You’re not saving time

Yesterday was one of the first days of the year that I finally got to see the sunrise at 0630. The sky was overcast but the sun peeked through a clear layer close to the earth and illuminated the tips of the 30 foot tall fir trees at my local park with a fiery orange glow. It had been so long since I last saw a nice sunrise that when I first saw the orange on the trees, I thought the neighbors were shining a massive light off their back porch and wondered why they would do such a thing.

That’s what life is like in far northern climates*. We go long periods of the year with late sunrises and early sunsets. If you live somewhere nearer the equator then this phenomenon barely registers if it happens at all. And it’s especially pronounced in Western Washington State because we are on the Western edge of the pacific time zone. That means for us here near Seattle, sunrise is later in the morning than even in other portions of our own state/time zone: sunrise today in Aberdeen (the birthplace of Kurt Cobain) is 0636, sunrise today in Spokane (birthplace of Candlebox**) is 0613.

But when I saw that sunrise yesterday, my joy was short lived because I knew that a change is coming on Sunday. See, we’ve got just a few days left on standard time, folks, before we switch to Daylight Saving Time and sunrise goes back to 0730.

Daylight Saving Time is such an annoying concept that even the name is intentionally annoying: daylight SAVING time. Not “savings” time as most English speakers would expect, SAVING time. It’s also a misnomer: it isn’t saving time. Time doesn’t change. The earth spins on its axis and rotates around the sun the same number of times before this great human conceit as it does after. What it does do is make sunrise and sunset an “hour later”. And for those of us in the far reaches of our respective time zones and in higher latitudes, that means sunrise today at 0630, sunrise on Monday at 0730.

This change is incredibly annoying if you have children. It means my teenage son has to get up an hour earlier to go to school next week. That means it’s even darker than the week before for a whole month.

It’s also annoying for those of us who need to do our fitness in the morning before work. I walk the dog for an hour every morning and I need to be on the road for work by 0730 in order to get the kid to school on time. For this one week just before DST kicks off, the sun has been rising at 0630 ish and it’s a wonderful walk: I get natural light, the birds are incredibly active, and my walks lower my blood pressure and help me welcome the day. But for the next month, I’ll be plunged back into darkness for my walks. It sucks. And before you say “well it’s only a month”, it’s not. Because of DST, this same phenomenon happens at the end of summer as well. Plus since George W. Bush extended the USA’s DST by a month, it means that those of us who get up early have an “extra hour” of darkness from September to April, 7 full months of the year.

There are some folks who want to do DST all year round. A lot of folks, actually. It’s funny too because a lot of places already tried this in the 70s and absolutely hated it. The first time they go to work at 0900 and it’s still dark out, or the height of summer and it’s still light at 2300, they will be begging to have standard time again. There are bills that have passed in many state legislatures, including Washington State, and the US Senate passed a national bill to make DST the standard time for the USA. We are very close to making DST the “law of the land”.

That’s fine by me, I’ll take it as long as we can stop playing around with the clocks. There is ample evidence that manipulating the clocks like this is bad for human health. And I know how annoying it is to me so I will accept daylight saving time as long as we do one more thing: make it so that kids go to school an hour later. And while we’re at it, let’s start work an hour later!*** Then you can have your precious “extra hour” of sunlight and I have time to walk the dog and scope some birds in the morning for more than 5 months of the year.

Sound good?

Oh, I almost forgot: Arsenal drew 2-2 with Sporting CP in Lisbon on Thursday. Arteta rang in multiple changes, none of which worked: Vieira is far too anonymous whenever I see him play, he has a long way to go to get into the first team; Matt Turner needs a few seasons on loan to a club which plays ball to feet football and is put under pressure before he’ll be able to start for a big club like Arsenal; Martinelli through the middle was largely toothless, though he nearly scored a Chelsea mk. II goal; Nelson on left provided very little and didn’t give hardly any freedom to Martinelli in the middle; Kiwior literally cowered on a header for their first goal; and Jorginho was exposed for his lack of speed in the counter attacks. It’s hard to tell whether the Portuguese side looked very dangerous, or that Arsenal team made them look dangerous. But despite the complaints and the now very clear fact that a huge section of Arsenal’s second team is scary, Arsenal managed a 2-2 draw and head back to London just needing any win to advance. With the home crowd, plus the number of suspensions they will have, plus getting our starters back, Arsenal should advance quite easily.


*Obviously the same applies to far southern climates like New Zealand, etc.
**There are two Washington States, one is Nirvana and the other is Candlebox. (I’m aware that Candlebox pretends that they are from Seattle but they will always be a Spokane band for me, because Spokane sucks.)
***I’m fortunate enough to be able to do this as my work is flexible but for most people this isn’t an option.


  1. Completely with you on this. Switching to DST all year round for those of us that live further north and further west in time zones is crazy. Gaining a little more light in the evening is not at all worth it being dark until 830 or 900.

