The game is an echo box for wider anxieties, because it is the place people gather, because it gives a hook to our feelings

There was something touching on Thursday evening about the sight of Martin Keown standing on a windswept dais in front of an empty super-stadium trying to rationalise the dissolution, by various structural forces, of the entity previously known as “Arsenal Football Club”.

Keown might not always pronounce players’ names correctly, but he is a good pundit and a man of substance. He did his best to offer Arsenal fans comfort after the 0-0 draw with Villarreal, another game marked by protest outside the Emirates at the club’s distant ownership. Keown pointed out that change can come from inside. He remembered that Arsenal were also badly run in the 1980s – and that they fixed themselves then, when all this really involved was getting a couple of capable people in the boardroom and maybe doing up the training ground.

Related: Mikel Arteta ‘devastated’ as Arsenal fall in Europa League semi-final

Continue reading...