Date: 25th August 2011 at 9:17am
Written by:

I left the UK a peaceful and happy place seven weeks ago. Jack Wilshere was the PFA Young Player of the Season, England were making their series with India look like a summer school and Mark Cavendish was cementing his reputation as the greatest athlete in the world.

I stayed out of touch during my time away. Partly out of choice, partly because New Zealanders seem to see the internet as an expensive luxury, just used for skyping relatives abroad and checking the All Blacks team news. It doesn`t seem to offer much else to a country where nobody lives more than an hour`s drive away from either a mountain or the ocean; when in Rome and all that.

I came back to a world falling apart. Everybody was hacking everybody else. A horrific tragedy played out in Norway. That tragedy was beaten off the front page by a drug addled celebrity death. The country rioted, resembling the scene in Batman Begins when a hallucinogen was released in Gotham; no longer can the DVD piracy adverts say with confidence ‘you wouldn`t steal a television.`

Could things get any worse? The first back page I saw back in the country read ‘Crisis at Arsenal.`
Isn`t a crisis terrible, life threatening news?
Crisis like a killer virus ripping through the staff? Crisis like a director making off with the pension fund?

No, this crisis was playing 3 games, winning against one of Europe`s most fluid, inventive attacking teams, drawing one away and losing to a team that`s spent close to £100million.

This crisis involved selling 2 players who wanted out for £60 million. This crisis ended with Arsenal qualifying for the Champion`s League proper for the 14th year in a row last night.

It would seem in this crisis Wenger can`t win. For years he was criticised for just buying foreign players and ignoring home grown talents. This year he`s pumped over £13 million into League one clubs, put faith a youth product English left back and built his midfield around 3 young British technically gifted talents. Still not good enough.

This season may not have started as perfectly as everybody involved with Arsenal would have wanted, but unless somebody dies, it`s no crisis.