We shall turn to the event’s of Odin’s Day presently but first I wish to tell you a story. I have used the players’ modern nicknames rather than their correct Gentleman names.
A fellow is walking across Archway Bridge in Highgate. He spots a man in an Arsenal strip, standing on the edge of the bridge in quite the distressed state. “Don’t do it!” Says the first man. “We have West Brom away on Saturday! Aren’t you an Arsenal fan?”
“Yes,” said the second chap, brightening slightly. “Are you a season ticket holder?” “I am!” said Chap One. “Where do you sit? I sit on the North Bank Upper.” “I sit in the North Upper!” Said Chap Two, turning his head to Chap One and away from the 100 foot plunge below.
“Who are your favourite players of all time?” says Chap Two. “Well, hard to choose, but I’d have to say Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Charlie George,” says Chap One. “Me too! In that order!” Says Chap One.
“Best game you’ve ever been to?” Asks Chap One. “Got to have been winning the league at Anfield, 1989,” says Chap Two, with a smile now beginning to break on his previously anguished visage. “I was there too!” Says Chap One. “Followed closely by winning the league at the shit-hole in 2004.”
“This is incredible. I was at that game as well! Paddy at full stretch for the first and Bobby scuttling in the second. What do you think of it in recent times?”
“I think Wenger has done a great job for the club and we should stick by him,” says Chap One. “What about you?”
“I think he should go. He’s too stubborn to change a game and his recruitment policy is harming the club. Wenger Out,” says Chap Two.
“Die, you clueless bastard!” says Chap One, and pushes him over the bridge.
Do you see the lesson there? I hope you do.
I am sure, dear reader, you have buried the memories of the game against Manchester United as if it were a particularly unpleasant incident with an over-familiar housemaster. Forgive me for dredging the whole unpleasant business up one more time, but there are a few point worth dwelling upon.
This was classic late-period Arsenal. There was one point that I felt that I had seen this very match. It was, as one wag put it, déjà vu all over again. This team of bottling brigands and fickle foot-lickers conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. A zippy, frothy start with puissant midfield play with absolutely no end result and committing the fullbacks in such a swoopstake manner could only mean that one thing would unfold in the second half, and lo, it came to pass. Defending that the Keystone Cops would laugh at resulted in conceding a blot*, a skidmark**, an Unflushable Unthinkable*** with Newton Heat recording precisely no shots on target up to this mark. And to cap it all, Golden Cap himself, the one-man potato blight Rooney, made quite the pair of unpleasant goals, supplied by a pass from Mr. Di Maria, a man whose head appears to be permanently peering at you from the other side of a Kilner jar. Truly, a Weekendius Miserabilis. The only succour offered was a lovely strike by the Brigadier, and everything that Whizzbang Saunders does should be framed. Otherwise, pull you ruddy socks up, Woolwich.
And so they did, in the battle with the Hun this Wednesday last. A match which no chap really gave us much of a chance, especially when Mr. Sangley, the Bromley Beanpole was named in the First XI. I have to admit inly I was cursing his name. But for a player whose limbs occasionally appear to be being controlled by four separate drunkard fishwives, his opening goal was an absolute peach. Finishing off a delightful No-After-You**** With Mr. Cousins, whose form appears to be returning, his first competitive goal for the club could not have come at a better time to soothe the discontented masses. Mr Saunders, who else, unleashed a traditional Whizzbang past Herr Weidenfeller for 2-0. If Mr. Saunders fed the entire Emirates Stadium with five loaves and two fish nobody would be even slightly surprised. Mind you, it would take him twenty minutes to get served in one of the catering outlets so in fact that would be a ridiculous idea.
And so, to West Bromwich. Three points would be wonderful, and ain’t that the sooth. Until next time, dear hearts. And don’t go near any bridges.
* An own goal
** An own goal
*** An own goal
**** A one two.