Italy, will they conquer Europe!

Italy missed out on the 2018 World Cup, but under the management of Roberto Mancini they are back with an interesting group of players and a much younger outfit than before, though a number of players in their 30’s are included in the set-up.

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So who are they and where do they come from, and will they be able to repeat former greats such as a the winning lot of 06 or the 82 team that in all might have been the best there is, looking back in time.

Roberto Mancini had never trained a national team taking over from Gian Piero Ventura in May 2018, and has since turned fortunes around, claiming “Italy never lacked important players, I only gave them confidence and a chance to play”.

The return of good results for the national team have given fans faith again and support are turning in the right direction, as Italy looks certain to play an important role and go far in the tournament this summer.

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Mancini found a good balance and had a good start to his work and as we all know, he is a clever man when it comes to being a manager, winning the league with Manchester City for the first time since 1968, when they lifted the trophy in 2012.

He is a winner Mancini, with a style and attitude that spread confidence and he gets results. Italy went through their qualification with all wins picking up 30 points in 10 games, and as winners of group J in front of Finland. Belgium also had a full score and impressed in the same manner.

Italy mostly play in a four, three, three setup, and with a number of key players such as Immobile and Insigne, who are both very experienced. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho is an important player and his presence was clear to see in the 9-1 win v. Armenia, scoring one of the goals.

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The team is equipped to take on all type of opposition and being able to dominate against those minor nations, but also playing smart against major opponents, we just have to wait and see how it all will end in the Euro’s, but their qualification was impressive.

The team is also set up with almost every player playing in Italy, with just a few exceptions. Roberto Mancini has seen the type of players he needs to fulfill his project and picked players from different clubs and it looks so exciting, a real outsider in the Euro’s.

Arsenal from “Fever Pitch” to “Spotify”, is it just lack of love

Arsenal is lifestyle for many, looking back and thinking about one of the best film and book in history about football. But after watching or reading it, it’s not about football, it’s about holding on to something that makes your life important and worth living, because without passion, you have nothing.

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Fever Pitch is a great film and it’s worth watching from a totally different aspect than football, since it describes it perfectly, two guys a bit lost in their own lives, keeping their passion and interests around something as pathetic as a football team.

Both bachelors at the time and with no real love in life, so they keep themselves busy with their only other interest, football, and of course also showing support beyond normal. Colin Firth was probably not as known then as he is today, but playing the main part perfectly.

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Arsenal and maybe other football clubs are so much more than “the game itself” for many it’s just filling gaps and making it easier to adapt in life, if you don’t have that special one, and you just turn your head around and move on with your “other passion”.

Some of us, can’t get enough, we just think about it all the time, almost 24/7 and of course everything in that week is build around the big happening, that special game, and the hope of another big win, and for Arsenal it will always be that trophy and despite winning the FA Cup last season, it’s a new season and you need that win to go on, and watching defeats is a drag and then as we did see in the past week, being threatened with a plan that would have destroyed a dream, to win in a fair competition, or as we believe it to be, still.

As kids of a fallen generation, those growing up in what was a bit of change to something we used to call “modern” with new and fantastic happenings such as “going to the moon” getting “colour tv” and seeing the plastic and artificial clothes being the normal with old garments and cotton no longer as popular.

No one really talked about the old days anymore, it was not us at least that talked about what had been, we were all looking forward to what was to come and in this particular film we have a feeling that we are seeking forward not backwards, and progress is there to see as Arsenal becomes more than life for a guy not really “getting there”, yet.

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To stand at the pavement and watching on as time goes by and you see footballers come and go, but the kit and the stadium is the same, or at least the colours of the kit is, and we don’t really believe that no one will move from The Emirates and at his time there is no going back to Highbury, the mind is set, going forward is somehting else, it could by Spotify, or something sounding like it.

Recent news about Mr. Ek, coming in, with past legends to turn things around, it makes a bit of hope. We all know that current owners are not very popular, why, really, they take away the money, and as long as you are not winning games as much as you would like the team to do.

Engagement is fantastic to watch and what we did see outside The Emirates shows the passion of a few that really show how gutted they are with the proposal of a “super league” and keep the system as it is, the traditional way, and suddenly UEFA / FIFA are the good guys.

If it will be sweet music at The Emirates with Spotify inside, who knows, but at least a glimps of hope with a possible return of lost heroes such as Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira, all of them former foreign stars.

Paul Ainsworth, the main character in Fever Pitch, is fanatic Arsenal and this club soaks up everything and he really makes it obvious showing his support 24/7, and keeping himself busy with his favorite club, and he doesn’t stop loving them or support them when he meets Sarah Hughes, but things starts to switch and football becomes more and more balanced.

The film culminates with that iconic goal scored by Michael Thomas and the fact that Arsenal again wins the title in the year of 1989, and as we all know the drought is over, the wait after that fantastic “double act” is finally over and we who support clubs who have won Premier League knows what that feeling is all about, it’s like you are over the line and can go on.

We all know, as football fans, that lack of “that special one” or “lost love” could see you all find support and great passion in a football team, and if someone takes it away or wants to destroy something inside you, then what is life!

Really hope for all Arsenal fans, be balanced, be cool, don’t get the passion sickness and it will come to you, football is beyond football and will always be, important stuff!, and if Spotify can help in that way, why not start a pull for a takeover.

Mike Bailey

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Factfile:

  • Full Name: Michael Alfred Bailey
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 27.02.1942
  • Birthplace: Wisbech
  • Nation: England
  • Club Career: Wolverhampton Wanderers
    • Period: 1966-1977
    • League Games, 351
    • League Goals, 19
    • Previous Club: Charlton Athletic
      • Transfer Fee: £40 000
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