And they’re off…

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Barnet 0-2 Arsenal
You Tube highlights

So we’re off, and the football-light but gossip-heavy part of the summer break has ended. We now move onto the football-heavy and gossip-heavy stage.

I was going to head to Underhill myself but, following a check in my football offsetting ration book, took the executive decision that I’d need all the offsetting tokens I could muster when the real thing got underway. So I passed.

It was a strong side that started, comprising established first-teamers, a sprinkling of reserve team promise and returning loanees. The second half was more experimental. What more needs saying? Denilson got a thump on the ankle but is alright, and Wenger seemed in quite a jolly post-match mood, jesting about Reyes’s dislike of British weather and doubting whether all the CO2 in China would make enough of a difference.

It’s perfectly clear that if necessary, Wenger would row Reyes back to Spain in a rubber dinghy himself, so long as someone – anyone, we’re not fussy – gives us a decent wedge of his transfer fee in return. I don’t suppose we’ll lose that much on him because, if I recall, though it was a big overall deal, I don’t think Arsenal paid more than £10m straight up.

There’s not a whole lot else, gossip-wise.

New shirt got its first outing too. I’ve been trying to think what side we most resemble when wearing it, and seeing it yesterday it dawned on me.

Hearts away.

Interesting thing here too, comparing the stats of our three right-backs. Hoyte defends well but doesn’t attack so effectively – but we kind of knew that already.

In fact, we have four right-backs with Kerrea Gilbert back. It’s cosy back there.


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