Arsenal’s away form, Keys and Gray, child abuse in football, and the case of Man City.

By Tony Attwood

As you may have noticed from passing comments I am now in Canary Islands, on a dance holiday, and reminding myself what it is like for many Arsenal supporters being outside England.

In this case I am dependent on TV from the truly awful BeinSports which has the disagraced Richard Keys (now much chubbier than I remember him) and the also disgraced Andy Gray, running their English language shows.

And even by standards of commentary in England the whole approach was extraordinarily one sided with the plucky Bournemouth who 10 years ago to the day, or maybe month were bottom of the fourth tier – or something akin to this.  Or so we were told about 20 times during the match.

Their manager, we realised, has god-like properties and the fact that he has not been made pope or Dalai Lama must be down to his absolute humility, since his miracles are there to behold every day of the week, every step of the way.

So a bit like Sky Sports but where the commentary team have watched that channel and thought – we can outdo them.  The Bournemouth own goal was singularly unfortunate, and one had to feel sorry for the player, we were told, because Bournemouth are such a plucky team.  They didn’t deserve to lose because, well, they were so plucky.  And their manager is a saint.

Interestingly the crowd sounds picked up by the local microphones were almost entirely Arsenal, either meaning that the elderly folk of Bournemouth are simply not up to singing, or they put their FX mic in the little away segment.   (There also seemed to be a lot of empty seats at the start of the second half, so maybe there was a problem with the catering too – but we were not told).

The commentary after the match was of sinister goings on and worries about the future – the former largely about Ozil, the latter because our squad is stretched so thin that with all these injuries we’ll be lucky to put a team out at all on Thursday (although this game itself was not mentioned – maybe BeIn Sports don’t have the rights, so it doesn’t exist.)

Anyway, a lot of people realised that something rather decent has happened to our away form – in that instead of being 11th in the away form charts as we were at the end of last season…

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 16 2 1 45 13 32 50
2 Tottenham Hotspur 19 10 4 5 34 20 14 34
3 Manchester United 19 10 4 5 30 19 11 34
4 Chelsea 19 10 3 6 32 22 10 33
5 Liverpool 19 9 5 5 39 28 11 32
6 Burnley 19 7 7 5 20 22 -2 28
7 Leicester City 19 5 5 9 31 38 -7 20
8 AFC Bournemouth 19 4 6 9 19 31 -12 18
9 Crystal Palace 19 4 6 9 16 28 -12 18
10 Southampton 19 3 8 8 17 30 -13 17
11 Arsenal 19 4 4 11 20 31 -11 16

we are now…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 8 7 0 1 15 6 9 21
2 Liverpool 7 5 2 0 12 4 8 17
3 Manchester City 6 4 2 0 13 1 12 14
4 Chelsea 6 4 1 1 13 4 9 13
5 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 16 10 6 13

And as you may also surmise from this extract of the table we are the top scoring team away from home in the League – which really is an improvement as we were 11th in the goal scoring chart away from home last season, 25 goals behind Manchester City and equal in terms of away goals scored with Burnley.

Now of course just as fourth is not a trophy, nor is being top of the league for away goals scored – but to my mind (curious place though that is) it is out of these details that improvements are built.   And anyway while many people are still writing off  Arsenal on the grounds that we have lost our two games against other teams who finished up in the top six last season I prefer to look at broader perspectives for signs of development and improvement.

Meanwhile, of course, being on holiday means there is more chance to read the papers on line, and I must say it has been rather encouraging to read two articles in the Guardian’s football coverage – an area of reporting that I sometimes find lacking and/or biased away from key issues.  So time to make up for that and give credit where due…

The first is Manchester City fans’ defence of UAE shows sportswashing in action  which among other things makes the point that one group of fans saying to another “you can’t comment on this because your club is just as bad” is hardly an argument of any consequence.

The second concerns the child abuse scandal surrounding Crewe Alexandra and its staff: Sound of Dario Gradi’s silence in Barry Bennell affair is deafening

I haven’t come back to the child abuse in football story for a long time simply because it has been impossible to find new information which is reliable – and since we are talking court cases here, and the abuse of children, extreme caution is of course needed.

If you have time, and have a mind to, I would recommend both articles for insightful views on football which are generally not available elsewhere.

It’s now raining.  Probably got better weather in England!

