Arsenal, Tottenham and the state of trickle-down economic policy


There hasn’t been a full programme in the Premier League for absolutely ages, and so much has happened in our lives in the meantime. First up, matches were suspended in honour of Her Majesty. A new sovereign for the first time in 70 years. Then there was the international break, during which the pecking order between Scotland and England was restored in the former’s favour for the first time since the early-1880s. And then a couple of comedians forced their way into the grown-ups’ room and started mucking around with the national levers, throwing everything out of whack to such an extent that, if you want a hotdog at the match this weekend, you’d best take a wheelbarrow full to the brim with notes, coins, trinkets and family heirlooms, and get bartering. Then, after the game, tip the empty wheelbarrow upside down and live under the empty wheelbarrow, kept toasty-warm by the steam from your tears. The clear benefits of trickle-down economic policy, right there.

Forgive The Fiver, then, for getting all excited at the Premier League’s return this coming weekend. So excited that we’re looking ahead in fevered anticipation not just one, but two whole days in advance. And what a start to the weekend! When we emerge on Saturday lunchtime from under the barrow – we’ll have probably traded all our base metal for our weekly food treat on Friday, now we come to think about it – it’ll immediately be time for the north London derby! That promises to be a lunchtime feast between two in-form teams, in which anything could potentially happen, but will most likely end in Mikel Arteta looking dazed, wondering where on earth Arsenal’s expansive start to the season went, while Pragmatism’s Antonio Conte wanders off whistling insouciantly, another number done. We’re sure there are some Arsenal fans out there who haven’t been regularly waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, fearing this exact scenario. But we’re betting there aren’t that many.

Another thing that could potentially occur is some sort of taproom-style brouhaha in the technical area. Arteta has form, Conte has form, and let’s not even bother paying lip service to the kids, we’ll all be whooping and hollering with delight should the pair kick up a huge comic-strip cloud of dust on the touchline, all boots and fists sticking out of it like sausages in a pyramid of mash. Arsenal needed just 34 minutes at the Emirates last season to hand Tottenham their performance knickers, freshly laundered and pressed, while Spurs returned the favour in similar short order in N17, running off chortling with the last Big Cup place to boot, so both teams will have revenge on their mind. Throw in its potential to define both their seasons, and it’s a fixture that could generate enough energy to heat upturned wheelbarrows all across north London. Hunker down and enjoy, everyone, while the going remains good!


“[Clubs are entitled to a] share of losses […] from accounts registered in your club name to SkyBet through our affiliate partnership” – an internal document grimly reveals how Football League clubs have been taking a cut of the money fans lose with the bookmaker.


Gary Neville joins the pod for a special edition of Football Weekly Extra.


“Imagine my surprise to find a daily dose of The Fiver personally written about myself and my family and keeping us going to the match (yesterday’s Fiver). At first I had to wonder is this was some Fiver miracle and you would send a personalised email to all subscribers. What a stroke of brilliance, I thought. Why, I was indeed even more thrilled to find out that some long-lost relative is a famous painter of matchstalk men, women and animals, and that simple fact alone could make you famous. I’m so inspired in fact, I will drive the 200km this Friday to watch my beloved Toronto FC try to scratch out a fruitless victory in a season that has been lost since kick-off in February. At least I have the Human Rights World Cup to look forward to and see if Canada can indeed break their scoring drought” – Dave Lowry.

“Yesterday’s Fiver feature on Lowry unfortunately brought to mind this ‘tribute’ to the great man on TotP in 1978. If ever there was an example of good art breeding bad art, this is surely it” – John Myles.

“As a native of USA! USA!! USA!!! I was accustomed to reading The Fiver without any subscription strings attached to begin my mornings – your publications land around 9am in my cloudy, dark, England-like corner of The Land of the Free™ – so may I be the second to complain about having to sign up to read it in its entirety? I too grudgingly signed up for the daily email and am not quite sure why, besides that it provides a small package of chortles (sometimes)” – Cara Peterson.

“The Big Website excerpt of The Fiver seems to be omitting all the funny bits. Oh” – Jim Allison.

“I also read The Fiver on Big Website. Following the decision to only show an extract, I dutifully signed up to have it deposited in my email inbox. As part of this process, I had to prove that I’m Not a Robot. Presumably, this is because of the risk that a robot might read The Fiver, decide humanity is doomed, and go full Skynet on us. And, honestly, who could blame it?” – Matt Dony.

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Marta Lopez

I am a content writer and I write articles on sports, news, business etc.

By Marta Lopez


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