Barren Aaron: He will never sire an heir.
Tomiyasu Tiramasu: He brings eastern flair to an Italian dessert.
Ben Wren: He moonlights as a tiny brown bird : White Knight: Good at chess.
Kieran Sheeran: Has grown a mop of red hair and unfortunately is that bloke who takes his acoustic guitar out at parties.
Xhaka Tracker: Software to install on your children’s phone to know where they are, but every so often it just electrocutes them.
Partey Charty: A detailed sheet exhibiting information in tabular form, perhaps based on repeat criteria.
Example: This chart illustrates the distance from the net each one his shots landed. The cumulative total right now is *calculates* infinity + 1.
Sambi Bambi: Has a very good friend who is a rabbit.
Lennie Elneny: Dreams of living off the fatta’ the land, does not know his own strength. Had an unfortunate moment with Sambi’s rabbit friend.
Cartin’ Martin: Dreams of being an F1 driver one day.
Silhouette Lacazette: He’s there, but it’s hard to make out the details.
Teddy Eddie: Loves Elvis, wears clothes partly inspired by the styles worn by dandies in the Edwardian period.
As you can see I have lost what’s left of my tiny little mind. For all the frustration football brings us, at least it brings us something. All this nothing is unbearable. And there’s another Interlull next month.
I know the World Cup every two years thing is little more than a way for FIFA to create a stranglehold on the game and rake in more cash so those at the top can continue to live a privileged existence with diamond-plated Lear jets, palatial palaces (the best kind), gold-crusted toilet seats, and direct access to the Sprinkly Salt Meat Wanker’s €10000 steaks (which are probably no better than the select range in your local Aldi), but I can get behind some changes to the international qualifying schedule if it means fewer breaks.
That said, I wonder how next winter’s World Cup (that sounds ludicrous even to say it), will impact the football calendar. I don’t think – not in my lifetime at least – there’s ever been something planned that so impacts the game across the world. Clearly the pandemic and the lockdowns did that, but that was very much a case of something that was unexpected and out of everyone’s control.
The Qatar World Cup is completely different, and while there will be all kinds of debate about how and why it was awarded, the human cost of staging the event, and beyond, it wouldn’t surprise me if part of the decision making was also to bring about this kind of disruption, after which it becomes easier to implement things which would previously have been unthinkable.
It happened with Covid-19. From having a set amount of TV coverage, all of a sudden we had every game live – even some on a Saturday at 3pm, a time-slot previously forbidden in the UK (but not in Ireland!). They said that could never happen. Obviously there were very specific circumstances which brought that about, but to shift a tournament which has been existence for nearly 100 years – and which has taken place in the summer each and every time – to the middle of winter is quite a seismic change. Maybe I’m cynical – and I realise there is every reason to be cynical about football, the people who run it and all the rest – but I can’t shake the feeling there’s more to that decision than meets the eye (beyond the very obvious ones we can all come up with).
I also realise I have used a substantial amount of brackets today, and I feel somewhat uncomfortable with that. I don’t know why. They are a legitimate punctuation marks which serve a very useful purpose.
Anyway, Mikel Arteta will meet the press today ahead of our game against Crystal Palace on Monday night. I’m sure he will be asked about Newcastle and the takeover, but what can he say other than this was a decision made elsewhere and that this is a challenge that Arsenal are going to have to deal with. As someone who worked for Man City, it’s not like he can take umbrage with that kind of ownership, although I don’t put it past Pep to have a bee in his bonnet about it while crying poor-mouth and claiming they can’t afford to sign any players to add the many expensive players they have already signed.
That’s it for this morning. More tomorrow, plus an Arsecast. Until then, take it easy.