23 Replies to “Arsenal’s away form, Keys and Gray, child abuse in football, and the case of Man City.”

  1. Dry but cloudy in Cambridgeshire right now, no frost this morning …

    It may not be Arsenal based, but it IS topical !!!

  2. Tony

    Thanks for the links.

    Nice to see at least someone is prepared to remove their head from City and Peps respective arses.

    “The first is Manchester City fans’ defence of UAE shows sportswashing in action which among other things makes the point that one group of fans saying to another “you can’t comment on this because your club is just as bad” is hardly an argument of any consequence.”


    That seems to be the entire basis of every defence City fans put up.

    “Nine years, £2bn and three league titles into the project, here it was: the spectacle of “sportswashing” in action.”

    Every time I and others have mentioned this staggering amount of money that City have spent on buying each and every trophy that’s up for grabs, their standard reply is ‘Everyone buys it’, which is of course true to a point, but only in the same way that I could say ‘Everyone breaks the law’, which is also almost certainly true to one degree or another of most people on the planet.

    But there is a big difference between parking on a double yellow or doing 75 mph on the motorway to burglary, as there is between nicking a car and killing people whilst driving over the limit. etc. etc.

    Clubs spending £10 Million a year in an attempt to win the title is not the same as clubs that spend £50 Million. Clubs spending over £50 Million a year is NOT the same as a club spending well over £100 Million a year, and to suggest it is is ridiculous.

    “The UAE’s enormous investment in Manchester City is one of football’s most brazen attempts to ‘sportswash’ a country’s deeply tarnished image,” Amnesty International said this month, referring to claims of exploited labour and human rights abuses.

    Similarly weak comparisons are made in defence of this, such as was made to me regarding Arsenal buying sportswear from China.

    Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows the defence of ‘everyone else does it’ is one of the weakest defences you could possibly mount, especially when the comparisons you are drawing are so tenuous.

    But mark my words it wont stop them doing it.

  3. From that Bloomberg article:

    “Arsenal is showing how football clubs and other big power users can save money and support the U.K.’s climate change and clean air targets,” said Pivot Power’s Chief Executive Officer Matt Allen. “Batteries are central to creating a cost-effective, low-carbon economy and we are keen to help government, local authorities and businesses seize the opportunities they offer.”

    Well, save money yes, but I’m not so sure about supporting the UK’s ‘climate change’ targets or indeed the planets over all ‘clean air’ targets.

    I have seen a few articles suggesting that battery power, including battery powered cars, are not quite as ‘green’ as we are being led to believe.

    The following is an article from the European Transport Forum:

    “Batteries also need minerals like copper, lithium and cobalt, and rare elements like neodymium.

    They are mined in places like China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Latin America, where there has already been colossal ecological damage from dust, fumes, waste water, water shortages and toxic spills.

    A final question concerns what happens when we eventually get rid of the batteries. Due to the toxic chemicals inside the batteries, the end-of-life procedures are much more complicated than conventional steel engines that can be recycled relatively easily.

    A Tesla battery is big – up to half a tonne – and only a few companies currently specialize in recycling them.”

    I think there has to be much more research and developement and a not a tad more honesty when it comes to extolling the vertues of battery power.

    As I say, money saving ? Probably. Planet saving ? I have my doubts.

  4. With respect to the “rare earths” (the Lanthanide group, possibly augmented with yttrium and possibly scandium), they are not rare. What is rare, are “ores” of the rare earths. The concentration of the rare earths is approximately the same everywhere. Another difficulty with the rare earths, is that by and large they all behave about the same chemically (and this carries over to the longer lived actinides). Doing “subtle” chemistry to separate them tends to be expensive.

    Just about any place where the rare earths were mined, the deposits are also associated with uranium and/or thorium. Whenever you “move” or “disturb” uranium or thorium, you tend to create headaches. It would be much better if any entitity was going to extract any of: uranium, thorium or rare earths, that they actually make a comprehensive plan to recover _all_ of them as well as deal with the radioactive decay chains based on uranium and thorium.

    With respect to cobalt, there was a news article I seen a week or two ago, which mentions there are a bunch of prospectors running around Ontario, Canada (in the vicinity of Cobalt, Ontario) looking for cobalt. Perhaps they will find some economic deposits?

  5. Gord

    It seems you have a deeper understanding of this than I as all I know is what I have read in the odd article here and there.

    Given that, do you believe that on ballance batteries are already less harmful to the planet than fossil fuels, or is there still a long way to go before we can say that ?

