Deary me England. You always do it to us. Penalties. So poor. Every time.
England invited Italy to partake in some good old fashioned North West relegation fodder football yesterday and performed well enough to narrowly take the game through to a penalty shootout.
Up stepped Ashley Young who smashed his shot against the bar. I’m never going to critique a penalty like that. He hit it as hard as he could… if it were 3 inches lower, it would have been an fantastic penalty.
Up stepped Ashley Cole. God knows why. He’s one of the least liked players in England. He was on TV before the game talking about the disdain the nation has for him. It was treble the pressure everyone else had on them. He looked scared. His run up lacked confidence and he his tame shot lacked bite and conviction. Saved.
England were out.
What I can’t understand is the ridiculous reaction some people have had to the performance. Being a great nation does not mean you’re entitled to be a great footballing nation. We knew the squad was weak before the tournamemt. We knew during the tournament. Then we come up against a team of seasoned pros, many of whom have won World Cup and we complain we didn’t give them a good game?
Hold on? One minute we’re slating the squad, the next we’re behaving like children when we don’t beat one of the most resolute teams in the world?
We did the best with what we had. We need a creative spark in the middle of the park. That man is Jack Wilshere. We need some explosive talent going forward, hopefully that can be Rooney if doesn’t get suspended next time and Chamberlain if he delivers on his potential over the next two season.
Hodgson did a super job considering the circumstances he was under. I’m not totally dejected today. Quarter finals and topping our group is about as good as it gets for this set of players.
In transfer news, Olivier Giroud has gone more public than he did yesterday with his where he’ll be plying his trade next year.
“I am so happy to be signing for Arsenal — it is something that represents so much for me.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing in the Premier League and Arsenal are a great club with many French players.”
That’s right Olivier, so many French players for you to hang out with. It’ll be a great fun.
This is a superb signing for me, it’s great that we’ve added a second attacker into the mix for the coming season, I just hope we can now start to shift on some players. That process, like last season, seems to be taking some time. Chamakh seems to be the big worry. Robin staying has a double barrelled impact. We get another season with a very hot striker. Chamakh will leave. He wants to compete if it’s just Giroud he’s up against.
Having both he and Podolski in early will be of huge benefit to the squad preparation for the new season. Having a settled back four form the off will be good news for Steve Bould if he has any plans for organising the defence and working down those 49 goals to something that bears resemblance to acceptable. We now need to go out and snap up a defensive midfielder sharpish. I doubt it’ll be Martinez, but it could easily be M’Vila. I find it amusing how many people have written him off after a bad time at the Euros.
This is a big two weeks for Arsenal. If we can get our house in order before we head off touring, we’ll be in 100% a better position than we were this time last year. We need to be challenging. Making changes to personnel is going to have a huge psychological impact on the club. We’ve brought in two players who are natural born winners. We’ve changed up the routine in the coaching staff and hopefully we’ll start building out more of a squad.
Talking of Ashley Cole, it was interesting that he said he owes most of his defensive development to Keown, Dixon and Adams (defensively, Dixon said it was all Adams). He said he learnt so much during his formative years. That’s what we’ve lacked. Our players have had no one to learn from. We sell our players before they’re good enough to act as mentors. Robin is at that age now. Afobe can learn so much. Giroud can also learn from Robin as well. Players like Benny and Rosicky can also pass on knowledge. It would be interesting if we did snap up an experienced keeper or a spare midfielder like United did when they resigned Scholes…
Anyway, some stuff to chew over there today.
See you in the comments.
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