Today is international trans day of awareness and I want to start by saying that trans lives matter, that trans rights are human rights, and that I support trans rights on this site.
Good morning to you all and welcome back to the Premier League title race. Early tomorrow morning, Man City will host Liverpool and I speak for every Arsenal supporter when I say “come on you reds!” After that, Arsenal will host Leeds at the Emirates and once again the match will not be televised, in the UK. Where UK laws prevent broadcasters from showing ANY football between 1445 and 1715 on Saturdays.
It’s a crazy old law, honestly. I get what the point of it was – to increase attendance at lower league games – but the attendance in Germany (where they televise all matches) is 90%, the same as in England. So, there are other factors at work. I don’t know if the UK will change their laws but it is a weird situation where ironically, if you live near Arsenal, you will miss quite a few matches or only get to hear them broadcast on the radio (there is also a weird TV thing where they show people watching a match but you can’t see the match itself). This is especially true now that demand for tickets is at an all time high, so high that the club are actually cracking down on touts and doing nearly everything in their power to make the system fairer for fans who want to go to matches.
A quick word on that. If you go to England to see the Arsenal, whatever you do, don’t use touts or those websites which purport to offer tickets. Touts are criminals and I know quite a few people who have been ripped off by touts – either flat out taking people’s money or selling them fake tickets. The websites are doing the exact same thing, but on a bigger scale. Work with your local supporters group (for example, Arsenal America is able to help get tickets) or try your luck as a red member when the general sales start. I know it’s frustrating but this is just the way it is.
As for the match this weekend, I’m seeing quite a few nervous posts on Twitter. I get it. We are getting down to brass tacks as they say. There are 10 matches left and Arsenal have just an 8 point lead (City have a game in hand). We also have a few injuries. It hasn’t been announced officially but Saliba was absent from the training ground pictures and that means Rob Holding will probably start at RCB. Kieran Tierney was also removed during Scotland’s historic 2-0 win over Spain and Tomiyasu is also out. There was some worry over Ødegaard after he was kicked by Rodri but he was featured prominently in the club’s training ground photos.
Still, it’s a pretty thin squad at the moment and some nerves are natural. However, to help calm the nerves a bit, Leeds do have five pretty big injuries themselves; Adams, Gnonto, Wober, Foreshaw, and Dallas. I know that every team can beat every other team “on any given Saturday” and that Leeds will have a devil may care attitude but I like what Ramsdale said in his pre-match interview:
“I think with these games, it’s more about your concentration and your preparation before the game and then hopefully on the pitch, you take care of the performance.”
And finally, huge congratulations to Arsene Wenger on his induction to the football hall of fame. It was, of course, a no-brainer. He is a legend in the game not only for the Invincibles season but also for making me a fan of football – lol. No but seriously, that Invincibles season and the pivot to building the new stadium that we have, the teams he put together during those lean years, and then coming back at the end to be the FA Cup’s winningest all time manager, it’s just an incredible honor to have been a part of that ride. Merci Arsene.
His statue is LONG overdue.