The first blank weekend of the summer, well Arsenal-wise anyway, assuming you discount the ‘Legends’ event at Craven Cottage, where luminaries such as Paolo Vernazza, David Hillier, and Ian Selley avoided a charge under the trades descriptions act. The portly old Gunners were kept at bay by the portly old ten man defence of our friends and neighbours who were indebted to the likes of Graham Roberts, Paul Miller, and Justin Edinburgh. A reminder perhaps that it is longer than our friends would care to admit since Tottenham allegedly played the prettier football in North London.
Of course it hasn’t been an entirely football-free weekend. Our friends in the North did not get within a dodgy sending-off and a Bendtner finish of ending Barcelona’s interest in the Champions League. Hands up here to the team that won it at a canter. Barca did not resort to the sort of amateur dramatics that so often stains their fabulous performances. They were worthy winners, and smart punters were backing them with Paddy Power who offered a guaranteed money-back giveaway when, not if, they won in ninety minutes. I grabbed a piece of 3-1 and 4-1, got my losing stake back on 4-1, and trousered a few quid for good measure. Thank you Patrice Evra for your contribution to all three Barca goals.
Today I have got ready for the couple of months that follow with an afternoon of golf and cricket. I am cursing myself for not backing the draw in Cardiff, where five days of cricket was never a possibility at this time of year. Foolishly I also had a few coppers on someone other than the new world number one as Luke Donald triumphed at the first play-off hole at Wentworth. Now all that remains is to recharge my batteries by chasing a delicious chicken casserole down with a pint or two of refreshing chilled Guinness, and maybe a chaser or two, while watching the final games of the French season. They have even more teams capable of being relegated than we did on the final day, so it should be exciting.
Of course by the time most of you read this you will know whether or not Monaco beat the drop. We will also have heard more of the murky goings on at the meeting of the FIFA ethics committee. I am heartily sick of the excesses these parasites indulge in under the guise of controlling the world game, and take heart from the comments of Dick Pound. Whilst there have been rumblings of an FA withdrawal from FIFA there is too much at stake for any one Association to act unilaterally. Here’s hoping the big guns are getting around the table to at least discuss the options.
I have avoided further reference to the season that has just ended so I won’t be repeating myself when you hear my thoughts on what has gone on later this week in another place. I have avoided reference to potential transfer activity because I don’t have any concrete information and churning out the same old speculation day in and day out isn’t my bag at all.
What I do have for now is two and a bit packs of Guinness, a nice bottle of Cooley, and a choice of ten games in France. I suppose Monaco against Lyon will be the starting point. The home team will tumble through the relegation trapdoor if they lose this one. Lyon need a win to ensure they are not overtaken by PSG for third spot. Interesting stuff.
Have a great Monday, ‘holics, especially if it is a Bank Holiday where you are!
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