Lolo & Oli Happy, Mesut Sad; Forward Thinking & More

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A belated start to the day. I was seeking some alliteration for the title but somehow “France Frew” seemed wrong. It worked phonetically but grammatically, it seemed somewhat lacking…

The morning after the night before as far as Mesut Özil is concerned; no fanfare when the German team return home following their exit from Euro 2016. He played well, I thought, even managing to put in a tackle or two. As the favourites turned the screw in the first half, Özil was the heartbeat of the side. Not so much in the second as France protected and eventually stretched their lead.

Was it a penalty? I can’t see how it couldn’t be given. Bastian the pig farmer, led with his hand, and in the same way Jerome Boateng’s lunacy cost Germany in the quarter-final, Schweinsteiger’s penalty proved vital. It gave France the edge, well put away by Antoine Griezmann, whose second was the killer. Germany didn’t look like retrieving that deficit and indeed, their heads dropped until the introduction of Leroy Sane gave some zest to the German XI.

That they have reached the final is thanks, in no small part, to the leadership being shown in the centre of their defence by Laurent Koscielny. Samuel Umtiti may have signed for Barcelona but he is still inexperienced at this level; Koscielny is showing him the ropes and clearing up after him, as you do with whippersnappers.

As for Olivier Giroud, his single-mindedness has won him the admiration of a nation, receiving a standing ovation once more as he left the pitch. This despite not scoring but his contribution to the performance can’t be overstated. It’s good to see him hitting form at the right time. I could hark back to his loss of form at Arsenal but that’s done now; time for him to look forward.

Yesterday, I was told that he would start ahead of whomever we signed this summer. A confident assertion undone by one devastating lack of pace that let a good chance to break the deadlock, go begging. Not that we’re thinking of signing anyone. Well, Arsène probably does sit back and think wistfully about a star striker as he sips his Pernod and Black at the end of a long day in the office but as a serious strategy, who knows?

Lyon don’t, that’s for sure. Alexandre Lacazette may have a €40m release clause but the French club want €50m for him, taking a leaf out of Liverpool’s book in completely ignoring the contract. Of course, he may not have a release clause and Lyon might not want €50m for him but where’s the fun in that? If anyone thinks we’re letting the facts get in the way of a jolly good jape, they are sadly mistaken.

Should I even mention the €50m Wolfsburg want for Yoolian Draxler?

Others linked our way include Lille full back, Djibril Sidibe whose signing could spell the end for Kieran Gibbs or Carl Jenkinson’s Arsenal careers. It might not though; who knows? It’s reminiscent of the hijacking of Park Chu-young’s transfer. He’d agreed a deal with Lille as he wanted to leave Monaco to play in a more competitive league (!); Sidibe has halted a proposed move to Monaco thanks to Arsenal’s interest.

Finally in today’s curtailed post, it’s emerged that Tottenham have given up on their aspirations to finish above Arsenal. Launching their new kit today, they revealed the footwear which their players will wear next season:

Tottenham Hotspur 2016-17 away socks Front Tottenham Hotspur 2016-17 Home Kit Goalkeeper Socks  Tottenham Hotspur 2016-17 Home socks Front  tottenham-hotspur-16-17-away-kit-goalkeeper socks

A very fetching range of stilettos they are as well. Let’s all laugh at Tottenham indeed.

’til Tomorrow.

45 thoughts on “Lolo & Oli Happy, Mesut Sad; Forward Thinking & More

  1. I didn’t think that was a penaty yesterday, more a free pass for the French. That the ref was the only person in the stadium to realise it was a penalty in real time says it all for me.

    The Germans had a few more legitimate calls for penalties all waved away, which does throw more doubt on the decision making of UEFA. Was the result pre-ordained? I have a sneaking feeling it was.

  2. I thought Ozil play well not just yesterday, but all tournament long. Its a shame that the Euro’s seems to be the only thing that can stop Muller from scoring a goal. Kos played well too because up to that point he had looked shaky. Giroud played well though his lack of any sort of pace was evident and even made Henry laugh at how slow he is.

  3. @Pete

    I thought that Kroos’s shout for a penalty when Pogba made that clumsy challenge from behind. I also thought that Pogba pulled down Schweinsteiger on that corner and even he and a couple of the French players looked concerned when teh whistle was blown.

    I don’t necessarily think it was pre-ordained but if Schweinsteiger’s was a penalty than surely the Germans should have been awarded one of them.

  4. Actually C Schweinsteiger grabbed Pogba and tried to dive, and pogba through himself to the ground to avoid fouling Kroos

  5. Vincent Janssen is set to sign for Spuds. My other coworker (who I didn’t even know was a Spuds fan) is over joyed.

  6. All I hope now is that France defeats Portugal (famous for its port and its ugal) if only to wipe the smirk off the face of the narcissistic Ronaldo. However good he is as a footballer, his constant wailing to the referee whenever he is touched, is beginning to irritate.
    I once thought Rooney was alone the past master of moaning but no longer.

