It’s all gone quite quiet over there. A few little local footballing difficulties

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, “As Sterling knows, the media loves to hound successful black men.”  Never thought I would read that in a national paper.

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.

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.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 16 2 1 61 14 47 50
2 Arsenal 19 15 2 2 54 20 34 47
3 Manchester United 19 15 2 2 38 9 29 47
4 Liverpool 19 12 7 0 45 10 35 43
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 13 4 2 40 16 24 43

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.

12 Replies to “It’s all gone quite quiet over there. A few little local footballing difficulties”

  1. Interesting take on the subjective views we get from most of our media. Do any of you recall the 6.06 days of Danny Baker (still the best football phone in) he was damming of all the football top cats (including Arsenal) we all knew where he was coming from a Millwall supporter with no pretence of impartiality.

    He paid for his honesty by being banned at least twice for his comments on referees and government ministers of sport, compare with the shock jocks on TalkSport especially Brazil and Durham with his puppet that sits along side him. Then we have the football writers and commentators (all experts!!) that try and disguise their true loyalty by being so objective and following their faint praise there is always a but………

    One last thing with our neighbours altered football pitch assuming 80 ish % completed and the builders paid accordingly £600m and no stadium naming or shirt deal who is paying?? Can you remember the transparent and torturous ramifications Arsenal went through with banks and extortionate interest rates etc. Where is the transparency, or have I missed the press release?

  2. It was always ambitious to try to complete the rebuild of WHL in time for the 2018/19 season.

    Daniel Levy told the THST in May 2017 that indication of the project being on time would be the roof being in place in late January 2018. At the next meeting, held on the 20th February of this year DL said that the roof placement had been delayed due to bad weather and its completion wouldn’t be until mid March. It’s interesting to note that the latest pictures of the development don’t show the roof being fully in place but I do wonder if Levy didn’t mean the roof in its entirety but more the supporting structures .Irrespective there clearly, and understandably had been slippage on the very ambitious time lines

    At that May 17 meeting levy confirmed that built into those ambitious time line was the: the slightly later start date of the season , the September International break,& the almost certain agreement that the league board would agree to the first two fixtures being away from home.

    Levy went on to suggest that the location of third fixture could be flipped , if the opposition agreed just as had happened in the Liverpool / Burnley fixtures a couple of seasons ago

    After the first couple of fixtures the PL board very much have their hands tied in that the PL rule states” Each club shall register its stadium with the board and must play all its matches in the competitions listed at L9 for which it is the home club “

    Now I found that rule interesting and as with every PL rule change it has to be voted on by the clubs and is only amended if a 2/3 majority is achieved.

    A change to this rule would have significant impact on other PL rules and in truth the PL tends only to change it rules following consultation with the clubs and based on what has been reported the only potential rule change of note due to be voted on at the clubs June meeting is to do with the distribution of TV monies

    Now to the last point of this post.We all know in the past that a club has played at two different homes in the same season over two tournaments . For instance Arsenal played at Highbury and Wembley but it seems that the PL rules are now pretty clear because if you refer back two paragraphs of my post you will see I mention rule L9 in that rule the competitions listed are: The Premier League, FACup,League cup and dependent on qualification the Champions League and or the Europa league.

  3. Hilarious if the darlings of the media don’t begin in the greatest stadium ever built – or to be built in the future. Rules are there for AFC – OBVIOUSLY! Would Madrid really want Real Hotspuds manager – he comes with a weighty trophy haul…:)

  4. One wonders what would have happened if Spurs had finished fourth and had to play a Champions League qualification game at Wembley because NewWHL wasn’t ready? With pressure on ticket prices being very much downward and American Football feeling much more ‘at home’ at Wembley maybe the whole project is looking a deal less secure than it did.

