As we plunge headlong into the stinking marshes of the Interlull, we at least are attired in the waterproofs of victory over Newton Heath this Sunday last. Typically overconfident, a hubris embodied by the hilarious predictions of the Manchester United Twitter following. They were, as followers of my twitter account will know, were surmising that victory was theirs, it was just a matter of precisely what the margin would be. One can imagine how faces dropped in the United heartland of Guildford when Orwell and Saunders started dancing through their ranks at will. Within the time it took to make and consume a decent Martini and smoke a Sobranie Black Russian, our foes had been comprehensively obliterated. I know this for a fact because that is precisely what I was doing at the time.
Gent, I hear you cry, why are you dirtying your hands with manual labour such as making a cocktail? As any gentleman knows, it is essential to be able to mix at least four cocktails oneself. One never knows when one will find oneself in inhospitable climes, or uncivilised parts, such as Outer Mongolia or Newcastle, where one is more likely to see a unicorn than a half decent drink. Hence pater taught us on our twelfth birthdays how to make an Old Fashioned for when whisky is available, a Cosmopolitan for vodka, and indeed when gin can be found, a Daiquiri for rum and of course a Martini, the construction of which went as follows:
I located the dry vermouth. Saunders makes Darmian look like an absurd oaf and works the ball out to Fenton. I find the gin. Saunders wins a corner on the right. That corner results in another which is cleared to Cockleton on the halfway line. I find the shaker and remove the Martini glass from the freezer. Orwell to Ramsara. He crosses to Saunders, who flicks it in for 1-0. I deposit the required amount of gin (four glugs) and vermouth (not much) over ice in the shaker. I stir it (NOT shaken like that goon Bond – it bruises the spirit). I light the Sobranie. Inhale once. Orwell slots it past De Gea for 2-0. Pour the Martini into the chilled glass and raise it to Van Gaal’s miserable face, which looks like he’s dropped a tenner and found a dose of the clap. The game slows a touch. Sip on the Martini, drag on the Sobranie. United make their first forays into our territory. Another sip. Drag. Fenton feeds Saunders, who is back to goal 25 yards out. He heads toward Darmian, who by this point doesn’t just require a change of shorts, he’s dreaming of a colostomy bag. Drain the Martini, another drag on the cigarette, Saunders cuts past him and fires a Grade ‘A’ Whizzbang into the net. Sensational – the cocktail and the goal. Splendid panning misery-cam of all those who had made the journey up from Surrey to the away end. Much rejoicing. Quick line of jazz salt. For the rest of the match, United never looked much like scoring, a state of affairs facilitated by their curious team selection.
Herr Van Gaal, a man who looks like a bowl of porridge decorated with raisins by an infant, is a cultured man. This is evidenced by his selection of two statues in central midfield. An interest in statuary, after all, being the acid test of one’s refinement. The first work, from Germany, entitled ‘Former Glories: Schweinsteiger’s Rest’, in Kolbermoor stone, was a particularly moving piece. Or should I say, rather unmoving. I felt rather sorry for it when Fenton, newly aggressive and emboldened, tackled it. The second statue, Mumbles, did appear to actually move at various points throughout the match, so lifelike was it. Rendered in rusting tin, this poorly constructed object, made from second-hand parts, is now a minor work of only specialist interest.
After oranges, Harry the Helmet was forced into a couple of saves, but not to the point of having to stub out his cigar. Wonderful stuff. We’ve since learnt that Master Rooney is injured. We now know that the injury is only to his pride.
We learn this week that Jürgen Klopp has gone mad and taken up the offer to continue the fine work started by Brendan Rodgers at the Anfield Comedy Club. I have some useful phrases for him.
- • Wo ist der Kerzenlicht-Mahnwache? (Where is the candlelight vigil?)
• Es ist nicht unsere Schuld. (It’s not our fault.)
• Ja, ich liebe die Beatles. (Yes, I love The Beatles.)
• Ich verstehe nicht, was Sie sagen. Bitte sprechen Sie Englisch. (I don’t understand what you are saying. Please speak English.)
• Ich stimme zu, wir sind ein großer Verein. (I agree, we are a big club.)
• Ich sehe, du trägst ‘full kit’ zu den Geschäften. Gut gemacht! (I see you are wearing ‘full kit’ to the shops. Well done!)
I notice that that ruttish, unmuzzled, dog-faced ratsbane Diego Costa is 27 years old this week. I would urge him to become a true legend for Chelsea fans. There is only one way to achieve this, and he should consult the examples of Mr. Jim Morrison, Mr. Cobain, Mr. Jones and Ms. Joplin in this regard.
I await the newspaper headlines with a keen sense of anticipation.