First and foremost, a humble apology from yours truly. The festive season has been somewhat of a Lampard-sized palace of debauchery, and I simply forgot to write this week’s missive on time. In my defence, I found myself shipwrecked off the Amalfi Coast with just a bottle of formaldehyde, a quart of bathtub rum, six exotic dancers and an 1851 Gustave Young Navy Percussion Revolver with Mother of Pearl Handle for company. What’s more, I had just popped into the Garrick for a pink gin just three days prior to the unfortunate incident. So if you know how I got to Italy, please do get in touch.
This morning, Sunday, however, not even a hangover the size of Mr. Ivanovic’s left buttock could wrestle The Gent down from the heights brought on by our comfortable, expected yet still euphoric win over those miscreants from the wrong end of the Seven Sisters Road.
It must have been a wonderful day out for Tim Sherwood, a lifelong Arsenal fan with a cannon tattoo. It is a regrettable shame that unless he avails himself of the excellent Emirates Stadium tour, or pays for a ticket like the rest of us, that he will see that stadium again. It was not long after the referee, Wiggy Clattenburg, blew on the silver snail to signal the start of the battle that he had cause to prowl nervously around his ‘technical’ area. Mr. Sherwood does on these occasions resemble a man who has lost his car keys in a pub, and is quizzically wandering around the saloon bar attempting to ascertain whether a fellow patron has half-inched them and is intending to drive off in his Mondeo at any moment.
The inclusion of Mr. Flapplesthwaite, often a glove butler who induces one’s fundament to twitch like a rabbit’s nose when he ventures for an aerial ball, must have given Middlesex some hope. Happily, their deadly strike force was as potent as ever, and he was barely troubled. They did win an early corner, but before long Mr Steven Knabbley, who had earned a rare start, had wriggled down Satan’s Straits, pumped in a lovely little Dambuster for Fenton who couldn’t capitalise.
Yet minutes later it was the effervescent young Knabbley who provided the Gentleman’s Favour for Mr. St. John Cousins to unleash an almighty screamer to make it, as the ditty goes, one nil to the Arsenal. And he looked delighted. For an array of reasons we have not seen Mr. Cousins in as fine a fettle as this for a while, and this goal provided a wonderful fillip for the man from Finsbury Park. His fettle is so fine one could bottle it and sell it for a guinea a gram.
As expected, Middlesex set about rotating their fouls on our Number 10, knowing that he has somewhat of a short fuse. Mr. Dembele was particularly egregious. Whilst one should never wish ill-fortune on an opponent, one couldn’t complain if he caught a dose of The Dozens from a Tottenham Tom, and that little Dembele drops off into his pyjamas one night. We can but dream.
Mr. Robinson wrapped up the points in the second half after the splendid Mr. Rose gifted the ball to him, shined his shoes, made him a white wine spritzer and sent him on his way from the centre circle. Robinson was a menace all game, possibly Chap of the Match for me, and the goal was no less than he deserved.
A special mention of course should go to Mr. Soldado, who as I noted during the match, has made such a contribution to Arsenal’s season that he should be called ‘Sol’ Dado, provided more misses than Roedean. He is a delight, a treasure, thirty million guineas of horse sweat and match sulphur, and I love him dearly. The nickname of Soldildo does seem apt, although a dildo does at least fulfill its purpose.
In a match full of loveliness, one moment stands out of course, and that is of the grinning Mr. Walcoué being ferried past the hordes of the unwashed, ill-educated dunder-headed pignuts that comprise an away crowd whilst signalling to them what the scoreline was. His face was pure joy, he resembled nothing more than a Persian prince being ferried to his wedding feast, and I adore him maybe even more than I adore Sol Dado.
A wag upon these pages has already suggested that the coinage hurled in his direction should be put into a fund for a statue of him in that very pose. I will happily throw my support behind this exquisite idea, yet I am afraid it is fatally flawed. Every coin thrown will of course be counterfeit.
Until next time! Pip pip. See you upon the twitter.