The Euro’s: final stage for some Gunners? And how the Iceland team was selected.

By Walter Broeckx

As you will know Untold never has been a big fan of the tournaments organised by the crooks of Uefa and Fifa. As I completely dislike these organisations I don’t want to be involved in anything they organise. I will also not attend a party organised by the Napolitan Mafia, so why would I go to the party of Uefa.

I don’t feel much when I think of Belgium and certainly not when they name themselves red devils (reminds me to much about MU) and certainly not when they are filled with Man City,  tottnum and Chelsea players.

I’m not one to just change my thought on players if they put on another shirt unless it should be an Arsenal shirt of course. And don’t get me started about their deep loving feelings for our country as it turns out that almost all the players are hiding their earnings in Luxemburg companies so they avoid paying taxes in Belgium as much as possible.

So don’t expect me to go out and support a bunch of tax avoiding Man City, spuds and Chel$ki players.  And then to think that the law makers in Belgium have made a big difference for sports people like footballers where instead of paying 40-50% taxes as the average Jos Flanders and Marie Walloon have to pay they are given another tax rate. No, they only have to pay a very, very low tax rate.

And still it is too much for the national heroes to support the country they oh so dearly love. Solidarity??? You are having a laugh.

So with that off my chest lets us talk about the European championship and the Arsenal players involved. As today is the start of the matches with only 8 teams involved and with 5 Gunners still at the tournament.

Today will probably not see Szczesny in action. Poland has to play but after Szczesny got injured during the opening match from Poland he first couldn’t play and then was replaced by Fabianski the former Gunner.

Mostly because he got treated so harshly when playing for Arsenal by some fans I do still have a bit of a soft spot for Fabianski. Despite him breaking my heart a few times. Poland will play Portugal. A team that has one of the best players of the world in it but despite his presence they are not capable of performing when it matters.

In fact it is strange to see the resemblance with that other best player in the world Messi. Messi and Argentina however do manage to get in the finals of the big tournaments but then they bottle it. Ronaldo and Portugal can only dream of getting in the final like Argentina does. It still is a bit strange of course that the best players are not capable of winning it.

Portugal again is not really playing convincingly but at least they have beaten Croatia in the previous round. A goal near the end of extra time sealed the match. If you ask me a prediction for this match I do think that Portugal will win it somehow. A reminder: I am terrible at predicting football results.

Tomorrow we will see Aaron Ramsey play Belgium. Belgium one of the tournament’s favourites. So it should be game over for Wales and Ramsey might be on the plane back to London during the weekend. Or to wherever he is planning to spend his holidays. Well that is the general feeling in Belgium. They will trash Wales. They are already looking forward to a semi final with Portugal.

But then again… wasn’t England also looking forward to playing France? We all know how that ended.

It’s dangerous to focus on the next round when you still have to play a round. I must say that what I have seen from Wales hasn’t really impressed me. But they are a difficult team that can defend with great determination and then they have two players of world class in Bale and Ramsey. Bale is a player that can win a match in a split second. And Ramsey is the engine of the Welsh team. If they both are in form and have their day then Wales will have a chance.  But my prediction is that Belgium will win it. But then again I also predicted England to win against Iceland…

On Saturday we have the biggest clash of this round. Germany – Italy. They don’t come any bigger than that. Multiple winners of world cups and European championships and one will go home.

With Özil we have one of our big stars in this competition playing for Germany. Italy has already taken the scalp of Belgium and Spain in their trophy cabinet of this tournament. A team that seems difficult to beat playing a kind of defensive football as only the Italians can. A style that has been copied and imitated with lots of success by some managers. Italy is for that reason not my cup of tea.

Germany on the other hand is the team that will always go out with the intention to make it a real and open match of football. Germany will only lay back if they are forced to. So the Italians will like that German approach very much as it gives them the chance to wait for that one chance and then take it an then close the shop.

The problem with Germany this tournament is that they create plenty of chances but don’t convert enough of them. Muller has completely lost his scoring form of previous world cups. If the Germans can find their finishing boots, they will win it. But be aware of the Italians and their silent killer tactics. My prediction… Italy will win it.

Finally we have the team with most Gunners : France with Koscielny and Giroud. France will play Iceland. Piece of cake. Well it looked that way before the England match of course. Iceland who managed to beat Holland and Turkey in the qualifying group matches before this tournament should have been a warning for every team. But nobody really took notice of them. It wasn’t a one off. It wasn’t a fluke. No they are another difficult to beat team.