    I’m not too bent out of shape about yesterday. Given the changes needed by injuries and illness, that wasn’t a terrible result. We didn’t pick up any more inuries, and hopefully we’ll have a couple of those players back on Sunday. And I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on Turner. He wasn’t great, but he was better earlier in the season when got more minutes. Some of that yesterday might have just been rust.

  2. here in brooklyn, the sun rises before 5:30 for the entire month of june. that’s during dst. if we stuck with standard time, it would rise before 4:30 and set by 19:30 during the longest days of the year. for me, that is not an acceptable outcome.

    by contrast, in december the sun rises at 7:19 at the latest and sets as early as 16:28. so if we kept dst all year nobody would ever be going to work at 9am in the dark, but a lot more people would get to leave work before it’s dark.

    for me, the part of the year when it’s dark before you leave work is the worst. by contrast, daylight between 4:30 and 5:30 is useless for most people, as even the earliest risers are typically not up or at least not yet active during those hours (source: my spouse wakes up at 5:20 on weekdays, and virtually everyone we meet who learns that winces/cringes/expresses sympathy). by contrast, daylight between 19:30 and 20:30 is (a) useful since most people are awake at that time and (b) a source of cherished memories for kids becoming giddy at the onset of summer and the prospect of a couple months off from school. you get to stay out late and hunt for fireflies at twilight.

    so, i appreciate your magnanimity in being willing to accept permanent dst, though i would also be potentially interested in the compromise solution (move the clocks by 30 minutes one spring or fall as our final change, and then abandon the practice of changing the clocks twice a year).

    regarding the game, i think you’re too harsh on viera, turner, and nelson, but i like the optimism re: the second leg.

    side note/question: the opening monologue on arsenal vision’s instant reaction pod made fun of the idea that the europa league was important in comparison to the premier league. i get the sense most people feel that way. so, how weird is it that i’d generally rather see arsenal win a european trophy than the league?

    1. I get up at 0430 and sunlight in the morning is not useless to me, I quite like it. A few logical quibbles here:

      1. even if you move the clocks permanently, you’re unlikely to get much benefit for the “after work” crowd since the sun doesn’t stay up past 1830 until March 1. So, while I guess you get the benefit of leaving work while the sun is out, by the time you get home it’s dark no matter what.
      2. In exchange for that you guarantee your children (and anyone who has to be at work before 0800) 7 months of going to work in the dark in the mornings, since they have to be waiting for the bus at 0730 and the sun won’t rise until 0730.
      3. As for catching fireflies and building memories, I honestly don’t remember what time the clock said when I was doing that when I was a kid and kids can still do that in the summer, irregardless of what time on some clock it says that the sun sets.
      4. I think the REAL problem here is that
      A. Kids have to go to school WAY too early in the morning. High School shouldn’t start until 1000.
      B. Most adults work 9-10 hour days, some adults work multiple jobs, and in general we all work far too much.

      But like I said, I’m fine with moving the clocks to whatever time you want (why not three hours? YOU’LL GET TONS OF DAYTIME AFTER WORK!) but I want high school and my job to start at least two hours after sunrise.

    2. Vieira is incredibly absent for 90% of the time he’s on the pitch, players often struggle to get meaningful stats because, for example, 67 touches in a game means that you’re spending VAST majority of the time off the ball and his off the ball contributions are very poor. But then he pops up and provides an assist, which he did from a corner. He’s also poor on the ball at times, like yesterday, when he had 21 turnovers, more than any other player.

      As for Turner, I pray to the sun god that Ramsdale doesn’t get hurt. I know Turner’s a USMNT player and that means I’m supposed to like him but I don’t care (because I don’t like USMNT football). Turner’s saves yesterday (and most of the times I’ve seen him play) were poor. He had an error which led to a goal. His positioning is poor. He doesn’t command his area. And he’s poor with the ball at feet. I don’t want to throw him on a trash heap or anything but he really needs a few seasons playing every week with a team that likes to pass the ball but gives up a lot of shots, ideally in the Championship where he will have to defend a lot of crosses and deal with aerial threats.

      Nelson was largely neutralized and had fewer touches than Tomiyasu. He did make a lot of crosses but they were from poor areas, and most of his dribbles were to get crosses from those poor areas.

      Sorry, I don’t know about the Arsenal Vision thing, I don’t listen to Arsenal-exclusive podcasts much less any instant reaction pods.

      1. It wasn’t a good attacking performance and then when the ball turned over we lacked the physicality in midfield to recover it quickly. The balance of the team was off in that regard. Too many slower, technique heavy players and not enough ball winners and sprinters. Nelson is quite passive off the ball as well (one of the reasons he hasn’t caught on). So that resulted in a performance like the latter year Wenger teams where we played a possession heavy with an aggressive high defensive line but didn’t have enough guile to break them down when we did have it and gave up quality chances at the other end too easily from transitions.

