Yesterday saw the farrago of the AGM at Arsenal. As I take pride in being as honest with you delicious creatures as is possible, the point has arrived where I must express just how little interest I take in the whole thing. Undoubtedly it serves a purpose for some, offering valuable insight into the manner in which business is conducted behind closed doors. From the perspective of yours truly, it comes across as an avenue in which already angry folk can become apoplectic.
For that reason alone, I shan’t be discussing too much about it. The one point I will mention is Arsene Wenger’s insistence that the Club will delve into the market once the January window opens. Having confessed at the time the squad was “a little light” due to the recent spate of injuries, it would appear Arsene looks to amend what was, in my opinion, a glaring mistake over the summer. We should have signed another defender and there is little I can offer as a means of excusing this.
The who remains anybody’s guess. Names ranging from the established to the obscure are branded about with such frequency that it’s something of a lottery picking a potential incoming. The wonderfully named, Virgil van Dijk of Celtic is alleged to be someone we tried to recruit in August but failed due to the constraints of time. Were I a betting man, my money would be on him.
The main talking point of the day isn’t about Arsenal at all, but it is an interesting debate. Sheffield United’s Ched Evans, a convicted rapist, is released today and set to return to his Club having served half of a 5 year prison sentance. As you might imagine, this has caused consternation amongst a large portion of supporters, and not just those whose allegiances lie with The Blades.
The case is certainly open to scrutiny. Evans, along with friend Clayton McDonald, had sex with a young girl in a hotel room after McDonald had picked her up outside a takeaway. The girl was so inebriated she has no recollection of the events. Both players confessed to engaging in intercourse, yet only one was found guilty.
No complaint was made by the girl and, according to what I’m sure is a slightly biased website set up to protest Evans’ innocence, no physical evidence of forced entry was collected. Yet, truthfully, I feel no sympathy for Evans whatsoever.
Perhaps he didn’t engage in rape. Only he can truly know the answer to that question. Yet, he is a professional footballer, a famous athlete earning significantly more money than the average person his age. He put himself into a position where he was engaging in sexual activities with a total stranger in a hotel room during the early hours of the morning and did so whilst in a relationship. If the girl was unable to recall what had happened or how she got to the hotel room the morning after, could she have given consent? It is possible she did, but I can’t believe it was a lucid decision.
Most importantly, no man of decent conscience would have sex with a drunken girl they’ve met mere moments earlier, nor attempt to film a friend doing so from outside the window. Those actions may not have been illegal, but they are entirely reprehensible.
Sheffield United now face the decision of whether to re-sgn their former player. The debate surrounding that choice rages on. Some feel he has served his time and should be allowed to rebuild his life, other feel the Club should steer well clear of a potentially enormous media disaster and a situation certain to alienate many of their supporters and the local community. One father who spoke on 5Live this week said he and his two daughters would walk away from the Club they’ve supported all their lives should Evans be brought back into the team.
It is a debate that splits opinion. I’ll leave you guys today with a question; how would you feel about the story in Evans was formally an Arsenal player before being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure? Has he earned the right to begin afresh and be treated no different from others, or does a convicted rapist have no place in a sport with as much coverage and interest as football? Personally, my opinion lies distinctly in the latter of the two.
Let me know a few thoughts in the comments section below. I shall return tomorrow with more , including a preview of the Hull game. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.