  6. SkySprots has announced that our UEFA Europa Cup game will still take place. This after Russia seized 3 Ukrainian ships and the head of Ukraine asking to invoke martial law.

    Some hundreds of Arsenal fans apparently want to go to the Ukraine to watch the game in person.

    Hopefully our game doesn’t result in a war breaking out.

  7. To have a big battery at the stadium, just on the chance that the power fails for the duration of a game seems silly. To have a big battery at the stadium to help support the national grid in case of problems (power lines knocked down by high winds for example) makes more sense. I would imagine there are many more places to “hide” a big battery at the stadium, than to place a similar battery near an apartment complex.

    I think there will continue to be developments in batteries and supercapacitors. I see no reason to think that what is best now, will be best forever. As far as batteries goes, I am more impressed by the lithium iron phosphate batteries than the Li-ion or Li-polymer ones.

    Cobalt has been problematic for a long time (for humanitarian reasons).

    Something not on many people’s radars with respect to lithium, is hydrogen storage. Lithium nitride at one time was the best hydrogen storage material known (it might still be, I didn’t look). It can store considerably more hydrogen than one finds in liquid hydrogen (cryogenic).

    There may be a bunch of applications typically filled by batteries, which may move to supercapacitors. Those may bring along their own set of problems.

    I think transitioning off fossil fuels being used as an energy source makes sense. Fossil fuels are also needed for chemical feedstocks. Burning fossil fuels to charge batteries doesn’t seem very smart to me.

    There have been some news articles about electric cars in Canada. The problem I see for electric cars where I am, is that they are pretty much a summer vehicle only. They only carry enough energy to go a reasonable distance when there is no need to heat the vehicle.

  8. My knowledge of chemistry is too low to almost none existence to allow me understand what Nitram and Cord are talking about and discussing on the component chemical elements used in producing different kinds and grades of batteries. More especially the big batteries, and what are supercapacitors? Poor me. But if I may ask, if lithium iron phosphate batteries impressed, why are Li-ion and Li-polymer batteries then preferred in handsets than the lithium iron phosphate ones?

  9. Lithium battery technology has had problems with fires and to some approximation even explosions. The lithium iron phosphate chemistry was developed to minimise or avoid those issues. This comes at a slight cost of lower energy density, lower voltage and some similar measures of a battery capacity.

    Supercapacitors are just like ordinary capacitors, except that they can store a significantly larger charge.

    Maybe 20% of the way down that page, is a table comparing lithium batteries, supercapacitors and some other things.

  10. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    “But if I may ask, if lithium iron phosphate batteries impressed, why are Li-ion and Li-polymer batteries then preferred in handsets than the lithium iron phosphate ones?”

    As Gord suggests maybethis answers your question:

    USA Today

    Bart Jansen
    Published 5:40 PM EDT Jul 25, 2013

    Crash investigators in the United Arab Emirates traced the fire that destroyed a UPS plane in 2010 to the cargo of lithium batteries, and found that smoke-detection equipment took too long to alert the crew, according to a report released Wednesday.


    The Independent Travel

    Simon Calder
    Wednesday 1 August 2018 13:02

    Terrified passengers on a Ryanair plane at Barcelona were ordered to evacuate after a mobile phone caught fire



    By Tom Batchelor
    PUBLISHED: 06:00, Fri, Oct 16, 2015

    MH370 mystery solved? ‘Explosive batteries’ could have downed plane which vanished
    A DEADLY cargo of mobile phone batteries caught fire and caused a catastrophic explosion that brought down the MH370 passenger jet, experts believe.

  11. From the twit feed:

    The teams are in! Here’s how #AFCU23 line up against @DCFCofficial this evening…

    Starting XI: Iliev, Olowu, Ballard, Koscielny, Bola, Bramall, Gilmour, Zelalem, Olayinka, Coyle, John-Jules
    Subs: Hein, Omole, Osei-Tutu, Tormey, Saka


  12. Is Vladimir Putin, the Russian authocactic president up to playing a new conflict chest game potentially dangerous but not yet grasped? Have the Ukrainian ships not been using the Cremea water ways before the time they were seized to access the passage to the international water ways? if they’ve been using the Cremea water ways before which had since forcibly been annexed from Ukraine with impunity by Russia to access the international waters probably for trade, and the Russians are awere, why have they then seized the 3 Ukrainian ships suddenly? Have the Russians been warning Ukraine to stop using the Cremea water way that is to side of the Ukraine territory to access the international water routes for trade or for whatever, and Ukraine didn’t comply to the Russian warnings? If so, why has Ukraine refused to heed the Russian warnings?

