Having previously stated to you England at the Euros was of little interest to me, I now find myself swept away by things and – dare I say it – that old familiar feeling in my stomach of brewing nerves and excitement is very much present. I’m looking forward to tonight’s game, and I’m optimistic.
That’s not to say I’m expecting victory. Pundits and journalists seem to forget we have to beat Italy and they seem keener on reporting about our next potential opponents – Germany. Italy are a solid and well organised team. They enough quality in the important areas to threaten any team in the world. They certainly command respect. They may not have the footballing brilliance of a Mezut Ozil in their ranks, but they do boast someone as insanely unpredictable as Mario Balotelli.
On the subject of Ozil – how good is he? Against Greece, he was mesmerising – a player so gifted he simply glides around the pitch making the difficult appear effortless. One of my favourite players to watch at the moment.
As for England, I imagine we’ll see very much the same tonight. Hodgson hasn’t worried about anything fancy-pants and set up England to have 2 solid banks of 4 and be difficult to break down. I envisage something of a cagey affair tonight with both teams looking to break when the opportunity arises. For that reason, and not Arsenal bias, I hope they select Walcott. What England’s attack lacks is pace. For all his workrate and effort, James Milner has very little in the way of end product. He does offer more defensively, and I expect Theo will be deployed as a sub to attack tiring legs, but I would like to see an outright threat on our wings – something for the Italian defence to really worry about and make them think twice about leaving space behind.
I won’t make any predictions on the game, I’ll only say that my fingers are crossed and I have a good feeling about it.
There’s little or no Arsenal news today. Denilson is headed back to London as Sao Paulo have baulked at the £5m asking price and prefer another loan. Personally, I’d just let them have him for a lot less. We can come to a civil arrangement, and the sooner the unwanted players are shifted, the better.
Like most of you, I check the morning headlines hoping to hear some sort of word from Robin van Persie. As yet – sod all. His Euros ended a few days ago, and I imagine he’s swanned off somewhere nice on Holiday. I expect we’ll hear some news by the end of next week – hopefully we do, that is. The longer it drags on, the harder it will be to replace him, or use the fee to strengthen the team. The quicker, the better please Arsenal.
That’s all for today. Leave a comment with a few of your views. Thanks for reading, you deliciously splendid rascals. I shall return tomorrow.