Sunday.

Good morning.

The world is still out there. I’m sitting looking at a blank page – in digital terms anyway – and for the first time since this thing started I don’t really feel like writing anything. Then I feel bad for feeling like that because this is what I do, and I’m lucky that I can still do it. I know others are in much more difficult positions than I am.

Everything is … I can’t remember the word. Unique to our own experiences, or something. Relevant? I think it begins with E. Maybe if I keep typing it will come to me.

It hasn’t.

The point is that even if someone is worse off than you, you can still feel a bit low about your own stuff. Maybe this is why I don’t feel like writing, because my brain isn’t functioning the way it normally does. Like a taxi driver deciding not to drive because he wakes up and can only see out of one eye and what he can see is all fuzzy like looking through a dirty windscreen.

And yet, here we are. Here I am. There you are. Not writing would be abnormal and I need as much normal as possible these days. I have lots of emails to answer. Despite the lockdown, I’ve got a backlog. If you’ve sent something recently, I’ll get around to answering it in the next day or so.

I see reports that, from next week, Arsenal will re-open the training ground to players for them to do their physical exercise. In a statement, the club say:

Players will be permitted access to our London Colney training grounds next week. Access will be limited, carefully managed and social distancing will be maintained at all times. All Colney buildings remain closed. Players will travel alone, do their individual workout and return home.

The Guardian say that this will operate on a rota basis, with small groups at a time coming in, doing their workout, then going home. There’s no suggestion that coaching, or playing football will be involved at all. I suppose you could work on things like:

  • Passing to someone more than 2 metres away
  • Medium passing
  • Long passing

And without being flippant, I suppose there are ball skills players could work on. Shooting, free kicks, set-piece taking and so on, but quite how beneficial they are in the grand scheme of things is another question. I think we’re still a long way from football returning, but this is a small step which feels positive so I’m clinging on to that.

I miss football a lot. It drives me mental, it frustrates the life out of me at times, but it’s like a load bearing wall in my life and it’s just gone. Everything is a bit wobbly without it.

I’m going to leave it there for today. Tomorrow, I’m sure, my brain will be working, or at least working better than it is right now. If you’re looking for something else to read this morning, here are two pieces I’ll recommend.

First, from Phil Wall of the Arsenal Supporter’s Trust, a look at the reports that Stan Kroenke is going to put millions into Arsenal to support the club during this pandemic. The players have taken pay cuts, but what exactly are KSE going to do. Read here.

Second, a genuinely wonderful piece of writing – to my mind anyway – from Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of a restaurant called Prune in New York. The realities of Covid-19 and the shutdown of her business are stark. It’s a long read, a painful one at times too, but it’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long time, not least during this crisis. Read in the New York Times here.

Have a good day folks.