    At any r rate, whatever be the political and economic reasons that are behind the Russian seizure of the Ukrainian ships, Russian has to allow peace and peaceful coexistence to reign between them and Ukraine. For, the people of Ukraine have unjustifiably suffered at the hands Putin for long enough to start having respite by now. Putin should not blockade Ukraine ships from accessing the international waters for trade through the Cremea water ways. It is inhumane to do that. The 2 countries must come to the negotiating table to negotiate a water way trade route treaty sign it and respect it. Which should allow Ukraine ships to use the Cremea water ways for trade. After all, Russia has taken back Cremea from Ukraine by military might which it at one time willingly acceded to them. What else do the Russian want? Please Putin, leave and let others leave too.

  13. For those interested if you register on the Derby County website you can see the u23 match live and see the return of Koscielny

  14. The 5 U23 Gunners of: Pleguezuelo, Medley, Willock, Rowe-Smith and Nkethia are not in the Arsenal squad for their tonight’s match against @DCFC. It looks like Emery has penciled them down for his Europa League Cup match against Vorskla on Thursday night if Putin will allow the match to take place.

    Barring the likely inclusion of 4 regular playing first team senior Gunners in the team to play against Vorskla, I think Cech, Martinez, Jenkinson, Elneny, Guendouzi, maybe Lichtsteiner, Mkhitaryan and Iwobi will be included in the team to play against Vorskla.

  15. Derby scored early in the second half, and then some handbags broke out, and both sides seen a player red carded. Osei-tutu for the Gunners.


  16. Gord is absolutely right about batteries, the problem is the electrical grid itself being heavily supported by burning fossil fuels worldwide. Considering that the batteries are charged by the grid, installing batteries itself will not save the environment. Furthermore, energy conversion between the grid and the battery will also cause energy losses (heat to electrical to chemical to electrical). In fact to get the same amount of energy from a battery would require burning more fossil fuels than getting the energy straight from the grid itself. Not a problem that Arsenal can solve, it is a problem for governments to solve since the infrastructure is the problem.

  17. Even with my little scientific knowledge I know any transfer of energy involves a nett loss of output because of inefficiencies.

    For example electrical machines such as alternators, generators or motors are only about 90% efficient.

    Inefficiencies are often caused by friction and the resultant creation of heat, noise or vibration.

    Therefore the more processes, or to put it another way ‘transfers’ of energy before delivery, the less ‘efficient’ that delivery will be.

    The less efficient the worse for the planet.

    So generating electricity then storing it as chemical energy, then converting it back to electrical energy, then converting that to light/heat energy often involves at least half a dozen exchanges of energy, or put another way, ineficiencies. For example:

    1-Burning of oil = Chemical energy to heat energy.

    2-Heating of water = Heat energy causing chemical change and expansion of liguid in to a gas.

    3-Turning of turbines = Expasion of gas (movement) in to mechanical motion.

    4-Generation of electricity = Movement of rotors in to electrical energy (Known as potential energy or Voltage).

    5-Conversion of medium voltage AC to high voltage (For the National grid).

    6-conversion of high voltage AC to medium voltage (For industrial/domestic use).

    7-Medium voltage AC to DC voltage.

    8-DC voltage to chemical energy (battery storage).

    9-Chemical energy to electrical energy DC.

    10-DC to AC.

    11-Electrical energy in to light which involves the added extra inefficiancy of heat generation in non LED type lights, which themselves have a small ineficiency on this score.

    Now as I say, I’m no expert and expect a real one to put me right on a few things, but basically converting an initial energy source into a practical output is a long winded and often as not pretty inefficient process.

    The less processes and or transfers of energy the better. As far as I have seen in many cases batteries just add to the ineficiences.

    With neccesity being the mother of invention I believe that one day man kind will develop a carbon nuetral way of lighting a football stadium, but I very much doubt that batteries in there current form are anything like the answer.

  18. I would slightly amend my last comment and say that all things being equal, extracting energy from batteries is actually more efficient than extracting energy from burning fossil fuels, however the point still stands that the batteries are charged by the grid which is generating energy through burning fossil fuels.

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