Premier League players battled stifling conditions on Saturday afternoon as the UK endured its second heatwave in the space of four weeks.
As the Gunners sweated their way through their first home game of the season, the Met Office recorded a high of 34°C at the Emirates Stadium.
Elsewhere, Wolves (opens in new tab) and Fulham (opens in new tab) had to contend with temperatures of 32°C during their 0-0 draw at Molineux – while the gentlest of coastal breezes was hardly going to have much cooling affect on Southampton (opens in new tab) and Leeds (opens in new tab)' 2-2 draw at St Mary's.
Such testing conditions give us a pretty good idea of why this year's World Cup will take place in the winter rather than during the traditional summer slot.
July temperatures regularly top 40°C in Qatar, whose capital Doha was only around 5°C hotter than London today.
Average highs of 'only' 29°C in November and 24°C in December – plus air-conditioned stadiums – ought to make the tournament comfortable enough for players and fans alike, but this weekend might have provided useful practice for those heading out to the Gulf state this winter!
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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...