GOOD LUCK BUKAYO (AND ENGLAND)

by .

It’s 745 in New York, I’m at the airport thinking about my UK brethren that woke up at 730am this morning and immediately started sinking pints. What a beautiful mess my home country is going to be today, I am gutted I won’t be there for the shame. I’ve never seen England in a final of a competition and I’m nearly 30. Quite wild.

The mural image in the picture was sent to me by Paul (check out his awesome Instagram), what a moment it’s going to be for a player that has truly blown-up onto the world stage in this tournament. He’s one of ours, there’s a small chance he starts tonight, what an unbelievable experience for him. He has everything, he’s a straight-A student, god-fearing, extremely humble, and everyone who works with him seems to love him. It is such a treat that Arsenal has a player with his technical gifts. Someone is going to need to give Jack Grealish break-up counselling when this is all over… the bromance is strong.

The game tonight is the one everyone wanted to see. The Italian’s have been sensational for the most part of it. Direct, fast, aggressive and spectacular at times. Roberto Mancini has put himself back on the map, he’s reinvented Italian football, but this is where the journey has to end.

Gareth Southgate has been on a similar journey. No one believed in him, but he reinvented the way English people look at football. He didn’t answer the question: How can I put all the shiny pieces in the same side. He built a team that could do the job. We control games, we’re patient, we knock the ball around like Spain when we want to, and we have the class to finish games at any point. We’ve conceded one goal all tournament with Jordan Pickford in goal. That is so impressive.

I really hope we can win it at Wembley. My first big football memory was that Germany semi-final way back when. My first non-Arsenal game was Turkey vs Wembley with my uncle in the early 90s. To go back to there with the man that missed the important spot-kick and win would really be a story for the ages.

It’ll be a tough game though, Italy are deadly all over the pitch. This game though is the one we all wanted. I have no idea what is going to happen, let’s just hope it’s a cracker and we’re lifting the trophy come the end of the game.

Also… those people that put on Twitter, ‘I’m English, but I really struggle to support our country’ need to get in the bin. I don’t mean to be childish, but you don’t have friends if you are writing things like that on the internet.

Onto a bit of Arsenal.

The James Maddison rumours are revving up to white-hot. The ITK rumour mill has Arsenal offering him a shit ton of money. The whispers I’m hearing are that the player wants the move, Leicester absolutely do not want to sell, and the fee will have to hit £70m.

YIKES.

Will this be like buying property in London? Extremely hard to swallow, but long-term, the right move. Or will it be like buying a timeshare to Monte Carlo from Gary down the Masons? Painful and more painful.

It’s an interesting move. Leicester were a top 4 side pushing for the title until Maddison picked up an injury. He’s created the 2nd most chances in the league behind KDB since he made his debut in 2018. He immediately addresses our creativity problem. There’s a lot of chat that his open play creativity doesn’t really match up to the big dogs, which is a fair call… but one of our biggest challenges last season was creating from setpieces. If you have someone that can provide like Beckham, you are in a great place. I don’t think there’s any way around it, he’s a very good player we lack, he’s in the top percentile categories you want him to be in, and he’s been very specifically working on the goals side of his game.

£70m is well expensive though.

Still, you have to thumb through what Arsenal are trying to do here… they’re trying to shortcut top 4 again, but this time with a younger profile of player. Maddison is 24-years-old, he’s on the verge of elite, and he’ll 100% hit the ground running. If you are calling Arteta a bum, that means you have no time for him to blood players, this is what you should be smiling about.

There’s the other side of the coin if you want to take more of a risk. Houssem Auouar for £25m seems like an absolute steal. He’s bossed Champions League knockout stages at 20 years old, he is technically outrageous, and he could be world class within a couple of seasons. But… there’s no guarantee he hits the ground running, there are worries about his attitude, and he wasn’t great last season. He feels very Samir Nasri to me, gifted, but a little unpredictable knowing what you’re going to get.

Again, who knows where this is going, but if we’re tapping up Maddison, I refuse to believe someone hasn’t said, ‘Arsenal, he’s going to be fucking expensive.’

I salute the ambition.

Arsenal are going big with the spine, padding out the squad with well-scouted youngsters, with the hope that these additions make the rest of our players infinitely better.

Imagine an attacking line-up with Maddison, ESR, Saka, and Auba. I mean, that is very, very sexy.

Next up should be Lokonga if the media is to be believed. He’s out of isolation and the paperwork is done. Another sharp siging if it works out. I like that Arteta has been getting intel from Vincent Kompany on the player. You know that not only will he get a talent read, he’ll be getting the character download, which I think is just as important based on some of our recent experiences.

Right, enjoy the game, stay safe, don’t put anything on the internet you’ll regret. Do NOT be that meme of the naked guy crowd surfing.

See you in the comments. x

 

1,029 Responses to “GOOD LUCK BUKAYO (AND ENGLAND)”

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  1. Goobergooner

    Hahaha Almunia.

    Look I wanted Italy to win.

    But that takes nothing away from England. I dunno how many times I have to explain a rivalry to some people. Just get called a cheat and a convict for not supporting the England football team

  2. Terraloon

    AFC

    Am with you on this one.

    I understand that we all support different teams, we all support different nations but the point I was trying to make earlier was that how can someone hate the English because of the mindless actions of a minority?
    It sort of follows on from how so many on here call the whole supporter base of a club racist or hate them because they support another club. And that works both ways.
    Rightly racist actions are called out but and here’s a big but at football nowadays it’s a very small minority that seems to be able to shape the narrative. I have been to many many PL grounds and the majority of attendees , some ironically say sadly,bear no resemblance in terms of the make up of the supporter of yesterday year
    Football of course still does have far too many bigots attending but so does the Derby & Joan club and the Tory Party and indeed the Labour Party extend that into the SNP whose hate of the English is Xenophobic which to many is a form of racism yet I bet if you told the SNP they were borderline racist organisation they would resort to a barrage of abuse
    Of course there are racists and indeed bigots in every circle ,every organisation and indeed strands of society and I don’t want to underplay these idiots but long held bigotry doesn’t just go away for many the view they had ten years ago is still deep lying within but as generations die off and new perhaps better educated generations adopt different views then maybe just maybe racism will eventually wither on the vine but far too many and yes on here as well display irrational feelings of hate etc at a group or another teams supporters whereas not all within share the same political view, the same racist views or indeed the same bigotry.

