Because I don’t have any real interest in international football except in watching out for dreadful injuries to Arsenal players and wishing such young men had more sense than to put their futures in the hands of car thieves (if you remember the old description) who wreck your vehicle, then hand it back and say “get it repaired for the next time I need it,” summer can be a bit of a drag. (Granit Xhaka appears not to be made of granite after all).
Fortunately I do have a couple of other hobbies to keep me going, neither of which is bad for my health, and also can still meet my mates for a natter, and of course can watch such oddities as football offers in the summer. And, then, of course, there are people who write in and say “why don’t you focus on your own club, and all their problems?” having not seen the headline “Football news from an Arsenal perspective”. And I can write back with a sarcastic reply, and we get the occasional sunny day, and then it rains a bit then someone writes in and says “why don’t you focus…” and before you know it, it is August.
But so far this has been quite an entertaining summer from my Arsenal perspective – not to mention an interesting and enlightening one.
For example, who would have imagined that a few members of the press corps might actually have started to attack the wretched Piers Morgan over his attacks on Sterling. In response to one piece he responded “f you can’t stand a bit of media scrutiny, go and be a dustman.” To which the Guardian ran the headline, “
The Telegraph didn’t actually go for the whole media, but they did have a sideswipe with “Spare us the moral outrage – Raheem Sterling is guilty of nothing more than expressing his own free will”.
Now what I find particularly interesting is that for once the values mentioned for a moment seem to extend into that murky world in which the media don’t like to tread: the acknowledgement of the fact that the way they present the news a) influences how people see the world and b) a lot of what is written is still disgusting.
Anyway, such thoughts went on a more whimsical journey in looking at the other news around. There is the on going story of Chelsea and its stadium, and the disaffection of the owner (not chairman as I wrongly called him) of the club in the light of visa difficulties.
And now there is suddenly (suddenly for me at least, although I am sure lots of Tottenham supporters knew about it all the time), a little local difficulty down the Lane.
According to the Telegraph the New Lane is behind schedule. I think I have obviously been over-sleeping quite a bit of late in that I had missed the news that they, like WHAM, are going to have to play several away games at the start of the season because of a certain level of slippage of time re the construction work.
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But now there is more. They may be back at Wembley playing their home games there in addition to plying the first four games of the season away.
Of course in one sense that doesn’t matter because last season they showed what a prat I was in the prediction malarky by winning lots of home games when I predicted they would have a dreadful home season. In fact they came 5th in the home league table last time around, much better than I suggested, just 14 goals and four points behind Arsenal.
Now the rules of the Premier League are that a club MUST not use two stadia in one season, but this is Tottenham, and everyone loves Tottenham so I am sure the PL will give them special dispensation to allow them to break that rules. After all that is what rules are for. Not in Arsenal’s case of course, but generally.
Anyway Mr Levy has said the ground will be ready for next season, and there is that American football thing they have scheduled there as well, so I am sure it will be fine and they will be able to hold the two test events prior to a full blown League game at the ground, as the law requires – the first with half capacity and the second a full blown game – a bit like Bergkamp’s testimonial.
Meanwhile the Guardian is running the headline, “Real Madrid target Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino to replace Zidane”. I am sure that is a bit of tattle and tittle, and that Mr Pot wouldn’t want to go and manage the serial Champs League winners and make a fortune but will want to stay at the New (if not quite complete) Lane. I mean why would anyone want to go to a club whose supporters often booed ZZ?
The Guardian says that yes there are contractual barriers, but the “lure of moving back to Spain, where he spent eight years as a player before cutting his managerial teeth with Espanyol between 2009-2012, may prove too strong to resist.” It’s probably just tittle tattle, like everything else.