That was a captivating semi final yesterday between France and Spain, I thought, with the French going ahead and the Spanish showing why they will eventually win this tournament, I think.

Going in to the game I probably edged towards France because I think, ultimately, out of the two teams on the other side of the draw, France would be the opponent that both the Netherlands and England could stand a better chance of winning against. But the Spanish showed why they have been the best, are the best, will be the best by the time Sunday night is done. Coming from behind is one thing, but doing it with the goals they scored…well…that really was *chefs kiss*. Yamine Lamal is some player. I have a 16-year old nephew who is in the Ipswich academy and doing alright by all accounts. Yet here we are with this Spanish lad playing for Barcelona bagging wonder goals like he did in a semi final? That goal just added a literal zero to his value I’ll bet. There’ll be endorsements aplenty when he returns home to Catalonia.

But then the second goal from Olmo from Leipzig was a peach too; his touch to bring it down, the second to create space and then a clean strike. I think that UEFA should be able to change their own rules because putting that down as a Kounde OG seems incredibly harsh.

And I think Spain will now go on to win this thing, because let’s face it they’ve already played two would-be finals anyway. Against Germany it was the ‘real’ final, then last night although the French have been bad they still have the quality to change the game and that felt like they stepped  up at least a little bit more than their previous games. Regardless of who wins tonight, Spain will – I am 90% sure – get over the line and you’d have to say they deserve it after the way they’ve approached this tournament.

The only down side to Spain winning it will be that both Rodri and Cucurella are happy. If we could find a way to make it so that they are both sad at the end of the final, even if Spain have won, that would be great.

From an Arsenal perspective as I mentioned yesterday, it means that at least Big Bill Saliba will get a couple of weeks off before returning to the Arsenal fold and you’d hope that he’d be  ready and up for the new season from that first game at home to Wolves that we have. When you factor in that our back line will all have been back in England by the beginning of August (White, Saliba, Gabriel and Tomiyasu?) it augurs well for what is going to be a really hard start to the season. We need everyone firing on all cylinders from the off and this feels like a good time from an Arsenal perspective to be seeing Arsenal players bowing out. I’m sure it’s not good for them and their own happiness, but for us if England go out tonight, the silver lining is that you can add Rice and Saka back in to the mix of players you’d expect to be back well in time for the new season.

As for tonight’s game, well, I can’t say I’m that minded to do much of a match preview, to be honest. England have the better players, but the worse manager (that’s saying something given the Dutch have Koeman in charge) and they’ll set up in a similar style and approach to how they have done all tournament. Southgate will rely on a moment of brilliance rather than any kind of tactical innovation or attempt to bring proper balance to his team, whilst the Dutch will probably fashion more chances and look more balanced. They looked like they were starting to click against Turkey and I expect Gakpo to be quite excited at coming up against a Kyle Walker looking every bit his age when he puts on an England shirt.

My overriding hope for tonight is that our Arsenal boys play well and that they come back to London Colney unscathed. Let’s cross everything on that front.

And on the Arsenal front…well…there isn’t really anything to be honest. There are still some of the gutter press red tops trying to eek out a slightly different angle on the Calafiori deal, but there isn’t really anything new in it from what I’ve read. There was also some leaks about the new away kit and whilst so many people are calling it out as a terrible ‘Lynx Africa’ homage, I kinda like it. I’m not as sold on it as the old black and gold variation, but I don’t mind it. Anything could be better than that neon yellow and black craziness that we had to endure last season, that’s for sure. Whether or not I like it enough to go out and buy the thing remains to be seen; I’m not overly enamoured by the home kit so that won’t be making it’s way in to my wardrobe at home. Let’s see what the third kit brings, although I’m not sure how much it even gets an outing to be honest; I think the green one made it out a couple of times but the pink one from the season beofre’s pink kit was only worn away at Bournemouth right at the beginning and then never seen again, so can it even be classed as a team shirt?

And that’s all there really is to talk about today, probably evidenced by the fact I managed to eek out a whole paragraph on the colour of the bloody Arsenal kits! So I think I’ll stop there and come back tomorrow with some post-England v Netherlands musings. There’s no ‘one in, one out, one bangs’ tonight because of the football, but I’ll be back tomorrow with some usual ramblings on here.

Have a good one folks. Enjoy your Wednesday.