Huh. How about that? When you put a half decent team with a bit of effort, against a small team with limited technical ability, the outcome is a resounding win for the technically better team. I never would have guessed…
So as I turn down my sarcasm filter, I think it’s important to see just how awful England were as a result of seeing how France so comfortably dispatched the Icelandic’s yesterday evening. A 5-2 score line too, don’t you know? Everyone loves a 5-2.
I didn’t watch the whole of the game, just after the hour mark, so I missed the goals in real time. But I’ve seen them on replay and I must say both Giroud goals were well taken and without wanting to blow my own trumpet too much, I did have a feeling that he’d get some joy yesterday, which is exactly what happened with his two goals. Ironically though, in my blog yesterday I did say I didn’t see him latching on to balls over the top, so I clearly got that prediction wrong at least.
Giroud is an incredibly streaky striker though, isn’t he? I mean, that’s what frustrates us with him, ultimately. I don’t know that many Arsenal fans I speak to have suggested they want him out of the club, we’ve just always wanted there to be other options, for just the kind of situations we found ourselves in last season when Giroud was going through a barren run of scoreless games. But when he’s in the kind of form he’s in right now, he’s a fantastic option to have in your team.
The first goal was really well taken. A flicked ball over the top of the defender, a touch to put the ball in a decent enough position, then a finish through the ‘keepers legs. I do love those finishes. They’re the ultimate “two fingers” to a goalie, even if they have the greatest risk attached to them, that the ‘keeper might save it. But good on Ollie for bagging his second goal of the tournament, then good on him for notching his third with a very Giroud-type goal. That floated ball in, the glance goals are as he beats everyone else in the air, I think it was the Everton game where he scored a similar goal, but we’ve seen him score variations on that many times before, so it had a lovely familiarity of Arsenal about it. Which is probably why it pleased me so much.
France march on to the semis and Iceland’s dream is over, but the mouthwatering prospect of the France vs Germany semi final makes it all worthwhile in the end, which I think is being played on Thursday. I’ve already shown my hand when it comes to allegiances and I’ll be firmly in Germany’s corner, but I’m pleased for Lolo and Ollie, that they get another chance to show the world what they can do.
Elsewhere in the Arsenal world we announced the signing of Takuma Asano and in what felt like a clear indication to the supporters that this isn’t the Welbeck replacement, Arsène was quoted as telling us all he’s one for the future, so that will stop some of the teeth gnashing at least. Well, it will for those that don’t really have an anti-Arsène agenda, because for those people there is nothing that can be done that isn’t wrong until Arsène does leave the club. It’s sad, but for some people their own beliefs in a footballing sense, far outweigh any beliefs/hopes that Arsenal can be successful this season. Me personally, I would love the manager to do the right deals, win us the league and make us all happy again. I’m not sure he’ll get those players in to do that, but I’m not going to throw a hissy-fit because he’s having another punt on a young player. He tends to do this all the time. Sometimes it works out (That Dutch Bloke) and sometimes it doesn’t (Sanogo). If it’s a numbers game unearthing the next Henry, then we should at least be playing the game, shouldn’t we?
Anyway, it looks like the market is starting to shift in to gear as players return from international duty, so if we’re still in this position in three weeks time, maybe we can start to sweat a bit on the squads capabilities. But for now I think we’re probably all just better off having a bit of a chill.
Right, I’m done for today, because I have work to do and also there’s not really a lot else I feel like talking about. You lovely people have a grand day.