The main feature this year
We are careering towards the main part of Summer at a rate of knots now. Every two years this time marks the point at which football disappears for a month or so in this country. Fortunately this year we have a Summer international tournament to sit through. As regulars will know I am not a fan of internationals. I believe the standard is generally poor and the game is usually played at a pedestrian pace, far removed from what we're used to seeing in England. It is not something I would generally pay to go and watch, that's for sure. However, when it comes to the prospect of a Summer without football I am more than willing to sit down and enjoy. I also do not follow England as a rule - I can't bring myself to "support" a team with the likes of Wayne Rooney and John Terry in it. However, I really enjoy the fact that everyone gets their St George's flags out and displays some national unity. The feel-good effect of a successful Summer England campaign can not be underestimated. Throw in some good weather and you have a near-perfect cocktail for putting smiles on faces.
So what does all this mean for this blog? Well, quite obviously I am going to make "reporting" on the tournament a major feature over the next few weeks. The plethora of Arsenal players involved with their various teams will not leave us short of relevant interest. I intend to try and preview and review all of England's games in the same way I do Arsenal during the season. As for the rest of the matches, I will tailor the writing to concentrating on those Arsenal players involved. A brief preview of Euro 2012 will form part of tomorrow's piece.
Later on in the Summer is the Olympics and that, too, includes a football tournament. There is every chance that Aaron Ramsey will be involved in the Team GB squad, and possibly Kieran Gibbs too. As such I will be writing the odd piece about that when the time comes. By then we will be close to the start of the season, so it will be very much a sideline., but a decent space-filler nonetheless.
The first-team players are due back in training in the second week of July. From then on there will be a particular concentration back towards Arsenal. The fixtures are out in less than two weeks from now. Once we get in to the pre-season friendlies there will be plenty to write about and we will be able to resume something approaching normal service. Unfortunately there is no trip to Austria this year so I won't have my spies out and about with the touring party. I am concerned about the effect of Arsenal's globe-trotting this Summer, following an international tournament - it should be noted that Barcelona are not flying off around the World this year because of Euro 2012. There will be plenty more on that as the time approaches.
Apart from those core things there will be the usual comment on anything about Arsenal that I believe worthy. If and when signings are made I will have plenty to say about them. Similarly any departures from Arsenal will be written about. What there will not be, as ever, is comment on speculation. Unless the "gossip" has some clear foundation (as with Podolski, Gervinho etc) I will be saying nothing until we make a signing. It's a policy that has kept me sane in the past few transfer windows so I will be sticking to it. I also believe that there is no point in listing the inane rubbish that is made up in the tabloids and on dodgy football gossip sites. We all know it's nonsense, so why bother?
I hope you will enjoy the Summer content as we move towards next season. It will kick off tomorrow with that Euro 2012 preview, and a report from the Ivan Gazidis Q&A tonight with supporters - I have a spy in there who has plenty of questions he wants to ask, if only you were allowed pin Ivan down about things important to the real fans.
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