  7. Well I thought France’s superior power would be the key and that certainly had a part to play last night.
    I was really impressed with Umtiti the lad seems to have it all plus he looked assured alongside koscielny.
    I still have a nagging doubt that Portugal will somehow beat the French.

  8. Pace, when used to illustrate speed irritates me, just sayin. Yes I’m a secret grammar popo at times 🙂

    IT’S NOT LUKAKA! Just sayin 😉

    I’ve seen Oliver run much quicker than he did yesterday for that chance, I’d say he has trouble moving quickly with the ball at his feet as season just gone he was in a similar scenario where the ball seemed to be attached to a cord but he managed to scoop the ball over the keeper at the last minute.
    Still don’t mind him bein our number one just as long as he gets help.

    In fairness i saw the replay once as broadcasters decided the bewildered look on the wizards face was more entertaining.
    Didn’t look like it even touched his arm, if I can be arsed to pull up a video I guess I’ll know for sure but it seemed pretty harsh at the time.

    Muller surprisingly for me is quite provocative isn’t he.

    7 calls Janssen garbage legs for some reason.

  9. Kudos to Lloris, Umtiti and Koscielny who helped keep the Germans off the scoresheet. I still can’t believe The French made it to the finals with that back 4. The FBs don’t stop enough crosses in to the box – luckily Pogba and Sissoko were willing to back track and win a few headers. Deschamps gambled massively with inexperienced Umtiti over the experienced but slow Rami.
    I still wish Arsene had signed Sissoko. He plays big in big games. He embarrassed the Spuds in their last game. He would have given us athleticism and height against set pieces. He is great on the counter attack and will gallop the length of the field if needed. He may not be as technically gifted as our artistes but we need more yin with our yang. I feel he probably needs a change of scenery and just wasn’t motivated in Newcastle.

  10. I still can not understand why Arsene finds it hard to sell off players performing below par, for crying out loud he doesnt owe them anything, and as an economist he should knw dat if anything doesnt bring in profit then it doesnt make sense …

  11. Except that he has been accused by the Newcastle faithful of not doing the hard work that he does for France, and that he keeps looking for the next money move

  12. really glad for giroud. often gets undeserved criticism for what he’s not, he’s never claimed or even pretended to be the so called world class striker. but he’s a very underrated striker. some say he’s a confidence player but this tournament and his response to critics has shown his gentle grace and quiet determination.

  13. C

    I am in Colorado this week so far away from the tragedy. Thanks for the thought. You are a classy guy

    Yogi

    Great post. I certainly have a single minded view but I think yesterday’s game was more evidence that ball possession and technical dominance is over rated. It’s not that either are bad things but team defense and scoring goals win games.

    Regarding transfer rumors, if Gibbs wants to go then so be it as long as we replace him. I don’t think anyone trusts Jenks so we need to replace him. Neither lived up to their potential. Unfortunately that is a rather common occurrence for us and every team. If all of our players had lived up to their potential we would have long ago dominated world football.

    I love the idea of Subotic. That would allow us to send Chambers on loan for a couple of years so he could learn to play CB. You don’t spend $16M for a young defender for no reason so obviously he has potential but just like Jenks and Gibbs we don’t have any idea of which way he will go. CB is a position where you can’t afford mistakes or unfullfilled potential. Right now we have no idea if Chambers is the next Squillaci or the next Maldini or somewhere in between. Chambers is never going to bypass Bellerin at RB and if the goal is to make Chambers a CB then sending him on loan gives him a chance to learn the position and just as important it gives us a chance to see how good he will or won’t be which is critical. The other issue we have at CB is there is certainly questions about Mert and Gabriel has not inspired a lot of confidence. Subotic would be a great bit short and long term squad building.

  14. With regard to the Drax, I think we discussed that rumor yesterday. Clearly he has a lot of potential but unfulfilled potential is much more common then the converse. That is especially true when it comes to scoring goals. It’s pretty clear that the calmness and ability to make the game slow down which is required to be a good finisher is the specific skill which is far and away the most difficult part of the game for younger players to develop. The vast get majority never develop that skill. If we are going to spend $43M for a player then at least he should have some history which suggests that he can develop into a scorer.. Spending $43M for a player with potential only makes sense if our resources are unlimited and spending that money would not affect our ability to buy the match winners we need.

  15. Subotic would be a good addition. I still have the nagging feeling there aren’t enough goals in us to truly challenge over the long run.

  16. Speaking of the Euro’s, I see Cech has retired from international futbol to focus on Arsenal!

  17. It’s being reported that Arsenal are the latest PL club to reject the chance to play in the EFL Trophy.

    Shame, I think that our youngsters would learn a lot more playing serious competitive games against older, stronger, (nasty even) professionals than they do right now.

