Happy Monday folks, how you all doing? It was Father’s Day in the UK and that meant three trips to various locations for me n The Management, which meant very little time for the watching of football, so I have little to say on the Euro’s on this drab London morning. I did watch the Portugal vs Germany game on Saturday evening and I wish every game could have been like that. Goals, both teams leading at different stages, big names performing; it’s everything you want from an international tournament. Then yesterday I hear that Italy beat the Welsh rather comfortably I hear, if not in score line, then in result apparently.

They are looking an impressive side it has to be said. Nine points, no goals conceded, strength going forward and at the back they are pretty solid. I just had a quick check at their record over the last few year’s and by golly, it is impressive; they’ve won their last 11 matches and in that time are yet to concede a goal. The last time they conceded was in a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands in October last year. Now, their opponents in that time haven’t exactly been amazing (Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria and San Marion, for example), but you cannot put a price on confidence and momentum going in to a tournament. This Italian team is on fire and they will be going in to each game riding high. I think I referenced this the other day when talking about getting a load of easy games in our opening Premier League fixtures and how that was important for building momentum, but it’s true and I look at this formidable Italian team and there are plenty of sides who won’t want to be facing them in the next round. They’re not on England or Germany’s (my family second team) side of the draw until you start to get to the semi final’s I believe, but there are still plenty of sides on our side of the draw that will make for some spicy Round of 16 fixtures.

I will say this though; I’m not liking two games played at the same time, forcing you to choose a match to watch, when up until this stage we’ve had the brilliance of three games on a day. I know why they do it – because of teams not knowing their fate and adding to the drama – but it means no more 2pm kick offs for the rest of the tournament and I was quite liking whacking the TV on in my office after lunch and being able to work and have the footie on in the background too. Ahh well, can’t have everything I suppose.

All this international waffle and there’s little talk of The Arsenal, which is to say, there doesn’t really appear to be a lot going on. We’ve had the best part of a month of rumour, counter rumour and conjecture, with a different name being linked, but this part of the summer is always a little bit more boring because some of the clear targets start to emerge and now it goes in to people repeating the same rumour but twisting the story a little bit to try to create a little intrigue. So what I’m reading about at the moment is the fact that Lokonga has agreed terms over a week ago and now it is down to Arsenal making their third bit, because the second one was rejected over the weekend.

This is the period where it becomes the most tedious. Rumours are pretty frustrating because 90% of them never come off, but what is worse is this period here because none of us have any real intel and the next real stuff we hear is when there is news of players flying over for medicals because everything has been agreed. Honestly, it’s times like these that make me want to go back to the old Teletext days where nobody had any info and we’d just suddenly see a player spring up on the news or the Teletext/Ceefax pages. There was never any news about third bids, bonus fees, signing on costs or ‘preparing for bids’. It was just rumour then BANG! Player rocks up at the club holding up a shirt.

Speaking of which, does anyone else find it a little weird that the club STILL haven’t officially announced the new home kit? We’ve all seen the leaked footage, the pictures of those lucky people who have already got their hands on it through the back channels, but we’re still waiting on official confirmation from the club. It’s normally out by now so I find it a little strange. I mean it’s not really a massive deal for me personally, as I won’t be buying it, but I just find it odd. Given the club are so desperate to recoup cash, surely they would want it out as quickly as possible? I know Adidas get most of the money for it, but surely Arsenal will make a percentage of sale too, so therefore they’ll be chomping at the bit for it to be released?

It’s most likely one of those situations in which they want to have a good run at that beautiful away kit, of which I DID indeed buy because I love the colour and the cannon logo. But I would have thought Arsenal would have been trying to make hay over this summer. Just a thought. Like I said, it won’t impact me too much, although I do get nostalgic about the old days and how they used to give you two seasons of wearing the kit. Remember those days? You’d have one kit for two seasons and they’d alternate between home and away. So you’d always have to buy at least one shirt every season, but you knew you’d get two seasons of it being the latest one. Those were good times. Sadly forgotten and reduced to memories of the slightly older folk like yours truly here.

Ahh I’m rambling now. Probably best to just leave it there for today. Have yourselves a good one and I’ll catch you all in the morning.