And apart from the English fans that are not over the defeat most people in Europe do feel a bit of sympathy for that bunch of people coming from a cold island in the middle of that big ocean. For the players, supporters and for the whole country this is a bit of a fairy tale of course. And everybody feels sympathy (well probably not all in England for the moment) but will they do it again and beat France the hosts? That would be a big surprise but Iceland is the team that is producing surprises so why not? Will they be the Greece or Danmark of former European Championships and win it? My prediction however…. France will win it. Giroud to score a goal and give an assist.

So if my predictions are correct we would have  semi finals between Portugal and Belgium and the other between Italy and France. Meaning all but two Gunners out of the tournament. From an Arsenal point of view… I wouldn’t mind. But for the players involved… I would grant them more matches as it will bring them lots of joy.  For those who will watch it: enjoy yourselves. As for me… I will only watch if the Arsenal players are fit  at the end of the match and tournament. So let us keep our fingers crossed for that result.


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22 Replies to “The Euro’s: final stage for some Gunners? And how the Iceland team was selected.”

  1. The manager of Italy is on his way to chelski.

    Should we rename chelski – spaghettiski?

    The BBC website has a piece pointing their little finger of blame for the failure of the English football team, at the FA.

  2. Walter

    “So don’t expect me to go out and support a bunch of tax avoiding Man City, spuds and Chel$ki players. And then to think that the law makers in Belgium have made a big difference for sports people like footballers where instead of paying 40-50% taxes as the average Jos Flanders and Marie Walloon have to pay they are given another tax rate. No, they only have to pay a very, very low tax rate.

    And still it is too much for the national heroes to support the country they oh so dearly love. Solidarity??? You are having a laugh.”

    Hear hear.

    Personally, as a general rule, I don’t have an issue with people earning a lot of money. Supply and demand. Genius. Business acumen. Luck. It can be acquired in many ways. As long as it’s legal and not at somebody else’s expense I’m okay with that.

    But, PAY YOUR FUCKING TAXES. I have to. That’s my rant over too.

    “…….and then they have two players of world class in Bale and Ramsey”.

    Indeed they do, but I have yet to hear ONE pundit put ‘Ramsey’ and ‘World Class’ in the same sentence. Maybe I missed it.

    I’m going for Wales in a tight match.

    Germany have been good. Ozil has been majestic. I will never enjoy watching Italy and as such want Germany to stuff em.

    I know people wont agree but I think Germany will win this comfortably. 3-1.

    Heart ruling head? Maybe.

    Despite there heroics, and giving me the biggest laugh of the year, (until I read the graphic), I think, and hope, France will win. I particularly want Giroud to score, maybe a couple, just to shut people up.

    As aside, I must say to watch some of the players that Giroud gets unfavourably compared with missing so many chances, chances Giroud would be slaughtered for, has given me reason to smile.

    From what I was lead to believe the likes of Lewandowski never miss !!

    Oh well, that’s that theory down the tubes.

  3. Colario

    To think, with this coach Chelsea could get even more boring to watch.

    The mind boggles.

  4. So, the Icelandic team is just the 23 players who had nothing else to do eh? 🙂

    I seen one non-transfer story so far. Apparently Tottenham is going to finish above us this coming season and rule north London.

  5. Walter

    Not that I’m against analysing the Euro matches but for someone who care so little about UEFA competitions, you seem to be doing very well following developments at the tournament

  6. By the way, I love the Iceland team selection analyses. Evidently, the 23 playing are the balance after removing people engaged in one practice or another. Lol

  7. Nice round up, Walter. I still would like the French hosts to win. Apart from anything else, they have the best national anthem – what can beat the Marseillaise? Sorry to hear your national team are tax avoiders. Ours probably are as well.

  8. ‘Should we rename chelski – spaghettiski?”

    Using national stereotypes? Seriously racist. Go to the naughty step at once.

  9. Nonny,
    I read about it (no way to avoid it over here) and I do check out if I can find anything about any injury about Arsenal players.
    I do this after each match that I know one could be involved.
    I think I have seen in total some 4 matches of 90 minutes but that was from each match a few minutes. Longest sequence was last Sunday France – NI as I was recovering from a party the night before and was too lazy even to change channel 🙂
    I will be relieved when this is over and I can focus on Arsenal matters.

