Thursday, February 29, 2024

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

The torture is nearly over. In just twenty-four hours time, we shall be able to draw a line under this Anno Horribilis and focus on the torture to come next season. This torment has a specific name. More feared than the thumbscrews, or the Iron Maiden, or the rack upon which Mr. Fawkes gave his confession. More terrifying than The Sicilian Bull of Ancient Greece, a brass statue in which a man would be slowly roasted to death. This torture is known as THE EUROPA LEAGUE.

Even the mere mention of it can strike terror into the heart of the faithful. For many years, THURSDAY NIGHTS has been the insult to throw at Middlesex. The humiliating ordeal of playing obscure and irrelevant sides such as Qarabağ, Astra Giurgiu and Manchester United will be ours next season, barring an unlikely last day miracle. The humiliation will be complete when Spurs pretend to be big boys. They will be making merry, you can bally well guarantee that.

From what I’m hearing in my ear trumpet – and I am not normally in the know, unless it’s to do with the location of a rare single malt – I’m hearing Mr. Windsor will be offered a new two year deal. Make of that what you will, but if true it does seem that the relative discomfort of late- stage Windsor is set to continue for the foreseeable.

Yet there have been things to enjoy this season. Chiefly, beating unpleasant and uppity primitives such as Stoke City. A club led by football’s most nauseating professional victim, Mr. Mark Hughes, a manager who is undefeated in eight home games against us. A pair of matches which resulted in a 7-2 aggregate win, enough to blast away any laughable notion, mostly held by the mustachioed supporters of Stoke and their husbands, that they are some kind of bogey side.

It is true that we had not won on our previous six visits to the Shitannia, but now the only ‘bogey side’ in Stoke is the bit of the pillow they turn over in lieu of actually washing their bedsheets. It was a game which moved us to within a meaningless point of the Mugsmashers, with Harry Bell picking out The Brigadier for a tap in. Whizzbang Saunders, a player we must confine to a prison cell for the summer if it means keeping the tiny genius, found Mr. Orwell for the second.

Mr. Crouch, a vile, sniveling, skeletal wretch of a man, more like an undertaker’s ghost than a professional athlete, cheated a second goal. It was a little like The Argentine’s hand of god in 1986. The two of them, Crouch and the fat shit Señor Maradona could tour the world performing exhibition matches as a kind of amusing Laurel and Hardy tribute act called Cheats of the Desert, with Maradona donning a tiny moustache and Crouch wearing an ill-fitting bowler hat.

Another splendid highlight was Mr Holdčević’s delightfully sturdy tackle on that ghastly person-pusher Mr. Arnautovic. Another was the near silence that greeted Mr. Saunders’ second goal and then the whimpering from Shawcross as Goring-Hildred’s second, and our fourth, went in.

Stoke’s season is farting out like a child’s balloon released into the wind, and they will finish in the bottom half for the first time since 2013. Let us hope that a purgative relegation beckons.

To The Emirates then, where at least five or six thousand of the faithful watched Arsenal beat an already relegated Sunderland side, with Saunders again providing the much-needed vim and spunk. His brace on 72 and 81 minutes were the result of THIRTY BLOODY SIX attempts at goal. It’s not as if we need to engorge our goal difference against Man City or anything, chaps. It’s TOTALLY FINE.

So here we are. We’ll finish in the top four if Liverpool can’t beat the second worst side in the Premiership, and we beat Everton. Or if we draw 0-0, 1-1 and they lose by three goals or more. Or if we draw 2-2 and they lose 2-0. Or we draw 3-3 and they lose 3-1. Or if we win by a five goal margin and City lose. So essentially, we face torture and humiliation on an unprecedented scale.

Have a great weekend!

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