What a thoroughly fabulous day.
I rolled out at 0930 to meet James who writes the blog sometimes, couldn’t get into the bar of choice because it was too busy… which really fucked me off. We jumped in a taxi, hit up O’Hanolons and watched England TROUNCE Sweden in a very effective 2-0 victory.
A few things stood out again, and I hate to say it… but Trippier really is an excellent right back. He’s strong, mobile, very composed and his final ball is exceptional whether that’s coming in from out wide in open play, or from dead balls. He’s such a good player. Harry Mcguire is also excellent, if he were a foreign defender, we’d pur over his ability to distribute from the back, surely a big move lined up for him? Also, what is it with the north and producing top talent? Our whole backline has risen up from weaker clubs. It’s great to see. The south needs to sort itself out, the softies.
I’ve also got to wind-in my criticisms of Jordan Pickford. I have Richard Wright issues, and I thought his performances at Sunderland were kind of standard because anyone can look good playing for a shite team. The real talent is being able to make those world class saves when you only have 3 things to deal with in a game. Yesterday, he was man of the match for me. He made some unbelievable saves. Outside his incredible athleticism, his ability to play with the ball at his feet is surprisingly impressive. He has a great range of passing and he certainly seems cut for the future of keeping.
Sweden wasn’t a tough test. They were a very organised midtable Premier League team. They blew it out of the park simply making it to the quarterfinals. So well done to them, but a bigger test awaits in the next round.
The Croatia / Russia game was also pretty damn exciting. The Russians put in a hearty performance, not really caving to the more impressive qualities of the Croats. That said, it was a pretty drab performance from the away team. I have yet to be blown away by Croatia, and if the performance they put on yesterday is anything to go by, I’m not overly worried about the semi-final.
Sure, we’re going to struggle with their midfield, but if we can bring high-intensity pressing and bypass them with salt of the earth long balls, we have every chance of causing them headaches on Wednesday.
I don’t really fear France or Belgium like I would a Spain or a Germany. I think we have every chance of winning the World Cup now, regardless of who we play. The winds seem to be favouring Belgium in the other match, and you’d have to have us down as favourites against Croatia. It’s going to be a massive game this week, but win or lose, the boys have overachieved in this tournament so far and Gareth Southgate deserves a lot of credit for putting on a show.
Back in England, it looks like Arsenal have signed Matteo Guendouzi (vid), the French under-20 plays as a number 4. He’s very quick, he looks pretty strong if the videos of him bulldozing players is anything to go by, and he seems pretty suited to a side that want to break quickly. His passing isn’t that ambitious, but he’s capable. He has dabbled box to box and has the skill the break the lines with his pace, so there’s a hint of Jack Wilshere in there too.
So we’ve not just signed one DM this window, we’ve probably signed two. Not bad considering we haven’t really dealt with that position since the summer of 2008 when we moved on Flamini, Gilberto and Diarra in one window.
If Ornstein’s tweet was anything to go by, that’ll be the last of our business this summer.
There are rumours that the captaincy is going to be part of Rambo’s new deal, Ivan G keen to be filmed shaking the Welshman’s hand last week. Our CEO really is making the most of this summer, and who can blame him, he’s finally winning.
Maybe it’s too tough for the club to move players on, as the manager hasn’t had a chance to coach them or see them in action? No word on Welbeck’s new deal. Though there are strong rumours linking Ospina with a move to Boca Juniors which sounds like a good deal for everyone.
Joel Campbell, a player we just can’t quit, is being linked with moves away to Fener (standard) and Lazio. We’re also mulling over the abilities of Lucas, a player I thought was pretty handy, and maybe deserved less of the cold shoulder.
Right, that’s me done. See you tomorrow you beautiful people. x