The Euros kicked off on Friday and the football has been more than reasonable. It usually takes a week before the footie gets really good but it seldom reaches the levels of club football. For that we have to wait only two months now as the PL will kick off on 13th August.
As I stated in a recent post, Granite Xhaka is a deep playmaker of a central midfielder who resembles Arteta in his best years at Arsenal. I reckon Granite has the physical and technical attributes to be a better version of the ‘Arteta role’ but we will have to wait and see. Xhaka has a good, pro-active eye for what is going to happen next: a sign of a true, quality, Wengeresque midfielder. Anticipating the next action and then taking control is what really good footballers do, and Xhaka loves to do that. He created space for himself and spread the ball beautifully, opting between short and simple and more risky, long-distance passes constantly. To have him sit in front of the defence and start our attacks from deep is a mouthwatering prospect. The Swiss did look nervous towards the end and almost, just like sorry England, gave away two points towards the end of the game. I will have to have a closer look at Xhaka’s defensive qualities; there may still be first team starts for Francis Le Coq..
I loved the way Wales took on the Slovaks in their opening game. A high press gave their opponents no time to breath and the Welsh combined well when in possession. They were oozing confidence and had bags of energy, and it was good to see the wall of red – the new orange?! – of their supporters passionately supporting their boys. Rambo enjoyed the freedom of playing in front of the impressive Allen and beastly Bale, and if he stays fit he will be able to play a key role in his team’s Euros performances. Let’s hope Jack gets a start against the Welsh and we will see both of our finest sons compete against each other at the highest level.
England played very well but, just like Arsenal so often, they did not kill the game off. And then there is a Stoke or Crystal Palace like ball into the box and a small defender has no chance against a giant attacker, and two valuable points are dropped: sounds familiar? Rooney, Walker, Cahill and Dier were very impressive and the rest just ran and ran without much purpose. Hodgson is counting on the wrong players to get him through this group and I hope he will see sense and play the likes of Jack and Vardy from the start…
Ozil produced a typical run followed by a pin-point cross that was not to be missed, even by Schweini, and another Gunner left the field with a smile on his face.
All good in Gunners Eurodom!!
Lots more to talk about and I’d love to hear your early Euros observations!