So, whither our scene? Has the Arsenal lost its voice now Song is gone and VP has vaporised? Will the new signings live up to Gooners’ expectations? Can Podolski deliver? Whatever, the Arsenal will still brandish the beautiful game and always entertain.


The Britannia Stadium, open to all four winds, welcomes the Arsenal. If the elements impede, then Stoke will multiply the impediments. Rumpty-tumpty in-yer-face up-yer-bum footie, with the strains of Delilah wafting on the breeze. It requires from opponents a soupcon of bravery, but as my Dad said, “There’s no such thing as bravery, only degrees of fear.” As Dad went over the top on day one of the Somme, he would relish this fixture.

More intriguing is Liverpool vs Manchester City. This could define a watershed in footie. Can teams win silver playing Spanish footie? Mancini has evolved the style, panache and sophistication of the Corrida, but his matador David Silva was exhausted at season’s end.

Jack Rodwell could morph into Silva’s amanuensis, but at the moment he’s more Birkdale than Kirkdale. Now he has flitted to the Golden Triangle and the fleshpots of Alderley Edge, young Jack will feel the heat from a mass of pulchritude… and even more heat from Rob Roy’s hair dryer. Oh yes, we all feel the heat up here.

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Chelsea play Newcastle. Once again, will the new-found flair at the Bridge triumph, or will Chelsea regress to that pragmatic, functional footie that brought them silverware?

By the way, where is our ‘Arry Redknapp? I sighted him recently in Majorca wrestling with an octopus. I want him back in footie. Not only a fantastic manager, but great fun to be with.

This weekend Premier League matches:


Swansea vs West Ham – 12:45pm, live on Sky Sports 1
Aston Villa vs Everton – 3pm
Manchester Utd vs Fulham – 3pm
Norwich vs Queen’s Park Rangers – 3pm
Southampton vs Wigan – 3pm
Sunderland vs Reading – 3pm
Tottenham vs West Brom – 3pm
Chelsea vs Newcastle – 5:30pm



Stoke City vs Arsenal – 1:30pm, live on Sky Sports 1
Liverpool vs Manchester City – 4pm, live on Sky Sports 1