  5. Tony – (and Mike, since I saw that you corrected much of the misinformed chatter about Chelsea only yesterday) – you should apply the same level of scepticism to reporting of Tottenham news as you do to reporting of Arsenal news. The Telegraph, and various other publications have pounced on the fact that Spurs still retain Wembley as an option for next season and emphatically concluded that it must mean that the new stadium is seriously behind schedule. It hasn’t occurred to them that it might simply be prudent planning on Levy’s part. After all, why not retain Wembley as an option for as long as possible? There’s no harm in it as far as Spurs are concerned. No cost involved. And in the event of a wholly unforeseen, calamitous event, Spurs would still have a contractually agreed stadium for next season. Win / win.

    As it happens, though, the stadium construction is progressing just fine. The first test event is still scheduled for early August and the first competitive game will likely be after the international break. As with any project on such a tight schedule (bear in mind that, only one year ago, the old stadium still stood where nigh on half the new stadium now is), it’s likely that a number of non essential jobs will still remain to be completed come September. But the stadium will be safe, fully functional and open at full capacity.

    Mike – when Levy mentioned the roof as a marker to judge whether or not the build was on schedule, he didn’t mean roof completion. He said that the roof lift was scheduled to begin in late January / early February of this year. And yes, that was a little behind schedule. But nothing to worry about. If you are following the build closely, you will have seen that they are now installing the roof cassettes at quite a pace. I would expect them all to be in situ before the end of this month.

    inside right – the CL rules have changed. From this season, all clubs finishing in the top four of the PL will automatically qualify for the CL group phase. So none will be playing CL games until mid / late September. As to the NFL feeling “much more at home” at Wembley, how on earth do you come to that conclusion before there has even been a game at the new WHL? Bizarre!

  6. JimB believe me I am sceptical, but self-evidently not neutral. But really my interest is in the fact that as I see it the media has given Tottenham a very easy ride in the past few years compared with Arsenal, and these commentaries suggest to me (and of course it is only me) that maybe, just maybe, the more positive approach that exists in the media to clubs such as Tottenham, when compared with Arsenal, might be coming to an end.

    But also of course I can’t pick up each and every nuance of a report about Tottenham in the way that I can about Arsenal. For example when Ms Lawrence commented in the Guardian about Arsenal’s new manager and compared the appointment with others, she suggested that making Allison manager of Arsenal was rather left field – something that is just plain wrong if one reads the history.

    The racial commentary in the first half was meant to be serious, but afterwards it was just a reflection on how newspapers respond to stories about different clubs in different ways.

  7. Jim B

    As a Chelsea supporter I will stand my ground if and when I believe it is appropriate but sorry I dont feel any obligation nor indeed desire to take such an approach when it comes to other clubs
    My commentary was based to a large degree based on minuted comments from Levy but certainly not based on any articles appearing in rags such as The Telegraph.
    I was aware that Spurs had a second year option for Wembley and that the timeline for confirmation as to Spurs intention was set for the end of May , Levy as I understand it has for obvious reasons not wanted to even consider the taking up of that option and indeed he said that no talks whatsoever had taken place with Wembley yet that May date seems to have been extended by 14 days .
    As you will see I have always prefaced comments with the statement that this was always an ambitious project and it may well be ready by mid September but Spurs are fast approaching the point of no return .A point where they have to say either it won’t be ready and face another year at Wembley or yes it will and pray that it is for once that point had been reached I cant see any way the PL will ignore its own rules, rules that the 20 clubs have signed up to and indeed all voted on .

  8. Am I the only one who has searched the spuds website and unable to find an expected stadium completed date?

  9. This is the police. You there colario, get your hands away from the mouse and keyboard and back away from the computer. Come with us, we are taking you to …..


    No, to the kitchen. You are going to grate a bushel of potatoes for the crime of a Gooner visiting a spud site.

  10. DAR… you caught me ‘spud handed’. I come quietly officer. Please forgive me my sin. I won’t do it again I promise.

  11. Gord & Colario: ? Not so fast, some of us are waiting for a dinner of fish and chips!

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