Barton - not welcome with me
As you know I don't like to comment on tittle-tattle, but it's time to make an exception. There seems to be a growing rumour that Joey Barton is seriously on Arsenal's radar. The very thought of this makes me wince. I despise Joey Barton.
A few years ago our Chairman, Mr Peter Hill-Wood, famously said of Stan Kroenke that "we don't want his sort." This is certainly a phrase I would apply to any idea of signing scum like Barton. He's actually a decent player, but he is an animal who should be be in prison, not on a football pitch. He is the complete opposite to what Arsenal Football Club stands for. I have no desire to watch an Arsenal team in which Joey Barton is a part.
There is little doubt that a player of Barton's type, a tough-tackling midfielder, is required in the team. We have not had someone who would truly put their foot in since Patrick Vieira was sold. However, the likes of Joey Barton are simply not "Arsenal" players. Barton is the lowest form of scum and I hope all Arsenal fans would have a similar view to myself with regards to his type of personality becoming part of the family. This is one transfer rumour I hope is totally made up.
Elsewhere in the Arsenal supporting wastelands it's all still annoyingly quiet. Aside from the usual nonsense from Barcelona etc there is still no sign of anyone coming in, or anyone going out. We hear occasionally that transfers take a long time to complete these days - this is obviously a lie as we see so many deals done in a matter of minutes on deadline day. The trouble with these long and drawn out public transfer deals is that the sense of excitement that used to be engendered by the announcement of a new recruit is taken out of the whole thing. Be honest, will you be excited if, and when, Gervinho is finally unveiled?
It being quiet I can't let the opportunity pass to say what a complete joke (and not a funny one) the Olympic ticketing debacle has been. As you might have guessed I missed out completely on the tickets I had applied for. I had hoped to take my son to see the Games and applied for numerous tickets across seven different events. To not get any tickets at all is a disgrace. That posh twat Seb Coe can come on TV and claim that things have been done in the best way possible, but that is simply a lie. There would be more sympathy if they admitted they had misjudged things and, in hindsight, had got it wrong.
As one of those who missed out (another thing - how has it gone from one million applicants to more than two million over the past few weeks since the ballot closed? - the fact is that there have been major issues with the computer system, and I suspect some serious foul-play as well) I now have the "opportunity" to apply for other tickets - no doubt more expensive ones, and not for the things I originally put in for. However, instead of a ballot it is now "first come, first served" from 6am on Friday with a limit of three events per application. Two things to say about this - firstly, why didn't they limit the number of events in the first ballot, thus ensuring more people got to see something (they could even have applied this policy retrospectively once it emerged that the events were so badly over-subscribed)? The second thing is that a lot of people work unsociable hours and so can't possibly get in on a "first come, first served" basis this Friday - guess who is among that group?
There is one final issue with this second round and the way the tickets will be sold. Every ticket agency in England will have numerous logins for their staff for the Olympic ticket site. On Friday morning they will all be wired up and hoovering up as many tickets as they can, before selling them on at a premium as the Games approach. You couldn't make it up. It's the most scandalous thing to occur in British sport in my lifetime - the public pay for the Olympics, but none of us can actually go and watch any of it. Disgrace.
Hopefully more tomorrow, and all of it about Arsenal.