It feels like every month in today’s world there is some new atrocity which makes the headline news and yet again we have some lone wolf gunman ending people’s lives because of his own selfish actions. It doesn’t matter what has happened to you, how bad your life is, how much wrong has been done to you, taking somebody else’s life is wrong. Just plane wrong.
I have a friend in Vegas at the moment. Thankfully he was safe and asleep at the time but there were a few hours where the Whatsapp group a collective of us were on were just waiting for confirmation from him. Holidays, families, children, parents, there’s hundreds who have had their lives turned upside by such an unspeakable act of violence.
And after an opening to a blog like that it also makes football seem a bit trivial. But that’s what I do with my morning and no evil in the world should be able to stop me from doing it.
So I turn my focus towards The Arsenal and the comments of Alexandre Lacazette, who has spoken about the way that refs let things go in the Premier League, calling it ‘dangerous’. There’s part of me that sees that. When you watch how some players in the league go steaming in to challenges taking ball and man, only for the first reaction to pundits to be “he’s not that type of player”, what do you expect?
The English footballing world is one of blood and thunder but it’s also one in which recklessness regularly goes unpunished. High boot? Well, you’re just not that type of player. Leg broken? It’s ok, you’re not that type of player. Drop kick to somebody’s chest? Don’t worry, the most you’ve got to concern yourself with is a three game ban and everyone telling you you’re not that kind of player.
I’ve always wondered what Spanish teams would do with being faced with the regular rigours of the Premier League and as soon as I’d read that Lacazette story, I thought back to what Barcelona are talking about with their Catalan independence. Can you imagine that? Barca playing Sunday 4pm, Wednesday 7.45pm in Europe, then Saturday lunchtime at 12.30pm? Then not having a winters break.
It would certainly take some adjusting for them. But they’d get used to it eventually though. The question would be whether the Premier League and La Liga would allow it. The Premier League and it’s clear desire to ‘go global’ could probably see it as the first step towards taking the game internationally. It’d be the clearest indication of a potential ‘Super League’ and they could do it right in front of our noses under the pretext of wanting to ‘help out’ poor old leagueless Barcelona.
But the reality is that despite all of La Liga’s posturing, they’d be mad to sack off one of their golden geese, because Barca, Real and to a lesser extent Atleti, all prop up the interest in the league anyway. Imagine Barca joining another league? Think about what the loss of Rangers did to the Scottish game. Made it even more boring than it is now. And Rangers are even back in it.
So no, I can’t see that happening, much like I can’t see referees not excusing reckless behaviour in England.
Still, as we go in to an international break, at least we’re doing it off the back of victories, and a season that appears to finally be getting going. Iwobi has been talking about his own return to the first team and the resurgence of the team since the Liverpool defeat and you have to agree that the team looks more capable of rediscovering the form they showed last season at the beginning. We’re still not swashbuckling teams as we’d like to, but I’m not sure we can any more, as I just don’t think that’s our style. Sadly Man City seem to have that accolade and in the meantime we’re just trying to find an identity that enables us to win enough football matches.
But we are winning football matches and that is a-ok with me. After the international break comes two tough away games to Watford and Everton and if we were to win both of those games you’d hope the expectation and confidence of the players should rise enough for us to start wondering if we will indeed be a proper top four challenger. But for now we just need to keep on looking just five feet in front of us and hoping that we can hurdle each game as it comes.
Jebus, I’m starting to sound like a football manager, so on that note, I’ll take my leave and wish you and yours a good and safe one.