Well hello …

Good morning, after 10 days out of the saddle I’m straight back in the game and off the bench to mix my metaphors.

I am slightly browner than when we last spoke, due to the fact they have this amazing thing in Spain called summer. The sun shines, it’s warm and the sea isn’t as cold as a football agent’s heart. Me and Mrs Blogs had a fantastic time revisiting old haunts in Barcelona. My Barça DNA kicked right in and the eating and drinking was good. Especially when we discovered the most fantastic cocktail bar in El Born where the owner makes Mojitos that would knock your socks off. If you were wearing any. Which we weren’t because it was flip-flop hot.

My sincere thanks to Tom for holding the fort here in fine style. It’s always great waking up to Arseblog as a reader, and the ability to write lots about nothing at all is a much underrated gift, let me tell you. There’s a case of Buckfast and some Marco Pierre White deep fried Mars Bars on the way to him as we speak. Or maybe something that will actually make him want to do the blog again when I next go away. Cheers also to Andrew Allen and Sul for holding the fort over on Arseblog News.

And speaking of being away, I pretty much stayed away from Twitter throughout. I checked in every now and again at the apartment where we had WIFI but because data roaming is such a colossal rip-off I wasn’t connected all the time, like at home. And blimey, it’s kinda nice, let me tell you. I was able to gather that certain things were flying around and causing people to chat and what-not, but as most of these things turned out to be complete bollocks it’s hard not to think it’s an awful lot of energy wasted.

Not just on the part of the feckless halfwits who use Twitter as a launchpad for lies and nonsense (The French stock exchange? Really?!), but also for the decent people who counter that poppycock with common sense and the truth. If it continues I foresee a future in which Twitter spoofers become more and more elaborate and need a special police force to control them, lest journalists and people who ought to know better spread their drivel even further. Hopefully this special police force will have the power to punch these people repeatedly in the face. A lot.

It’s simple to make Twitter a good place. Don’t follow idiots, don’t waste your time fighting with people on the Internet, accept that other people have other opinions which if you don’t like don’t follow them, and turn off your phone from time to time and go outside. Even if it is raining there’s good stuff to do out there. Oh, and remember that pretty much every bit of transfer news that doesn’t come from an established account is about as true as me saying I love the work of Phil Collins and I dream of John Terry being crowned King of the Universe. It’s just funny what perspective a few days away can give you.

Anyway, the Euros have been on and seeing as Tom made it a thing I might as well continue. I watched England v France in this strange little Spanglish bar the other day and thought Oxlade-Chamberlain did really well, considering. It wasn’t much of a game and Nasri’s goal was annoying because he’s such an odious little twerp. As for Ireland, well, there’s offside and there’s offside while Shay Given’s finish was top class. I’m sure we’ll turn Spain over no problems though, they’re all small and stuff.

Yesterday saw the Czech Republic beat Greece. I didn’t see it but highlights seemed to suggest the two goalkeepers had a crap-off. The Greek fella out-crapped Cech 2-1. Poland v Russia was a good game though, perhaps the best one in the tournament thus far, and we saw Andrei Arshavin looking lively and threatening, which provokes wistful thoughts in Arsenal fans. ‘Why can’t he play like this for us?’, I saw people ask. And then you get to the second half and he’s puffing and blowing like a 60 a day smoker and that’s pretty much the reason why he can’t play like that for us.

He is, and has been for some time, criminally unfit for a professional football player. I remember one of the first games he played for us and he took his shirt off after the game. Not since the days of Jan Molby has a player sported a finer pair of love handles and he was never bothered to get fit enough to produce on a consistent basis. Perhaps he was indulged at Zenit because he was who he was, but maybe he was indulged at Arsenal too long. He’s a fantastic character and a very likeable person, but the laziness was apparent from the start and we never got on top of that.

There’s Arsenal interest later today as TGSTEL and Denmark take on Portugal, while Robin van Persie’s Holland come up against Germany. Lukasz Podolski will certainly start while Per Mertesacker might be asked to use his knowledge of our captain to try and stop him from scoring. In which case he’ll be whispering ‘You don’t want to score tonight. You don’t want to score tonight’ as the game goes on. Should be an interesting one though.

In terms of ‘Arsenal’ Arsenal news, there’s little enough to tell you, although the chatter, from decent sources, about Olivier Giroud seems to be growing. This morning L’Equipe are reporting a deal could be done by the end of the week (via @mattspiro), which follows quotes from the Montpellier president that we’re interested. He’s left-footed, apparently, which means we’d be left-tacular next season with him, Podolski and Robin in the team [insert speculation about signing left-footed players here, mince it and feed it to swine]. I can’t say I know much about him but we’ve had a brilliant time when it comes to signing strikers from France in recent times so I’m sure this will be just fine! Or third time lucky, who knows.

Other than that it seems as quiet as you’d expect it to be in terms of transfer news when there’s a big international tournament on. No doubt things will progress over the course of this month and separating the wheat from the enormous amounts of chaff is something we’ll strive for.

For stats fans, 7amkickoff has taken a look at Arsenal at the Euros thus far in one of his trademark By The Numbers posts on Arseblog News.

And that’s just about it. Now, I’ve got to change the flip-flops for wellies, the sunshine for rainfall and the sea for great big puddles. Summer, eh?

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