Monday, May 16, 2022

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

I am returned. Last week happily fell upon the feast of St. Sherwood, patron saint of all fools, also known as April Fool’s Day. Dear reader, it took every fibre of my 138-year-old being, along with several grains of opium, a flagon of Napoleon Brandy, several blotters of lysergic acid diethylamide and a dozen bottles of what the understairs staff inform me is known as ‘WKD Blue’, a most curious vodka-based beverage heavily perfumed with up to six distinct fruit aromas. These libations provided the steel required to momentarily transform myself into Tottenham Gentleman, penning the column ‘Eight Reasons Why Today I Become a Tottenham Fan’.

Once the day had passed, and the chemical veil had lifted, I felt an unswerving need for purification of the body and soul. I took a succession of baths: Warm, hot, scalding, bleach solution, holy water and finally dilute sulphamic acid. I self flagellated first with a twig, then a coil of bared wire, then a length of four by two studded with nails. I had a haircut. I prayed. And yet, the taint of Tottenhamism remained with me for several days. I have, by necessity, sat in the home end at White Hart Hovel, sitting on my hands for fear of celebration; for if Woolwich were to score, and I were to cheer, a violent death and dismemberment would surely follow. But sitting quietly, with only the fear of some long-forgotten airborne virus to worry about, is nothing compared to attempting to pass oneself off as a Spurs fan. Do not do it, dear reader. Some scars never heal.

To happier times then, and the match with Watford this Sunday last. You will recall the last visit of Watford to The Emirates. That was the visit when these Hertfordshire brigands ensured that we shall, barring a minor miracle, or an imposition of a law making comedy chins illegal, end the season trophyless once more. So there was a point to prove, what with Arsenal serving up footballing fare akin to what they call in the Navy Bow Wow Mutton, that is, meat that is so appalling it may be made from dogs.

On Sunday, the real Arsenal turned up. Or perhaps the unreal Arsenal? Who knows in this topsy turvy season.

We dominated the first forty five in such a way as to feel a twang of sorrow for Watford. Saunders, who has been like a ghost of his former self, found the bag after just four minutes. Mr. Webbley, who in my mind should be starting every single game from now on, forced a save from Middlesex escapee Gomes before slotting one past him for two nil at the end of a symphonically superb move. The delightful and energetic Harry Bell hilariously struck a Barnes-Wallis* past the keeper for three nil, and then even Fenton, AKA Captain Fluffer, AKA Theodore Walcott, AKA the £130k substitute added one for four nil. Watford had nothing in response, their striker, Mr. Troy Deeney, a man who looks like a bad photograph of the rhyming performer Drake projected onto a lump of pizza dough, failed to find the net. All was once again right with the world.

It is of course too late for a title challenge. Fosse are going to win the league. They shall collect three points from Sunderland tomorrow with great ease, and march on to an improbable championship. The only question that remaineth is this: Shall there be a St. Totteringham’s this season? If we can beat a very strong Ironworks at lunchtime tomorrow, the gap will be a singular point. To paraphrase ‘Sir’ Alex Ferguson, it will be squeaky scum time. The visit of Manchester Yawnited on Sunday then takes on even greater import. We pray for an outbreak of cholera.

I implore the chaps to not give away a free kick within 30 yards of our goal tomorrow. Because we know what will happen. Mr. Payet will miserablise us once more. Yet the game against Watford should galvanise us. But will it?

* A deflected goal, named after the inventor of the bouncing bomb, as made famous by the RAF’s 617 Squadron’s remodelling of the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany in 1943.

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