Manchester United 0, Arsenal 1

Emmanuel Adebaydor’s late strike from a fantastic threaded pass by Cesc Fabregas captured the 3 points for the Henry-less Arsenal. In the match’s opening minutes, Abebaydor was brought down by United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, who expertly saved Gilberto’s resulting penalty attempt.

Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat of Liverpool at Stamford Bridge earlier today moves the former into 3rd place, leaving the latter with a mere 4 points from 4 league matches.  I’m in no position to gloat over another club’s misfortune, however, as QPR’s 2-1 loss at Colchester United has the Stupor Hoops sitting at the very bottom of the Championship.

Calling Chelsea’s newly acquired leftback Ashley Cole, “an unmissable target, a national punching bag,”, the Observer’s Paul Wilson won’t be nominated the former Gunner’s autobiography, ‘My Defence’ for The Samuel Johnson Prize.

From the chorus of critical squawking you might imagine no footballer had ever written a book that was one-sided, scarcely believable, self-pitying, highly selective or fileable under light fiction. Cole’s motivation for writing the book is more interesting, since it is earning him much more opprobrium than money. Here, as in other areas, he simply seems to have been badly advised. Unless it is part of Jonathan Barnett’s masterplan to make his client the most hated man in London, Cole’s literary leanings could surely have been put on hold.

That way we would all have been spared the excruciating sentence: ‘We jumped in Jonathan’s Bentley and he told his driver our destination: the Royal Park Hotel.’ There is funnier, clunkier stuff further down the same chapter – ‘the door opened and Jose Mourinho and Peter Kenyon walked in’ – but somehow it is the image of Cole being chauffeured around London in his agent’s Bentley that sticks. Or stinks. That’s the moment you realise football as the people’s game is just a big, sick, joke. That’s the moment you start to wonder how long the people on the terraces who make serious and sometimes reckless financial sacrifices to afford the tickets will be prepared to support this sort of lifestyle.