Football, as Gary Lineker said, is a simple game. Chase a ball for 90 minutes and, at the end, the Germans win.
The Arsenal AGM is very much like that, too. Have a row for two hours and, when you've finished, Arsene Wenger's the manager, Stan Kroenke's the owner, the best player is probably leaving in the next transfer window anyway and you still haven't won the league since 2004. And now it's time for lunch.
This year's session was a classic of its kind. Over 300 shareholders voted the chairman Sir Chips Keswick out, only for Kroenke to use his 67 per cent holding to vote him back in.
Arsene Wenger's position of dominance remains unchallenged after the latest club AGM
Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick (right) with club majority shareholder Stan Kroenke
Then it was announced that chief executive Ivan Gazidis, in addition to his £2.6million salary, had received a £919,000 bonus – for the first season since 1997-98 in which Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League.
'Ivan is doing a fantastic job – we're fortunate to have him,' said Sir Chips, at which point Gazidis seized on the mood of whimsy to announce that metrics showed Arsenal to be 'the most consistently over-performing team in the Premier League.' Which may have come as a surprise to Sean Dyche.
Finally, to guarantee that everyone went home uneasy, Wenger announced that, despite signing a two-year contract, he would again review his position at the end of this season. For, having admitted that uncertainty over his future was harmful to the previous campaign, there is no reason why he shouldn't do exactly the same thing this season.
And on it goes. Kroenke told the supporters he was about winning trophies not making money, but viewing his American interests if his money-making was on a par with his trophy-winning he wouldn't be able to afford a hot dog at Leyton Orient.
In the NFL, a league in which 40 per cent of teams make it to the play-offs, Kroenke's Rams franchise – formerly St Louis, now Los Angeles – haven't gone there since 2004. He bought a very strong Colorado Avalanche hockey team that has tailed off into insignificance, with a single play-off appearance in seven years.
His Denver Nuggets basketball franchise haven't made the play-offs in four years, when 16 of 30 teams progress each season. As for the Colorado Rapids MLS franchise, they won the championship in 2010 but have been inconsistent since, missing the play-offs in four of seven seasons. There is little that bodes well for a big, title-winning splash at Arsenal.
Kroenke's NFL franchise, the Los Angeles Rams, have not reached the play-offs since 2004
Yet there is a glimmer. If not exactly of hope, then certainly a window of opportunity. Next summer, it has been announced, Dick Law, Arsenal's chief transfer negotiator, is leaving. This could be the 'catalyst for change' Gazidis was talking about last season.
Without doubt, Arsenal have a vacancy in the recruitment area. A director of football, to take the pressure from Wenger. He will resist it, as he always does. Wenger believes he should direct football and, for many years, there was no argument. But not lately. Arsenal's buying is ordinary. Their squad is weak in comparison to their rivals. Increasingly, they need that change.
This is not yet a poor season. Results in Europe are good. Arsenal are in fifth place in the Premier League, a point behind Tottenham in third. Yet nobody considers them title contenders.
A strong Colorado Avalanche hockey team that has tailed off into insignificance under Kroenke
They travel to Manchester City on Sunday with many fearing the worst, considering Liverpool lost there by five having put four past Arsenal two weeks earlier. The fear is that Arsenal will drift as Kroenke's American interests drift. Colorado Avalanche were the best team in the NHL when he arrived. Where are they now?
Arsenal need one of two things. Either an executive with the remit to operate as Wenger's equal, and not be marginalised; or a transformation. A restructuring of the way the club operates, a new coach, a director of football, a new regime.
Alternately, they can stay as they are, playing their simple game. A furious racket once a season and, at the end, another team wins. Again.
Sorry, but Clark's still on pole
Motor racing aficionados of a certain age will still claim that Jim Clark, not Lewis Hamilton, is the greatest British driver. Clark won two drivers' championships and the Indianapolis 500 before his death in 1968.
At the time he had taken more Grand Prix races and achieved more pole positions than any other driver. Who knows how good he might have been had tragic misfortune not intervened?
Equally, Sir Jackie Stewart will always have a claim to be the most influential figure in British motor sport. His campaigning for better safety standards is one of the reasons Hamilton's chances of walking away from a crash or a malfunction unscathed are so much better than those of previous generations.
Hamilton suffered a serious puncture in Mexico, and that was a nuisance. The slow puncture it is believed Clark sustained at Hockenheim killed him.
Motor racing aficionados of a certain age will still claim Jim Clark is the greatest British driver
Gaffe makes Antonio a no-no for Southgate
Joe Hart looked as if he could kill. He described West Ham's play for Crystal Palace's equalising goal as 'unprofessional' and everyone knew who he meant.
Michail Antonio's decision to deliver a lousy cross, rather than take the final seconds out of the game with the ball in the corner was one of the defining moments of the weekend – maybe of West Ham's season if results continue to go awry.
Former players queued to give their damning verdict. 'Brainless' was as polite as it got. The greatest consequence, however, will come as Gareth Southgate names his England squads in World Cup year. The stakes in international games are enormous. At that level, the error made by Antonio could mean a tournament exit.
In 1993, as France played Bulgaria, with the scores tied at 1-1 and the clock ticking down, David Ginola over-hit a cross meant for Eric Cantona. Bulgaria broke, scored, and France went out of the World Cup. Gerard Houllier, the manager, called Ginola 'the assassin of the team'.
The higher the stakes, the more game intelligence is crucial. For all his talent, Ginola's international career did not recover from that mistake. Antonio is no Ginola – and Southgate is in no position to take risks.
West Ham's Michail Antonio's costly late cross at Crystal Palace will not help his England aims
Ban that makes FA look good
It is not just our Football Association that gets the important stuff wrong.
