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Thoughts on Jonathan Trott, Aussie Bullies and Mental Health

If an entire country, includes its sensationalist scummy tabloid media, behaves like schoolground bullies, vilifying you just because you’re England, it’s enough to drive anyone into a negative mental spiral, yet alone if you’re already vulnerable. Being hostile towards the opposition is one thing, but in a sport increasingly aware of the mental well being of its top performers, can they really get away with being so vile? I know for a fact that if someone is saying you are weak and scared, it subconsciously ruins your psyche and confidence. So, by extension, that is bullying, is it not? I know Trott’s illness was pre-existing, but it should still raise serious questions about whether Australia’s verbal tactics could actually permanently damage the mental health of those who fall victim of it. I really hope someone with more of an audience than myself will draw attention to this worrying issue, be a former player, journalist, or mental health charity.

And another thing. If a kid at a school threatened to break someone’s “fucking arm”, I’d like to think they’d through the book at him. What if they were a prefect or something, would they now be stripped of that responsibility? I’m not saying Michael Clarke should be sacked, far from it, I’m merely highlighting how awful what he said to James Anderson was. That is absolutely no way to speak to a fellow professional and I would hope Darren Lehmann or someone other Cricket Australia suit gave him a dressing down afterwards, rather than a high five, which to be honest would have been just as likely!

This won’t stop them (under the circumstances this seems pretty unacceptable and childish to me), but how long before they really do drive someone to depression, and the horrible places that can lead? I fear what it could take to shut the bullies up.

Arsenal 2-1 Stoke City

I thought I would try my hand a writing a match report again, and here’s the results - it’s not a full report, but just a comment on the goals (rather basic comments mind) and a few other observations. But it’s a start.

Arsenal 1-0 Stoke (Ramsey 5 mins)
Arsenal had the best of the early possession, and got an early free kick after Jack Wilshere was brought down in a decent position. It was taken by Mesut Özil, on his home debut, and forced a save out of Asmir Begović, however he could only parry, and Aaron Ramsey, of all people, hit the rebound into the back of the net.

Arsenal 1-1 Stoke (Cameron 26 mins)
Frustratingly for Arsenal, the lead would only remain intact for 20 minutes. Steven N’Zonzi floated a cross in, which was saved by Wojciech Szczęsny only for Geoff Cameron  to get on the end of it for the equaliser.

Arsenal 2-1 Stoke (Mertesacker 36 mins)
After an Özil free kick was headed clear by Jonathan Walters, the German whipped in a perfectly placed corner, which his compatriot Per Mertesacker got a head on the end of and the ball found its way into the net, helped in no small part by Laurent Koscielny getting in the way of a helpless Begović.

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke (Sagna 72 mins)
Stoke actually dominated the play for a large part of the second half, but their failure to take advantage proved costly with 20 minutes left. Wilshere, who was frequently the subject of Stoke’s physicality, was hustled down by Walters and Cameron to earn a free kick in another ideal position for Özil. Again the kick was perfect, with Bacary Sagna this time getting to the ball first, heading the ball over Begović, and into the net.

And now a quick thought on the other German playing today - Serge Gnabry was given a first league start after Theo Walcott was forced out at the last minute. For the young German it couldn’t have been better timing, with national team manager Joachim Löw there casting his over Arsenal other two (fit) Germans. He had a quiet first half, which was understandable given his probable nerves, but came into the game later on, including a couple of shots, neither of which really threatened the Stoke goal, and stood on his feet well under Stoke pressure, expected when Robert Huth thudded into him! Will hopefully get another start against West Brom in the week, Ryo Miyaichi too.

Anyway, all that means Arsenal will finish the weekend top of the table (unless Spurs wallop Cardiff), which is both baffling and joyful in equal measure, a deserved reward for a great start to the season (bar the end-of-days match vs Villa). It won’t last, surely, but we’ll enjoy it for now!

'Daily Mail' to charge for 'Daily Mail Plus' premium content

That awkward moment when I’m tempted to agree with the Daily Mail! First time for everything. Whilst I’d rather content was free (on sites I actually use, anyway!!), when you consider that newspapers are ultimately profit making businesses, I definitely acknowledge that a compromise like this makes sense. Maybe have a model of keeping core news free, and key opinion pages, but have in-depth analysis and features behind a pay wall. Would seem fair enough.

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