  3. CG

    China

    ”””CG arsenal win virtually every penalty shootout for the last 2 decades as well”””

    Yes, because the manager at the time, ALWAYS had the players in the right frame of mind

    Not too tense
    Not too complacent,
    Just on the boil and focused.
    he trusted his players to score ( like Mancini yesterday)

    Wenger always had the team performing in the big cup finals.

    If only Dennis put his foot through at Villa Park instead of placement against Man Utd in the cup semi final.

    Double Double Double?

  4. Valentin

    People can complain about the referee, but if he had been stricter then they would have complained how harsh he was on England players.

    A few England players would also have received yellow cards. Kalvin Philips and Declan Rice would both have been in the book and once on a yellow card they would have been a lot less effective.

  5. Sid

    Andy1869 and China1 are the minority from my statistics

    Keep telling yourselves racists are the minority.

  6. G

    ‘’Sterling is crap tonight just runs with the ball and looses it.
    Back to type””
    And then an even better
    ‘’ Sakha is over rated’’’. And from le grove Arsenal so called supporters

    The shit people come up with

  7. PhD2020

    GoobergoonerJuly 12, 2021 10:48:56
    Haha it’s funny how many English just relegate Australians to cheating convicts. We get that from the english
    ——
    Lol

    This is true..Funny but true…

  8. Foxy

    When the real inquest starts i,e. how did we not win out on the pitch my question is how did Southgate manage to get so little out of the most expensive transfer value wise set of forwards in the Championship. Well at least it was but Kane’s value alone has probably dropped £50m! and £73m man Sancho hardly had a few minutes on the pitch.

    Was it simply the formation e.g. Kane having to fall back into a position where a no 10 should be or is it much more complicated and involves Southgate’s ultra cautious ethos and how this translated to the players

  9. PhD2020

    PhD2020July 12, 2021 11:10:24
    GoobergoonerJuly 12, 2021 10:48:56
    Haha it’s funny how many English just relegate Australians to cheating convicts. We get that from the english
    ——
    Lol
    This is true..Funny but true…

    As in this is the Englander’s go to ammo,when upset with Aussies or engaging in a passionate debate of some sort.

    The amount of times I’ve heard that line-‘cheating convicts’ being used by Englander’s to Aussies,is one too many to count.

  10. Valentin

    I genuinely believe that England will not win a big tournament until they either produce cultured CM (and not box to box) who can play and pass forward under pressure or embrasse their style of play and go for it. They have been the players for the high energy, high impact pressing, attacking game, that repressed defensive approach does not suit them. They look like a rock’n roll singer trying to fit at the opera.

    Under Gareth Sougate they went further than before before but in both tournaments they always look like they would be undone when they face a proper team.

  11. Danny

    Portugal’s 5th penalty taker is Ronaldo, not a 19 year old who’s never taken a penalty before, just saying……

  12. AFC Forever

    Terraloon

    “How can someone hate the English because of the mindless actions of a minority?”

    People like to hate. You only have to read this blog or social media in general to see that. Every Country has it’s morons but I guess we have to accept the Australians, Welsh, Scots and Irish have been bought up to ‘dislike’ their English cousins. There are also a lot of activists who call themselves British who hate their country for political purposes – these are the real idiots.

  13. Pierre

    Valentin
    “People can complain about the referee, but if he had been stricter then they would have complained how harsh he was on England players.”

    A clever player/team/manager would recognise very early on in a game what type of referee is on the pitch and judge how far you can push in regards to foul play.

    The Italians were smart , England were naive.

    We let them have the ball through midfield without putting in a tackle, so really it was pointless playing 2 rigid , Holding midfielders as they never served their purpose of putting their foot in to disrupt the play.

    Might just as well played with more technical players throughout the pitch and then Italy would have been less inclined to push men forward in the fear of getting caught out

  14. Goobergooner

    PhD, you’re a crack up

    Danny, I just couldn’t understand. It was like Southgates thinking was the reverse of normal, that the first pen is the most important.

    Having seen the pens Maguire should have gone first and Kane 5th.

    Maguire took the best pen of the lot which is hilarious

  15. The Bard

    It was an ultra defensive line up and game plan. We should have tried to kill the game off at 1-0 rather than holding on. Also what was he doing using an inexperienced player like Saka as a penalty taker ?

  16. Tom

    I’m not a fan of Pickford ,who looks like a petulant kid between the sticks, but he did great saving two kicks.
    Donnarumma is just on another level at 6 foot 5 inches and it’s a different proposition facing a keeper this imposing, when sometimes you tend to overthink your approach.
    He has won all five penalty shootouts for club and country he’s been involved in.

    But there are no villains here. England’s pen kicks were not as bad as people say , they were just unlucky.
    The only two unstoppable kicks in the entire shootout were from Kane and Maguire.
    Berardi’s pen was just like Belotti’s except he got lucky Pickford went the opposite corner.
    Even Jorginho style pens , something he’s rather good at, can be neutralized when the keeper doesn’t commit.

    That’s why I’ve always said give me a player who can hit side netting with power consistently from the spot over ant kind of trickery any time.

  17. Goobergooner

    I take the insults of being a convict, one because one of my ancestors captained a damned ship bringing convicts here, so literally just British soldiers sent here on duty, so isn’t true in my instance. I am not proud of that just to have it in writing.

    And the cheating I hate to acknowledge but it’s true. The Aussie cricket team is the biggest let down bar none in my time watching Aussie sport. No coming back from that.

