Thursday, May 30, 2024

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

As we approach the day when certain factions of the church of Arsenal have seen fit to create possibly the politest protest banner of all time. This banner, whose wording is simply the delightfully restrained ‘Time for change, Arsenal is stale, Fresh approach needed’ is and admirable example of that greatest of British qualities – passive-aggressiveness. It’s like something a junior manager might say at the beginning of a meeting in which he’s trying to motivate his sales team into actually selling something following twelve successive quarters of no sales, or a meeting directly following the loss of a huge contract.

I attempted this week to provide a selection of more direct banners which are given to you here. Please feel free to print these off and take them to the game. I shall award a prize of one Guinea to anybody who manages to get one of my banners on the magic lantern on Saturday. I should laugh like a drain if Mr. Lineker remarks on any of them.

Arsenal banners Arsenal banners Arsenal banners Arsenal banners Arsenal banners Arsenal banners Arsenal banners Arsenal banners

We should dwell, momentarily, on the farrago of the game agin Sunderland this Sunday last. This depressing spectacle was the latest depressing spectacle in the depressing spectacle that is Arsenal After Christmas. We suffer a five-month Christmas hangover without even the joy of a five-day cocaine bender to precede it – all of the pain and none of the fun.

Of course, the Red Geordies are fighting for their lives. But they are still an awful, awful side. We should have turned up in lounge suits and plimsolls and still beaten them. Yet again we are as lethal in the final third as a child’s popgun. Our forwards waste Orwell’s passes like the western world wastes food. Every match we produce the equivalent of a million tonnes of rotting fruit such is our profligacy. Thank the lord for Harry the Helmet. What a glove butler he is, producing splendid stops from the four foot wonder Jermain Defoe and Yann M’Vila, who is a bit of an M’Berk.

The chaps looked like they had already booked a week in Saint-Tropez or wherever they bugger off to every summer. If Mr. Chapman were around he’d be cancelling all holidays and sending them to some godforsaken hole like Siberia or Tyneside until their attitude improved. Brigadier Goring-Hildred, who couldn’t hit a heifer’s hindquarters with a hunting horn, is beginning to test the patience of even his most ardent apologists supporters.

I read a statistic this week which showed the number of days we are typically on top of the premier league month by month. I cannot recall the precise numbers but it went something like this:

August Loads!
September Quite a few
October Yes, still quite a few
November Still up there
December It could still happen
January Oh dear
February Here we go again
March Hardly any
April None
May Fewer than none

So yes, perhaps the polite banner is quite right. Things are stale and we need a fresh approach.

In an attempt to lift the gloom, I have composed a ditty, to the tune on Land of Hope and Glory.


I’m the Arsenal war chest, I am made of wood,
We may need a new striker but I am just as good,
Watch me bang the goals in, 30 every term,
Please do oil my hinges, and watch out for woodworm.

Oak and brass and silk-lined, very heavy too,
Better than a defender, I’m solidly built with glue.


Forget about a D-M, or anyone world class,
Just admire my padlock, it is made of brass!


I’m the Arsenal War Chest, feel my quality,
Fashion-ed by craftsmen, buying players is frivolity!

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