70 Years, Hip Hip……


Morning all.

Bored already with the transfer window? Yep, me too but once Arsenal get moving, I’m sure we’ll have a lot of positive things to talk about. Imagine Edu and Mikel Arteta jad just snapped up a 33 year old for free, the Arsenal blogshere would be going nuts, and not in a positive way.

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been nominated for the 2021/22 Men’s PFA Young Player of the Year award. Rightly so I think but the chance of either of them winning it is in my opinion, slim to none. If Aaron Ramsdale couldn’t get the majority of votes for ‘save of the season’ for his outstanding save against Leicester City, then I don’t think any Arsenal player has a chance of being awarded anything. To make matters worse, Jordan Pickford beat him, not that being England’s number one keeper had anything to do with the voting eh…. If Ramsdale can regain the kind of form he showed in that Leicester City game then it won’t be long before he replaces Pickford. Alex Lacazette and Bernd Leno we’re overlooked in other awards too. Jeez, who votes for these things? Lol

This month is all about international football and the Nations League, a tournament England are involved in. Jude Bellingham has touched on what went on during the country’s Euros 2020 final against Italy.

Talking to CNN Sport he said:

The biggest take away from the whole experience for me was the contrast. I think you look at the run into the final, it felt like the country had united and it felt like we were heading on the same path. We had players, black players in the team, players of all different backgrounds from all different countries in the team. And then as soon as they missed the penalty, they’re not English, they’re just black.

I think certain people choose to forget some of the good these guys do. Black, white, pink, yellow, who really gives a toss if the person is decent. Rashford the footballer I really don’t like but the good he’s done away from the game can only be admired. No player misses a penalty on purpose and imagine how each one of the English boys felt when they missed theirs? I bet they were just as  disappointed as the fans. As Bellingham said, the country was together, right behind every single player all the way through the tournament. Did any England fan care about skin colour then?

Anyway, England face Hungary on Saturday in Budapest, a game which was scheduled to be played behind closed doors after UEFA handed the home nation a three match spectator ban for dishing out racist abuse during Euro 2020. However, a loop hole in the rules means 30,000 people will now be at the game. Most will be kids (the loophole) so they should be better behaved. No, I wouldn’t bank on it either.

In other England news, the Under 21 World Cup qualifying fixtures are being shown on the Beeb.

Friday, 3 June (17:00) Czech Republic v England (BBC iPlayer)
Tuesday 7 June (19:45) England v Albania (BBC iPlayer)
Friday, 10 June (19:00) Kosovo v England (BBC iPlayer)
Monday, 13 June (19:45) England v Slovenia (BBC Three and BBC iPlayer)

Emile Smith Rowe and Flo Balogun should be in action and I don’t know about you but if I’m watching any football this month, it’s more likely to be the England under 21 team.

Last night, Ukraine made sure Scotland won’t be anywhere near Qatar when the World Cup takes place later this year which means Kieran Tierney will get a 4 week break. Aaron Hickey too if Arsenal sign him this summer.

The Telegraph report that Mike Riley is battling to save his job. Howard Webb is his suggested replacement. There’s no doubt that the standard of officiating in the Premier League is little short of appalling. There’s no consistency, VAR pick and choose what they review and individuals are applying different rules in different games. Riley and his crew have brought criticism upon themselves in my opinion. I’d be mightily embarrassed if I was one of them after being asked to watch a rerun of a game I’d officiated. This isn’t just because of a number of decisions going against Arsenal as I’m sure nearly every club has suffered at some stage. The PGMOL needs a shake up from the top down, starting with Riley. If he was a football manager, he’d have been sacked years ago!

It’s the start of a four day Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK as the Queen, along with many Brits, will be celebrating 70 years of reign. An incredible achievement, it really is.

Have a great few days all.