    But banter goes both ways. I’m hated by a few on here because I said fuck England. If I’d have known the backlash id have said “fuck England, the sporting team specifically”.
    Didn’t realise this was an England blog not an arsenal (internationally supported team) blog.

  18. WengerEagle

    Re the penalty miss potentially breaking Saka.

    He will be fine, the kid is 19 and the vast majority of reasonable football people can see that he was thrust forward into a situation where he had a lot more to lose than gain. 5th Penalty and a salvation one at that, no cushion of it going to sudden death if he missed.

    Those are pressure moments that can even get to the very elite and best as we saw with Mbappe, never mind a 19 year old rookie taker.

    He has NEVER taken a penalty for us. So I don’t care how Southgate tries to swing it re looking at his training, it was a mistake and a costly one.

    Re him recovering, of course he will. As much as it stings to miss the 5th deciding pen, he was one of 5 players to miss their penalty including three penalty specialists in Jorginho, Rashford and Belotti.

    It is NOT the same as Southgate missing the ONLY penalty in the 1996 SF or Trezeguet missing the only penalty in the 2006 World Cup Final.

    Even the two greatest players to have played the modern game in Messi and Ronaldo have missed massive penalties (Ronaldo missed his pen in the 2008 CL Final shoot-out and the 2012 CL Semi-Final pen shootout, Messi missed his penalty in the 2016 Copa America Final pen shootout and in the 2012 CL SF vs Chelsea).

    Saka will be ok, and it will not be the last international Final that England play in his career imo. Better to get these moments out of the way as a teenager than to have the heartbreak near the end of your career.

  19. Sid

    “””””PierreJuly 12, 2021 11:23:23
    Sid , you are embarrassing yourself ….”””””””

    Im Trying to blend in, yesterday was embarassing

  20. Rich

    I don’t buy the argument that Saka is too young to take that penalty

    The two greatest players of this generation have both missed plenty of penalties, including big ones that have proved costly

    https://www.messivsronaldo.app/detailed-stats/penalties/

    Kane missed one in the semi, but got the rebound, Jorginho had his saved, and he’s taken plenty on the biggest stage

    You have to accept that with the size, reflexes and agility on some of these keepers, that if they read it right, and go at the right time, then they can saved a penalty , particularly in such high pressure situations

    Saka is technically excellent, he’s proved he’s got the composure to play on the biggest stage, Arteta + Southgate both trust him implicitly, every single Arsenal fan trusts him

    9 times out of 10 Saka tucks that away, he’s got the bottle to take it, he’s got the quality to take it, he’s got the mentality to take it, unfortunately it didn’t go for him on the day

    And that happens, even to the very best of them

  21. Elmo

    Watching England’s inability to keep the ball at all does refocus the importance of getting our midfield changes right this summer. If Xhaka is going imminently, then the replacement must be able to do what we’ve criticised him for being unable to do: keep the ball in tight spaces, turn and distribute.

    Attention shifted in the last few weeks to CB and White, but getting that MF and a quality creative are absolutely essential. Hopefully good news from A&E this week.

  22. Jeff

    So it looks like Southgate isn’t very good at taking penalties himself, nor is he any good at picking others to do it. LOL.

  23. Jim Lahey

    “then the replacement must be able to do what we’ve criticised him for being unable to do: keep the ball in tight spaces, turn and distribute.”

    Just need another Santi Cazorla!

  24. CG

    ”””””’I’m not a fan of Pickford ,who looks like a petulant kid between the sticks, but he did great saving two kicks.
    Donnarumma is just on another level at 6 foot 5 inches and it’s a different proposition facing a keeper this imposing”””””

    Well said Tom. My, you are in form these days,

    We had someone like this Donna (Martinez) and the Dopes replaced him with a midget in Runarsson and now Ramsdale has been strongly linked (someone who is as small and 3rd choice to Pickford!)

    As for the Italian defence.Unbeaten in 34 matches.

    Two grizzled center defenders.( 36 and 34).
    They dont ‘pass it through the lines’ and play pretty passes. They defend their boxes, they defend their territory. They DEFEND!

    So why are A& E allowed to spend £55 000 000 on Benjamin White?

    Mancini’s excellence, showing once again , you need a PROVEN manager to compete and ultimately win the prizes.

  25. WengerEagle

    AFC Forever

    Can only speak as an Irishman but we weren’t brought up to dislike the English, we see cheering against the English the same way as supporting teams playing Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool over the years.

    Just a bit of banter and sporting/sibling rivalry for lack of a better term (not a ‘rivalry’ as our football team is an embarassment).

    Think you’re beinga bit overly sensitive about some of us backing Italy, wasn’t exactly cheering Forza Italia on here last night. Was more upset for Saka to be honest.

    Rooting against England is more of a pushback against the media love-in and arrogance, talking down on the Italians as if the trophy were in the bag just like full respect wasn’t given to Croatia in the 2018 WC.

    It shouldn’t be such a surprise to you if you read what other country players like Kasper Schmeichel, Bonucci and Luka Modric have said in the past few weeks/days too. All in disbelief and wry amusement at the shameless and unwarranted arrogance of a nation that has won fuck all nothing in most supporter’s lifetime.

  26. AFC Forever

    “Under Gareth Sougate they went further than before before but in both tournaments they always look like they would be undone when they face a proper team”

    Yes. We had home advantage and a favourable draw; up to the final we didn’t really play anyone of note. These were all games we would be expected to win, they weren’t tactical masterclasses. Yet the media claimed they were. Had we beaten Spain, France & Belgium there might be a case but the fact is Southgate did nothing special. We beat teams we should beat. It was football that suggested we were scared of the opposition.

    We had a great group of creative talent, the best for years. They hardly got any minutes. I am being consistent because I complained about this from the start. Grealish & Foden hardly had any minutes and when they came on they were expected to come in cold and perform in a 15/20 minute cameo. These are good players who should be integrated into the starting eleven. They are good enough week in week out in the Premier League after all but not good enough to play the Czech Republic or Denmark.

