Salutations, once more, my fine fellows. The butler is once again drawn toward some kind of strange glowing typewriter as he transcribes my fevered musings on the week’s dramas in the world of modern association foot-ball and more specifically that of Woolwich Arsenal. It is indeed a joy to recline here upon the chaise-longue, smoking jacket drawn tightly upon me, fez atop my noggin, a cocktail I like to call The Copping in one hand (2 parts gin, one part tincture of cannabis, one part laudanum and a dash of ‘Gentleman’s Bitters’, AKA, raw ether). It is quite the pick-me-up, as well as quite the throw-me-down, not to mention the send-me-spinning-up-to-the-rings-of-Saturn, so let us hope it does not ‘kick-in’, as the young people say, before the end of this article.
We turn first to the regrettable blitheringness of the summer transfer season. A quite loopy few weeks where the whole of foot-ball seems to go, if not quite the full Adebayor, then at least a little scrooched. It is a time of dreams. It is akin to advent, in reality much more enjoyable than the reality of Christ-mas itself, when inevitably screaming contremps occur, pistols are raised and then are the inevitable murders and maimings. Yes, transfer season conjures the possibility of hope once more. If we recall last close season for the poor wretches at the Middlesex end of the Seven Sisters Road, a flurry of transfer dealings lead to the arrival of quite the motley collection of buffoons, Messrs. Soldildo, Capoo-poo, Vlad Chubby-Cheeks and poor Mr. Lamela, none of whom seem to be actual foot-ballers.
Indeed, it was Mr. Bale’s desperation to leave White Hovel Lane that brought us the toothsome treat that is Mr. Orwell, now a World Cup winner. And this summer, the toothsome twat Mr. Suarez’s departure – a player with whom there is nothing wrong that a hundredweight of bricks falling on his head wouldn’t cure – to the Incredible Cheating Catalans that meant we were able to acquire Alex ‘Whizzbang’ Saunders, quite the purchase. We also saw a significant upgrade at the right-back position, with Matthew Matthews arriving, as well as OFFSPINNER.
As it stands at the arse-end of August, the team who lifted the Cup back in May looks quite different.
One of the main changes, apart from Flaps heading off to semi-retirement in Welsh Wales and Mr. Sailor driving his mobility vehicle to full retirement in the Stockport Bench Home for Greedy Buggers is the change in habiliments. The launch of the new jerseys was quite spectacular – Mr. Poomer’s Sporting Goods made quite an investment there.
Pre-season’s most delightful surprise was Mr. Sangley, who arrived at the Emirates psychopathically intent on causing mayhem against the mountebanks of Benfica. Like an amphetamine giraffe, Sangley bustled and mithered and bamboozled the Portuguese who were baffled by this vast marionette of a man. There is something of the Peter Crouch of him, and that is not an insult. Like Mr. Crouch, Mr. Sangley looks like the signals his brain are sending to his limbs are taking a good couple of seconds to reach their destination. And also there is a celebratory dance, although not of the excruciating Fritz-Lang’s-Metropolis-Android way, rather in the style of a young gentleman, after one claret too many, carousing in a jazz club. One thoroughly approves.
And so to Wembley, for a most pleasing thrashing of Europe’s most hated club, the destroyer of football, Manchester City, the Abu Dhabi Vulgarians. How Mr. Sagna must be ruing the day he took the devil’s shilling.
The less said about the visit of our South London rivals Crystal Palace the better. Suffice it to say that as Grandmother Gent used to say, a nod’s as good as a wink to a Lithuanian librarian with a daffodil in his pocket. We shall leave it there. And indeed the visit to the Ottoman Empire, in which Europe’s most feared enforcer, Mr. Ramsara, got his marching orders for his insufferable violence.
Lastly, a word on the young chaps. How wonderful if is to see young Ainsley Naitland-Miles and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill doing so delightfully well. I knew young Naitland-Miles’ mater, Daphne, from Cowes Yacht Club, and indeed Ormonde-Ottewill comes from a long line of Ormonde-Ottewills who went through Eton. His pater, Cedric, is a bloody good egg and I look forward to toasting the young lad’s progress when I see him at The Garrick next week.
Saturday brings an ominous visit to the best team in Liverpool, Everton. A proper club, unlike, well, we know who they are unlike.
Until next time. Yoicks, fine fellows, yoicks! To the impoverished north west!