Morning folks, how we all doing? I’m bloody knackered, I tell you that much, so please excuse if today’s ramblings are even more incoherent than usual. Combination of cat waking me up in all hours of the morning, an early start for work, as well as some residual jet lag I think. Which is all contributing to make me feel like I’ve got a hangover, which is really unfair given I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since Sunday. “Burning the candle at both ends” my old man would say.

Still, at least I’m not “Biting the hand that feeds me” like a certain Brentford striker has, eh? Oh, yeah, ‘allegedly’. I mean honestly, what on earth was Ivan Toney thinking with regards to these betting allegations, eh? Not just one, either, and if you’re caught breaking the rules 232 times, you better have a pretty good explanation for it. I don’t reckon “My dog did it” is going to fly, I’m afraid.

Talking about a Brentford player on an Arsenal blog? What is this madness?

Madness indeed, my friend, because the Arsenal news seems to be grinding to a halt and I don’t reckon even I want to talk up 700 words on some fixtures being re-arranged by Sky in January. Actually, maybe a little bit, because I’ll be in the Maldives at the beginning of January for the Management’s birthday, so moving the game with the Scum to the Sunday is actually a bit of a touch for me. They’re five hours ahead and a 4.30pm kick off in the UK is 9.30pm in the Maldives. If I can swing a dinner in the restaurant for 7pm, this just might work…..

“I think I fancy a lie down on the bed after all this lovely food, love…”

The other game being moved to 4.30pm with Man United was probably always going to be an inevitability to be honest, but I’m back by then so it’s less of an issue for me. I can take my usual seat and normal service can be resumed. Good stuff.

So, what else is going on at the club right now? Well, they’re changing the outside fascia of the stadium, which is just as well because those of you that have managed to make it there in the last few years will have noticed that the Arsenal crest is looking more like a faded pink than red these days. My seat in the ground is the same too. It’s also got a crack in it,  although I can neither confirm nor deny that I have had a hand in it over a prolonged period of time, as a result of being disappointed in some performances at home down the years. I just hope they use different paint on the seats than they did last time, because when I lean against my seat with gloves or jeans on, I get pink lines on my clothes. I tell you now coming home half cut from a game with stained jeans and gloves for The Management to get the Stain Devils out doesn’t exactly put me in the good books.

There appears to be a bit of listening going on at the club too, as I’ve seen some people have been part of focus groups to determine which of Arsenal’s historical badges mean the most to them. I’m not sure what the exercise was, but isn’t it a bit subjective? I would suggest that when most fans were in their formative years, whatever badge was present at the time would mean the most to them. Take me, for instance, who started watching The Arsenal properly in the 90s. I went to my first game  in 89/90 and so was hooked from 90 onwards, which means the Victoria Concordia Crescit era was the one that inevitably means the most to me. But if you were a child of the 60s the cannon design with the three balls underneath might be the one that resonates the most with you. So in a sense, if the club are looking at ‘leaning in’ to a particular historical crest, they are on a bit of a  hiding to nothing, aren’t they?

I think they should be finding ways to incorporate every crest to satisfy all fans. Maybe the massive current Arsenal logo could be flanked on the outskirts of the other logo’s around the ground? I loved seeing all the old legends linking arms around the stadium – it was a nice touch – but let’s move that elsewhere and maybe make a nod to a unifying symbol – or set of symbols – rather than individuals? Just a personal thought.

I’m no expert though. I’m hoping that there are better people than me doing the fan listening and I’m sure there are. All I want to see is something that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I approach the ground from Holloway Road. I still get that touch of excitement whenever I see the ground in the distance as I approach on match days, even to this day, so if the club can tap in to that nostalgia and links to the past with subtle nods, then I’m all for it.

There’s not a lot really worth talking about just yet from an Arsenal perspective. We’re awaiting the start of this ludicrous World Cup, which has really endeared itself to world football fans with the images coming from Danish TV of a Qatar enforcement team threatening to break a journalists camera as they reported on the street – with all of the right passes and permissions. Honestly, I will enjoy the football, but the sooner we can get in and out of this World Cup period the better, I’m afraid to say. I have nothing against the Qatari people, I’m  sure I’ll go there one day, but the way this has been handled, the stories that have come out, the human rights violations but above all the way FIFA was essentially purchased in order to buy the World Cup there, is quite disgraceful in my opinion. Oh, sorry, yeah – “allegedly”.

Right, that’s   me done. Have a good one and I’ll catch you all in the morrow.