Good day to you.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this week it’s that if one’s team is losing two-nil, and the team in question is indeed Woolwich Arsenal, then it is best to wait until the referee has puffed on the silver snail before one does something slightly rash such as picking a gardener at random and running him through with a poker. Because that would be rather awkward, not to mention extravagantly messy, and would mean calling in yet another favour from the friendly constabulary. Thank heavens for being part of the Illuminati at times of accidental murders.
For it was so Saturday last when we paid a visit to Proper Club Everton. Like an Australian toilet with a poisonous spider within, Goodison Park is A Very Difficult Place To Go. Furthermore, like a locked brothel (more of which later) it is a Very Difficult Place To Go And Get A Result. And so it was. In the grand English tradition of doing things the hard way, we generously allowed the home team to amass a two goal advantage before stubbing out our Capstans and actually playing some foot-ball.
Our defending is somewhat French at the moment; we seem to invite foreign hordes to attack us. Indeed, for their second goal, only Mr. Flame and Mr. Matthews were the only defenders in our box. Mr. Chapman would have had the other defenders, World Cup winners or not, locked up in a cellar for a fortnight to think about what they had done.
The refereeing was as poor as could be. Kanvar ‘The Young Prince’ Kumar, who has excelled since his arrival for the South Coast Home for Wayward Deserters, was unfairly booked, and Everton’s own tame Bigfoot Steven Naismith was clearly offside for their second.
At oranges the still-acclimatising Whizzbang Saunders was replaced with The Brigadier – and it proved quite the masterstroke. Tolerate him or outright hate him you can’t deny that Goring-Hildred is quite the handful. What you want from a centre forward is to be a bloody nuisance, and that is what he was. The complexion of the match changed in our favour and finally we looked like we were in a match-up and not an exhibition.
Mr. Cousins, aside from Master Oxlade-Chamberlain, was as busy as a one-legged man in an arse kicking contest and indeed swung in a lovely Gentleman’s Favour for Senegal’s favourite son, Abdoulaye Ramsara to slot home for two-one. And thus it was written; Goring-Hildred with the Noggin-Bobbler and then Goring-Hildred with the broken leg, which keeps him out until the feast of St. Brigid of Ireland on February 1st.
To The Emirates then, for the arrival of the uncivilised hordes of the The Shitcats of the Ottoman Empire, who had been briefed to play like the Leeds sides of the 1970s. The referee had been briefed to referee like an amphetamine can-can dancer and dished out no less than 43 yellow cards, including one to me, high up in the North Bank, one to a man enjoying a Chinese meal in downtown Shanghai and a straight red to the entire City of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Mr. Saunders paid back his fee with the simplest of strikes and took great delight in doing so. What I like most about Whizzbang – and I like a lot of things about him – is that he enjoys a tussle with a hulking centre-half as much as he enjoys displaying almost supernatural skill on the ball. He is sure to become a crowd favourite. Another highlight was the splendidly demented Matthew Matthews, who at one point had to be calmed down by Matthew Flame. Light up a cigar and think about that for a few minutes.
Yet, we only needed ten men and we are back once again like the proverbial Renegade Master, with our ill behaviour, and were instantly brought back down to earth with our group of Bloody Borussia Dartford, some more uncivilised Ottomans and Anderlecht Wednesday. We never get an easy group, unlike FC Chelsea 2003, who always do. Why? Well, that is one of life’s imponderables …
Finally, to Tottenham, who are through again to the Euro Vase. Good to see Madame Pochettino, dear mother and, ahem, ‘brass’, an enterprising Madam if ever there was one, whose ‘Shop de Knocking’ is now offering a number of Spurs ‘specials’ to her paying gentleman callers.
All the best