        I don’t like singling out individuals for this. It’s important to note that many of these players haven’t played together before or just barely started to, and that this particular blend of players was a case of a chef using like 4 substitutions in order to try to make a recipe. Inevitably it won’t taste the same. Two years ago Fabio was in the Porto youth setup, Kiwior had just arrived at Spezia from Slovakian football, Matt Turner was making saves from MLS caliber players, Saliba was out on loan in France and Martinelli was on the bench because the Smith was better than him. Jorginho was at Chelsea and Zinchenko was at City. That’s a lot of different parts having to meld together. The cohesion, timing and partnerships need time to develop. There’s only so much of that you can do on the training ground. These games are a perfect laboratory for the players and coaches to find the right balance with all these new players within Arteta’s structure. It’s not going to look great right away.

  3. Having a smile at this convo from my perch in Trinidad and Tobago.

    That aside, i do miss the seasonal demarcations of the more northerly and southerly countries. My favourite is late summer into autumn/fall.

    As for length of days, ours shorten a but during the northern hemisphere winter, but not by much. We’re you basic 6 to 6, although its still brightish well before and after.

    1. Happy memories of limin’ with the Trinis in my Berklee days in Boston. Dated a lovely Trini girl with a lovely voice (graduated honours and sang with many choirs) who invited me home and I got to see a bit, including a trip to Tobago. We did “break dew” once or twice!

  4. My, but, we are a bit cantankerous regarding the Arsenal performance yesterday.

    I think six changes were always going to produce a disjointed performance. I agree regarding our chances on the home leg.

    I read many posts (and hear podcasters) preferring we bow out of the Europa League. I think Arteta is trying to build the mentality, the expectation, that we compete on all fronts. Of course, this is a work in progress. We can’t compete on multiple fronts without a quality squad with depth. I think he’s building that.

    It’s obvious Kiwior was nervous. I generally think Vieira played well. I appreciate you, Tim, for giving observations that tether me to reality though, the world doesn’t need more Ian Stone’s (:)). Turner’s a number 2 keeper, and he looked it yesterday. All’s well that ends (not terribly).

    I dunno, dawg, I like Martinelli as CF (at least when needs must). He was busy. He dropped deep, he got forward, he spun on his marker, he should’ve scored. Mark it here, he’s a Ballon d’or winner in 3 years.

    Anyway, just win the next match.

    DST sucks arse. You are too right that the real danger is the switch twice yearly. Automobile accidents, heart attacks, and strokes ALL spike in and around the transition (especially the spring transition). Of course Congress will pass it…they never miss an opportunity to stick ourselves in the eye.


    1. I ain’t mad bro. I am ok with us going out of the EL precisely because our squad is far too thin, which I have stated for the record. What I’m saying, which I think is far from controversial, is that I am concerned with the drop in quality, spirit, and organization when we made those changes. I’d be surprised if anyone else out there thought that we played well or isn’t concerned by the prospect of a month of games with Turner in goal, Nelson on instead of Martinelli, Nelli in the middle, etc.

      Again, it’s hardly an outrageous opinion. Not even sure why I’m getting anything other than nodding of the heads but here we are.

      1. I think you have to have a growth mentality with Fabio. The profile is outrageous. These games are where he can begin to master application. Creative players rarely flower as young as him. It’s all there if he has the mentality and I think he does. Watch his game at Bournemouth. He was stellar.

        1. I did watch the match against Bournemouth but I think it’s fair to say that he’s got potential. I’m not suggesting he needs to be dumped out by any stretch.

          Taylor on the other hand? I’m leaning more toward sell.

  5. the masses don’t agree with you on this, tim. most folks simply aren’t out doing stuff at zero dark thirty…unless you’re a weirdo like me who’s at the gym with a handful of other weirdos. however, most would prefer it not be too dark when their kids have to walk to the bus stop in the a.m. likewise, wester washington is an outlier and not the standard for the rest of the country. in the summer time, the sound comes up at 5:30 in the morning and doesn’t set until nearly 10 p.m. that’s not how it is everywhere else. personally, i love dst at this time of year. i can ride my bike at 6 o’clock in the evening as most are already home. but at 5 pm, when everyone is coming home from work, that ride is treacherous.

    and you’re absolutely right; spokane does suck!

    as for the game, i mentioned that the portugese teams typically present problems for arsenal. sporting is a top side…stepped down from the champions league…all because marseille blew it in the last minute of the final group stage game against tottenham. they’re small, meaning quick and agile. seeing the likes of ben white trying to muscle these little guys was kinda funny. claudeivan, i think we all saw that martinelli is not suited to play with his back to goal. he lost EVERY challenge. reminds me of the time wenger played theo walcott at center forward against fc bayern. center forward is not martinelli’s ministry. at the end of the game, arteta even had fabio vieira playing center forward. imagine that.

    this also goes to the point that i really wanted arsenal to get a center forward during the january transfer window. arsenal look absolutely toothless in attack without one. a chris wood-type loan signing would have been brilliant.

    1. …and fabio vieira lost every battle with his back to goal, too. give him a break, tim. he’s probably never been asked to play center forward before, especially at the europa league level. arsenal need a competent center forward. he doesn’t have to be great, just competent.

