Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The horrific nightmare of footballers singing

Last night I had a terrible nightmare that all Arsenal players made a vow never to communicate with the outside world again unless it was via the medium of song (not Alex).

It was a barren, tuneless world we lived in, ruled by Thomas Vermaelen whose eyes were, literally, gateways to hell. He prevented the use of auto-tune, decrying it as vacuous and false, thus all the songs (not Alex or Rigobert) were off-key and painful to listen to.

Then I woke up and … oh man … that wasn’t a dream. Even as the perpetrator of the occasional terrible song (not etc etc etc), it was hard going. I mean, is there nobody in the team that can carry a tune? Is there a scientific study to be made that the better a person is at football the less able they are to sing?

It’s not as if there isn’t precedent – please see Waddle and Hoddle, Waddle and Basil Boli (yes really), Gazza, Kevin Keegan, little Andre Arshavin, plus every FA Cup song ever made. And let’s not pretend that the Anfield Rap was anything other than a low point in human existence.

Some time way into the future an alien civilisation will arrive here willing to share its knowledge and technology that will wipe out disease and bring peace and harmony to the planet, but just before they land they’ll scan our cultural archives, see John Aldridge and Steve McMahon doing their thing, then fuck off back to their own galaxy as quickly as their spaceship allows.

If I ever became supreme ruler of the planet, I would ban footballers from singing (just after I banned chewing gum, Phil Collins, the Daily Mail and people whose house alarms go off all day, every day, and won’t do a thing about it even when you have a polite word).

In other exciting news, BT Sport have been reprimanded by the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, because Arsenal fans could be clearly heard swearing on one of their broadcasts. After the Liverpool game in the FA Cup, they thought it would be a good idea to do the post-match analysis from a raised platform just outside the ground.

In the history of good ideas, this is right up there with the appointment of David Moyes at Manchester United, Liverpool not shutting up shop at 3-0 against Crystal Palace the other night, and Ghostbusters 2. I mean, why use a studio when you can put your presenters on the back of a flatbed truck as thousands of well lubricated Arsenal fans are passing by and can congregate underneath?  What could possibly go wrong there?

I mean, the pitchside stuff I can understand to an extent – but this was just ludicrous from the off. So when the Arsenal fans sang Per Mertesacker’s song because Jens Lehmann was one of the men paid nowhere near enough money to stand on that platform and talk about the game, the F in BFG was clearly audible. Not that I particularly care, but some parents at 6.30 in the evening might have wanted to protect their darling children from language like that (ignoring the fact they hear it on the playground all day).

Anyway, as BT insist on inflicting Michael Owen’s soporific, imbecilic co-commentary on us, I have no sympathy. And here are five suggestions as to where they could do their post-match stuff from in the future:

1 – The top of Mount Everest, in the nip
2 – Deep within an ogre’s arse
3 – The bottom of the Mariana Trench
4 – Inside a volcano
5 – Trapped in a mirror hurtling into space like General Zod

All the money these TV companies put into the game and they still can’t provide us with the ‘Watch game without commentary’ option. I know Sky used to do it – don’t think they do any more, because then they find themselves less able to shape the narrative.

Nobody should have a game of football ruined by having to listen to Michael Owen. It’s like ordering a nice steak then, just before the waiter brings it out, the chef slathers it with a sauce made from the infected goo underneath an ingrown toenail and armpit juice harvested from a fat man who has spent all day riding around on a packed subway train.

Anyway, not a lot else this morning, so a quick teaser for the new book. You are coming to the launch, right? Next Thursday at 6pm in The Tollington. It’s cup final week, sure what else would you be doing? RSVP on Facebook if you like, or do it ‘old skool’ and simply turn up, have a beer and enjoy a nice evening amongst fellow Gooners (please note: there may be some swearing but it’s unlikely to be broadcast live on BT).

Till tomorrow.

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