At times like these, when the electoral process goes to shit and neo-cons rule the earth, it’s time to give yourself a little lift and focus on the more frivolous things in life. Like sport.<br /><br />However, things seem fairly bleak at the moment. It’s all managerial merry-go-rounds, players on coke, meaningless champions league games and tennis is fizzling badly. The run to the masters year end final has been pretty dull. Perhaps the autumn rugby internationals will give us something to get stuck into.<br /><br />The interesting story is South Africa. Their team has changed massively in the last year, going from bully-boy thugs to a proper team in no time at all. Credit to the coach, Jake White. If his team can do the hoome nations clean sweep, it will be a big achievement. I almost hope they do. England will be on a hiding to nothing if they don’t get it right.<br /><br />On another note, my first visit to Highbury last weekend was an interesting experience. For a team of Arsenal’s stature, the ground is just tiny. No wonder they are moving. But I worry that the new ground might have the Wembley effect on the team. When Arsenal tried playing their Champions League games at Wembley, they lost most of the time. Unless the Ashburton Grove ground gets the atmostphere going and the players can connect to the fans like they clearly do now, Arsenal could suffer new stadium syndrome. Southampton had it, Man City had it. Don’t bet on the gunners getting the 2006 title.
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