      1. It was the early game that I was least impressed with, not the CF turn. He is just frankly absent for huge portions of the game and is a poor defender.

  6. lastly, i’m ready to declare that i do not like zinchenko; more specifically, i don’t like the way he’s being deployed. my first thought for a defender is can you defend. a fullback should win virtually all of his 1v1 duels. zinchenko can’t do that; he needs help. i think he should be competing with xhaka…and i think artetat’s obsession with zinchenko means arsenal are going to lose kieran tierney this summer; tierney’s too good to not play. i said two years ago that arsenal might lose tierney to man city. rumor has it that city were linked with him this past summer or in the january window. likewise, newcastle are apparently interested. who can blame him if he decides to leave? he’s a better left back than zinchenko but seldom plays.

    consider this: besides the southampton game, arsenal have won every game when zinchenko didn’t play. EVERY GAME!!! likewise, besides the liverpool game, every game arsenal has given up more than one goal, zinchenko has played.

    while watching the psg/bayern game the other day, veratti gave the ball away twice that led to both bayern goals. he looked like zinchenko. if arsenal blows it in one of these competitions, zinchenko will probably be right at the center of the fuckery. we’ll see.

    1. I think you undersell Zinchenko considerably, especially in an offensive and control sense. Yes, Tierney is a better traditional FB than him. He has a better engine, he’s more robust physically and is very direct. He’s an excellent t player. But Zinny plays because he makes the team better, he elevates our level. Our whole attacking and counter pressing structure relies on one of the FBs inverting. It’s a brilliant setup actually and not one that most teams can deploy because it takes a ton of work and precision and because it takes a FB who is comfortable with it. The inversion makes us into a 3-2-5 shape with the ball which gives us an extra options to combine in attacking areas, then when the ball turns over it places players in all of the passing channels to cut out counters. Tierney could do that and has done that but not to the same level, not even close. In fact I don’t know if too many players in Europe that can be an inverted FB at his level. That’s why Tierney doesn’t play. He’s a victim of Zinchenko’s success but also of his own lack of versatility and the lack of a similar Zinchenko-esque FB option from the right.

  7. The CF situation is a problem, but hopefully only a temporary one. We have one good one and one pretty decent one, but they are both injured at present. And we have another apparently decent one out on loan.
    Pretty hard to justify too much additional spend in that area. I do think a big Giroud-type CF would be useful, and if we could swap one of Nketiah/Balogun for a good one, it might be worth it.

  8. A word of warning on Balogun: as happy as I am that he is on fire at Reims, The type of football he is playing there vs here will be night and day. He is similar to Eddie, perhaps too similar for us to keep both. He thrives in an open, chaotic game. Arsenal don’t play many open games anymore. We control games. We need a CF that has elite close control but is also physically direct and is a menace on the counterpress. We need Gabriel Jesus and we need one of Eddie or Flo to become his clone. A plan B striker would be nice but who would want to come to Arsenal to be a plan B?

      1. I haven’t reported on the other leagues much the last month or so. I should do that. Truth is that I haven’t watched Marseille as much as I’d like (I watch Tavares sometimes) but I did watch Reims a few times and Balogun is a good finisher but I can’t see him fitting into Arteta’s current optimum side.

    1. Fair point that Balogun’s form might not translate, disagree that we need a GJ clone. GJ is great and fits within Arteta’s preferred way of playing. But building a squad with a variety of skills makes us less predictable, and can protect us from inflation in the transfer market. In the specific choice between a playmaking forward and a pure finisher, the finisher is arguably better suited to knockout tournaments (like the CL) which often turn on a goal or two against the run of play, while the playmaker helps build and maintain team cohesion through a league season. So whether it’s Balogun, Eddie or someone else, I think we’d be better served by looking for quality rather than archetype.

      I feel the same way about Zinchenko and Tierney – the reason Tierney might have to be moved is not because of his ‘type’ – which is very very useful in the right context – but because he is very injury-prone (which we knew before we paid 25m for him btw).

      1. I’m not with you on this. The way to build a sustainable winner is to identify a winning style of play and then recruit players who fit that style. Liverpool did this with their insanely physical midfield and forwards for Klopp’s counterpress. City did this for Pep’s insanely control oriented JdP. Arteta is doing this for his blend of the two. Varying skillsets sounds good on paper but what it really means in practice is players who don’t fit the system. That handicaps the whole unit.

        We couln’t counterpress with a midfield that had Ozil in it. We couldn’t stretch the field vertically with Lacazette at CF. We couldn’t play a high line with Rob Holding. We couldn’t play out from the back with Bernd Leno. And we cannot play a 3-2-5 attacking shape with Tierney at FB, not to the required standard.

        Tierney is a fantastic traditional FB, but as such he’s a square peg. That makes him the perfect saleable asset. The writing is on the wall for him and Tavares for the same reasons. He was once our best player but now the team has outgrown him. I’d hate to sell him to Newcastle because he’d be so good for them, but that’s a perfect situation for the player himself.

