that if he sees a ‘project’ opportunity by snapping up somebody less well-known and less fancied, he’ll do it. Which is probably why he doesn’t like seasons where you get international tournaments. If there’s any player from a smaller nation who performs well, he knows they’re no longer a project because everyone knows about them and their value skyrockets. Morata is well known, so I’d be very surprised if we even entertained him for a moment, given that Madrid are involved and probably wanting a grossly over-inflated price. Two years ago Morata would have been the type of project Wenger fancied, but not any more, so he’ll look to another man to try to shape in to a superstar. I just hope any project isn’t at the expense of a proper title bid, i.e. he opts for a player who needs 18 months of ‘bedding in’ at the club before we see the best of them.
I hear that Lukaku bloke might have some potential….
Right, it’s another day of grey in the City for me, so adios amigos. Catch you tomorrow.