Well, well, well… aside from the game. What an absolute shame it is to see football violence creeping back into the beautiful game.
Such a very weird concoction of things going off here. The migrant crisis in Europe is fuelling extreme public reactions both sides of the coin. The Russians have been making political power plays stoking nationalist fires. You have the English, who let’s be fair, simply don’t travel well… and even less so when they’re in the middle of a Brexit. You also have local French mobs out to stir the trouble pot.
That led to grim scenes before the game, English fans complaining they were attacked by Russians and locals with little protection from the police. Then after the game, crowd surges from Russians (wearing tiny shorts, which was kinda cute) like nothing we’ve seen since the eighties.
I know it’s very difficult to tie politics to something like this… but you can’t help but think this sort of behaviour is a manifestations of hard right, hard left and anti-EU sentiment bubbling over.
Could just be thuggery. Either way, it’s so upsetting to think that our biggest fear before the tournament was an ISIS attack and it turned out the biggest threat was just bickering between nations… you’d have to say, it’d be a brave terrorist that tried to get in the way of a melee like last night.
UEFA have come out in the last 5minutes to say England and Russia could be ejected from the tournament if there’s more violence. You can see how this is going to end can’t you?
As for the tournament… well, we have our first glimpse of Xhaka for Switzerland, and his brother, who played for Albania. He was judged MoM, which said more about the quality of the game, versus his performance. He sprays the ball around nicely, he’s hard in the tackle… but he wasn’t exactly Kante from the France game the night before. I like him though, but he’s got to up his game if he’s planning on carrying the Swiss through.
The Albanians, in their first major tournament, kind of blew it. Geoff’s favourite, Lorik Cana, found himself sent off for a laughable handball 37mins in. His team didn’t crumble… though they did in front of goal, missing a plethora of good chances. Their right back Hysaj looked tasty, but again, hard to know how good he really was in a game that lacked quality.
The England match was more of a disappointment. Russia were awful for the most part. Our finishing wasn’t up to scratch, but we did take the lead from a powerful Dier freekick… but, as expected, we dropped the ball at the end and conceded a pretty tepid goal.
American friends were asking why I wasn’t sad… ‘I expect this sort of thing’… was the response.
I caught a bit of the Wales game… didn’t realise Gareth Bale’s carefully crafted ponytail, is in fact, a modern attempt at the side sweep or the Trump thing that he does. When £330k a week players can’t sort their balding heads, what hope do we have? So depressing…
Anyway, Ramsey had a pretty good game, he was allowed to play wherever he fancied. I like his new hair, it makes it really damn clear how out of position he is 90% of the time.
Interesting that David De Gea has been implicated in a pretty grubby sex case and he hasn’t been sent home. A touch of the Adam Johnson’s here? Both players have called the accusations lies, which is celebrity standard in these cases… but if Spain win the tournament, and he’s in goal, and he’s found guilty, how is that going to look?
Anyway, not much in the way of transfer rumours today. Maybe that’ll pick up tomorrow.
Just a word to the good folk who use the comments section here. This blog is not a place to share extreme views on race, religion or people. This is a football blog. A global one. Respect one another and keep any abhorrent views you have to yourself, or take them to another site because they won’t be tolerated. There are some horrendous things going off in the world at the moment, this isn’t the place we thrash out the rights and wrongs of those.
This is about the Arsenal. Keep it pleasant, please.
P.S. Thoughts are with the people of Florida today. Truly awful scenes.