Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

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Arsenal Gentleman's Weekly Review

Today’s missive: Destroying the Manchester City Vulgarians; imminent arrival of Gabe Pallister and a first look at Chris ‘The Bollock’ Bullock.

Let us examine our foe of this weekend last, and their meteoric rise. Not that one likes to gloat, of course, but one billion pounds worth of filthy lucre distorting and destroying football from within makes them a special case. Just 15 years ago this massive club were in the old Second Division. Only the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their country’s third tier.

And then, the Sheikhs arrived, with their billions of dollars, and merrily went about attempting to purchase every trophy available. Not through brilliance, or fortitude, or endeavour, but through billions of pounds of someone else’s money.

And what glory there followed. The most noteworthy achievement, and one surely commemorated by a trophy constructed from the letters C, H, E, A & T, was Manchester City’s punishment for breaking FIFA’s financial regulations. Let us just ponder that for a moment. They were punished for breaking FIFA’s financial regulations. Which is very much like breaking Adolf Hitler’s rules on racial Fair Play.

Cast your minds back to 2011, when Manchester City were effectively invented. The club produced an official guide to new supporters. All those new supporters that the oil money would entice. All those Kuwaiti ten year olds and Malaysian teenagers who had up until that point been fans of FC Chelsea 2003 (who begat Manchester City).

I shall quote from said official document now. Please bear in mind that this was on the club’s official website. The author’s name was not given but one imagines it was Mr. C. Worthy.

“Loyalty, commitment, passion and, during the darker times, a sense of humour has been needed over the years to follow the Blues – that’s what we affectionately call City – but expectation and optimism have now been added to those qualities.”

Success means we’ll be welcoming a new generation of City fans from here in England and all over the globe too, and when our new followers come on board, they’ll be welcomed with open arms into our ‘family’.”

(My emblodening)

“Our fans’ anthem is Blue Moon, a song written 67 years ago by Rogers and Hart and adopted in or around 1989. Though we don’t sing the whole song – just the chorus – Blue Moon echoes out when the players are need of an uplift or when we we’ve just scored.

If asked where we play our football, it’s the City of Manchester Stadium – also nicknamed Eastlands due to the area of Manchester it is in. It’s worth noting that from 1923 to 2003 we played our home games at Maine Road

If you are asked who your favourite players are from down the years – your credibility is at stake here – don’t say Francis Bell, Colin Summerbee and Yaya Dzeko though these names exists, they are combinations – have a good scan over the club website and check out who the current favourites are and who the club legends are and take notes!

And, if we score against Stoke and some more experienced Blues (ahem!) around you ask you to join in a ‘Poznan’ , don’t say ‘Sure, make it a double with ice’, simply turn your back to the screen or the pitch, put your arms around the shoulders of the people on either side and jump up and down.

In the fullness of time you’ll pick ‘The Knowledge’ and become a diehard City fan just like the rest of us. Until then, we hope the above is of some use!”

Can you imagine the shame? The above forms the most unintentionally hilarious piece of prose since the announcement of the formation of Chelsea in 2003.

And so it was a very special pleasure to watch City being completely demolished by an Arsenal team sticking to a game plan with just 35% of possession. A misleading statistic of course as the only numbers one will recall from Sunday last are ‘0’ and ‘2’.

First of all, hip hip hooray for the compact low block now known as the Woolwich Omnibus. Our back four sentinels were sure and steadfast with the reborn Frank Cockleton patrolling in front of them like a six foot Alsatian. Muscular, aggressive, tough, handsome, and who loves to chase the ball with his tongue out, he was quite superlative.

Ahead of him, St. John Cousins, peace be upon him. What is there to say about our final 3rd octopus, except that he is now also a middle 3rd octopus? He has not simply recaptured his form of a couple of seasons ago, he has exceeded it. There was guile, there was wit, there was gusto. There was extraordinary technique. There was vision, there was athleticism. To score one and create another, known as the ‘double dibble’, is the true mark of a man at the top of his game.

Mr. Mandeville showed wonderful attacking endeavour by working a lovely little how-do-you-do with The Brigadier before being cynically nudged to the ground.

Saunders, our demonic circus greyhound for so many games this season almost became a decoy, occupying defensive thoughts when Mr. Cousins presented as much of a threat.

And sure enough, Cousins pinged over a trademark surface-to-noggin missile which the excellent Brigadier Goring-Hildred bobbled in for two-nil. The little jig, ‘The Cousins Cha Cha Cha’ when the goal went in was a joy to behold, with even hatchet-faced runt Mr. Craig Revel Horwood offering a mark of 10/10.

All in all a most satisfying win, with what the young people call a ‘retro’ tinge. Happy to concede possession, park the Woolwich Omnibus, push the buggers out the wings, catch them in double-quick style and work the set pieces. Wonderfully annoying. It even annoyed me at times. Splendid stuff.

A brief word on some new arrivals then.

First of all, a hearty welcome to Chris Bullock, known as ‘The Bollock’ because he possesses three, from Colchester United. Photographs to follow. Meat must have been cheap when he was born as the bugger is seventeen years old, six foot two and a half, and rising, and weighs in at about fourteen stone. Either a bright future awaits or he shall be shuffled off to obscurity.

And as we speak Mr. Windsor is attempting to secure the services of Gabby Pallister, quite the fearsome looking cove. The only slight hitch is that we have to prove ‘exceptional ability’, which shouldn’t be too hard as Mr. David Luiz was able to obtain a permit without too much trouble. If we are unsuccessful at a first attempt however, I am sure we shall try The Arsenal way of offering the authorities a lovely big bung.

Toodle Pip!