Sun, Fun and Stress!!
Friday 8th July 2016
There are many occasions across the Summer months where I wondered whether I should write my first blog since yet another season came to a close in May. In the build up to the fixtures coming out for example or if not, just after they were released. Maybe when we announced our first Summer signing. Or at some stage during the European Championships perhaps.
In the end I thought I would wait until the TV companies chose their initial ‘live’ fixtures. Not only does this decision give me more subject matter but when you throw in all of the above and the various announcements regarding potential pre-season fare, there is a whole host of things to rabbit on about.
Many of those who have been in contact since the end of last season have either asked or in most case assumed I was attending the Euros in France. Although I am very much English and on that basis will always want my country to win in any event they take part in, heading out for that never even crossed my mind. I see international football as my ‘time off’ you see. Or at the very least to witness what everyone else goes through by watching it on the telly!
By and large I think the vast majority of our players have equipped themselves pretty impressively throughout. Being completely selfish however, I sincerely hope the length of time many of them have been involved doesn’t cause us too many problems with fatigue in the coming season. Realistically it has to be a concern. As for England there’s not a lot more any of us can add that hasn’t already been said. Referring to one of our own however, the decision to take Jack when he’d hardly kicked a ball all season was ridiculous in my book. Of course, his natural competitive nature and pride to wear the three lions would mean he would jump at the opportunity to go. But until he had at least a few months competitive football under his belt that shouldn’t have been his decision in my opinion.
Two new players have joined the Gooner family in the shape of Granit Xhaka and Takuma Asano. Welcome to the best club in the world. As always we wish you every success whilst wearing the cannon on your chest. Like all of us however, I still believe we are a couple of players short. Time will tell if that changes.
So what has the Summer held for me personally?
Well, off the pitch I have been fortunate enough to get some sunshine for a week in Majorca and also at a wedding in Marbella. Sport has seen me attend the Diamond League Athletics meeting in Birmingham and with international cricket to come in the next few weeks. When the sun is shining there isn’t too many better places to be than a festival and the Isle of Wight’s awesome version has been attended once again. Throw in a ‘Southampton Beer’ variety and 2 more in the shape of Victorious and Bestival to come (more on those later), as well as a little trip to Dingwalls in Camden to see The Struts and overall it has been yet another pretty entertaining period.
And then of course there was a little discussed event called the EU referendum, a democratic situation that if nothing else has proved that despite its importance there are many millions in this country that will vote one way or another even if they have absolutely no idea why they have chosen or of the consequences as a result!
With much travel to Europe and the USA coming up in this pre-season the timing of a frustratingly weak pound could not have come at a worse time for us travelling Gooners (and anyone else going overseas in the coming weeks). But with Lens in France, the west coast of America, Stavanger in Norway and Gothenburg in Sweden all due to play host over the coming weeks the UK economy collapsing around our ears is not going to stop us from enjoying ourselves. After all, we only live once folks.
As for the fixtures being released, TV’s choices mean we can finally start making specific plans, until the end of September that is!
Like always I have booked various events where football could prevent me from attending so I was hoping for the dates to be kind as always. And by and large I have been pretty fortunate in the first batch! Liverpool at home being moved means I will be at The Oval on the Saturday for the Test Match and with Victorious Festival at the end of the month, at least we are in London and kicking off at 3pm, meaning I have a good chance of being back for the evening’s events.
Bestival weekend in September has thrown up another London 3pm kick off so I am ok on that one too (although last year’s was particularly painful!) so all in all I am pretty happy with events so far.
Two weeks today and it is off to Northern France as everything gets underway once again. I’ll sign off with that thought and revert back as that day approaches.
So what am I going to do with myself this weekend?!
Relax….that was it.