Morning folks and welcome to the midweek.

I decided to get a good dosage of football yesterday so watched the awesome game that was Austria and the Netherlands. It was a peach of a game with goals, great finishes, teams being pegged back and then ultimately the Austrians winning the group which, given it was France and The Netherlands who were expected to progress, is a pretty good feat if truth be told.

I have been listening to a few podcasts lately and Austria had been tipped by a few as a dark horse and when you see how Ragnick has them set up and performing as a collective, you can see why. They have a few injuries with the likes of Alaba out who is one of the stand out players, but as a collective they seem to be working really well and are certainly cohesive as a unit.

Which is more than you can say for the tragedy that is England under Gareth Southgate. Honestly, that man is so magnolia it makes a new build wall look positively exhilarating. His approach in taking a collective of very talented footballers and slabbing them together like some sort of Kandinsky painting is quite something. Under Southgate there is an out-of-form right back playing at left back, a world-beating Champions League winner and brilliant central midfielder turn in to the invisible man, plus chucked in a guy alongside Rice who’s basic existence on a football pitch is to “faaakin’ run araand a bit” in Conor Gallagher.

Southgate has had plenty of friendlies and opportunities to assess his team before this tournament, yet here we are looking at him still moving things around because he can’t work out how to set up his side against low block and reduced quality teams. Last night’s game against Slovenia was genuinely painful and the only saving grace was that I had my set up all in the garden so I could enjoy the heat and the sunshine, because the football left far too much to be desired with.

Honestly, the sooner that guy is exited as the manager of England, the better it will be for all England fans. I have no idea how the next round works but the noises are that England will probably play The Netherlands in the next round is what I’ve heard, so that will be an interesting car crash of a game based on last night’s performances from respective teams!

Today it’ll be interesting to see how the Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine and Belgium group gets on. They are all on three points so feasibly everyone could finish top, second or third today. I suspect Belgium might scrape through and then I have a feeling it might be Romania that will win, so then the third place will basically come down to goal difference.

In the other games to wrap up the groups it’ll be Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic and Turkey and I suspect it’ll be Portugal and Turkey who will go through, although if he Czech’s get the win then it’ll be interesting to see whether Portugal can be arsed to turn up against the Georgians. I suspect they’ll still have enough to get over and so it’ll be on that Turkey/Czech result to see how the tournament finishes.

And that will be the end of the group stages which, if I’m honest, I’m not sure have been great in terms of the format. Back in the day they’d go straight to the quarters and so you knew that it would be the top two from the group and that’s that. But in this format it feels like basically almost everyone gets through to the next round. I guess for some countries it’s great because even at the end of these group stages there’s something to play for, but it all feels a little muddled for me.

I saw some stuff yesterday about how Arsenal are looking to get as much as £50million for Eddie Nketiah, which I thought was pretty steep, if I’m honest. If we get just over half that at this stage I think you’d have to say it’s a good deal for The Arsenal and although Chelsea are about to sign some kid Kellyman for £19million from Villa, we all know that the deal itself is a loophole deal and designed to skirt PSR rather than match the value of a guy who has yet to make a single Premier League appearance. I’m sure clubs will be frustrated with this because it’s money that basically never gets exchanged. It’s like me telling you I’m a billionaire because I sold my car to my brother for a billion quid, but I had to buy his bicycle off him for the same figure. What Arsenal and clubs that actually play within moral and ethical rules on transfers get for players will be very different. So if we get £25 – £30million (that extra £11million between Kellyman and Nketiah gets you 187 first team appearances and 43 goals, in case you wondered) for Eddie I think we’d probably say that’s a decent enough deal and allows us to look at what alternative options are out there. Apparently West Ham are interested and I guess given last year they got £100million from us for Rice, I suspect we’d be more than happy for them to write off a big chunk of the outstanding debt that remains. Maybe a deal can be done there.

There’s not a lot else going on so I’ll stop for today I think. It’s all quiet before that 30th June deadline on Sunday so I suspect there will be movements from next week. In the meantime though, we have our round four of the ‘one in, one out, one bangs’ series on the Same Old Arsenal podcast this evening at 7.30pm, so if you fancy joining us you can do so here at 7.30pm.

Catch you all tomorrow.