It says a lot about the utter detachment of footballers from reality that we wake up this morning to front and back pages in a frenzy as to whether one vastly overpaid footballer will shake another vastly overpaid footballerâ€™s hand and whether another vastly overpaid and self-important footballer will talk to his estranged popstar wife or not.
Meanwhile, a Premier League club goes into adminstration for massively overreaching itself. I wonder how much of the mess it got itself into can be directly attributed to footballersâ€™ wages? Rhetorical question.
So while Arsenal too are prisoners to market forces and have to pay their players huge wages, itâ€™s refreshing to note that not only were Arsenal yesterday able to announce they had reduced their own debt â€“ almost all of which is related directly or indirectly to building a new stadium â€“ by a cool Â£130m, but that for now, our players are not dragging the clubâ€™s name down with their off-field antics.
[Blogger exhales and heartrate slows as rant finishes].
Over to the Potteries for the real stuff. I had managed to jemmy our last two visits there into the far recesses of my mind. Todayâ€™s reprisal has brought some of those memories flooding back, and judging by the general mood across the interwebnests, I am not alone.
Ordinarily, I would agree that a draw at the Britannia â€“ where we most definitely havenâ€™t ruled the waves in recent years â€“ would be a good thing. But really, we cannot afford to drop any points at all I donâ€™t think.
I like what Pulis has done at Stoke, and personally I cannot see any problems with the way they play. Theyâ€™re hardly going to take us on at our own game are they? But they are pretty much the antithesis of us â€“ as The Times puts it, â€œthe ultimate culture clashâ€ – and thatâ€™s why we can struggle against them.
For me, itâ€™s all eyes on the defence. To be caught out two away matches running by Delapâ€™s long throws is naÃ¯ve in the extreme. If it happens again today I might blow a gasket. It would be unforgivable. Like a man walking into the same lamppost three days running.
Fortunately, our last two league games have been clean sheets â€“ read it and rejoice, even if they were sandwiched between Flapianskiâ€™s House of Calamities â€“ and we definitely need defensive solidity today.
Looking forward to it already.
Finally, happy birthday to Arseblog – eight years old. A top lad, top blogger, and the inspiration for about eight thousand subsequent Arsenal blogs, mine included.
What is eight in blog years?