  10. Leon
    June 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    ‘The naughty step’ To use American speak ‘That’s my home base’. 🙁

  11. @Walter

    Yes, big patriots are usually like that. They don’t put their money where their mouth is.

    Regarding Portugal and Ronaldo… I wouldn’t compare them with Argentina and Messi. Messi has had Agüero, Higuain, Icardi, Dybala, Mascherano, Di Maria, Zabaleta, Tevez, Crespo…around him. Ronaldo has never had such quality around him in the national team, especially in the No.9 role where Portugal haven’t had a top player since Pedro Pauleta. They produce wingers (their match-winning attack against Croatia was produced by three wingers: Ronaldo, Nani and Quaresma), midfielders, defenders…but there are no No.9s.

    I expect their tie against Poland to be a really cracking one. The Poles have the best defensive midfielder of the tournament Krychowiak who absolutely bossed the midfield against Germany and more attacking talent than their “goals for” column suggests. Portugal have failed to win a single game within 90 minutes but I feel Ronaldo can win the game on his own. So, I’d say Portugal to win against the Poles even if I’d like Fabianski and Chez to win it. Fabianski redeemed himself for all his mistakes during our FA Cup run in 2014.

    Germany vs Italy… It’s true that the Italians are jinx opponents for the Germans (Italy haven’t lost to Germany at big tournaments since 1962) but Löw’s side has broken the curse against Brazil in 2014 in a spectacular fashion. Germany knocked Italy out at EURO 1996 in the group stage with a 0:0 draw thanks to Zola’s missed penalty. I’d go for Germany to win the game by heart but Italy play football that pays off even if it is ugly to watch.

    Wales have done well against Belgium in the EURO qualifiers (1:0 at home, 0:0 away) and will hope they’ll be able to repeat the trick. Belgium have a lot of talent but it seems to me that they keep their team cohesion together with their money – miles away from Belgium. I would like Rambo to deliver a goal or two but I think Belgians will win it if Carrasco gets more minutes.

    France v Iceland – France are favourites but they will struggle to break down Iceland. Iceland concede almost twice as many shots they make per game but they are in the last eight due to perfect use of their resources. France rely a lot on a world-class striker Griezmann and Payet’s creativity with a golden touch from Giroud providing an assist and a red card for the opponents against Ireland. Pogba is yet to prove he is worth 20 million pounds, let alone those reported 70-80 millions. I’d go with France to win that one.

  12. Breaking News 🙂

    Most teams in England are involved in transfer negotiations, which have _absolutely nothing_ to do with Arsenal.

    Alexis has posted pictures of his ankle/bruising, the newspapers have copies.

    The Arsenal Ladies had a disappointing 0-0 draw yesterday.

    In Ladies news today, apparently Chelsea has taken one of our Ladies on loan.

  13. Breaking News 🙂

    Piyers Mrgan has opened his mouth again. No intelligence came out. What noises came out, I don’t know.

  14. I hope Germany progress if not for Ozil for the simple reason they try to play football as it should be played. I just can’t stand Ronaldo with his cheating antics, nani too, so hoping Lewandoski finds his goalscoring boots tonight. I don’t really care what happens in the other matches, can be ok with either results, but want Giroud to score.

  15. Walter
    Nothing wrong with having a ” soft spot ” for Fabianski either due to the disgraceful abuse he received while at Arsenal, or simply because he was an Arsenal player but to point out something to you , and not to try to change your mind about him( I don’t care), Fabianski faced 10 penalties against Switzerland and Portugal and didn’t come close to saving one.

    You would have to be unlucky in the extreme to pick a wrong corner to dive into 10 times out of 10, which he did.

    To be a No 1 keeper at a club like Arsenal, you need to be better that that.
    Fabianski is good enough for Swansea but not Arsenal.

  16. Walter,
    However much I enjoy your country’s chips and chocolate, the excitement of reading your catering reports and the pleasure of receiving welcome news about Madame’s steady progress towards full health and strength, I must confess to favouring the Welsh in tonight’s game.
    It was a difficult decision for me but at the end of the day I simply could not overlook the mess made by the Brussels lawmaking bureaucrats to my coffee percolator. 😉

  17. Al

    I agree with you about Ronaldo and his cheating and his incredulous fake smile when things don’t go his way. He reminded me of someone about 50 years ago who was a character on Tv and Radio. It came to me last evening who it was. For all of the untold readers of greater age, it was Archie Andrews the ventriloquists Puppet!

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