        1. You just have to look this season at the pretty pivotal contributions from players who “don’t fit the system” – Nketiah v United, Jorginho v Villa, Reiss v Bournemouth. I’m not going to go as far as to say that’s *more* important than having a style of play, but a defined style of play only takes you so far.

          1. I’m not going to take anything away from those individuals but what made those goals possible was the sustained pressure at the end of the game against a deep block. None of those situations were against the run of play or the result of a singular talent putting the team on his back. Nelson and Jorginho had the space to hit the ball cleanly because the opposition was too deep in their own box and too fatigued to close them down properly. Eddie was in the right place/time to profit from a deflected shot deep in the box after a Zinchenko overlap that was not tracked. These things may look random but they’re the expected result of 90 minutes of sustained pressure, probing and forcing them to play flawless defensive football, getting them to drop further and further back. Eventually, the ball breaks kindly to an attacker or a deflected shot gets turned in. That is the consequence of a superior structure that Arsenal play with, and that is only enabled by players who are ideal fits in that structure.

            I do agree with you that sometimes you need something different off your bench to change the rhythm of a game. I think Reiss and Jorgi are perfect substitutes late game agianst a deep block. Eddie can sniff out chances in the box or make use of an open game state to run the channels (similar to Juan Alvarez), Reiss is an excellent possession based winger (similar to Antony and Jadon Sancho) who can create chances off either foot, and Jorginho is one of the best in the business at recycling and creating from deeper areas. But none of them are ideal to help establish ascendancy and sustained pressure. Reiss doesn’t stretch the field vertically and doesn’t win 1 v 1 duels in either phase. Eddie doesn’t interchange with the wingers and doesn’t like playing from wide positions and gets swallowed up physically in the box. When you’re talking about competing on multiple fronts in high stakes tournaments, I don’t fully trust any of them to reproduce the game that their first choice counterparts play.

            And it’s no surprise really. Eddie and Reiss (and Emile!) are academy lads who came of age under the Wenger regime. You can see that aggression was not coached into them and their skillsets are not ideal for our structure. Jorginho has always needed physically dominant players around him to offset his limitations, and that’s something Arsenal don’t have right now outside of Partey and the defenders.

  9. Interesting news out of the UK. BBC has suspended Gary Lineker from Match of the Day due to comments that he made on Twitter(not on MotD) about UK immigration policy that were not taken well by the Tory govt in power.
    Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott, Micah Richards and Jermaine Jenas have all stated they support Lineker and will not appear as long as Lineker is suspended. Good for them.

    1. Hear, hear. I’m as left-wing, commie, pinko, birkenstock-wearing as they come, but this cancel culture is a cancer to modernity.

      1. **For reference, waaay before Donald Trump got into politics and hurling insults at the left, this is what on TV’s All In The Family’s Archie Bunker (played by the late, great Carroll O’Conner) would call his liberal, left-leaning son-in-law (played by the also great actor-director Rob Reiner, son of legend Carl Reiner).

      2. Ex-BBC pinko journo here, 1NIL.

        It’s not cancel culture. I wish we’d retire tiring terms like that, “woke” and “wokeism”.

        There’s a tension between news organizations maintaining journalistic integrity, and their top talent (news, sport or whatever) being able to say whatever the hell they like on twitter or Facebook.

        And the point isn’t the cruelty of the measures that Lineker commented on… it is whether he can wear the label of a major news organisation like BBC and give trenchant opinions on politically contentious issues. I say no, he can’t. He brings the BBC’s news product into disrepute.

        Gary is there to cover sport for ALL of the BBC’s audience, including the 40% whose right-wing views I don’t agree with, and presumably he doesn’t either.

        He’s a bright man. Not an empty vessel or opinion free zone, and we shouldn’t expect him to be. All the same, he shouldn’t be comparing UK government immigration policies to those of 1930s Germany.

        And here’s the thing that bigger than Gary or the beeb… all news orgs have this tension between their journals and presenters, and their freedom to sound off on twitter. They frankly struggle to identify where the line is.

        1. I guess Lineker is under a freelance contract, so not exactly the same as a standard employee. And technically all the politicians making those comments are employees of the govt too. And the head of the BBC is a Tory appointee. Nor did they seem to care when the object of the criticism was Qatar, so a bit of hypocrisy showing when the subject is them instead of a foreign state.
          Also he didn’t technically criticize the policies, he said that the language used to justify them was comparable to the language used in 30s Germany (and while maybe he shouldn’t have pulled the Nazi card, he wasn’t far off).

        2. Good perspective, “Comrade”. People should be able to say what they want to say, without fear in a free society, but it seems like we can be a long way from that sometimes. It’s a thorny issue particularly with journalistic organizations. I have great respect for the BBC. They own their mistakes and are honest as far as I know. Worked at CBC for stint (as a music producer) and so admired some of the reporters there.

