There will definitely be those England fans out there who feel that this international windows European Championship clashes with Malta and North Macedonia were slightly on the irrelevant side, and their opinions will not have been changed with a pretty comfortable opening 4-0 victory, which was then following by a 7-0 thrashing on Monday evening.
Arsenal fans certainly had something to celebrate though as our very own ‘starboy’ went on to record his first ever career hattrick in the game. Bukayo Saka helped manager Gareth Southgate’s side to four wins from four Euro 2024 qualifiers by finding the back of the net in the 38th, 47th and 51st minutes of the match to cap an incredible individual performance and with the game clearly won, the 21 year old left the pitch to a deserved standing ovation just ahead of the hour mark.
It should be remembered though, in some ways it shows just how far the Arsenal Academy graduate has come and also England themselves, as fans will remember an embarrassing and shoddy 4-0 defeat to Hungary, almost exactly a year ago to the day, in a game with very familiar conditions in terms of the game plan employed and how the opposition largely sat back, sat deep and just challenged the England players to attempt to break them down.
For Arsenal fans though, Saka’s growth as a player and his versatile attacking threat over the last few years has been a marvel to behold, and whilst – particularly in an England shirt, it has not always gone his way and he has had very tough moments – this hattrick success, building on his experiences in the 2022/23 campaign, should only drive him on to improve further as we, and manager Mikel Arteta look to genuinely challenge Manchester City and Pep Guardiola in the years to come.
A still and constantly developing Saka will undoubtedly play an incredibly important role in that happening if we are capable of making last season a true turning point again in the clubs history, and now we simply have to wait and see just how much more Arteta can get out of the group of players, and then what decisions are taken during the transfer window to improve us further.
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