Any evidence you need that this is going to be the worst, slowest, most tedious, news unfilled Interlull of all time came yesterday when Sylvester was given top billing on the official site telling us how we haven’t seen the best of him yet.
It’d probably be fair to say we’ve already seen the best of him and that came when he was wearing a United shirt. But he’s probably right in that we haven’t seen the best of him when the best of him refers only to the best of him in an Arsenal shirt. Yet it’s the thought of him in an Arsenal shirt that’s a bit depressing.
I know Arsene got a bit cranky at that meeting last season when someone called Sylvester a ‘geriatric’. That was unfair. To geriatrics, har har! But as a football fan how are you supposed to forget about all the times you played against a player playing for a team you hate? One day he’s a figure of contempt, the next he rocks up in an Arsenal shirt all smiling and happy and stuff.
As I mentioned yesterday I am a grudge holder. The last time we moved house I found boxes full of them, ones that I had even forgotten about, and when it comes to football I suspect I am world champion at grudgery and umbrage. You think you’re better? I doubt it.
I would, if I saw him in the street tomorrow, mow down Trevor Brooking without giving it so much as a thought. 9 years old I was when he scored that poxy header which cost us the FA Cup. Here were are almost 30 years later and the rage still burns strong. Brooking appears to be a relatively affable sort in the wider context of the football world but I’d still reverse over him to make sure.
Remember Nelson Vivas making that mistake against Leeds that season? Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored the goal which cost us the title. Such is my grudge holding that if time travel were invented I would go back in time and get Mr Floyd Hasselbaink on his stag night and introduce him to a sexy young girl with whom he would get it on and by virtue of having had one more sexual experience an entirely different sperm would impregnate Mrs Hasselbaink when they did get married so the Jimmy Floyd they had might actually be a girl or, at worst, a boy who preferred to write poetry and not play football so that goal would never have been scored and we would be champions.
I could go on. One more? Right then. Some time back in the 80s I went to see Arsenal play Shamrock Rovers in a pre-season friendly at their old Milltown ground. The place was absolutely packed and Arsenal played as if they’d come over, gone to Mulligans on Poolbeg Street and drank the place dry of Guinness. Which is probably exactly what they did. I have a vague recollection of Pierce O’Leary, David’s brother, playing for Rovers. Arsenal lost. This remains unacceptable to me. Living in Dublin I didn’t get too many opportunities to see Arsenal in the 80s so how dare these part-timers beat us. I don’t know who any of them are now but I still have a desire to flay and roll in salt anybody wearing a green and white hooped shirt. Yes, Lord of the Wing, that might include you.
So, it’s a complicated business being a football fan and when you read stuff about Sylvester it’s hard to take it seriously. I loved Freddie and Sylvester got sent off for whacking Freddie with his giant forehead. I think his terminal decline began there. It’d be like being hit with a sledgehammer but a sledgehammer with eyebrows. It makes my grudge-centre confused. And this is not good.
Anyway, on to matters Arsenal and … oh yeah, there really isn’t much news. Aaron Ramsey talks about the influence Arsene Wenger is having on his career while Armand Traore says the boss has told him he needs to work hard and be patient. Carling Cup aside I don’t think he’s figured at all this season. Kieran Gibbs is preferred to him on the bench and after a good run of first team football last season at Portsmouth it’s gotta be tough for him.
There’s some stupid transfer stuff about Carles Puyol to Arsenal and yet another Barcelona player has done the ‘Cesc should sign for us’ story. I wonder are they on some kind of schedule.
“Xavi, you’re up!”
“Me again? Already?! Fair enough. Cesc DNA blah di blah great player blah blah”
“Super! Now talk about how we should exhume Franco and make him manager”.
They’re a laugh a minute those crazy Catalans.
Pfff. Till tomorrow.