Morning folks and happy Tuesday to you and yours. Hopefully you’re feeling good and all is well?

In the footballing world it all feels a little, well, unclear if I’m completely honest with you.

Last weekend we had the postponement of football fixtures everywhere as a mark of respect, yet for most sports they continued as normal and I’ve already said my piece on why I think it was the wrong call. The more and more you look at last weekend you think that it was the case and people that talked up police issues last weekend – there were a few – were clearly wrong there.

That is the issue now, however, it seems. Yesterday we got confirmation that Arsenal’s game in midweek against PSV has been called off because of the anticipated increased police presence needed for that game. The queen will be ‘lying in state’ in the lead up to the weekend and the funeral and that so many people are expected to visit the capital to pay their respects, is being cited as the reason for the match needing to be cancelled.

This, in itself, seems a reasonable argument. If there are usually ‘x’ number of police on hand for European games and these are being re-distributed towards Westminster and the Green Park area – where Buckingham Palace is – then you have to appreciate it. Here’s the thing though; other games in midweek ARE going ahead. Chelsea’s game at home to RB Salzburg goes ahead tomorrow evening. If 5% of Chelsea’s gate is offered to RB Salzburg fans (which is what I think is the allocation), then that’s 2,092 away fans that will need to be marshalled. PSV will have an allocation of 2,900 for the Emirates. Now, of course there are an additional 14,000 people that will be at the game compared to Chelsea’s game, but is there a ratio that exists on a total number of police to fans? Maybe there is, but it does seem odd that the two games appear to have differing requirements for whether a game goes ahead or not. I wondered if the fact that the game is going ahead on a Wednesday instead of a Thursday, in which mourners will visit the capital, would have been a deciding factor. But the Queen will be ‘lying in state’ from Wednesday at 5pm, in which you’d expect the crowds to have already started to gather in mass numbers by then. So surely the same issues over police numbers are existing there too?

Then we hear that the game against Brentford IS going ahead on Sunday – a day before the funeral – but there are other games that won’t be going ahead. Perhaps the fact that Chelsea and Liverpool might need a much bigger presence than Brentford v Arsenal, but doesn’t it take police away from those main hotspots in Westminster, probably at a time in which the crowds will be at their biggest at the weekend? That’s what I would have thought.

It is what it is and the decisions have been made so we just need to get on with it, but the organisation of this just feels incredibly messy and I think that has more to do with the apparent inconsistencies of the authorities in charge of making these decisions, as well as their decision making.

For us the question will now be how we fit in the PSV game before the group stages end and unless PSV agree to a rescheduling of fixtures, we could end up with a forfeited match. That would be incredibly harsh on Arsenal because none of this has anything to do with the club. They have tried to get this game played; they wanted to get it played and apparently have been exploring all possible options. But those in power have seemingly made that difficult and if that costs Arsenal the potential of three points then it will seem like an incredibly unfair situation the club has been put in. It would also call in to question the sporting integrity of that group stage. If PSV say they don’t want to play the game but would rather have the three points and the 3-0 win, then you’re looking at a competition in which Arsenal could finish second in the group, get a harder next round knockout, all because one side didn’t want to play a match, in which the other side had absolutely no control over whatsoever.

I’ve seen talk of the Man City game being an option for re-arrangement, but that would also require PSV to change their Dutch Cup game in that week and get that re-arranged, which we don’t know if they have any appetite to do. It all just seems a bit of a mess right now and what is frustrating for everyone is that it isn’t really anybody’s fault. So I guess we just have to get on with it and hope that resolutions can be found.

I think i’ll leave it there for today. Understandably there isn’t really a lot of news coming out today about the club or anything else. I suspect we won’t hear from Mikel until Friday and so we’ve probably got a bit of a lull period between now and then. I’ll have to think about other Arsenal-related things to get worried about this week until then!

Catch you wonderful people tomorrow.