Those aren’t dinosaurs.

While I’m clearing up things I drafted but didn’t have time to post, I took this photo at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon earlier this year.


As you can see, the museum seems to think it is appropriate to hang Australian Aboriginal artworks with the dead dinosaur, despite them being contemporary, made by humans who may well be still living, and nothing to do with dinosaurs. I don’t know enough to date them stylistically – I can identify the late 60s-and-after Papunya style but that’s it – and all the label would tell me was that they had been acquired after 1968, which might put them in the context of the artistic revival of that period or just be a coincidence.

The weird hang probably isn’t, alas, a coincidence. In another section of the museum, I found a collection of industrial artefacts (a Renault Trucks V12 diesel, a power loom, a Minitel, that sort of thing) classified under “Creation” although a (rather impressive) collection of Native American ones wasn’t. To be honest the display didn’t say anything about the people who built the V12, at a RVI plant only a few miles away across town, so at least they didn’t just erase the creative contribution of the Native Americans, they did it to the French working class as well.

The Australian collection, which is actually quite impressive, is contextualised as being part of the struggle for native title. Well, when it isn’t put with the dinosaurs, that is. On the other hand, all the Native American stuff originates, according to the labels, from the Pontifical Missionary headquarters’ collection, and there is not one word of how missionaries might have come to own all this stuff. If anything is problematic, it is clearly somebody else’s problem, and not our fault, guv.

The institution’s deeper story explains a bit of this. The huge, techno-flashy building was put there, after years of wrangling and cost overruns of pharaonic proportions, because they wanted to press the button marked Arts and have the money roll into an ex-industrial area that (apparently) needed redeveloping. Did I say flashy?


Flashy. At some point, they had a Dome moment; the building was going to look great, but what was going to be in the building? The answer was to pass the hat around every local institution that had a museum, and regroup all their stuff in the new one. This risked just having a lot of assorted objects without any organising theme or project, and in fact that’s what they got. The answer to that was to make a virtue of it. It would be – ah – like a princely cabinet of curiosities in the Enlightenment, a post-modern celebration of historicity and diversity, a universal museum like the British Museum, a place where different streams came together, as the site itself implied.

That filled up the press release and the grant applications, but it didn’t give it the sort of definite steer that would keep it from just drifting towards the assumptions of the institutions that originally collected all the stuff. Of course, you can make a career precisely out of talking about why missionaries put all this stuff belonging to other people in our museum, and the British Museum has developed a speciality in just that. You can mock it, but at least they don’t hang the Aboriginal art with the bloody dinosaurs.

Don’t buy politics the way you wouldn’t buy electricity

Part of the point of this post was that this is, in the end, an awful way to make a decision.

Yesterday I was arguing about devolution to Yorkshire, again, and my opponent, Jonn Elledge, kept coming out with the same point. Manchester has signed! Don’t be left behind! This is something, not nothing! Hurry up! It doesn’t seem to have struck him that you’re not allowed to sell electricity or washing machines that way. It’s against the law to insist the customer signs, now, no you can’t read the terms and conditions, yes, this price is only available today, just sign it now. If you sign up with a new electricity provider, you have a statutory right to cancel within a week (I think). There are reasons for that. Why should it be any more acceptable to sell politics that way?

And when you make decisions for bad reasons, you tend to make bad decisions.

Whatever happens, it probably won’t happen to Robin Lustig

This essay on war with Syria by Robin Lustig annoys me intensely, primarily because of point five:

Can IS be defeated militarily? My answer: No. As experience in Afghanistan has amply demonstrated, defeating a terrorist group by military means is an impossibility

OK so. You’ve just conceded in advance that intervention will be ineffective. In other words, you think we’re going to fail. To lose. War is a fundamentally agonistic activity. It has friends, and enemies, winners, and losers. Yet you want war. Why do you want war if you think we’re going to lose?

The answer is, I think, because Lustig and the rest of the political class have got used to military failure. We’ve been pretty much continuously at it since 2001, and it is very hard to point to anything we have achieved that lasted. There has been a lot of arguing back and forward about the rights and wrongs, but remarkably little about the utterly pathetic results.

Lustig & Co have been able to get used to strategic failure because it has had absolutely no consequences for them. Robin Lustig is very, very unlikely to lose a leg as a result of being a “reluctant bomber” or even a gleeful one. He is not even likely to lose material amounts of money. Going by precedent, his reputation and career are not even going to suffer in any measureable way. His reputation with me certainly will and is in fact already doing so, but who on earth cares about that?

