There are, as I begin writing this, just three games of the 2016 Euros left.
Who’s your money on? I haven’t watched nearly enough of this tournament to make an informed decision, but it seems logical that the winner of the tournament will surely come from the match between the host nation and the perennial tournament closers. Of course, this is 2016, the year logic jumped out of the window. It wouldn’t be that surprising if Ronaldo led the Portuguese to a glorious end. Or if Gareth Bale and Rambo could do the same for Wales.
What definitely wasn’t surprising was the outcome of the penalty shoot out between Germany and Italy- even if the events of the shoot out were. Apart from the habitual Mesut Özil miss, of course. Full marks for bravery Mesut, but honestly, it felt like the chronicle of a penalty miss foretold, didn’t it?
I guess Mesut had the consolation of scoring during his excellent second half display, in addition to knowing his penalty was far from the worst the Germans took (Schweinsteiger). Whilst we also saw the worst penalty of all time from Italy’s Zaza. It’s so bad that I can’t actually find footage of it that hasn’t been doctored to play up the full horror of the effort. This is, I think you’ll agree, a shame.
Having watched Alan Shearer’s Euro ’96 documentary earlier on Sunday, I found myself wondering how many of our ’96 squad watched Germany’s shoot out efforts on Sunday in a state of utter disbelief. Where were the Germans we came to know and hate? Had they been bodysnatched?
Anyway. As the Euros draw to a close, so pre-season kicks into gear for the Premier League clubs. Obviously, this includes Arsenal – yes, I get the first “no scheisse, Sherlock” award of the summer. The fact that our first team squad has been augmented only by the purchase of Granit Xhaka and the promotion of Jeff Reine-Adelaide seems to be playing on people’s minds a bit. I can’t think why.
It couldn’t be those pesky JRA initials, so reminiscent of a not so heroic failure in our recent past, could it?
In all seriousness, I find it a little depressing that we are still well over a month away from the start of the season and there seems to a bit of a freak out over our perceived lack of transfer activity. Nobody knows what Arsène Wenger and his team are doing- apart from, in Arsène’s case, giving a rather fabulous interview regarding ‘Brexit’ (WHY IS HE TALKING ABOUT THIS WHEN HE SHOULD BE SIGNING ALL THE PLAYERS??! I don’t know, sorry). If we were prepared to go and spend £20m on Jamie Vardy, then I think it’s fair to say the manager probably recognises the need for a non-Theo alternative to Olivier Giroud.
The papers are talking up moves for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette. Applying the same kind of logic 52% of our nation apparently brought to the EU referendum, I’ll say that Lacazette just sounds like a player we should sign. Happily, it seems as though Arsenal are intent on, at the very least, getting a seat at the Lacazette table.
I’d also like to see us sign Lukaku, although not at Everton’s £60m price tag. Only because it would cause my former friend Harry’s head to explode – again with the exploding heads? I know, I’m sorry. Again. Harry, I know, doesn’t rate Lukaku in any way, shape or form, although I suspect he would probably prefer him to Sanogo. But then, I reckon Harry would prefer a scarecrow in a farmer’s field to Sanogo.
On the other hand, my friend Luke, the Everton fan, does rate Lukaku. I’m not sure, after the Arteta saga, how our friendship would survive another installment of Arsenal signing Everton’s star man although I think we’d cope. £60m would almost certainly help, but does anyone really think Arsène is going to spend that sort of money on Lukaku? Or, more to the point, that he should spend that money?
I keep coming back to an idea that, like The Godfather’s Tom Hagen, Arsène simply isn’t a war time consiglieri. Or a manager prepared to deal with today’s vastly inflated transfer fees, Perhaps if we left a horse’s head in his bed, hey? I think what may be aggravating the fanbase is the fact that we look around and see Chelsea signing the Belgian Batshuayi. With Manchester United about to land Mkhitaryan (those two in the same team would have been fun for Jonathan Pearce, wouldn’t they?). Apparently, United are also about to go all in for Paul Pogba.
Now Jose Mourinho is safely installed at Old Trafford, the club are behaving as though they were the football equivalent of Harry Enfield’s Loadsamoney creation. Of course they are. For Mourinho, there really is no other way. I wonder how Chelsea fans feel about him now.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have signed some Japanese work experience kid to play up front. Oh God, how I understand the anger now.
Joking. Obviously. The point I am getting at, obviously, is that every Arsenal fan reading this fears being left high and dry. Again. It’s all too easy to see it happening too. However, however, however… that doesn’t mean that it will happen. There are more than five weeks to go until Liverpool rock up at our place, steal all the hubcaps and head back up north.
This is my way of asking you, politely, to stop filling my Twitter timeline with your whining about our lack of signings. I know it’s asking a lot but, seriously, you can make a choice here. You can choose to carry on moaning for the next six weeks and beyond, or you can
There are beaches and books and beers awaiting your attention, go and enjoy them.