    Italy are a much better ‘team’ and I’m £600.00 better off for it – but we didn’t put them under any real pressure. Harry Kane had not a single touch in the penalty area. Not one. He’s supposed to be the greatest striker we’ve had for decades and he’s playing outside the penalty area ffs – we have got specialists who can do that better.

    As for the penalties. Southgate has been in that situation. He knows better than most how much pressure there is walking from the halfway line to the penalty spot. This stops being about technique, or who the best penalty takers are at training. This is controlling your nerves. Bottle. To think you can throw a couple of young kids into that is completely bonkers, let alone ask one to take the pressure penalty number 5 – which is often the decider.

    PS: DCL must be seriously pissed, he could have gone on holiday. Even when Kane was falling over his own feet and games were calling out for greater mobility and penalty box awareness he never got a single minute. In fact, he was left out of a couple of the matchday squads – our only other proper centre forward.

  27. DigitalBob

    WEagle – Top comment there, my sentiments exactly!

    Also am I right in saying Jorginho is a favourite for the FIFA player of the year? Champions League medal and Euros surely makes it a valid claim? This was a guy during Sarri’s reign that alot of Chelsea fans thought was useless.

    On a side note, we should now see more movement in the transfer window now the Euros are over.

  28. Jim Lahey

    “Rooting against England is more of a pushback against the media love-in and arrogance, talking down on the Italians as if the trophy were in the bag just like full respect wasn’t given to Croatia in the 2018 WC”

    I mean, this is spot on. The pomposity of the English media is jarring. Also, the English fans don’t help themselves when you see footage of them attacking Italian fans in the stadium concourse at half-time. What other fan base do you see this with on such a continuous basis?

  29. PhD2020

    KroenkephobeJuly 11, 2021 23:00:44
    In other football news, here’s some of tonight’s results.

    Carpark Handjob 1-1 Bunga Bunga (p)
    Pope Francis (p) 1-1 Vicar of Dibley
    Antipasti (p) 1-1 Anti europe

    ——
    This made me chuckle…

    Lol..

  30. AFC Forever

    Weagle

    “Think you’re being a bit overly sensitive about some of us backing Italy, wasn’t exactly cheering Forz”

    Not at all. My wife is Irish, she’s from Cork. Like I said, I have no problem with anyone cheering the opposition at all, I was half Italian for the night! I was just having a pop at an Australian calling us arrogant, which was quite something. I’m old enough to have seen things happen in history that can cause justifiable prejudice.

  31. WengerEagle

    DigitalBob

    Jorginho has a valid claim to at least be on the podium, was very impressed with him in the Euros.

    Doubt he will place though, wasn’t like Modric in 2018 who was more of a talismanic figure. You could have oucked any of Donnarumma (won the official POTT), Bonucci/Chiellini, Jorginho or Chiesa as Italy’s best player whereas Modric was unanimous for Croatia.

    Also think that Messi has the Ballon D’or in the bag now he has won the Copa America so long as he stays fit for the start of next season. Think he also has the most goals/assists of 2021.

  32. AFC Forever

    Weagle

    PS: I am no fan of the English media. They have been a joke for years and they are getting worse. Biggest liars on the planet. This was a bang average England team with home advantage but they made us out to be Brazil 1970. I suspect that having not won anything since 1966, three years after Spuds last title, they got a bit excited and overzealous.

  33. raptora

    Let’s not kid ourselves – it happens that a player misses a pen, ofc.

    Pickford saved Jorginho’s pen. Pickford stretched out barely touched it to stop it from going in.

    The pens Sancho and Saka missed, were awful pens that every keeper saves as long as they pick the correct corner. Age got to them and it’s no surprise. Far more experienced players have bent under the sublime pressure of taking penalties on the biggest of stages. It is Southgate’s fault.

    Rich can say that Bukayo is old enough but it’s no surprise that a lot of the first 5 pen takers are usually defenders and DMs. No one is delusional enough to think they hit the ball better than the offensive players, but the pressure on them is much lower and they are usually calmer than the attackers.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why Southgate didn’t give Shaw the chance to become the hero for the England team. His confidence was at the absolute top, his deliveries from dead ball situations are top drawer, he’s having his 26th birthday today so he’s also one of the more experienced players in that team.

  34. WengerEagle

    From Cork? We won’t hold that against her AFC Forever!

    If there is one thing that the English media/sporting world is it is arrogant to be fair to Goober.

    Rio Ferdinand encapsulated that.

  35. DigitalBob

    WEagle – Of course after last night I completely forgot about the Argentine genius finally winning something on the international stage, a great result, I’m happy for him.

    Yep Jorginho on the podium at the minimum for me, not as imposing throughout the tournament ala Modric in 2018 as you’ve said, but certainly integral to both Italian and Chelsea success this year.

  36. WengerEagle

    Was shocked myself that Stelring and Shaw especially didn’t step up.

    Shaw is a very clean striker of the ball in particular and had a great tournament, England’s best player. Should have been relishing capping that off rather than folding under the bright lights and opting out.

  37. TR7

    Messi should win the Balon D’or without a doubt. Insane stats and a major trophy win in which he was player of the tournament and top scorer. Jorginho wasn’t the MVP either for Chelsea or Italy, others around him played better. Chiesa, Donnarumma, Bonnucci, Chielleni and Spinazzola were all more pivotal to Italy’s victory than Jorginho.

  38. AFC Forever

    “Ah the people’s republic”

    The Countryside around Cork is beautiful, especially along the coast. I haven’t been there for years now but whenever we did I would come home needing another holiday! My Father-in-law didn’t want to go anywhere other than the betting office or the pub!

  39. WengerEagle

    AFC Forever

    Agreed about the media. And it is why I have a lot of sympathy for Southgate the man if not the manager. He was a class act throughout who never got ahead of himself and took it on the chin afterwards like a man.

