England aim to find the next level

by .

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 10.22.51 AM

The stage appears set. Olivier Giroud has guided France to a World Cup final, and now it’s up to England to the make the most of the huge opportunity they have today and make it a weekend to remember.

The France vs Belgium game wasn’t much to write home about yesterday, I think Rory Smith wrote that they the French have appeared to be excellent at doing just enough and not a lot else through this World Cup. Strangely pragmatic considering the breadth of talent they have at their disposal. Imagine the ball they’d be playing under Wenger?

I felt they had a fairly comfortable ride against Belgium. There aren’t many things that give me more joy in life than seeing Fellaini beaten in the air at the near post. I also liked seeing the ref wise as you like to the antics of Eden Hazard. Ultimately, no one bar England fans really wanted to see Belgium in the World Cup final. At least it’ll be a spectacle now.

The England game is so exciting. Croatia has undoubtedly been pedestrian in this World Cup so far. Were it not for a few moments of luck and magic, they’d be sitting out this game. Two penalty shootouts against Denmark and Russisa tells you that midfield hasn’t quite hit Barca/Madrid levels.

That said, England has had a fairly easy ride this whole tournament, and I do think there’s been a lot nonsense about identity and likeability. It’s clouded the reality that we really haven’t created a lot of chances. I read that Harry Kane has had to feed off about 9 chances, where strikers of more creative teams are boasting 20+ chances. That’s a really poor showing, but the press is so tuned into the fact Gareth Southgate is easy to deal with in press conferences, we’ve lost a bit of perspective.

I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed the pragmatism. I’m not denying the fact you have to deal with the teams that are put in front of you, I do like the creative formation and the results it’s landed us. All I’m saying is you have to be prepared that today could be a very different prospect. Croatia on their day can put on a show, that they haven’t so far is a positive, but it shouldn’t lure fans into a false sense of IT’S COMING HOME security.

That said, having had Three Lions brain wormed into my head for the last 3 weeks, I am starting to believe something magic is about to happen. I’m actually booked on a shoot over the World Cup final. I mean, what England fan could realistically tell someone they couldn’t make Sunday because England might be in the final? It’s written in the stars I’ll be stuck in Oregon without a way of watching the game because that’s just the way the stars align for me.

There was a lot of purring about the French backline yesterday and how young they all are. I think I’m more about the England defenders. Pickford, Mcguire, Stones and Trippier are giving me life. All Northerners, possibly coal miners in another life, just making it happen from the back. They’ve been excellent this tournament, they’ve made themselves household names, and I think they alone deserve to see the next round. I really hope Harry Mcguire is the real deal. He’s been so solid at the back, and such a threat going forward. He looks like a classic thug defender from darkest recesses of a Stoke past, but he’s actually very classy on the ball, and probably one of our most creative players. Trippier has been immense as well, his final ball is something else and his composure is very impressive.

Raheem Sterling may have lacked a bit of end product this tournament, but he’s doing a selfless job creating space and opening up the game for everyone else. It’s a shame he hasn’t scored, but that could happen today. I think the press, bar a few gammon like folk, have taken more time to judge the game he’s been offering up. The foreign press has certainly been far more analytical in his offering.

Harry Kane is another player who has taken a hit to his game. He’s not getting the service he needs to be effective in open play, but his hold up play and movement has been exceptional. Not to mention his nerves of steel under pressure. He’ll still always be a mystery to me, but there’s no doubt, he’s one of the top 5 players in the world now.

So, today is the once in a generation chance for England to make a final. Enjoy the moment, this feeling of hope doesn’t come along that often.

See you in the comments.


775 Responses to “England aim to find the next level”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Uwot?

    What’s with all the mickey mouser talk.who gives a shit about the dippers.only news I want to hear is Real Madrid going after salah.now that would really screw em.

  2. Receding Hairline

    Barca just signed a defender from Sevilla for 35.9m euros , they Sevilla bought the player from Nantes for 3.5m euros in January 2017.

    That is how a proper football club is run. You must not be rich to compete, do all you can with the resources available to you.

  3. raptora

    Well opponent’s fans were taking the piss on Wenger by singing “We want you to stay” chant to him. Our fans in return were signing the same. o_O I’ve lost hope that things could change.

  4. TitsMcGee

    We should be a lot more competitive for top 4 that’s for sure. Naive to think(although not impossible as it happened with Chelsea but their roster was stacked) that we’ll have a complete 180 but we should trend in the opposite direction from day 1 I think.

  5. Receding Hairline

    Unlike some i do not really care for “Marquee” signings.

    I care for a team that does all it can on the pitch to win a football match, one match at a time.

    We have enough quality in this squad to compete in this league.

  6. Leedsgunner

    More of Emery I see, I like. Seems very thoughtful and measured. Very impressed with his answers in English as well.

    Not perfect but perfectly understandable.

    When asked if he is going to be different than Wenger, I liked the fact he answered the question without hesitation…”I want to win.”

    Good that he has winner’s mentality from the off.

  7. Emiratesstroller


    Yes I was aware that the fee paid for Buffon was more than £45 million+, but
    Neuer was the second most expensive goalkeeper until recently.

    Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Man Utd and PSG have not spent that much on a goalkeeper.

    For the record when you look at Arsenal’s spend
    1. Ozil was the record transfer in EPL when we bought him.
    2.I believe that Mustafi was the second most expensive CB when we paid £36
    million. Only Rio Ferdinand cost more.
    3.Aubameyang is the second most expensive Striker in EPL after Lukaku.

    So we have not been exactly penny pinchers in transfer market.

  8. Carts

    “Going to use one of Carts greats here… Saw Guendouzi in Vauxhall park, lad asked me what time it was repeatedly, smart phone in hand.”


  9. Nw9 gooner

    Good thing not going for Nzonzi – another decent player but would not have much difference, specially when you know he is 30

  10. HighburyLegend

    Like many fans, I didn’t realize at that time that he was already finished, and that it was principally for that reason that Abramovich was ok to sell him to Arsenal for a cheap price.

    And it didn’t took us too long for us to see that his best years were behind him…

  11. Redtruth

    “Like many fans, I didn’t realize at that time that he was already finished, and that it was principally for that reason that Abramovich was ok to sell him to Arsenal for a cheap price.”

    No surprise you was duped, you’re f****** clueless lol

  12. raptora

    When Modric comes in front and says that English journos have to be more humble and respectful, you know that there was something wrong in their ways. They and the gash football showed by Gareth “THE REVOLUTIONIST” Southgate,made so many neutrals turn their backs on England.

  13. Carts


    maybe not penny pinchers as such; however my angle is that we neglected areas where there was no need to, in the past ?

    It’s a case of disproportionately allocating money to wrong areas

  14. Colney Gooner

    Anyone here going to see Boreham Wood v Arsenal Saturday? I’ve seen most games over the last few years as was born there but we (Arsenal) mainly played the yoots. This time Auba and Mikki are confirmed as playing, can’t wait. BWood Manager is a life long Gooner and says he’s going to be the first manager to shake Emery’s hand before a game, quality.