Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Euro 2024: Six Gunners remain standing

The Arsenal contingent at Euro 2024 is down to six following an exciting round of last-16 ties. Here’s how our boys fared and what’s coming up next in Germany.


Switzerland 2-0 ITALY

Jorgi was left on the bench as Luciano Spalletti’s side were humbled by a sharp Switzerland inspired by another majestic performance by Granit Xhaka. Cracking goals by Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas sealed the deal either side of half time to set up a quarter-final with England.

Jorginho tournament minutes: 216

Kai Havertz

GERMANY 2-0 Denmark

Kai scored his second penalty of the tournament as the hosts benefited from a couple of big VAR decisions to seal their place in the next round. Nico Schlotterbeck and Joachim Andersen both had goals ruled out before the Arsenal striker made his mark on the game.  Jamal Musiala, a contender for player of the tournament, later wrapped things up with a lovely finish. The game was also notable for a huge lightning storm that forced proceedings to come to a halt for nearly 30 minutes.

Havertz tournament minutes: 301


David Raya

SPAIN 4-1 Georgia

After playing in the final group game, David returned to the bench as Spain came from behind to beat a spirited Georgia side who stuck to their exciting counter-attacking football. Rodri cancelled out Robin Le Normand’s own goal with a fine finish before Fabian Ruiz, Nico Williams and Dani Olmo made the most of La Roja’s constant pressure.

Raya tournament minutes: 90

Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, Aaron Ramsdale

ENGLAND 2-1 Slovakia

Jude Bellingham’s 95th-minute overhead kick saved Gareth Southgate from a humiliating defeat and provided the springboard for an unlikely England comeback rounded off by Harry Kane’s header in extra time. The Three Lions fell behind to Ivan Schranz’s poked effort in the first half and were lucky not to fall further behind before their big names finally came good. Declan Rice delivered an all-action performance in midfield (and amusingly later called the Slovakia manager a ‘bald c*nt’ in a post-game scuffle) while Bukayo Saka was forced into a stint at left-back after Kieran Trippier was substituted.

Saka tournament minutes: 336
Rice tournament minutes: 390
Ramsdale tournament minutes: 0


William Saliba

FRANCE 1-0 Belgium

Big Willy underlined why he’s one of the best centre-backs in world football by helping France to a third clean sheet at Euro 2024. The defender earned plaudits for the way he shackled Romelu Lukaku throughout the game and even started the move that led to France’s late winner; an effort by Randal Kolo Muani that deflected in off Jan Vertonghen in a typically Sp*rsy manner. L’Equipe, usually very stingy with their player ratings, awarded Saliba an 8/10. Pas mal, mon ami.

Saliba tournament minutes: 360

Leandro Trossard 

France 1-0 BELGIUM

Leo was left to stew on the sidelines as Domenico Tedesco’s Belgium put in another low-par and weirdly cautious performance. While Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku did have chances the Arsenal man will definitely be wondering why his skills in the box weren’t called upon. Perhaps it had something to do with his dad’s outburst earlier in the tournament. Trossard Snr said: “I don’t think Tedesco is a good coach for Belgium, even if he doesn’t have the stubbornness of Roberto Martinez.”

Trossard tournament minutes: 170


Portugal vs FRANCE
ENGLAND vs Switzerland
Netherlands vs Turkey

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A different George

Saliba dealt with Lukaku’s strength as well as any centre half I’ve seen. Playing on the “wrong” side didn’t bother him either. My only disappointment was that his brilliant volley was not on target.

Funsho Patrick

6 foot 3 Romelu Lukaku in Saliba’s pocket for 90minutes….was an amazing thing to see.. practically bullied!

Public Elneny

Saliba not allowing Ronaldo a touch all game is going to be hilarious

Cranky Colin

Yeah, but was Didier happy?


He will never be happy unless France become de champs


Hah nice

Cranky Colin



Those Kai stats are one hand pretty impressive, on the other they probably give his naysayers just the ammo they look for – “all that xG so where are the G from open play” blah blah… He feels like a guy who still has a level he hasn’t reached yet. The impressive amount of goals he scored for us the 2nd half of the season, and yet you got the feeling if he was more clinical he could’ve had double. His movement is so intelligent, he really has a knack for finding the ball in dangerous areas… imo if he… Read more »

Absolute Camel

Agreed. I’m cautiously optimistic about Kai. However, the cynic in me allows thoughts to creep in along the lines of what if he’s just having a purple patch and we don’t sign an out and out striker this summer?

Cliff Bastin

I think his finishing will never be good but that’s not what he brings. Notice how Wirtz and Musiala are switch flanks and even attacking centrally at will. Havertz slots himself into spaces where they are not causing all kinds of chaos.

Ödegårds Magnifika Fot

Yeah Nagelsmann mentioned Kai’s role is creating space – so the fact that despite his role being making space and he still has the highest xG is insane

Dr. Gooner

Kai is a new breed of CF that I’ve taken to calling a reference CF because their positioning is a reference point to the rest of the team in attack. Their job isn’t to get on the ball or to score, it’s to manipulate situations and defenders to open up spaces for others. It’s a selfless role that relies on intuitive understanding of anticipating space and player movement and a relentless work ethic to keep moving and winning little jockeys for positioning. Kai Havertz may be the best in the world at this, but it’s not appreciated because all the… Read more »


I see where you’re coming from but not sure if the comparison to Ozil is apt because he doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of vision, nor quite that level of touch. I feel like he likes to score as much as he loves to pass, maybe doesn’t quite love either of those things more than the other. But you’re right about the rest, him manipulating defenders etc, except I do think that’s still only half his job, since he also plays with players like Odegaard who do the same thing he is definitely also expected to sometimes take advantage… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

Ozil was just the most obvious example of a pass first player I could think of, not a comp with Kai otherwise. The difference with Odegaard is that O works his magic on the ball and Kai off it. Yin and Yang. Sure, Kai gets on the ball and Odegaard moves off it but in those moments they are not using their very best traits. . Odegaard has few flaws but his off ball movement has been an issue. At times he is right on top of the play and that causes unnecessary congestion. This is why you started seeing… Read more »


Kai and Willy are having a great tournament so far, when playing for us I focus on all of the players yet with Germany you can focus on what Kai actually does without the ball, he’s such an intelligent player, ghosting in to areas, holding up balls, his positioning to stop breakouts from the back, his touch and penalty taking has been top notch, as for Willy I can’t recall a mistake he’s made throughout this tournament, we know how good he is and we certainly want him to remain at us for many more seasons but his value has… Read more »


Saka hasn’t been given a decent pass and hasn’t had a shot. What a waste of great talent. Saliba is simply the best.

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