    Have a lot of time too for the current England group. Club rivalries aside Maguire, Kane, Henderson all speak well and say the right things even if they are a bit robotic and lack charisma. Good lads at heart you get the sense.

  40. Leftside

    Jack Grealish on twitter:
    I said I wanted to take one!!!!
    The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won’t have people say that I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I will…

  41. Marc

    ” Also, the English fans don’t help themselves when you see footage of them attacking Italian fans in the stadium concourse at half-time.”

    It’s all very easy to deal with – you can’t get a ticket without leaving some sort of electronic trace. Find these people charge them, give them a year in prison, ban them from every sporting event and publicly shame them.

    On top of that anyone buying tickets for them in the future will also be punished.

  42. Dissenter

    I grew up to detest the England team because from the arrogance of the tabloids and greater society regarding football. That arrogance is misplaced because England’s only major triumph is a WC that was rife with lots of controversy and other things we shouldn’t mention here for the sake of peace.The lauded manager of that team was a d-bag who was lucky to exist in that generation

    That ‘football coming home’ song may have been written by two comedians but it soon acquired a life of its own when several world cup bids were made using the same themes. What was initially classical English self mockery seemed to become something else People see it as an tempt to appropriate a global game and it makes them seethe.

    Association [organized] football may have started in England and we thank you for but it BELONGS to the entire planet now. All you need is a rounded object and a game is on. Every “home” is football’s and anywhere the football rest is a home.

    I mean the England football tabloids will demean referees from Africa because they never reffed “big” games before the WC, only for an England referee [Graham Poll] to go on to commit the most laughable error ever – didn’t send off a player after three yellow cards.

  43. AFC Forever

    Weagle

    Yep, nice bunch of lads who came across well. Southgate is a nice man and probably helps keep everyone’s feet on the ground. I hope the media doesn’t decide to hang any of the players out to dry in order to scapegoat for the defeat.

  44. Marc

    Dissenter

    Hate to point it out but English football being “arrogant” because we claim to have a global presence – the PL is the most watched league in the world we do have a global presence.

  45. Marc

    AFC

    I don’t think’ll happen – the mood seems more along the lines of “glorious failure” and with a World Cup next year the story will be “let’s go one step further”.

  46. WengerEagle

    Agree TR7. Messi to win his 7th Ballon D’or.

    Time for team of the tournament:

    Donnarumma

    Spinnazola Chiellini Maguire Shaw

    Pedri Jorginho Forsberg

    Sterling Schick Maehle

  47. Dissenter

    Marc
    It goes round in circles, my friend.
    Serie A once was the best league, all the razzmatazz used to be there.
    The England football culture is incredible enchanting, don’t misunderstand me but it is only one of the enchanting cultures.

    It maybe that we [the rest if us] are deaf to your genuine sense of comedy but sometimes it passes as arrogance. Just my take if course.

  48. AFC Forever

    Dissenter

    At least we don’t pretend the English Premier League is the “World Series”….!! That always makes me laugh.

    As Marc says, it may offend you (most things do to be fair) but it is currently the most-watched league in the World and its global presence is undeniable.

  49. Dissenter

    AFC
    That’s American ignorance
    You should see the way history is thought to American kids and it’s always been like that. ‘World news” is covered in 90 secs.
    American “exceptionalism” is a synonym for American ignorance and arrogance.
    You won’t find me defending that small mindedness.

  50. WengerEagle

    Yeah now to be fair, the USA’s arrogance knows no bounds and makes England’s look downright meek.

    Stephen A Smith is America personified when it comes to sports.

    So arrogant that they completely disregard football because they are shit at it! 😀

  51. bennydevito

    As far I’m concerned Southgate lost us the match with his negative team selection, not starting or bringing on Grealish early enough and not bringing on Rashford and Sancho at the start of extra time. They barely kicked the ball then went in cold on the penalties, it was stupid.

    That aside the Italians cheated with their rotational fouling, hacking, stamping, blocking, barging and pulling players back – Chiellini should have been sent off for pulling Saka back when he would have been through on goal, it was disgraceful cheating.

    I’d sack Southgate for not getting the best out of this squad but then again we have reached the semis of the WC then the final of the Euros so I can see it’s fair to give him another chance next year then see how we get on.

  52. Goobergooner

    AFC, why is it an Australian can’t call the English arrogant?

    The english have earned that right to be arrogant (in their own terms), “sun never sets on the union jack” and all that.

  53. Dissenter

    Marc
    ‘Just a word of advice – don’t read the tabloids they really even fit to wipe your backside with.’

    ….and yet they seem to exist and flourish
    They typically sell out those editions with the most outlandish headlines, like all the nonsense about WW2 before England faced Germany at Euro 1996
    I loved that German victory, that one felt so good because it was comeuppance

  54. WengerEagle

    TR7

    Maehle over Damsgaard for me and think that Sterling had the better overall tournament than Chiesa did if you take it in its totality and not just the Final.

    Olmo is a good shout, him and Pedri interchangeable. Not leaving Forsberg out of mine who was phenomenal.

  55. Marc

    Goober

    That’s a chicken and egg argument – the talent the PL attracts is because of the money the PL brings in but why does the PL attract the money.

  56. TR7

    Yann Sommer was brilliant in Euros, think he had a better tournament than Donnarumma who saved rather ordinary penalties against England and Spain.

  57. WengerEagle

    Dissenter

    Lowest common denominator mate re tabloids selling out.

    Just take a look at TV, shite like Love Island and Yes to the Dress is king.

    The lines between real life and reality TV are blurring by the day.

  58. Goobergooner

    Marc 😂😂😂
    I had to say it.
    But from my point of view it is the best league to watch.
    I’m just embarrassed to say I haven’t watched as much of any league since I moved in with my partner and left a household of my football pals that I grew up with from age 5 that all moved in together at uni.

