Do you know one of the reasons I could never live in the West Coast of the US? The times in which I’d have to get up to watch The Arsenal. Honestly, for those of you out there, I must pay my respects, because getting up in the middle of the early hours of the morning to watch The Arsenal is a bloody nightmare. I tried to do it for one of the Europa League games a couple of years back. Remember when we played Rennes? I was in Hong Kong for Work and I set my alarm to get up at something crazy like 3am in the morning, but as soon as it went off I just hit ‘cancel’ and went back to bed. I did have work the next day as well so I had to be on it for presentations. But even if it was a weekend I think I’d have struggled.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, I’m off to San Fran and Las Vegas in late October/early November and I’m currently planning my movements around The Arsenal. Las Vegas will be eight ours behind UK time in November and so a 3pm kick off will have been a 7am kick off in Vegas. That’s what the Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge was originally pencilled in for. Now, I know that the likelihood of it remaining 3pm was borderline impossible, but given the time zones, I thought to myself that what they’ll most likely do as the most probable fixture times will be Saturday 5.30pm kick offs, Sunday 2pm kick offs, or Sunday 4pm kick offs. All doable for me, although the Sunday 2pm would have meant a 6am get up.
But nope, they’ve moved it to a 12pm kick off, which is 4am in Vegas, in which I’ll have been celebrating my 40th the day before and will have had a skinful. So, my options are a) drink through until 4am in Vegas, b) set a 4am alarm, or c) sleep through. At this exact point in time I must tell you that option ‘c’ is in no way, shape, or form, something I want to consider. But after i’d drunk all manner of mental cocktails on my birthday, I suspect it might become more and more relevant.
So ‘kudos’ to you, West Coast Gooners, you guys really are hardcore.
The Wolves game has also been moved to an evening kick off which is just as well because I’ll have had the day to get over some jet lag, so that is some upside of the re-arrangements I guess.
As for the rest of the Arsenal universe, well, I’m not really sure there is anything. We aren’t playing tomorrow, both Arsenal and PSV are locked in talks to work out when the Europa League fixture can be re-arranged and I’m wondering if they’ll be applying for some kind of special fixture re-arrangement in other competitions to get it done. To the credit of both clubs it does sound like they are diligently working hard behind closed doors, but something is going to have to give on the fixture congestion at some stage, so I just wonder where that’s going to happen.
What isn’t helpful is the new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly talking up another fixture thrown in to the mix for the season: an ‘all star game’. His justification is that in the US an All-Star game nets $200million for two days of action, so why wouldn’t the Premier League consider it, so that they can “help the football pyramid” as he puts it. Yeah, ok Todd, I reckon you’re definitely down for helping out Lincoln City, Stevenage and Plymouth. I bet that was the first thing in your mind when you first imagined something like this; “how can I help those smaller clubs I’ve never heard of?”
Or, as the reality would prove if this even got slightly off the ground, this would be used as a way to grease the palms of the like of Boehly, rather than help clubs “down the pyramid”. Can you imagine what would happen if one of the ‘all stars’ picked up a serious injury? The clubs of that player would go ballistic. They’d probably want half the money to buy a replacement if it was a long-term serious injury. So nah, keep your hair-brained ideas to yourself mate.
In the meantime, we’ll keep going with the best and most watched league in the world that is generating tonnes of interest and love worldwide. You just keep on focusing with random signings of ageing players please – you can keep doing that until the cows come home.
That’s probably about it for now for today. Not a lot going on and I’m stuck on a tube about to lose signal, so I’ll stop, take a pause, then be back tomorrow with some more ramblings.