The result of this is the weird, Austro-Hungarian sense of apocalyptic complacency that runs through his essay. Everything is already so bad it can’t possibly get worse (point two), action is required right now (the conclusion), even though it will probably be ineffective anyway (points three, five, six, and nine). However, nothing really terrible will happen and it will all somehow turn out OK, like last time. Conrad von Hötzendorf, we will remember, managed to achieve his personal war aim of marrying his mistress, and made a fortune from his memoirs.

Lustig’s main argument that it will turn out OK is frankly odd. It is, in essence, that the UK is kind of quaint and silly and pathetic, and nothing we do could therefore have any bad consequences. Point seven reads as follows:

Isn’t there a real risk that the UK would do more harm than good by joining the military campaign? My answer: I doubt it. UK involvement is unlikely to be a game-changer, despite the prime minister’s claim that the UK has “world-leading military capabilities to contribute, which many other countries do not possess.”

That’s it. That’s the only argument he makes against the possibility that something might go wrong: we are apparently so puny nobody will notice. So…why bother?

This doctrine of national ridiculousness is a British speciality. You hear plenty of people who argue that Trident is somehow pathetic or silly, usually about thirty seconds after they assert that its very existence is tantamount to genocide, and that its acquisition explains literally every feature of society they don’t like, from the special relationship with the United States, to the fact more British cities don’t have a metro, to the failure of post-war British industry to deliver a real global hit product (except the ones it did). You never, ever hear this in France. There are French people who believe in unilateral disarmament, but they take the issue with the seriousness it demands. They don’t think it’s silly.

The idea that national power is a bit silly is an excuse. In the case of Trident, it is an excuse for not having convinced the public with the rest of your case even though it is a pretty good one. In the case of Lustig, it is an excuse for the dreadful, dreadful lightness with which he proposes we go to war, yet again, although he actually expects to lose.

It is traditional to talk at this juncture about cruise missiles, drones, and the dangers of a war without casualties. This, however, is bullshit in the full Harry Frankfurter sense of the term: speech that, unlike lies, has no logical relationship with the truth. There have been plenty of casualties, just nobody the people who trot this stuff out knew. And they, at least, are lastingly, successfully dead. A stable and enduring condition of death has been achieved.

And the message on the gravestones ought apparently to be “It was a limited contribution to an alliance commitment. And you know, we’re only Britain, it’s not like it matters or anything.”

As for the alliance commitment, which is the only positive good Lustig puts forward as a reason for war, the problem here is that we are currently part of an alliance whose membership is changing day by day and which we do not control. Earlier today, the French foreign minister suddenly added Bashir al-Assad and whatever is left of the Syrian Arab Army to the alliance. By extension, therefore, we are suddenly on the side of Russia against Turkey, while also being on Turkey’s side against Russia. Were we consulted?

Book: Boyd.

So, I read Robert Coram’s Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. This is a classic high-style American biography. It may help to read bits of it aloud in the voice of Ken Burns. On the downside, John Boyd’s high school swim team is apparently hella important. This may be annoying. On the upside, it gets across tone, style, and flavour very well.

It’s also deeply one-eyed. First of all, it’s essentially a propagandist document of the cult of Boyd. Coram does not waste much time on the possibility that his subject might ever have been wrong. John Boyd was a man with a lot of opinions, which he held to very strongly. This implies he spent a substantial amount of time fighting like a tiger when he was wrong, against people who were right.

Was the F-16 aircraft really a brilliant conception ruined and marred by giving it an air-ground capability and a succession of increasingly excellent avionics upgrades? To this day only one has ever been lost in air combat, a Turkish jet destroyed in a skirmish with Greek Mirage-2000s in 1996. It doesn’t sound like failure, to put it mildly. He thought the F-15 was his own brilliant idea ruined by everyone else, too, but its record is just as fearsome. Were all variable-geometry aircraft a waste of time by definition? His point was the F-111, but it turned out to be a very useful bomber, and the European (and Saudi) air forces who bought into the Tornado got decades of yeoman service from them. Were most avionics systems completely worthless weight? The record of Western air forces recovering from their early 70s crisis makes that look like the words of a crank, a macho sky-god in denial that the computers and, worse, the backseaters had something to tell him.

