Well that was a pretty good day to be English, at least from a sporting perspective. Seeing the rugby at the Stade de France brought back a few memories for me of that warm Paris evening in May 2006 – still good memories, despite the result.
And seeing English and French fans sitting next to one another all across the ground just reinforced how bizarre it is that one sport has one kind of following and another sport has another kind. Imagine having no segregation in a World Cup semi-final football game between, say, England and Scotland?
The way the rugby players hacked lumps out of one another then got up again, all mashed-up ears and bandages, was pretty impressive too. Especially when you compare it to the antics of Dida, or the perennial earth-tumbling of players like Eboue. (Though fair play to Eboue – he does seem to have mastered his gravitational mechanism a little more this season. Perhaps it’s because he’s far from guaranteed a starting slot. Interesting.)
Anyway, back to the noble sport of the round ball. There’s an Arsenal AGM coming up that could be somewhat explosive: according to the Daily Mail, Dein might pitch up as the representative of the much-loved Red and White Holdings. Now that would be worth watching – in fact, it should be televised. They’ll need to dish out tin hats and Kevlar at the door.
In fact, there was an interesting, fairly in-depth article in Friday night’s Evening Standard about Usmanov, his past, his motivations and his connections, written by Charlotte Eagar. I can’t find it online and it’s not on her website, but I’ll keep looking.
On the pitch, Eduardo edged Croatia nearer to Euro 2008 by scoring the solitary goal against Israel – he really is prolific at international level. And though it might not feel like he’s taken Arsenal by storm just yet, his record for us is not bad – in four starts and three substitute appearances he’s scored twice. There’s a lot more to come from him.
A pleasant and lazy Sunday to one and all.