    Weagle is my idol on here, just has a great knowledge of the game and leagues/players. Would love to be able to chime in on his chats.

    I do admire your economics knowledge and how you see the club too.

  59. AFC Forever

    Goober

    “AFC, why is it an Australian can’t call the English arrogant?”

    You can, just suck in your bum cheeks when you do because it takes a lot of nerve.

  60. Dissenter

    Marc
    I agree with you like I typically do
    It’s just that the question of why do people detest England for football came up..

    If the question was why do people love England’s culture and mores then I would write volumes that will never end.

  61. WengerEagle

    Didn’t think that Donnarumma put a foot wrong all tournament myself. Maybe not as ‘Hollywood’ but yoy want your keeper to be a mental giant and a steady Eddie more tham flashy/spectacular which he was.

    Sommer was great too.

    Imagine Italy with Donnarumma just like Germany in Neuer found their Buffon/Kahn replacement for a decade and a half plus.

  62. Marc

    Goober

    I enjoy the banter of football – it’s a massive part of the game. One of the gret things of having a pre match beer in the Tolly is you get a real mix of over seas fans coming to matches. You end up chatting to them sometimes and it’s interesting to see how people who come from different countries found Arsenal.

    The only thing that’s really irritating and it seems to be fans who come from the Far East more than other locations – don’t go to the club shop before kick off do it afterwards.

  63. andy1886

    Went to Cork on business once. Got to the bus station and asked the driver of the bus I thought I wanted if it went to the place I needed. I have no idea if he replied in Gaelic or English, I couldn’t understand a word either way! So I just got on the bus and luckily it was the right one.

    I was also told that Cork has a great fresh seafood market although I didn’t sample it as the flight back could have been a bit stinky.

  64. WengerEagle

    Goober

    Mate I talk enough shit on here that some of it has to stick, it’s a decent strategy I find!

    Nice of you to say, join in any time more the merrier dude.

  65. Guns of Hackney

    Expect a dramatic and edge of cliff drop off from Saka. It was a shit penalty that got what it deserved. However, he shouldn’t have been taking it unless he wanted to. We will never know.

    What we do know is that a player we had high hopes for will end up a dribbling wreck for the rest of his career. We at Arsenal, no longer produce players or men with bollocks.

  66. TR7

    Donnarumma is a top GK, no doubt about it. He is so big.

    Hopefully we will have a great WC too it Germany come back stronger under Flick and Spain get a quality striker ( Fati?). Italy and France are already very good. Brazil and Argentina can beat anyone on their day but perhaps not as good as European heavyweights.

  67. AFC Forever

    Weagle

    “Just take a look at TV, shite like Love Island and Yes to the Dress is king. The lines between real life and reality TV are blurring by the day.”

    Spot on comment. My wife was watching Gogglebox the other day when I was listening to music. She kept nudging me, “look at this” it was mindboggling. This girl/woman with huge overinflated lips (which could act as floatation aids) and about 6 inches of make-up was demonstrating a degree of self-obsessiveness that would put Meghan Markle in the shade. She loved herself but looked like a plastic doll. Then she opened her mouth. Well, if her brains were dynamite she wouldn’t have had enough to blow off her ears. These shows are like circuses, highlighting the freakery that seems to be celebrated nowadays.

  68. AFC Forever

    Andy

    “I have no idea if he replied in Gaelic or English, I couldn’t understand a word either way”

    To be fair, he was probably pissed!!

  69. Dissenter

    Pundits are all over the idea that there’s no way Saka stepped up for that 5th penalty if the older players had volunteered
    19 years old, too talented and too willing to help out, now he has to carry that burden for the rest if his career.

    Your best two penalty takers come first and 5th, that’s how most mangers do it because the first taker sets the pace and the 5th one typically has a chance to win or to save the game.

  70. Jamie

    “Football didn’t come home but my £50 on Italy before the tournament started did!”

    “Italy are a much better ‘team’ and I’m £600.00 better off for it”

    11 to 1 odds on Italy winning. I put 500 down before a ball was kicked and got 3-1. Weird.

  71. andy1886

    Outside of football news this headline caught my attention on the BBC website:

    “Beavers to be reintroduced in London”

    Sounds good to me!

  72. Useroz

    Donnarumma at 22yo out of contract valued at €60m. So why not go after him as Leno upgrade?

    Chiesa also valued circa €60m, 23yo, why not?? However ways it looks, defo better values for £50m!

  73. Rich

    England invented football, but it’s other nations who perfected the art form

    English fans sing about bringing the biggest trophies back to the home of football, fans of other countries take great pleasure in preventing that

    These types of rivalries is what creates atmospheres at football games, and as we’ve just seen first hand, football becomes bland without fans and the match day experience

    We have a legal system in this country, and when people break laws, and ruin occasions for other people, they should be punished to the full extend of those laws

    But take booing and cheering out of football stadiums, or start dictating to people what they can and can’t cheer or boo

    And we’re starring down the barrel of authoritarianism, which only leads to more extremism, when you take away people’s tongues, they usually congregate with other others who’ve been silenced, then go to extremes to ensure they’re being heard

    Free speech + freedom of expression and freewill, are the cornerstone of any healthy society

    You don’t change people’s opinions by silencing them, you change their opinions by listening to them, then winning the battle of ideas

    Anyone who wants to silence those they disagree with, are really just admitting their intellectual bankruptcy, and absolutely nobody has the right to not be offended

  74. Useroz

    Sid we don’t need to pay 50m just a hefty sign on bonus to Donnarumma even in the form of waged. Say, 30m over a 5 year contract. That’s 120k pw plus normal wages, say, 100k pw. It’s 220k pw and way below de gea

  75. Habesha Gooner

    Donarumma has already agreed to sign for PSG. They are upgrading on Navas. This talk is unnecessary. Even if we had offered a contract, there was no way he wa going to choose us over PSG.

