Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Pass-master M'Vila's just the signing -Giroud can't save France - Barcawant Vermaelen

Morning Gooners.

I ended up watching the England match last night like the sucker I am. I always seem to get pulled into watching them, despite hating international football and the characters that play for my national side. What probably made it worse was Roy Hodgson teasing me - saying to the press Theo Walcott might start and then leaving him on the bench.

England mean more to me when I can watch an Arsenal player in action. Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain were restricted to substitute appearances for the 1-0 win over the Ukraine. It sees England through as group winners because France got beaten by Sweden in the other Group D match.

As was watching England, I didn't get to see Arsenal target Yann M'Vila start for France. But from reports from Twitter he didn't have the best of performances. Looking at his stats he must have been one of Les Bleus' better players because he had the most successful passes of any player 62 out of 65 and of those passes in the final third, 22 out of 24 reached a team mate, creating two chances.

Reports suggested he played in the Mikel Arteta role alongside Alou Diarra. Having seen Arsenal stumble around like a drunk in the dark when playing without the Spaniard towards the end of the season, you can see why Wenger has been scouting him. Although no bid has been made yet for the Rennes midfielder,  Wenger will be back in for him once the Euros are over for France.

The player we're closer to signing, Olivier Giroud, was afforded his first minutes on the pitch, 12 in fact as a late replacement for M'Vila as France chased an equalising goal. But it was not to be and the Montpellier strikers only shot was off target.

Of Giroud's impending move to north London, the French club's deputy president Laurent Nicollin talking about the deal.

He said:
"Discussions are happening and going well, as part of the clause set. Things are moving serenely."
Which certainly sounds good. With the fee agree, we're just waiting for France to exit the Euros before a medical will take place and Giroud finally puts pen to paper.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror report Thomas Vermaelen is one of three Premier League players Barcelona are targeting if they are unable to sign Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez.

I can't see Vermaelen moving, especially after what he said about staying with Arsenal for the rest of his career. But who knows in football.

A day off at the Euros before the quarter finals start tomorrow. I may go and find out if this good weather is going to last...

More tomorrow.

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