One advantage of having a retinue of butlers, under-butlers, footmen, gardeners, a chauffeur, a Lady’s maid and a valet is that when times become a little overwhelming, they do their best to shield the master of the house from bad news. And so it was that after Mr. Orwell poked one past Monsieur Lloris this Saturday last at the rubbish tip that I was wheeled away in my bath chair to my underground opium den and was administered enough hammer to send me into a three day long reverie. When I was awakened by Jennings, my valet, it was Tuesday. “How fared we against the underclass, Jennings, old boy?” “A resounding victory, Sir! Five nil to Woolwich!”
This kindly shielding of the truth is in truthfulness not borne out of kindness or empathy for my mental well-being following football matches where the result has not gone Arsenal’s way. It is because my staff remember only too well that over the past few seasons I had taken to executing random passers-by and assorted junior household staff as a means of stress relief when we lost. There was the hall boy who was crushed under statue following our home defeat to Villa last season. There was the unfortunate Chambermaid who met her fate via a 19th century cutlass after the defeat at Anfield. And so on.
So now they have taken to locking me in my own opium den for their own safety. When I emerge, I am generally more calm and stable, and it does not seem meet to go on a murdering spree. And so “five nil to Woolwich” has become code for “we lost, Sir, but please do not murder anyone.” We have reached an understanding, as it were. So the lest said about defeat to Middlesex the better.
Instead, mayhap we should turn to a pleasingly Arsenalistic victory over a very mediocre Leicester Fosse.
Is Leicester really and truly a city? Do we hand that honorific out to any old hamlet these days? What in the Lord’s name is next? Tottenham City? Watford City? Perhaps Torbay should become a country, or Great Yarmouth a Canton? Anyhow, Leicester Fosse, or City, or whatever they are calling themselves these days turned up in Islington with the express purpose of parking the Crisp Delivery Lorry in front of their goal. It was not all Mourinho style boreball though – their circus daschund Mr. Mahrez was a confounded bloody nuisance and it was only through wanion that he didn’t bag at least a brace. The 2-0 at oranges somewhat flattered Woolwich. Nevertheless, two nil it was.
Costerley’s goal was very easy on the eye. His gallop was timed to perfection and he strode toward Leicester’s goal like a member of the Household Cavalry on his way to behead a Turk. The second fell fortuitously to Fenton who tucked it efficiently away.
Sadly, we lost Whizzbang Saunders to what can only be described as a tackle of true bitterness from Mr. Upson, A ghastly, cartoon-faced poltroon of a player who never really recovered from spending four years at Birmingham City, four at West Ham and then two years at Stoke. ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment’ is defined as punishment that is considered unacceptable due to the suffering, pain, or humiliation it inflicts on the person subjected to it and I do not know of a fate crueller than that suffered by Mr. Upson following his exit from Arsenal. And so he took it upon himself to try and injure much of our first team, and succeeded with Saunders. It was a pleasure to see him trudge off the pitch defeated and I shall raise a glass of sherry to him and the rest of his unmuzzled, sheep-biting, crisp-eating scuts when they are relegated in April.
Mr. Ramsara picked up his third ham-twang of the season and under English law he now gets to keep one on his mantelpiece forever. He will not play any part in the FA Cup match-up against the Chemical Cads of Middlesbrough on Sunday and will join Arkwright, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abraham Dolby, and Matthew Matthews etc etc etc in sick bay. Soothly we should not need them. But this is Arsenal and we shall not do it the easy way.
I shall instruct my staff to have a number of pipes freshly stuffed with lachryma papaveris just in case.