  76. Davi

    I hope once the dust settles, people will look back on this tournament as a success for England and Southgate. They did incredibly well to reach the final and were not beaten by Italy; it is what it is, penalties can always go either way. No manager gets everything right, but I think Southgate handled the tournament extremely well.
    I think the experience will prepare them well for next year. It’s a relatively young team and I fully expect them to be even better next time around.
    Same can be said for Germany, Spain and Italy, though – a few excellent international sides developing there, all just missing a touch more experience and one or two different types of player, perhaps.
    I was initially concerned to see Saka break down after the penalty miss, but then I thought he’s such a solid personality. It was just shocking to see him display that level of emotion as he’s usually so calm and collected. I think he’ll take it in the chin and use it to motivate himself going forward.
    Also I thought sterling should have been awarded player of the tournament (actually quite surprised he wasn’t). Never saw him playing so well even though he wasn’t quite as good in the final.

  77. Dissenter

    Rich and his daily libertarian lecture
    No one said to stop booing at football games. The point is that there are many cultures different from yours and some consider booing a national item to be boorish and demeaning.

    That’s all, by all means boo as is your right but he man enough to take the consequences should the powers that be decide it’s wrong

    If England ever play China in Shanghai, travel to China and boo the Chinese anthem, see if they act like it’s all banter.
    It’s not monoculturalism, is it?

  78. Moray

    Davi, I’m not sure a final spot was a great result for England, so much as the minimum attainable.

    They had a lot of advantages through the tournament: for example they played mostly home games and they also got to play non elite sides all the way through.

    The one real challenge they faced was Italy and ultimately they failed (though the first half was excellent).

    It’s unlikely England will get the run of the green like this again for many years.

    What should bolster them for the future is the fact that they have some very good young players and they will continue to improve.

  79. PhD2020

    DissenterJuly 12, 2021 13:42:22
    Rich and his daily libertarian lecture
    No one said to stop booing at football games. The point is that there are many cultures different from yours and some consider booing a national item to be boorish and demeaning.That’s all, by all means boo as is your right but he man enough to take the consequences should the powers that be decide it’s wrong

    If England ever play China in Shanghai, travel to China and boo the Chinese anthem, see if they act like it’s all banter.
    It’s not monoculturalism, is it?

    —–
    Just knew Rich would stroll in and serenade us or rather pepper spray us with his antiquated views.

    As night follows day,you knew what was coming..At this point,I’m out…Not sticking around to read more inane horse manure from the resident chief nincompoop in waiting.

  80. S Asoa

    England had a squad with talent like no one else. It was left to the Manager to set out his team fitting into his available talents. Instead the pedant tried to shoehorn into his scared ethos.
    Time people realise that under performance is down to the Manager and stop getting swayed by planted leaks of the management to pliant journos to propagate their excuses.
    If England failed with the best talent ever time to change the manager . Give a chance to someone more capable to win the WC

  81. CG

    SA

    ””””’Time people realise that under performance is down to the Manager and stop getting swayed by planted leaks of the management to pliant journos to propagate their excuses.”””””

    Wonderful.

    Mancini didn’t clap the British nurses, didn’t wear rainbow laces, kneel down, have players fretting about hungry kiddies, get involved with the BLM sideshow nor did he mention transitions, no.8’s no.6’s , no, 10,’s nor did he worry about the opposition.

    he simply left that to the politicians and the other smart arses and quietly got on with his job.

    Wearing his immaculate Italian blazer and managing his Italian side to glory without fanfare , fuss or excuses.

    Definitely my type of manager.

  82. AFC Forever

    Jamie

    “11 to 1 odds on Italy winning. I put 500 down before a ball was kicked and got 3-1. Weird”

    Mate, here is an example of the pre-tournament betting odds. I put £50.00 on Italy at 11/1. I mentioned this weeks ago. Average odds for Italy was around 8 or 9’s, so that’s why I took 11/1. I regret not putting more on but that’s playing the odds. France were the pre-tournament favourites.

    Before you call people liars, make sure you have facts to hand Jamie.

    Country Sky William Hill 888 Paddy Power

    France: 9/2 9/2 9/2 5/1
    England: 9/2 5/1 5/1 9/2
    Belgium: 6/1 6/1 11/2 13/2
    Germany: 8/1 8/1 7/1 15/2
    Portugal: 8/1 8/1 8/1 9/1
    Spain: 8/1 8/1 8/1 7/1
    Italy: 9/1 9/1 8/1 9/1
    Netherlands: 12/1 14/1 14/1 12/

  83. Carts

    WengerEagle, July 12, 2021
    00:26:40

    Couldn’t agree more with this post.

    Like wise with:

    Champagne CharlieJuly 12, 2021
    00:37:47

  84. Carts

    “Milan fans must hate domumura right now”

    They should’ve payed him what he wanted.

    Now PSG have just sorted their GK situation for the next 5-10 years

  85. Josip Skoblar

    What a missed opportunity, Southgate got his tactics wrong and has a lot to answer for. Italy were largely beatable. They looked knackered and were in disarray in the first half. England could have killed the game then. But they reverted to their old defensive tactics. To give the 5th peno to Saka is incomprehensible. I like this England team which played very well at times and with confidence. This said, they had an easy draw and played most of their games at home.

  86. Leedsgunner

    Dear Bukayo

    I’m not going to patronise you and say it doesn’t matter… because to you it does.

    As an elite sportsman, I’m sure it hurts, and it hurts a lot right now.

    However, you’ll be stronger for it. Do yourself a favour, and every time you want to beat yourself up, turn it upside down and reflect and learn from it.

    You stepped up and missed.

    Many will focus on the fact that you missed. That’s a fact of life.
    Some people love to focus on the failure of others.

    However to me, the important thing is, you stepped up. Your country called and you answered. Better to have the courage to try than not to try at all. No matter what your haters tell you, you did well. Hold your head up high, you have nothing to be ashamed about.