Worse still, it might mean that the navy had something to tell him. This is another way in which Coram, and I really don’t doubt for a moment that it was true of Boyd, is one-eyed. One of the best features of the book is its acerbic and subtle discussion of the Pentagon’s internal politics, between the services, between the personal followings of the generals and admirals, between the institutions, and between the uniforms, the civil servants, and the contractors. It could not be made clearer that it was deeply cynical, fairly corrupt, and utterly ridiculous. Coram has the advantage as a biographer that his man was a ferocious critic of the system, not so much someone willing to commit career-suicide as someone determined to become a career-suicide bomber.

But he can’t help taking sides in the game. The great institutional threat Boyd wielded against the USAF bureaucracy was that if the next aircraft was a dud, they might be forced to buy the same jet as the navy. Why this would be so terrible is not that obvious.

The USN, and the Marines, loved their F-4s with good reason; the RN, the RAF, the Germans, the Israelis, and God knows how many other friendly air forces did. If Boyd didn’t like it, Eric “Winkle” Brown tested it for the RN and recommended it beyond doubt. Although it was a big, complex, two-seat, two-engine machine laden with electronics, the USN and Marines also had an exquisitely Boydian jet in the A-4 Skyhawk. Clearly they weren’t blind to his concerns. They were also so keen on the Harrier, which was also his sort of aircraft, that not only did they buy them, they paid to develop them further, and then they bought the whole remaining fleet when the British parked them. But then, the book has a one-eyed American point of view and so did Boyd.

Perhaps it wasn’t so much that he didn’t think anything the Navy wanted would be a decent fighter, but that it was a Navy job from McDonnell-Douglas or Grumman, and Boyd wasn’t as pure in Pentagon politics as he made out.

That said, Coram gets at the brilliance and the weirdness of Boyd, and gives a gripping account of the year he spent in Laos during the Vietnam War.

For someone considered a great thinker on warfare, Boyd missed a lot of it; during the Second World War he never got to the fighting, he didn’t reach Korea until the very end (although he flew a lot), and he got to Vietnam late in the day. I didn’t know that he was put in charge of, essentially, a huge secret data centre on an equally secret CIA airfield in the middle of nowhere, specifically to evaluate whether the project to line the borders with sensors and train a machine-learning model to predict NVA infiltration was going to work and shut it down if it wasn’t. Or that he was picked because the job represented a ridiculous percentage of the IBM Federal Systems division’s revenue, and only he could be trusted to turn the tap off before their lobbyists could respond.

In an important way, the book gives us a potted intellectual history of the Iraq War. One of Boyd’s most cherished ideas was “destructive deduction”, when you are forced by circumstances to abandon your mental model of reality and reconstruct it from the pieces. Another, the most famous, is the observation-orientation-decision-action loop, his model of the decision-making process. Putting them together, you can see an embodied argument – the only kind, he would have said – that the response to a really grave crisis is to shake things up, shocking the system into a change of operating regime, act while others are still trying to get orientated, and re-invent the circumstances themselves. And iterate.

You might be able to see where Dick Cheney, a massive and devoted consumer of Boyd’s ideas and conversation, was coming from. When we act, we create our own reality; it’s a more profound remark than you might think. Boyd, however, would have disagreed as violently as he disagreed with everything. His idea of the OODA process is predicated on continuous reference to reality, the “unfolding interaction with the environment”, a dance with changing circumstances, and even more on the implicit guidance and control, the intuition of the expert and the mutual rapport of the team, which he saw as something better than reason.


The neo-cons lacked the one, and rejected the other. As a result, the OODA process span out of control into the progressively increasing disorientation and incoherence Boyd identified as the state you want to force on your enemies. You can see Boyd either as the best conceptual guide for our times – everything is in permanent flux, the uncannily familiar and constant in surreal juxtaposition with the transitory and the weird, who moved my snowmobile? – or else as the dark prophet whose ideas hurled us into them. He helped to fix the 1970s crisis of western airpower and win the cold war; not everyone in the world agrees that was a good thing.

