Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

West Borewich Albion Survivor’s Club

Did you perhaps see the visual highlights of our match up against Western Bromwich? I normally have to wait for the reels to come back from Pathé for processing before having the butler set up the cinema room in the east wing, a process which can take some days. On this occasion however, the footage was returned by a telegraph boy carrying a very small bag of film, containing precisely three stills: The goals and then the lovely image of the fellows clearly tickled pink by the result in the Turk’s Head Kicking Contest* demanded by the result at the end of the ninety minutes being matchsticks**.

And that was just about it. We proceeded with a mix of chutzpah, raw talent and no small amount of spunk. Which when you actually write it down sounds a whole lot more exhilarating than the match itself, which was of course enlivened by Mr. Blackwater appearing in what can only be described as a kind of clown ninja. Not stealthy or deadly, just very hairy and not at all serious. His nickname is of course The Camden Cockroach, due to his ability to survive 47 loan spells, heat of up to 150 degrees Celsius and a nuclear winter, but his mater’s Bristolian heritage has allowed me to bestow upon him a supplementary monicker: The Severn Samurai.

I should like to take issue with the colours of the boots of our lads. As the most civilised followers of any footballing team in the world, we should all be perfectly disgusted with the gaudy parade of what appear to be novelty Chinaman’s slippers worn by our young players. Here is only one colour of boot allowed, black, and I consider it the utmost gaiety to have any white detailing at all.

When I was a lad, the only decoration allowed was the blood and pieces of internal organs of one’s opponent from the previous match, worn as a kind of trophy. One was allowed to speculate on its origin – liver? Kidney? Spleen? But to wear boots of blue, red, green or silver would be grounds for a duel, or at least a splendid dust-up in the coach park of a local hostelry.

Still, bring on Chelsea – a most auspicious game considering that this is their tenth anniversary.


It will not have escaped the keener-eyed reader’s notice that many hundreds of Tottenham’s 10,000 members have been claiming that they are ‘Joint Top’ of the league, as ‘only’ goal difference separates us. Well this is quite the to-do. ‘Only’ goal difference. I should like to point out to the criminal, training shoe shop burning, slum-dwelling, lice-infested, public money-grabbing, Middlesex-based denizens of the unmentionable end of the Seven Sisters Road that goal difference is how MOST GAMES OF FOOTBALL ARE SETTLED. In a game such as the one at our place a while ago, the goal difference was one. Indeed, this tragic state of affairs caused me to adopt this desperate and simplistic mindset, and re-imagine World History According to Tottenham.

First World War? Germans jointly win. 1971 Ali-Frazier? Ali jointly wins. 1983 General Election? Labour form coalition with Thatcher’s conservatives. And on it goes. How ridiculous, how self-aggrandising, how typically, weirdly, oddly Spurs. But then one consults Spurs official ‘Honours’ page on their official webington site and one finds that they include on that illustrious list of ‘Major’ ‘Honours’ that they ‘jointly’ won the 1968, 1982 and 1992 Charity Shield.

They also claimed among their glittering scalps the ‘joint’ title of the Southern District Charity Cup 1905, The Norwich Hospital Charity Cup 1950 (joint), and the Ipswich Hospital Charity Cup (joint) 1952. If your pub team is thinking of entering a hospital based football tournament in east Anglia, think again – you could be facing the ‘mighty’ Tottenham in the final, and have to share the title with them if they’re beaten.

*A perhaps unfortunate name to modern eyes, this was a pastime popular with British forces in the Ottoman vicinity in the Turkish War of Independence. I apologise.

** 1-1.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here