In the end, not only did she wear a yellow ribbon, she tore it from her hair and laughingly stuffed it into the stupid mouths of Chelsea and Tottenham fans. How marvellous to witness the maddened chunterings of Spurs fans, so delighted to have spied St Shitfloats for the first time in several hundred years, immediately downgrade the FA Cup faster than Mrs May about-turned on the Dementia Tax.
One knows why, of course. Imagine if you will, a dark parallel universe, much like in the fanciful Colonial talkie ‘Stranger Things’, in which it is Arsenal, not Tottenham who have endured years of failure. ‘Arsenaling it up’ is a phrase used when one wishes to highlight a lack of mettle. Then imagine Arsenal finally enter the Promised Land, albeit with no trophy whatsoever for a decade – finishing above Spurs. Then just as your glass of Krug reaches your lips Spurs win the premier club competition in the world. Again. For the third time in four seasons.
It would be an unendurable torture, leaving us with the only possible psychological defence; to deny the FA Cup’s significance and attempt to downgrade it and deride it. It’s quite sweet in a way. Childlike. Like one’s playground nemesis suddenly gets a nice bicycle. Nicer than the one you’ve just been given. Much nicer. “Look at that horrible bike,” you say, “the wheels are AWFUL. And the handlebars! How could anyone think that’s a nice bicycle?!” Everyone looks at you as if you’d had a funny turn. They look at you, then the amazing bicycle, and they replay your obviously jealous asides in their heads. And then they laugh.
To the match itself then. I was lucky enough to have received a fraternal gift from my frater, Lord David of Harringay. We ventured to a most agreeable hostelry in Brondesbury before the chauffeur conveyed us in the Humber up toward Wembley. We took our seats amidst the glorious sea of red and white and the game kicked off. What a majestic first few minutes; the archetypal dream start. A sumptuous 44 pass move ended with the corner from which came the goal.
The goal induced wonderful waves of emotion amidst the faithful. They were, in order;
1. JOY. IT’S A GOAL!
2. SADNESS. It’s not a goal, there was a flag.
3. SLIGHT EMBARRASSMENT. We cheered as we thought it was a goal and now Chelsea are jeering us.
4. MURDEROUSNESS. DAMN YOU, LINESMAN
5. JOY UNTRAMMELED! It’s a goal! Doubly funny! Twice the joy!
The simple fact is – and facts need to be simple for our friends in blue – Mr. Abdoulaye Ramsara was not interfering with play. He was merely thinking about it. AND THE LAST TIME I CHECKED THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT FOR THOUGHT CRIME IN THIS COUNTRY.
As for Whizzbang Saunders alleged use of hands, well, maybe, maybe not. I think a lot of people are forgetting that Whizzbang literally took a lot of flack over the Channel when he was a fighter pilot and lost both his arms, so normal handball rulings shouldn’t apply as he has very limited use of his RAF issued rubber limbs.
A special mention should go to Lord Peregrine Meatlocker. Who among us would not admit to a slight twitching of one’s bunny’s nose when we saw the teamsheet? Yet he was immense. His supernatural reading of the game was highly evident. His positioning was faultless. His tackles were sturdy and accurate. And his mind games double act with Mr Holdčević was most amusing.
Danielsan Arantes do Dat Guy Nascimento Santos Welvalho, or ‘Welé, terrified Chelsea’s backline from the very first peep of the whistle, running into spaces like an amphetamine bull, pulling defenders hither and thither, he was a very different beast to Mr. Goring-Hildred, who is a little more stately in his manoeuvrings. Stately, and timely, and so it proved later in the match.
We should have popped a couple more in by oranges, but it was Chelsea who pulled level. The shot may have indeed been stopped by someone with stronger wrists, like a ten-year-old malnourished street waif, but a goal it was. Yet one had no time to swig a medicinal slug of whisky than at the other end, Brigadier Goring-Hildred pinged one over for Mr. Ramsara to Noggin-Bobble in for the ecstatic winner. The only thing that was missing from those moments was a televisual close up of John Terry’s miserable face.
This game was the send off John Terry deserved, not the highly distasteful 26th minute Kim Jong-Un guard of honour. Goodbye, Captain, Leader, Legend, you shall not be missed.