That said, the movie wants doing. Bad. Right from the high-G dramatics of Nellis in the 50s, through the corridors of power and the Bondesque jungle datacentre lair, to the tragic Boyd of the 80s looking for his citations in bookshops, to his summoning to the Pentagon in 1991 to redraft the Gulf War plans. It’s pure Hollywood, although the only person who could pitch it would be Boyd himself, probably the first and greatest of the PowerPoint divas and, we learn, pathologically terrified of writing.

the problem with a dead cat strategy is that you end up being that guy with the dead cat

So I was saying to Dan Hardie that every couple of days, I feel relatively optimistic about Labour. Thousands more members sign up. And then either Jeremy Corbyn or John McDonnell does something incredibly strange. Actually, I was literally interrupted at this moment by a notification on my phone, because Ken Livingstone had just done something incredibly strange, by repeatedly insulting Kevan Jones while referring to him as “Jeremy” and futilely trying to outprole the ex-coal miner.

And then we won the tax credits row…until…

Yes, I know he was trying to make a point about wanting to privatise everything by selling it to some other nation’s nationalised industries. But as they say, if you’re explaining you’re losing. And if you’re explaining why you chucked a copy of the thoughts of Mao Zedong across the despatch box…well. I mean, it’s the sort of thing I’d do.

On this occasion, thanks to @simonk133’s Twitter feed, I was able to time the bipolar cycle from victory, to doing something incredibly strange, at exactly 23 minutes. We’ve managed to get this from 24 hours or so in October, down to the same time in minutes. A 60x improvement. It’s like Toyota production, for pratfalls.

#devono doesn’t have to be negative, you know

As an update to this post, somebody asked a representative sample of Yorkshire folk what they wanted. What happened? Well.

  1. A directly elected, Yorkshire-wide regional assembly
  2. Stronger powers that would include some tax-setting and law-making powers; this is to ensure actual power is achieved over issues such as transport infrastructure, economic development and education.
  3. To reject the devolution deal currently on offer for the Sheffield City Region and press local politicians to push for a better deal (stronger, more ambitious, more democratic and based on proper consultation) rather than walk away from devolution completely.

Right. Project “Last Chicken in the Shop” can bugger off.

Vote no in the referendum that doesn’t exist.

Things I argue with @thomasforth about:

The problem here is that Tom thinks devolution to Yorkshire, or some subset of Yorkshire, will be all like this old post of mine where it turned out only London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland saw actual growth in real disposable income per household before 2008, and Wales at least did better than the UK average.

I worry about this tweet from intensely pro-devolution Yorkshire MEP Richard Corbett, which doesn’t say quite what he thinks it does. Belgium is the world champ of devo, what with six police forces within Brussels, both regional and linguistic governments including the Germans, and whatnot. Just look how that’s working for Hainault, next door to super-rich Bruxelles-Capitale.

I also worry about the fact that the spanking new Greater Manchester Combined Authority does all its business in FOIA-proof closed preparatory sessions and journalists following it are dependent on occasional and probably tactical document leaks.

I worry intensely about the content of the supposed “deal” with Birmingham, which is being put forward as a reason to get something signed, quick. Apparently we’ve got a Midlands Engine, to go with the Northern Powerhouse. Maybe we get a Geordie Drivetrain and a Cornish Satnav, plus a Home Counties Morocco Leather Seat Cover, and a London Just Getting The Fucking Bus, to boot. But look what’s in it.

joint responsibility with the government to co-design employment support for the hardest-to-help claimants

I think that means “the whole West Midlands Labour Party’s signature on a bunch of crazy ideas of Iain Duncan Smith’s, and don’t believe for a moment we won’t run a massive national TV ad campaign blaming you when it falls apart”.

I worry about the point made in here, and better in the Daily Mash:

So many devolvers think in terms of getting funding for big name-brand institutions that employ lots of middle-class people. This is apparently going to create growth, which is going to get rid of the need to pay out benefits to quite so many people. That’s handy, because the terms of the deal always seem to be that the new devolved authority gets to implement cuts to the core welfare state, and gets support in its property-developer inspired desire to evict social tenants in bulk and replace them with someone nicer.

The problem here is that George Osborne’s economic policy can be summed up as cut everything, as long as a landlord doesn’t get it, and chuck smallish but saleable amounts of money at what Vince Cable’s advisor memorably called “growthy stuff”. Graphene. You know. The bigger problem is that this didn’t work terribly well.

We’re now being offered the same policy, but with decentralised implementation. David Cameron thinks his local council can just sort of budge up a bit. He also, therefore, thinks the North can find all the £50bn investment gap by playing up and taking a good cold shower.

