Hello and welcome to a shiny, brand new week on Arseblog. Aren’t you reinvigorated and ready for five more days of work? I know I am, which is lucky because I’m off on my own short break at the end of this week so won’t be doing five days of work. I probably won’t be doing four days of work either, but that’s another story.
Yesterday’s Euro2012 matches didn’t really hold much of an Arsenal interest with none of our players in action for their countries. Spain and Italy played out a technically adept, although not terribly entertaining, 1-1 draw that should leave both of them relatively happy. Di Natale opened the scoring for the Italians with a fine finish, Cesc Fabregas getting a neat equaliser a few minutes later with one of those late diagonal runs into the box Freddie (and Cesc, in fairness) used to do so well for Arsenal. Spain probably should’ve won it late on when Fernando Torres twice had chances with only the goalkeeper to beat, but displayed the kind of form he has done for Chelsea all season. The chance where he tried to go round the keeper, when the square pass to an unmarked team mate seemed particularly poor decision making, but he’s a player low on confidence. That said, Spain did look much better when they actually had a striker on the pitch, something they were missing in the first half.
In the day’s other game, Ireland lost 3-1 to Croatia. I didn’t watch that one at all so can’t comment except to say it’s a bit of a shame for the Irish – it’s a very tough group for the minnows, but on the other hand they do have a bunch of cunts playing for them. Sorry Ireland – I bear you no ill-will – but your players are largely as bastardly as England’s.
Which brings me onto my next point, sort of. While I’m glad there’s lots of football on the TV, and I have the option, the only game I’ve found remotely entertaining has been the Russia – Czech Republic one – and I’m still not sufficiently interested to be supporting anyone. This is either the cumulative effect of being angry at international football for the rest of the season, or the fact that the quality of football on offer so far has been fairly dire – because it’s international football. I don’t know whether it’s just me, but the standard seems well below what’s on offer in the Champions League. It’s hard to imagine Barcelona vs Milan ever being nearly as poor as yesterday’s Spain vs Italy game. I wonder if Platini, the wooly haired cunthound, can see that too. Or maybe it’s just me being overly negative.
Today’s fixtures see France play England in the earlier game, then Ukraine take on Sweden this evening.
Speaking of France, Laurent Blanc has told Laurent Koscielny that he needs to be patient and fight for his place:
We’ve got two big players in central defence and I hope they play very well tomorrow. Koscielny has had a very good season with Arsenal but, as you know, you need experience at centre-back and players that work together in terms of instinct.
While fairly uncontroversial comments in themselves, whomever is playing ahead of Koscielny must be playing well indeed. As I said the other day, Blanc is quite right – Koscielny had a great season for us – and in my opinion can consider himself unlucky not to be first pick.
Onto tenuous transfer tittle tattle now, and reports began swirling around Twitter yesterday that Arsenal have agreed a fee with Montpelier for their striker Olivier Giroud. I can’t comment on the accuracy of these stories, except to say he’s a player in whom we’ve certainly been rumoured to be interested, and it’s a position we need to strengthen regardless of the signing of Lucas Podolski and whatever Robin van Persie ends up doing. There are various versions of the story; that we’ve offered £6.4m plus Marouane Chamakh, or that Giroud has a £12m release clause, but what I will say is that Twitter rumours should be taken with a large pinch of salt, and I’ll be surprised if anything happens during Euro 2012.
Stories of Johann Djourou’s exit from the club appear to be either picking up pace, or to be more accurate, are being picked up by more news outlets, which is perhaps a reflection of the volume of Arsenal-related news out there. I can’t see any new quotes, but Italy is still being touted as his destination of choice, and as I said the other day, with Mertesacker, Vermaelen, and Koscielny all ahead of him at Arsenal, it’d be unsurprising were he to choose to move on.
Pantomime villain Samir Nasri has either repeated his quotes from last month about how Arsenal “only dream of winning trophies”, or the aforementioned dearth of Arsenal news has led to the same quotes being rehashed. I’m not sure who it serves to get worked up about Samir Nasri; whatever he says, while I’m sure it’s certainly nice for him to have won the league with all the other mercenaries, there isn’t a sane person alive that doesn’t understand he went to City for the money. Honestly though, who cares what he does, says, or thinks? He really is a non-entity as far as I’m concerned, and getting wound up by the likes of him is like getting wound up by reading the Daily Mail’s political commentary. Don’t do it.
Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, has stated what can only be described as the bleedin’ obvious, by saying that Arsenal can’t compete with the likes of City when it comes to wages:
He is vital to us and has been an extremely good captain. But if somebody comes along and offers Robin £250,000 a week then I am afraid we cannot compete with that.
With players, you never know what they are going to do
As has been said here before, I don’t think Robin’s primary motivation will be money, but as PHW says, you never know what players are going to do.
And that’s about it. Have a good opening day to this week’s festival of fun, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.