        3. He spoke about Qatar’s human rights record on the air for the BBC. Why can’t he speak about the UK’s human rights record on his own private twitter?

          Also, the head of the BBC gave £400k to the Tory party and facilitated the loan of £800k to Boris Johnson.

          1. Didn’t know, and if true…boo, hiss. The BBC should be, and needs to be, above board, and politically neutered (and so neutral).
            The CBC in Canada is a “crown corporation” and so, has an arm’s length relationship with the Federal government and has a lot of oversight and transparency. It ain’t perfect by any means.

          2. Yes, he did begin his opening intro by talking about Qatar’s abuses. And because many agreed with his opinion, it was fine by them. But the opinion knife cuts both ways. A good deal of the time (though not in the case of Qatar), 40% of people feel differently from any opinion espoused.

            Here’s a thought experiment. Gary suddenly starts channeling Nigel Farage, Marjorie Taylor Greene or Steve Bannon in his tweets, and carrying on about immigrants diluting the Anglo-Saxon character of his country. I don’t think that the people cheerleading what he did would like it at all.

            And that’s the problem. Where people come down on Lineker sounding off depends on where they come down on the issues on which he’s sounding off. And it shouldn’t. For the sake of running a news organisation based on consistent principles, you cannot have your talent sounding off on politically sensitive issues. A good deal of the time, you’re pissing off 40% of the audience you serve. Don’t go there.

            1Nil, yes, people should be free to say what they want; but free speech isnt consequence free. And your twitter page is a public space

            That 800k loan to Johnson is a grave and important issue, and a stain on the BBC. It does go to the issue of the pressure the publicly funded BBC feels, but if I’m calling balls and strikes on this one, it is a separate — albeit important issue.

            Freelance? I prefer “independent”, because as someone was once worked as a freelance, the arrangement enjoyed by Lineker and others bears no resemblance to the generally understood meaning of the term. These folks with agents earning millions are not the same as guys mixing tape at their dining table and pitching 2 stories a week at $500 a pop. However — and this is a big however — Lineker is more the face of the BBC than a producer on 35k a year.

            Look, it’s not easy. But you can’t have your main sports presenter comparing immigration policy language to that of 1930s Germany. You just cant. The yellow card is merited, even if I agree with him about the cruelty of the legislation.

          3. “Where people come down on Lineker sounding off depends on where they come down on the issues on which he’s sounding off.”

            Right, and in this case the “people” in question are the BBC and the problem is that they were fine with him criticizing Qatar’s human rights record and not ok with him criticizing the UK’s human rights record. They are fine with Lord Sugar spouting off all kinds of right-wing lies (literally tweeting a picture of Corbyn in the car with Hitler) but “draw the line” at Lineker saying that the language was fascist.

            And that’s another thing here. The language the UK gov’t is using IS FASCIST, cruel and illegal; Corbyn is NOT FASCIST nor an anti-Semite. If Lord Sugar is allowed to be a propaganda voice for fascists, Lineker should be allowed to speak truth to power.

          4. Yeah, beeb policy on this is inconsistent, and shouldn’t be. But they got this one right, in my opinion, for reasons I’ve already stated.

        4. I’ve become convinced in my old(er) age that the enemy of modernity, or humanity as it were, is extremism and power doctrine of any sort. Left or right hardly matters. Its a matter of leveraging the beliefs of well meaning common people to establish and sustain ultimate authority through nothing more than a shared paradigm. The Catholic church invented this but it was subsumed by European monarchs who saw its power and wanted it themselves. In moden times this has taken on ever changing forms, but always the common thread is ultimate unquestionable moral authority and the struggle against an amoral “other” as the basis of power.

  10. I don’t know, what the sports presenter does on his own time on his own Twitter should be his business. It would be different if he said that while broadcasting, or maybe if he was a primary news journalist. And they(the Tory govt) tolerated Lord Sugar tweeting political stuff While running a show and Andrew Neil editing the Spectator while being a political commentator on the BBC. That’s far more germane.

    As far as the CF goes, perhaps it would be good to have another foward similar to Jesus, good in pressing and able to draw defenses with dribbling. Not sure if either Balogun or Nketiah can ever be that. But a Plan B when we need a Giroud type to control long balls or get a head on crosses would be pretty useful. And such a Plan B doesn’t need to be even someone as good as Giroud has been. A Wout Weghorst might be enough.

    1. It doesn’t work like that. If in anyone’s spare time they had a sideline in whisky smuggling or porn, they’d lose their job.

      That line of argument is so self evidently incorrect, that it shouldn’t even need stating.

      1. Exhibit A to the contrary in British media…Jimmy Savile, who kept his for a long time, despite plenty of rumors. But let’s not use exaggerated straw men.

        Lineker hasn’t been accused of anything illegal or unsavory(besides playing for Spurs). Just of having a political opinion the current govt doesn’t like. And they were fine to have those expressed by other BBC personalities when they were in line with the Tories, I gave examples.