  18. If young players could turn themselves into goal scorers then every one of them would. There are not very many youth players who grow up hoping to be the next John Terry. They are want to be the next Suarez or Messi. Not only is scoring the most glamorous skill, it is also by far the most well financially compensated. There is not a player in the world who would not like to score more goals. The point is that scoring is certainly the most sought after but by far the most difficult skill to master even for the most technically adept player. Spending a huge amount of money based on the belief that someone can develop into a high scoring player is a gargantuan risk because it’s unlikely to happen.

  19. @andy

    Tend to agree but its a sticky situation because unlike most of the other clubs whose U21 sides are player that are the older 19-21 year olds, often times we are playing a lot fo 17-19 year olds which may not seem like a massive difference but it really is in their physical development. I would have liked to see our youth in EFL because it would allow more of our players closer to the first team potentially the chance to show their stuff against older players, its something interesting to think about.

  20. Not the way I saw it.
    Germany- with Ozil and Schwein ruled the midfield, passed them off the park really with 68% possession, and fizzed it back and forth trying to find a way though.
    Thought France was doing their best imitation of Athletico- which is like watching paint dry, but they just could not get the ball, and it worked.
    Hand ball- at best maybe, as I do not know a person who does not use their arms to balance when jumping.
    Also Germany had a few missiles miss by inches or the post.
    Don’t have a dog in the fight as both sides have Arsenal’s players.
    Want France to win the final big as I can’t stand that tool on the Portuguese side.

  21. I am 99% sure that even Ozil and Cazorla would love to score more goals if they could. Think how much that would help the team. Ozil loses his nerve when he has tons of time at the penalty spot. The calm in front of goal is a skill that very few players master. We have had many players with potential and if Arsene actually had the magic touch that gave us Henry then he would have used it a long time ago.

  22. Good day sirs. I particularly liked griezmann’s dance yesterday. It’s the type of dance u have when u know you have sunk the opponent.

  23. @Bill

    I wouldn’t judge Ozil’s ability to finish based on his ability to take a penalty because we have seen him finish. I think he is a player that does prefer to set his teammates up and there is nothing wrong with that. I mean his finish against Italy was class and its not the first time.

  24. @Bill

    Just because its you mate, Buffon was actually a striker during hus academy days and then saw thr 94′ World Cup I think, saw one of the African GK’s (who is to this day his idol) and decided he wanted to play GK. This was before he signed his first professional contract if memory serves. 😉

  25. C

    Surely both ozil and cazorla recognize the thing we need most is another scorer. If they could just decide they wanted to be better finishers then I assume they would have done that a long time ago. That’s the whole problem. You don’t just decide to become a scorer and you can’t master the skill by just trying harder or practicing.

  26. Musa signs for Leicester, that is potentially a really good signing opposite Mahrez. Leicester seem to really want to stick around.

  27. @Bill

    I get that but Ozil can finish as he has shown, his problem has never been that he can’t finish, its that he prefers to set up teammates. I liken him to Magic Johnson or John Stockton, it wasn’t that they couldn’t score its because they prefer to assist and set up their mates.

  28. The reason there are so few scorers available is because it’s so much more difficult to develop them then other position players. Since you can’t develop them you have to spend what it takes to buy them and sellers can charge a lot.

  29. C

    Just because someone has a couple of good finishes does not mean he could do it more often if he just decided that’s what he wants to do. Giroud has a few really good finishes every season but that does not melange could replicate that more consistently. Rosicky always had a few good finishes every year but that does not make him someone who can score consistently.

    Both Ramsey and cazorla has career seasons with Arsenal but that does not mean they could be scorers and replicate that in command. Same with ozil. He is not a scorer.

  30. @Bill

    But Ozil can get us 7+ goals in a PL season and thats what we need from him in his position. The thing, your asking him to score like a striker when most wingers don’t. Sanchez will score more goals and a consistent CF and Ozil’s 7-10 and that is what we need. He can consistently give us that, has his whole career for the most part.

  31. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary I am reasonably confident that Santori will come on sometime today and say we should buy draxler and let Arsene turn him into a high scoring CF.

  32. The point of all of this is that you can’t just build the perfect midfield and then expect that goal scoring will take of itself. The idea that we create all of these great chances and that should help any forward or that we can develop someone to score because we have so much creativity has proven to be misguided.

    The bottom line is you need to have the right forwards who are good at scoring and unless you get very lucky you have to spend lots of money to buy those forwards

  33. That’s why I bang on all the time about wanting Arsene to spend a lot of money and having the right priorities for which type of player you do spend that money for. Spending $43M for Draxler is a bad idea IMO. He might be a very good player but he is not the type of player we need right now. You can’t justify that sort of expenditure unless we have unlimited funds. IMO. It’s also why I bang on about selling a player like Ramsey if you need to raise money to bid for the type of player we really need.

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