Government announcements about devolution always quote a big-dollar number as if this was some new or additional funding. This is a lie. The costs move, as does the budget, at whatever level George Osborne thinks fit. There is no more money. The responsibility moves, but no money. Birmingham will get to implement IDS’s latest assault on the disabled. It will not have a veto on his ideas. The responsibility moves, but no power. If this was on offer, it might be worth having, but is it? As David Walker points out, nothing offered provides any escape from Tory insanity, nor even one penny more money, nor any protection from more cuts.

Where in Osborne’s proffered agreement is there any commitment to recognising existing need in the conurbation in the revenue support arrangements – which the former communities secretary Eric Pickles adjusted to secure a greater flow of grant to the suburbs and the south?

And most importantly, although neither money moves nor power, the risk certainly does. As more and more of the core public services and the basic social guarantees get transferred out to cities, to the private sector, and to vaguely defined, secretive, crooked “super-councils” of the smarmy and discredited, so more of the associated financial risk is transferred from the great central national government to the town hall.

Nobody is willing to talk about this, but what happens come the next recession when tax revenues dive and benefits payments surge, like they should? If the risk is spread across the UK, we can take it. If it is concentrated on Leeds, we cannot and the payments will not be made. The point is exactly the same as it was with regard to Scotland. The Union is a risk-bearing union, or it is not a union. The Union is a risk-bearing union, unlike the Eurozone, because it is a social union. Ending the risk union between cities means, in the end, ending the social union, the risk union between individuals.

I say, vote no!

But you can’t vote no because there is no vote.

There is, at last, a debate, but to a very large extent it is a debate on childish things that are far too familiar to Northerners. Why should Sheffield get it but not me? Can’t Hull have a go on the new Christmas box? Why’s that Wakefield lad in charge of everything? Manchester told me to do it and everyone knows she’s cool. This pathetic and tiresome mithering goes on between a couple of dozen Alderman Foodbotham types, while the public when asked wants something completely different, specifically Greater Yorkshire from sea to shining sea.

This brings out an important part of the problem.

The Westfield Labour types don’t want Yorkshire as such because it would include all the Yorkshire Tories. It is that simple. The Tories don’t want it because their own party would suddenly be a voice for investment in the North. Everyone in politics sooner or later wishes they could somehow opt out of the hard work of persuasion, and instead arrange things so they could just win effortlessly, just like that. To live in democracy, though, means sooner or later being in the minority. To win, you must convince. Anything else is bullshit.

Rate limiters, communications data retention, and terrorists.

Here are two statements for you. This flow of refugees must mean that terrorists are flocking into Europe hidden among them. Therefore, we must pull in even more telecoms data in order to find the terrorists. They are linked by an extremely important and subtle assumption. What is it?

Well, both statements concern a process of some sort. The first implies a sort of production process for terrorism – terrorists are recruited, they prepare, they infiltrate into the target country, and then they explode. The second implies a similar linear production process for counter-terrorism. Potential threats are detected. This creates suspects. Suspects are investigated. Some sort of action is taken against them.

Here’s something I learned by being a strategy consultant and programming computers for fun, in the spirit of Everything I Know I Learned At A Very Expensive University, part 1 and 2.

If you’re trying to improve (or disrupt) a process, you need to understand which step in the process is the rate-limiting step. This is the slowest step that sets the maximum flow rate through the process (or in Toyota speak, the takt time). In biology or chemistry it might be the availability of, say, nitrates. Once the supply is being fully utilised, adding more of some other resource won’t increase the reaction rate or population any. In computer science the same idea is expressed by the notion of the von Neumann bottleneck – one of storage, memory, processing, or input/output is always a binding constraint. If your application is I/O bound, a faster chip or a more elegant implementation that reduces the computational work involved won’t help.

In the first example, it only makes sense to worry about the refugees if you believe that the supply of terrorists, and their capability to prepare attacks, is not restricted, and that therefore the limiting step is infiltration. If you think the supply of them is restricted – that is to say, the limiting step is recruitment or preparation – it doesn’t matter much.

Seeing as recruiting them involves persuading them to blow themselves up, you’ve got to think that might be the tricky bit.

In the second, it only makes sense to demand more data if you think the limiting step is getting names into your suspect index, rather than investigating them once suspected, or prosecuting, rehabilitating, or otherwise eliminating them once positively identified. If the investigations team is standing idle, for lack of leads, maybe that would indicate a need for more source data. But nobody believes that or even bothers to claim it. Instead we are frequently told that the spooks need more headcount.

