Enjoying life with domestic football? It’s weird I think, it’s November and we should be watching our club carry on the fantastic run, not waiting for Sunday’s World Cup opener just to catch some competitive football. The television viewing figures will be interesting that’s for sure. I’m confident there’ll be Classic Coronation Street I can watch instead.

Talking of Qatar, as if there’s anything being talked about at the moment, well, other than Ronaldo, the country has decided to pressure FIFA to implement a ban on alcohol being consumed within the stadiums. Sponsors Budweiser have taken to Twitter with a simple, ‘well, this is awkward…’ comment. It’s awkward alright, if not embarrassing for not only Budweiser but FIFA too as something like this should have been sorted out a long time before now and certainly before fans bought their flights and match day tickets. Alcohol will be available as normal in licensed hotels and restaurants. £12 for a pint of beer? Dry November and December would be my thought if I was in Qatar but then pigs would fly before I travelled to such a country.

I understand the alcohol ban and always believe in when in Rome etc, not entirely of course in Qatar’s case but it just seems odd for this competition to be sponsored by a company which brews beer only to then ban it from being consumed at that same competition.

Anyway, when are our players on duty over the next week?

Monday, November 21

  • England (Ramsdale, Saka, White) v Iran – 1pm
  • USA (Turner) v Wales – 7pm

Tuesday, November 22

  • France (Saliba) v Australia – 7pm

Wednesday, November 23

  • Germany v Japan (Tomiyasu) – 1pm

Thursday, November 24

  • Switzerland (Xhaka) v Cameroon – 10am
  • Portugal v Ghana (Partey) – 4pm
  • Brazil (Jesus, Martinelli) v Serbia – 7pm

Friday, November 25

  • England (Ramsdale, Saka, White) v USA (Turner)

Saturday, November 26

  • France (Saliba) v Denmark

So there is something positive and that’s all of the fixtures are at a good time of the day for football fans in Europe.

Ronaldo continues to dominate the back pages following his interview with Piers Morgan. Apparently he criticised the young players at Utd suggesting they don’t care as much as players did back in his day. Whether true or not, it’s not a nice thing to be saying publicly. What he also said was he hoped Arsenal win the League if Utd don’t. Utd’s chances are slim to none in my opinion, and even if by some miracle they do, I very much doubt he’ll be part of it.

Whilst he knocks the Utd youngsters, Aaron Ramsdale has done the opposite. Here’s what he told ESPN about  “man mountain” William Saliba:

He glides across the pitch, he doesn’t seem to sprint. He gets his big arm across people. He’s got everything honestly and he’s showing it on the pitch. He’s keeping some of the best strikers in the league quiet at the minute and all the credit goes to him.

Saliba has been superb. A few mad moments perhaps but he’s 21 years old and in his first year of playing Premier League football. What he’ll be like in a few years time is something I hope we witness whilst playing in Arsenals colours because he has the making of a world class central defender. They are like gold dust these days. If things go as we probably all hope, Mikel Arteta has a back five which might just be as good as the back five Arsene Wenger inherited.

Lastly, Edu Gaspar has signed a new deal with Arsenal which sees him become the club’s first sporting director. The Brazilian’s promotion “sees him assume over-arching responsibility for all our academy activities, in addition to his existing responsibilities across men’s and women’s football.”

Chief executive Vinai Venkatesham said:

We are delighted that Edu is recommitting his future to the club that he so clearly loves, after making such a positive and critical contribution to our progress in his time with us so far.

Excellent, just need Saliba, Saka and Martinelli to follow suit.…