You know, if I’m ever caught up in a hostage situation like in Die Hard, or if I’m in tower that somehow becomes an inferno, or if I’m in any kind of perilous situation which looks like there’s no possible way out, I hope Olivier Giroud is there with me.
While all around me will be panicking and going mental I’ll be as cool as a cucumber that has been left out in the cold but is also like the Fonz in terms of his all-round coolness and not simply his temperature. I’ll be just chilled as chilled can be and the crazy people, some of whom will die because that’s what happens in these films/real life situations, will be confused to the point of intense irritation.
“WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!”, will scream that one guy who is probably like the dude in Aliens who basically brings it on himself with his foreshadowing and cowardice.
“WHY ARE YOU SO CALM AND COLLECTED?”, he’ll shout at me and I’ll be all, ‘Man, relax’, and he’ll be all, “RELAX?! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND. YOU JUST SAW THEM TAKE TREVOR TO THE ROOF WHERE THEY SET HIS BALLS ON FIRE AND THEN THEN THREW HIM OFF. HE WAS BASICALLY A HUMAN FIREWORK. I DON’T WANT TO GO OUT LIKE A KATY PERRY SONG. SHE HAS AN INCREDIBLY IRRITATING SINGING VOICE, WHY DO PEOPLE BUY HER RECORDS?”
Nothing I say will make any difference, but in my head I’ll be thinking, “It’s grand, Olivier Giroud has got this.”
Just as things look beyond redemption, when there’s no hope, when shouty bloke has had his own goolies set alight before being cast to his fiery death, the OG will come up with something to get us out of the shit. I don’t know quite what. Perhaps he’ll dazzle them with his handsomeness, or whip out a gun that he’s been craftily hiding in his beard, but he’ll do away with the baddies just in the nick of time and then when the emergency services come we’ll light a cigarette as we sit on the back of an ambulance, cracking wise before we all live happily ever after.
And so it was last night in the post-apocalyptic wastlelands of Preston, a former town somewhere in England. Arsenal were drawing 1-1 and it looked as if we’d have to face that most FA Cup of things – a replay. But no, right at the death Aaron Ramsey aimed a ball into their box. Giroud, removing the craftily hidden weapon from his Captain Haddock-esque facial hair, nodded the ball on.
Lucas Perez, his buccaneering Spanish sidekick, latched onto it and back-heeled it into the path of our leading man who somehow bundled the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1. The villains were distraught, that one little guy – the number 4 who was given licence to go around the pitch and boot everybody at will – seemed particularly unhappy. Perhaps it was because he had cramp, perhaps it was because he’s just a tiny little Napoleon syndrome prick, but who cares?!
With his fourth goal in four games, Giroud rescued us and sent us into the fourth round of the cup. And look at the times of those goals.
West Brom – 86′
Crystal Palace – 17′ (showboating just for variety)
Bournemouth – 92′
Preston – 89′
Take me in your late-scoring arms and hold me, Olivier. I still think you should be dropped for Alexis, but you’ll always be a hero to me, dammit (until some time in March when you have the chance to score the winner against Bayern to take us into the next round of the Champions League but because it was in the 63rd minute you’re just not willing to do it and afterwards we’ll be sad that the chance didn’t come later in the game).
Anyway, Ramsey scored his first goal of the season and it was a very nice goal too. He cracked it in from outside the box very early in a second half that we completely dominated. Preston didn’t even have a shot, mostly because they’d use them all up in a first half in which we were basically a big bag of shit.
I suppose someone who writes for a living and writes about football every day of his life should have the words to describe how bad we were, but I’m struggling this morning. It was awful, abject, appalling, abysmal and abhorrent. Wait until I get to the letter B in my thesaurus [I always pronounce this as The Saurus, as in – “Can you think of another word for that?’ – “Hang on, I’ll go check The Saurus, it’s a remarkably handy tome!”].
Starting games that slowly is, I think you’d all agree, a bad thing. It would be great if the manager could have a quick word with the chaps beforehand and say, ‘Here’s an idea, let’s not play like disinterested twats for the first 45 minutes’, I think that might have a positive effect. On the one hand it would deprive our hirsute hero the chance to save our bacon, but we can always go down the shops and buy some bacon for ourselves as we enjoy what was a more comfortable victory.
Still, nobody ever said the third round of the cup should be easy. Particularly not that guy who thinks the FA Cup is a load of old bollocks but was unfathomably angry when it looked as if we were going to get knocked out. Into the next round we go and here we are smoking a Marlboro or a Camel on the back of an ambulance thanks to Olivier Giroud.