Arsenal is learning nothing last forever

Arsenal will be fine, for sure. It will return, although it is likely to be a long and difficult journey. In the meantime, it stands as a warning to the rest of the elite that their place in the top table is not given forever: it is only yours until you make the right decision (enough).

And it provides inspiration to all the teams that fulfill the aspirations of one day, giving rise to the established order: to Leicester and the Wolves and to Everton and the rest. Partitions can be bridged. Permanence is an illusion. People – clubs – make mistakes, no matter their size or their wealth or their self-perception. Keane was joking, perhaps, when he said that Arsenal would not face charges. In a way, though, it already is.

The sunlight fields are only a few weeks away. Britain will leave the European Union on 1 January and it will finally … be free for its currency? No. It’s not like that. Control your boundaries? Oh, did it anyway. Turn the garden of Kent, England into huge parking for trucks? Wants a strange thing, but if you like, sounds great.

The impact of Brexit on football will, in all likelihood, not be particularly noticeable in the Premier League. English clubs would, in theory, no longer be so generously recruited from Europe, but most players of interest to the teams in the country’s top division would be allowed to play in it to easily meet the criteria. (Lower level teams, and most clubs in Scotland, may experience greater impact on their recruitment plans.)

Most important, however, was that there was a line hidden deep in the weeds of the Premier League statement about how international transfers would work in this brave new world. English teams will start from 1 January. No longer be able to sign No international player until the player turns 18.



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