Gimme A Jaaay! Gimme a Zeeee!

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My PC’s covered in dust, I have a seemingly permanent clot of dirt in my mouth and – worst of all – I have been unable to recline in my favourite chair for some days now.

Welcome to the wild world of DIY and, in particular, to a virulent strain of DIY known as replastering. This temporary, dusty carnage has contributed strongly to the foul and deepening mood I find myself in this week.

Not that my outlook on these seven days was helped by another desperate display by the national side. I’m not going off on one for the sake of it – we have qualified for the finals, after all – but surely it’s not too much to ask for a side full of wonderful players to take a game by the scruff of the neck and be exciting. I actually fell asleep towards the end of the match, something I tend not to do during international matches, though I accept that the pub lunch complete with liberal sprinklings of beer and wine might have had something to do with that.

As for news of the famous dynamite redcurrant, tonight’s Evening Standard runs a story in which Peter Hill-Wood promises Henry all the riches he could possibly want to stay. Whether it’s a sign of ambition or a hint of desperation is irrelevant; I think it probably needed to be said, and it puts us one foot ahead, sort of. He may get a £25,000 a week pay rise – taking him to £100k a week – which might just keep the council tax and utilities wolves from the door. It’s a lot of money, too much for anyone as I’ve always maintained, but if anyone’s worth becoming the highest paid footballer in our history, then he’s that man.

Other than Jay-Z wanting to buy a stake in the club – the mind boggles – there’s not much more to go on.

We’ve had three lengthy international breaks this season already, and that’s surely got to be it now. Just when we get a semblance of normality going, along comes another and we lose important players. No Cole and Campbell is not great news, even if we do have able deputies. We need stability at the back while the rest of the team gets up to speed, so it’s a blow.

If I can wade through the plastersmog, I might write something more tomorrow.


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