12 Months To Go

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No sooner has our appetite for football been whetted by the start of the season, there’s a blinking international week butting in.

And as sure as eggs is eggs, that means injuries. In fact, we’ve got two doubts already – Ashley cole and Freddie Ljungberg are both a bit broken.

So with players away and transfer talk subdued, thanks heavens for a good old topping-out ceremony to provide the news. The tallest point of the new stadium was slotted into place yesterday, and that seems to have triggered all manner of peculiar rituals. An ‘evergreen bough’ was nailed to the stadium (you’d hope for a reduction in price if your seat was behind that) and the stadium manager was presented with a noggin of ale, the lucky swine.

Not that he should get too excited – a noggin is a mere quarter of a pint. Barely enough to touch the sides, but perhaps when he’s nailed the 60,000th seat into place and wiped the sweat off his brow (or bough?), Deino might buy him a whole pint.

The boss was there and he provided the soundbites. “At one stage I thought it looked crazy,” he said of the stadium project, but added that, if we fill it, we should have a few more quid in the old pocket.

“When this project is all finished our revenue will increase by 50% and that will put us on a par with [our chums up north] and able to compete off the pitch, which will help us compete on it as well.”


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.