by Bulldog Drummond
Today’s Leicester v Arsenal league cup match will not be televised live in the UK, but you can watch via the carabaocup.live website. The fee to watch on line is £10. Let’s hope their system works better than the utterly appalling NowTV service with its recent fiasco. We couldn’t get a connection and were unable to get our £10 back.
As for the game the Independent obliges us with its prediction of the teams early on…
Saliba, Luiz, Holding;
Cedric, Elneny, Guendouzi, Kolasinac;
They have Leicester to win 2-1.
The Standard goes for a reverse score of 2-1 to the Arsenal and a team of
Saliba, Luiz, Kolasinac;
Cedric, Elneny, Willock, Saka;
Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson
Sports Mole comes up with the interesting thought that “Mesut Ozil has not been part of Arsenal’s matchday squad for their first two games back, but the playmaker is not carrying an injury and may be in Arteta’s thoughts here.”
But in the end they leave him out and go with
Cedric, Saliba, Luiz, Holding, Kolasinac;
Pepe, Nketiah, Saka
The use of Guendouzi, if it happened could be a sign that the player might be rehabilitated into the club, which I would certainly like to see; I thought he was sensational from the moment we first saw him last season.
The Sun finds yet another variation, with them adding in Maitland-Niles on the left of midfield, but elsewhere most other predictions for the teams are along these various lines as above.
Elsewhere in the media though, there is a growing annoyance with the government with its refusal to get involved with saving or supporting sport – except for grouse shooting which it has gone out of its way to legalise even during the pandemic, and to support.
The government has said the return of crowds in football has been put on hold. And yes, the wealth of Arsenal’s owner certainly means he ought to be paying to keep the club alive in hard times if he wants the reward of good times.
But if crowds don’t get allowed back into grounds until next season, how many who don’t have owners like Arsenal do, will survive? Grouse shooting which is a tiny minority sport yes. Football, the world’s favourite sport, no chance.
In July the government came up with a £1.57bn package to save the arts. And of course since writing and publishing is part of the arts those of us involved in Untold would welcome some help – if anything finds its way to us. £16m was given to rugby league over the summer. Which seems on a different scale.
Now one could say the virus is hardly the government’s fault, and maybe you agree, but the lack of testing is the government’s fault, after it told us all that we were going to have a world class testing package. It was for the government to set up a track and trace system, not the clubs or the supporters.
Other countries have got to grips with the issue. The Netherlands has a surge like we do but they now have people back in the grounds because their test track and trace programme works. What our government don’t seem to realise is that just making up three word phrases which the media dutifully repeat ad nausea, is not an actual policy for controlling the virus.
Brighton and Hove Albion made the point that it is safer to be in a football ground than it is in a pub, but the all knowing Michael Gove has an opinion on this as everything else. He says that supporters will “mingle” and that is dangerous.
Yet as cricket has shown, using bluetooth technology it is possible to see exactly who is coming within two metres of someone else. That means that if the number of people in one part of the ground gets too big, stewards can move in at once.
Worse, according to the Guardian “a proposed £500m plan to help rescue grassroots leisure facilities is still waiting approval.” Many facilities have still not re-opened from the last lockdown.
It probably would help enormously helpful if the government could think in anything other than three word phrases, but that seems to be way beyond their capacity at the moment.
Instead we could be watching the end of all professional and semi-professional below the Championship, in this country. And that really would be a tragedy.
“Get Boris Done” – maybe we should all get stickers saying that.
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias
- The real live facts that the media won’t ever touch (part 2)
- Could this be the best PL season ever for Arsenal in terms of goals?