        1. Sorry, SLC. As someone who has been a news manager, I dont think that top TV talent should be able to sound off on whatever they like, whenever they like. That undermines the news org, and undermines the journalism. When Gary Lineker speaks, it’s the BBC speaking. That is the deal, and Gary knows it. It’s not for nothing that he’s the highest paid person in the BBC.

          Jimmy Savile was a criminal. That is a spectacularly bad comparison to the current case.

          1. I agree Savile isn’t a good comparison. But you brought up other comparisons that had little to do with the topic and insisted they would immediately result in termination.
            If the BBC is going to enforce impartiality in high-profile figures, they need to do it across the board and get rid of other figures entangled in politics such as David Sharp, muzzle Jeremy Clarkson, etc. But they did none of that. So suspending Lineker for commenting on a personal account about something that has nothing to do with his on-air role looks at least as biased as what Lineker said. I’m not even going to touch the issues around censoring David Attenborough commenting on climate-change.

      2. What a lousy comparison! Those are illegal activities. As far as I’m concerned, whatever GL broadcasts on HIS Twitter account cannot be considered as an official BBC position. However, arguing that GL wasn’t reprimanded when he expressed his positions on Qatar is also a poor argument because Qatar was then very much a topic linked to sport and included in GL’s mandate.

        On Zinchenko, those statistics on matches lost with him and goal allowed with him gave me pause. Of course, there are other statistics that might show that his passing is very progressive, that he helps in building up, that he pushes the team forward in a structural way (not through raids on the flank), that he creates superiority in the midfield,… In the end, the question is whether or not he brings more control than he allows the opponents to penetrate our defence. The point of Tierney’s fragility is very important too.

        Finally, on time saving, I hate the changes. They perturb everyone’s metabolism. Let’s cancel them. However, unlike Tim, I am one of those lazy people who don’t go up that early (7.15 in my case!) and I’d rather have light in the afternoon and evening than when I’m in bed or about to commute in my car. By the way, I’m very jealous of those people who can resist the appeal of the warmth of a bed and rise early and cheerfully. I tried and it’s just too hard! I’m weak, I guess.

        1. Youre missing the point. Which is that your twitter page is not a private space, let alone the twitter page of the BBC’s highest paid person with nearly 9 million followers.

          It’s really surprising how many people dont know the rules of the road for Twitter.

          And you chose to look past what i said about his channeling MTG, Farage or Bannon. Trust me when i tell you that what he said would suddenly matter to a lot of the folks defending his right to say what he likes.

          1. We don’t have to look at the hypothentical case of Lineker going right-wing. We have the actual case of Andrew Neil being the editor of the right wing Spectator magazine, while being allowed for a long time to be leading political programmes on the BBC. That’s a far bigger issue relative to impartiality than a tweet or two from a sports personality. Nothing was done about that for years.

          2. You seem to be looking past the fact that a lot of BBC programs feature a lot of hard right racist/homophobes/transphobes etc. ON AIR! People DO complain and yet they keep getting work on the BBC. You keep saying to think of the opposite but if Gary came out in support of the government’s position I literally guarantee you that we aren’t having this conversation because the BBC wouldn’t fire him for supporting the government – which would literally piss off 49% of the population by the way.

            If the BBC applied the same rules they are applying to Lineker, there would be literally NO right-wing pundits allowed on the BBC ever.

            Also, as a former newsman you know full well that there is no such thing as impartiality. And especially no impartiality among people paid for their opinion, which is what Lineker is.

          3. I think I indeed missed the point. Probably because you did not make it in the post I reacted to! 🙂

      3. Whiskey Smuggling is illegal, so yes, generally speaking if a person is engaged in illegal activities (and they are caught) they will probably not enjoy top billing at the BBC (unless the illegal activities are like wire tapping or a number of other things that former presenters have been found guilty of and still been put on air – see Piers Morgan).

        Porn, I don’t think would necessarily be a disqualifying factor. It depends on what kind of porn, I suppose, but just taking ones clothes off for money is ABSOLUTELY not a disqualifying factor for employment at the BBC as Melinda Messenger and Gail Porter prove.

        I think you’re advocating for an ideal that doesn’t exist or if it does exist seems to be applied rather arbitrarily.

        1. The point — made heavy handedly by the examples of whiskey and porn — was unsurprisingly missed, given the inartful examples. It is that it is preposterous to claim that Lineker can say as he likes in his so called “free time”.

          Tim Todd runs an Arsenal fan blog. Ive no idea if over the course of it, someone in his workplace gave him a hard time over it. It would not surprise me if there were instances of someone being weird about. Nor would it surprise me if someone with an overtly partisan political operation got more blowback from their management.

          A news organisation operates under slightly different rules to most workplaces when it comes to this, and the BBC is right to rein in Lineker, its highest paid presenter.

          Yeah, they are hella inconsistent. Yeah, they got some decisions wrong. Yeah, they are scared of the Conservatives, out of fears that they can slash their public spending.