If, however, the limiting step is going from vague suspicion to concrete accusation, or doing anything about the accused, more data will just increase the size of the queue behind it. And the two processes interact. If terrorists are rare, which they are, increasing the volume of data will both reduce the percentage of real leads among the suspects, and increase the queueing time before a given lead is either upgraded to a real case, or cleared. It seems to be almost traditional that explosions occur during this queueing interval.

The fact that Hasna Ait Boulahcen was on a list of selectors for the French intelligence services as a security threat and for the ordinary investigative police as a suspected drug dealer at the same time suggests generating names for the index isn’t the problem.

This is something nobody ever seems to discuss. One of the few people to raise it, while the French were passing their massively permissive surveillance law the other week, was the superb blogger Abou Djaffar (Jacques Raillane), also available on Twitter.

Odsal rugby in an Olympic stadium

So, England-New Zealand test football. This should only be good? Right? After last week’s killer? Not so much.

It was my first visit to the Olympic Park. As you know I don’t think it should ever have been built, I left the country to avoid the event, and I also want everyone involved surcharged until everyone evicted gets rehoused. Not surprisingly, then, I hate the place.

I especially love the fact you get out of the tube, into a shopping centre, and then walk out of the shopping centre onto a narrow patch of pavement next to a taxi rank, turn sharp right, climb a staircase, into more shopping centre, and make a number of sharp turns through it until you actually see any sign of a stadium. The priorities are obvious. If you spot the signage, which is pitiful, you may find the route blocked by hoardings. Fortunately or not, there are people with loudhailers to yell at you. There must have been a fair few folk around for the ‘lympics; perhaps there is some subtlety in the design, or perhaps we got away with it.

It’s not Wembley. It’s really nothing like Wembley, either the new version or the old version. None of the occasion inherent in the design. Also, it’s a building site and I thought they said it was finished in 2012.

That said, the ground itself works well in an operational sense. There are a lot of toilets. There are a lot of toilets! It reminded me of the Camp Nou in that you can walk very quickly from outside it, to a turnstile without queuing, to a seat, to the bar, to the loo, back to your seat…without missing a moment or spilling a drop.

Once you’re in, though, it couldn’t be less like it. There is absolutely nothing like atmosphere, probably because the pitch is a million miles away. I sat above an enormous chasm of empty space created by a huge replay screen. The bloke next to me’s little son, who is turning into a terrible rulebook sea-lawyer, lost a bottle of water over it with a great thud. Wembley, Old Trafford, or Camp Nou stack you up higher, but the relationship is nonlinear – the slant distance to the pitch is still less, or seems that way.

In front of this, the athletics track has been covered with seating that seems to be literally made of scaffolding. Because the stands’ rake is so low, you’re both very far from the action and also from the other fans. This feels depressingly right, in keeping. Also, the presentation was strange and awkward. An announcer introduced “Match Two of the International Series” – surely the Second Test? – and went on to repeatedly claim that “Sam” Burgess had been substituted on.

What about the rugby, dammit? Well…it was an old school RL day. Racing charcoal skies. Pissing rain. It was that kind of game, too. The Australian ref was insistent on stopping the game at every opportunity, rather like the Aussies used to complain about ours in the 1990s. England started better than in the first test, but the game was so uninspired and uninspiring this didn’t say much. Both sides were trying for error-free rugby, and as usual this means the game was decided by errors.

Last time out, I had the impression the Kiwis looked tired before half-time; this time, neither side seemed to get an energy advantage. Perhaps all the stops had something to do with it, or they made better use of their substitutes. It seems unlikely they gained much in a week.

On the other hand, England barely seemed to kick the ball, whether for territory or in the attack. Managing the pace of the game feeds into the energy game, and I don’t think we did that. If the England side is generally quicker, which seemed possible last time out, I wonder if we ever got up to the optimal heart rate?

The forwards were great. I doubt we need to change the outside backs, seeing how little opportunity they had. But the halves? I wonder. The whole game had a 90s feel, two massive line defences that seemed happier without the ball. The question is either how to break it up, or how to manage a game like that better.

As for the ground, Spurs had a lucky escape.

An example

I do wonder what Tom Barry would have made about this photo. All that money we spent on converting the Olympic Stadium to be football-ready for West Ham, and the new seating is literally a bunch of scaffolding.