    It was great having our best player play for our country.

    Wishing you the best…

  87. Rich

    Dissenter

    “by all means boo as is your right but he man enough to take the consequences should the powers that be decide it’s wrong”

    Boo as is your right? But then accept the consequences?

    That makes no sense, if you have a right to boo, then there shouldn’t be any consequences…..

    I’m not surprised that Dissenter + PMS2020 are fond of the China model, instead of fighting for freedom, they’d rather bend the fabric of a free society and turn this country into a carbon copy of China + North Korea

    They think cultural diversity means tip tapping around other cultures, bending the fabric of British society, until we’ve inadvertently turned this country into an authoritarian dictatorship

    Both of them are absolute lunatics

    PHD2020 will be used as a poster-boy and case study in future, on why it’s a really stupid idea to make exams easier, grading smelly students based on taking part, rather than grading them on merit

    He’s probably spend £70k on a gender studies degree, something you could explain to any rational person in under 3 minutes

    And it’s taken 7 years to brainwash him into believing that there’s 100+ genders, and now he thinks he’s a doctor, which has given him a false sense of intellect, and unfortunately there’s loads of these smug pricks around

  88. PhD2020

    RichJuly 12, 2021 14:41:04
    He’s probably spend £70k on a gender studies degree, something you could explain to any rational person in under 3 minutes


    Actually it’s a first degree in Economics and a current science doctorate(ongoing)-in applied mathematics ,if you really want to know you afterbirth, you placenta.

    Epic fail on your part,once again…You can’t even get your facts right,you fornicating vagina.

    Try again…

  89. Dissenter

    Boo as is your right? But then accept the consequences?”

    Like freedom of speech becomes a problem when you falsely yell “fire” in crowded theater

    You come across as that England fan that is detested around the world. You seem to think the viewpoints of other cultures that are different from yours doesn’t count.
    Have you ever considered the fact that the Germans, Danes and other people whose anthems that get shouted down don’t do the same to the ‘god save the Queen” . Have you considered that some segments of their societies find it offensive?

    You have this tendency to twist the narrative to fit in with your pseudo-libertarian and poorly understood capitalistic views, all the while you’re well nested in a good society whose excellent socialistic policies gives you good healthcare without bankruptcy and paid holiday time.

  90. Ishola70

    Jim Lahey

    “Also, the English fans don’t help themselves when you see footage of them attacking Italian fans in the stadium concourse at half-time.”

    That was fake news.

    Fake news in that a headline is given to an event that is incorrect.

    What you saw or heard about was before the match and it was England fans slapping general fans mostly of whom were English and they were getting slapped because not long before these people had stormed the barriers and were getting in for free to watch the game.

    There is always this underlying current of violence with some England fans but that event last night wasn’t them kicking out because the other group were Italian.

  91. Ashwin Gunner

    WengerEagle

    Completely agree with you. I live in Ireland and I can safely say that there was a lot of support for the English team. The things which unraveled post match has turned the tide from sympathy to disgust. And all the because of so called ‘fans’ who went on a rampage against Italian supporters and their own players.

    Just hope Saka and co who missed the penalty are mentally strong. And also hope that the authorities grow up a pair to take action against these unruly fans.

  92. Rich

    Dissenter

    You have no idea on what my viewpoints are on healthcare, you’ve just assumed

    And this isn’t the forum to discuss them

    My point about booing national anthems at football games is football related

    Nobody has the right to not be offended

    Otherwise all someone has to do is say “I’m offended”

    Then the conversation gets shut down, and everyone will have to become mutes, because snowflakes are offended by everything

    They think by feigning offence, they can then show others how virtuous they are

    Virtue and vanity are best of mates, they’re not really offended, they just really like the dopamine hit they get from expressing their “virtues” to other people

    If you think there should be “consequences” for booing a national anthem, then what would you suggest?

    Custodial sentence? Death sentence? Community service? Corporal punishment?

    How about a good flogging, followed by some beheading?

    Consequences for booing a national anthem? Give me a break….

    If FIFA start dishing out punishment for booing a national anthem, the only thing that will guarantee, is much more booing

  93. Dissenter

    Rich,
    “If FIFA start dishing out punishment for booing a national anthem, the only thing that will guarantee, is much more booing”

    That’s the same argument libertarians make about trying to stanch out racism by dishing out punishments like stadium bans, by the way.

    “You have no idea on what my viewpoints are on healthcare, you’ve just assumed and this isn’t the forum to discuss them”

    Jeez, You’ve penned volumes upon volumes of your world views on this blog. I’m amazed you’ve just realized that “this is not the forum to discuss them”
    Unless your writings are just intended to be gibberish, I know exactly what your political world views are. Everyday you lecture us and I take notes.

  94. Sid

    “”””””””Custodial sentence? Death sentence? Community service? Corporal punishment? How about a good flogging, followed by some beheading?””””””””

    Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire
    Book by Caroline Elkins

  95. Guns of SF

    ok today, a new day. I checked how i felt about the game and i have to say, Southgate is still a coward…

    And I am still upset. Not as much but still…..

    This pussy should have watched the Arg Brazil final to get some ideas.

    If Italy was Brazil, then England should have played like Argentina who snuffed out most attacks through the midfield.

    England retreated so many times against Italy. Gave them the ball and pretended they were Athletico Madrid or some shit like that.

    Kane stopped playing in the second half.
    Sterling when he got the ball just went for it himself. There was no coherent attack in the second half or most of regulation.

    The ultra defensive set up ruined it all for me. This game could have been won in regulation! Sancho, Grealish, Rashford, Foden,
    Imagine a front line with them in it?!

    What is this shit with a double pivot and 5 defenders??? that means 3 attackers have to do most of the work to score.

    Its horseshit to me man…. stupid..

    The penalty lineup- another pathetic attempt at being smart.

    Southgate should get fired for this… however he wont but you can bet the defensive set up will continue…

    Beyond dissapointing