          But they got this one right. Social media rules of the road are unclear, and they, Gary and other top talent need to thrash it out. He crossed a bright red editorial line for me.

          1. Right but they supported him saying far “worse” in 2016, explicitly stating that his twitter account is his opinion.

            Just FYI: at my workplace, I would be allowed to sue if they tried to fire me for the political opinions I have expressed during my free time. And many people DO know who I am and about my blog/twitter/etc.

          2. There’s also a 2021 video making circulation of a BBC interview of Lineker – a BBC interview – in which he explains his feelings about immigration, the thought process behind his tweets, his respect for the companies he represents, in which he explains his employment status at the BBC, his conversations with the new right-wing head of the BBC, and repeats that the BBC has no right to even ask him not to tweet certain things.

            Bottom line here is that you and the BBC are just absolutely wrong, both legally and morally. I guarantee you that an employment tribunal would find in favor of Lineker and the BBC would be forced to pay out huge sums if they try to take further action. They are already probably in some pretty big trouble.

            I stand with Lineker. We need to speak out about fascist policies. We often say “never again” and the key thing about “never again”* is that people speak out and stand up when they see dehumanizing policies proposed. The thing that makes it possible for fascist regimes to exist and dehumanizing polcies to become law is for people not to stand up to them before they get out of hand. Because AFTER they get out of hand the punishment for speaking up isn’t just public calumny from the 40% but being murdered by the government.

            *Or “they came for … and I didn’t say anything” etc.

          3. I think I can generally agree with you that mainstream news/political journalists should try to appear to be politically/socially impartial, even in spaces like Twitter. It’s less clear to me that needs to be the case for media figures focused on entertainment/sports.

            Regardless, in recent years, the BBC has not been enforcing this, allowing numerous right wing figures to express opinions, act in a biased manner, serve in the House of Lords, etc. So when they do this to Lineker, it presents an appearance of pro-govt/right wing bias far worse than any bias implicit in what Lineker tweeted. So I disagree with you that they got this right. What they should have done is not suspended him, and instead put out a statement that theyneeded to make the rules more clear, and then enforced those rules for everyone (which probably would include gettting rid of Sharp, who very clearly has a pro-Tory bias).

            And on the Arsenal front, bummer. Jesus, Trossard and Nketiah still out. Maybe Odegaard too. So probably an attacking lineup pretty similar to Sporting as we don’t have many other options. COYG.

          4. These are fair and well-made points, SLC. But here’s the thing… Gary has presented numerous non-news programmes/shows for BBC. Didn’t someone say once that he was almost held up as highly as the sainted Queen Mother in the broadcast firmament? He didn’t do non sport as often as someone like the brilliantly versatile Bryant Gumbel did in the USA, but he did. Broadcasters like Dan Walker move easily and well between the two worlds. Gary is the BBC’s leading broadcaster. Period. He wasn’t going to displace Huw Edwards from leading the coverage of the funeral of the Queen, but he is quite clearly top of the tree.

            The distinction between sport and non-sport is meaningless. The BBC (a news organisation that prides itself on its reputation, let me remind everyone) can’t have its top talent tossing around Nazi Germany comparisons to government migrant policy, which I agree with him is inhumane. I promise you that if MOTD’s producer who is likely on one-twentieth of Lineker’s salary tweeted in the way that he did, s/he would be censured. The 2016 thing that Tim cites is a bad decision. Just because you benefited from a bad decision 7 years ago doesn’t mean that you should continue to do so in perpetuity. Social media use is much changed in the period, and we’ve got to re-examine your policies accordingly. That it was made under different management is neither here nor there.

            Look if Im managing a news shift, and got news of the BBC’s leading presenter weighing in on this subject IN THE WAY THAT HE DID, I’d be bloody livid.

            To me Gary crossed a bright red editorial line, and that is a fairly straightforward point of editorial principle. He’s entitled to dig in. The beeb is entitled to suspend him if he does.

  11. Claudeivan, thank you for those very enlightening insights into the media industry. Your observations totally explain the BBC’s position. I had previously taken the view: “Self-important ex-footballer shares personal opinion on non-football issue using crass and hyperbolic historical analogy – who cares?” I have never rated Lugs as the anchor of MotD. Perhaps that programme will improve as a result of these events.

    Returning to DST, in the UK we have the same clock adjustment though ‘British Summer Time’ arrives a few weeks later. I believe it was introduced during WW1 to allow factories to work longer in the evenings and for the same reason we even had summers with GMT+2 hours during WW2! We did suspend the change for a few years around 1970 but everyone apparently hated it so we reverted to biannual movements. I understand that it’s helpful to dairy farmers in the north of Scotland to put the clocks back in the autumn as cows don’t yield as much milk on dark winter mornings if we don’t.

  12. trossard with 3 assists in the first half. wtf? i’ve said it before, that kid is a baller!

    1. That was pretty much the best half I think they have played all season. And Jesus returned (should I make that joke on a Sunday in the spring)?

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