In the third game of the 2017 World Series, Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros hit a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. He celebrated by pulling a slant-eye gesture at Darvish and repeated the word, 'chinito' – meaning 'little Chinese boy' in Spanish. Darvish is of Japanese-Iranian origin.
Caught on camera, a storm blew up. It was thought Gurriel could miss at least one of the four games remaining in the series. Instead, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced he would serve a five-match ban with no pay, but not until next season, starting in March. It was thought a ban in the World Series would be disproportionate.
Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is at the centre of a race-row during the current MLB World Series
It would certainly have been severe – but would at least have made plain the distaste for racism. As the regular baseball schedule is 162 matches long, five matches is not much greater than a one-game ban in the Premier League. Even if the Astros lost all five without Gurriel next year it would not make much difference.
The New York Yankees were beaten 71 times in this regular season, and still reached the play-offs. The LA Dodgers had the best record of any franchise and it included 58 defeats. As Gurriel offended during a World Series, that is when he should have served his ban.
Instead he has continued playing for the Astros and on Sunday night featured in an epic 13-12 victory over the Dodgers, to give Houston a 3-2 series lead. Win one more game and Gurriel will be on a victory podium beside his team-mates, celebrating the greatest accolade in his sport. What a message that would send.
Incredibly, America seems considerably less vexed by this than it does black players taking a knee before NFL matches in acts of legitimate, peaceful protest.
Gurriel was caught on camera making a racist slur to Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish
Missiles must go… like the clappers
Instead of plotting the next round of Carabao Cup incompetence, the Football League may wish to look at events at St Andrew's on Sunday. Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce might have been stretching the point by saying his players could have been 'seriously hurt' by clappers thrown on to the pitch – but that doesn't mean the next visitors will be as lucky.
The debris raining down on Villa players as they took corners or ventured near the touchline was unacceptable. The Birmingham official who authorised a clapper on every seat hasn't a clue about this fixture or the fans.
Leicester have used clappers for years without trouble, but the Birmingham derby is increasingly lawless. It wasn't just the odd object this time. A road sweeper was needed to clear up the mess and now a precedent has been set. Next it could be coins, or more dangerous projectiles.
As anything that is not stopped is encouraged, it is up to the EFL to act. There has to be a deterrent that makes the practice unacceptable. Ground closure is always a last resort. In this instance, however, it could be appropriate.
Heavy debris rained down on the Aston Villa players as they took corners at St Andrews
Tigers tale still haunting Allam
Hull's match with Nottingham Forest on Saturday was temporarily halted, after fans threw tennis balls on the pitch in protest. The 3-2 defeat leaves them 17th in the league, and animosity towards owner Assem Allam is unrelenting.
Allam, who should be a hero for the relative success he brought the club during his time in charge, made one mistake. He prioritised ambitions inspired by the seducing wealth of modern football.
The Hull Tigers debacle has proved ruinous. At a club of Hull’s size, what endures is the loyalty of the locals. Hull will go up, Hull will go down, but those who support the club remain. In alienating them, in buying into a flawed dream of the big time, Allam lost the best friends he could ever have.
Hull fans protest against owner Assem Allam before their match with Nottingham Forest
Unsworth failing his big audition
On Sunday, David Unsworth went to what he knew as Everton's Under 23 manager. He put his faith in the young players. He picked Aaron Lennon, who had been working with him outside the senior team, he dropped some of the most expensive summer signings. It made no difference. Everton lost.
The few matches a caretaker manager has are his audition. Craig Shakespeare's appointment at Leicester was irresistible after a winning run, so too Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea once he had made them champions of Europe. This season, Richie Wellens earned the Oldham job with the results the team got following the departure of John Sheridan.
Everton have played two, lost two, under Unsworth . He needs a point in Lyon and three against Watford in his two matches before the international break, or the dream is over, if it is not already.
David Unsworth has made changes in his caretaker stint at Everton but to little impact
It's trouble at the top for Sunderland
Fail to beat Bolton on Tuesday night and Sunderland will equal the record of 19 games without a home win in all competitions, currently shared by Nottingham Forest (1998-99), Derby (2007-08) and Dagenham & Redbridge (2015-16).
It is possible they will react by sacking the manager. Yet a run that goes back to December 17, 2016, isn't the sole fault of a man who has only been in charge this season. We know the constants at Sunderland. Sadly, nobody can sack them.
As reported in The Verdict on Monday, just 15 of the 245 players who were active in Premier League games this week were 21 or under, and English.
Of those, three were substitutes, including Izzy Brown, who played six minutes for Brighton, and Dominic Solanke, who played nine for Liverpool.
It is this paucity of opportunity that has to be changed if recent age-group successes are to mean anything at all.
Dominic Solanke (centre) came on with nine minutes remaining for Liverpool vs Huddersfield
Manchester United scored a long ball goal against Tottenham. That, however, does not make them a long-ball team. Some of the criticism of United has been justified this season, but they played well in the second half on Saturday and the goal was not typical of the approach.
If a team has a target like Romelu Lukaku it makes sense to use him. It wasn't as if the long kick from David de Gea was a frequent tactic – it was merely, in that moment, highly effective. No harm there. It was Tottenham's job to deal with it.
Anthony Martial (left) scored Manchester United's winner against Tottenham on Saturday
Smart money is on the exiled 14, City
If Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham are smart, perhaps they will have the measure of their new friends now. A photograph of senior executives at Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool dining together in New York suggests the Big Six breakaway is a means to an end for the Premier League's established elite.
The red clubs will never be satisfied with any equal share. If they get what they want, they will next look at ways to cut the new money, the teams in blue, loose, just as what happened in the Champions League.
For all its wealth, a club like Manchester City has more natural allies among the exiled 14 than it ever does the entitled elite. And those three, in particular, will never want to share what is on their table.