Sometimes it’s comforting to know that things don’t always change. I’ll be honest with you; after Germany lost to Mexico in their opening group game at the weekend for the first time in like a billion years, then England had a first half in which they played brilliantly by-and-large, I thought we must have been coming close to Armageddon. Because this sort of stuff doesn’t happen.
Thankfully normality was restored in that second half against Tunisia and England toiled and laboured to a team that had Khazri as their main man up top. This is the same Khazri who looked abysmal when I saw him in the flesh at Sunderland two seasons ago as we beat the Mackems in the Stadium of Light.
Old crayon-eater himself spared England’s blushes in the end and whilst I must confess to having my sense of nationalistic pride whittled away over years of turgid displays and now with too many Tottenham players in the team, it did feel good seeing a last minute goal for the national team.
After all, they are the best kinds of goals, because of the difficult nature of any kind of reply from the opposition. Let’s all be honest though; there will be far tougher opponents for England and I suspect Belgium will demonstrate that extra bit of class when the two teams meet next Thursday, a Belgium side that struggled to break down Panama at first, but ultimately showed what it’s like when you’ve got so many great players in your team.
Anyway, enough of international football, because back in the world of The Arsenal, it appears as though we’re edging closer to making another signing in the shape of Bernd Leno, from Leverkusen. This one is massively intriguing to me because due to the fact I don’t watch that much German football, I have to defer to those that do and from what I’ve heard and seen, this feels like a split right down the middle.
He’s a guy who sounds like he has a rick in him, but also sounds like an upgrade on some of our existing options, whilst being of the right kind of age profile to be wanting to take the number one jersey off Cech.
He does seem like a ‘next level down’ established ‘keeper though. A bit like Sokratis. I have to admit that there’s part of me that thinks it would be better if we just gambled on an early twenty something ‘keeper, rather than this hybrid we’re on the verge of signing.
But hey, he’ll be our player soon and we have to get behind him and hope he has a good start to life at The Arsenal, so he’ll certainly get my backing come the start of next season.
And he’s not at the World Cup, so we have yet another guy who can come in, have a full pre season, be ready for the incredibly tough start we have, plus get enough time to bond with his new teammates.
London Colney will be a busy place to be come the beginning of July and that is no bad thing if you think about all of the ‘getting to know you’ that Unai Emery has to do.
If the club get Leno sorted, Sokratis done at the beginning of July, then Torreira over the line in the next couple of weeks, then you’d have to say we’ve probably had the most organised and structured summer, where it seems we k ow exactly what we want, for about a decade.
Which all adds to the current positivity.
Roll on the new season, I say.
Catch you all tomorrow.