Morning folks – well, it is for me, as today’s blog comes to you on an early Friday morning in Auckland New Zealand, where I’m staying with The Management’s family for a few days before we travel around Kiwi land for the next couple of weeks. As a result I’ll probably just intermittently pen thoughts as and when I get the chance to in the next 15 days.

I tell you what though, I’ve been able to have a bit of a touch with The Arsenal in the next few weeks, eh? This weekend we have the international break which under any other circumstances would be a bad thing and mean a tedious weekend, but it actually means half my holiday I don’t miss The Arsenal. I know, I know, this is a problem isolated to me alone, so apologies for that bit of self-satisfied indulgence, but having been asked about the timings by The Management’s Aunt Val yesterday whilst we were strolling along the beach and not thinking too much about it, I suddenly thought “I’ll have a look at the timings of the games next weekend after this one, because you never know”…and blow me down if I might just get away with the timings too”; Brentford is 5.30pm UK time which is 6.30am in NZ. A 3pm kick off would have pretty much ruled it out for me; I can do early morning, but given all the stuff we have planned at the moment, it just wouldn’t have been feasible. Then in the midweek after that when we play Lens at home, it’s at 9am NZ time. Perfect because I’ve got wine tasting from 11am that time so I might just be able to make this work…

Anyhoo, that’s enough of me prattling on about my movements, because the focus should really be on what’s going on in The Arsenal world right now, right? I missed the whole VAR/Newcastle stuff as I was travelling, but to be honest with you I’m pretty much done with it anyway. We were always going to get an overly sanitised PGMOL excuse-fest and so I haven’t really engaged with it at all. Michael Owen and Howard Webb and their sycophantic fawning over each other isn’t exactly the type of TV that gets me engaged. We have seen how wrong the decision was, we know that the PGMOL are a waste of space, so we just have to live with it.

A bit like how we have to live with the fact that Chelsea have cheated their way to titles under the Ambramovich’s era by paying people extortionate and dodgy amounts of money on agent fees, corrupting the system, all in plain sight of the Premier League, who were just happy drinking at the cash-enabled trough that emerged in the early noughties with the help of the likes of Sky and other broadcasters, all who just want nothing more than to elevate “the product” so they can make more money and get more eyeballs globally, which in turn makes them more money.

We’ve seen it with Chelsea, we’ve seen it with Man City (115 charges, anyone?) and now we’re seeing it with Newcastle with some of the gaming of the structures of football. Ruben Neves to Newcastle in January is laughably transparent in what the Saudi’s are doing. But as long as the money keeps rolling in to promote “the product”, eh?

Sorry, gone on a bit of a rant there, but it just feels like we’ve all been speaking about this for so long and nothing has happened, so it makes it all feel a little forlorn, eh? You call out corruption, it gets dismissed. You speculate that more people should ask questions, it gets dismissed. You say something that doesn’t sound too fishy, you get dismissed, it’s just a little boring and it feels like there’s little you can do about it.

So I think i’ll leave this for today. A short one, but just a quick check in to hope you guys are all good, life is treating you well, then I’ll catch you all tomorrow. I have been thinking about Declan Rice that I fancy doing a bit on.

Kia ora folks – catch you tomorrow.