Monday 19 August 2013

Damage Limitation and Airport Lounges

I'm actually struggling for words to sum up how I think this season will go. After the dismal effort on Saturday, the fresh injury news (especially The Ox's knee) has put us in an unenviable situation, and I just don't know what to say to make people feel better about it. Ever the optimist when it comes to Arsenal, I feel this season is going to be nothing more than a damage-limitation exercise - we have the thinnest playable squad in the Premier League right now, maybe even Europe, and even if we do bring players in, it's all about hitting the ground running, something that Aston Villa managed to achieve with little sweat I might add.

Kroenke: A man with many moustache combs
I'm always going to sit on the fence when it comes to Wenger. Yes, he was our saving grace in yesteryear, winning trophies and helping us go a whole season unbeaten, but he also hasn't achieved anything significant in the past 7 years other than consistentily profitable transfer windows. And we all know that, nothing new there. Some fans are calling for his head on a plate, whilst others back him and say it's the board to blame. "If Usmanov/Dein come and Moustache/Gazidis leave we'll spend more than the top three combined" - but it's not the way we do it and I hope Arsenal doesn't become another Sugar Daddy playpen. I'm proud of the way the club is run, because I know that if I'm still alive <touches nearest wooden object>, in 50 years time we'll be a club that can compete with the top 3 in the World let alone the League, and I will be relishing every game.

Of course nobody wants to wait that long for something good to happen, but it's all about sustainability, especially in this economic climate. I'm not saying that I 100% think Wenger should stay, because I'm not an expert and I don't really know if that's the best thing for Arsenal Football Club. What I do know is that something needs to happen quickly, and we might have to take a few risks to get out of this situation we're in. Without risks there certainly are no rewards.

Onto something more upbeat now, you might have noticed from various social media feeds that I'm on my way to Prague (as I write this). I'm in an airline lounge in Dusseldorf, waiting for my connecting flight to the Czech Capital. I had the good fortune, especially as a backpacker, of inheriting a pass that allows me into hundreds of airport lounges worldwide. What it means for me is comfy seating, Wi-Fi access, free beer, and a nice hot shower if I need one (no comments please, it's too early in the trip!).

Airport Lounges - a backpacker's dream
Most importantly though, I realised that I can stock up on all the complimentary snacks that these lounges offer, for 'the road'. I've tried to avoid flying as much as I can in the GOTR itinerary up to Australia, but in some parts of the U.S, it was completely unavoidable. What it means however, is that I'm going to have the opportunity to visit several airport lounges across North America, where I can essentially force as many peanuts and apples into my daypack as possible for some of my long-distance, one-dollar-fare bus trips I have to make to connect cities.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to ask some overly-efficient lounge staff for more pre-packed cheese & crackers, as they've run out.

Next stop, Prague!