One of Putin's advisers is sacked and while that's not major news in itself it reminded me of HyperNormalisation, the excellent Adam Curtis documentary where Surkov and his political theatre figured prominently.
It was probably a fair bit ahead of its time when this was made as we were just dealing with the idea of Trump getting elected and what was happening with Brexit. But now that we've got used to it and even seen where our own government has ended up with Johnson and Cummings, I think the documentary probably makes more sense and will resonate with a lot more people.
It's a long film but pretty easy to watch in bite-sized chunks.
But back to the shapelessness and bluntness in the second half. We really caused very little threat when a bit of pressure could have seen Sunderland and their fans wilt.
Being out of the playoffs should give us a kick up the backside. But I think the automatics might be out of reach unless we have a massive turnaround - and especially we need to show that we can beat a halfway decent League One side.
Keeping up the progress of the past few weeks, we looked like a really good football team today.
Tranmere with a slightly flattering lead at half-time although credit to them for taking their chance. But all in all, that was our first 90-minute performance by my reckoning.
All the players looked comfortable in their roles and the players around them and all the subs came on and gave us a lift. And when we had Woolfenden breaking forward and Bishop on the ball we looked like a top Championship team!
I’m sure the conditions played a big part but we didn’t really put much together tonight. It was a good hardworking display that didn’t mean Oxford deserved anything more than a point either.
But FFS we played about 30 blind first-time balls in that second half when we were in possession and didn’t get anything out of them. A bit more attacking bravery and a desire to keep the ball and who knows?
At the very least, our attackers might have got involved. I think Keane and Norwood/Sears got on the ball 4 times between them the whole half.
Not a huge problem but let’s stop doing things that just don’t work.
We probably should have won that based on the performance.
Keane did some good stuff and scored a great goal.
Kenlock and Dozzell showed some glimpses of what they're capable of - although neither were under much pressure defensively so it was a lot easier for them to be forward-thinking today.
Last but not least, Bishop played very well. He showed what we could do with a player who is willing to drive through the middle and he should have given Lambert a lot to think about as a challenger to Judge in the attacking midfield role.
I'm not sure it told us much else that we didn't already know about the rest of the players. The usual collection of strengths and weaknesses on show. But dare I say it, we're getting closer to a first XI and now with nothing but the league to think about. And maybe that's the most positive thing we can say about today's defeat.
Today, we weren't good enough against a fairly ordinary Pompey. It's just that we were even more ordinary. And unfortunately it seems to be a fairly typical performance even going back to our early season when we were popping up with goals and results.
1. Watch Channel 4 tonight at 10 as it explores child poverty 2. Think about how many children 4 million is (It's 1 in 3) 3. Vote for the local candidate who has the best chance of stopping another Tory MP
*It's not exactly a lie but the implication that Brexit will be over and done with any time soon is complete pie-in-the-sky stuff. The government will likely need its full 5-year term to address it – and even then it might still be their slogan going into a 2024 election.
Meanwhile we'll have years and years of this stuff to look forward to dominating our politics, media coverage and most importantly business, the economy and society. All under the "non-control" of a government who thinks the best direction is objectively the worst for the economy and has only barely been able to navigate a withdrawal agreement in three years.
What chance do people give them of negotiating an actual functioning trade agreement by December next year and before we just crash out on our @rses instead? I think Norwich have more chance of being 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League by then.