Ah, Arsenal, you are a perplexing mistress. For 79 minutes on Saturday last you were beguiling, exhilarating, a pleasure to watch. We created chance after chance after chance, almost three dozen of them, forcing Mr. De Gea into FOURTEEN saves.
Unfortunately these were the last 79 minutes of the match and we were already a brace down by that point.
Let us consider our perennial foe, Mr. Mourinho, despised mountebank and preening, duplicitous narcissist, is nothing if not well-prepared. He is like a diligent civil servant in this regard. He produces great screeds of preparatory documents for his players to read before a match, and in the case of Ashley Young, to have them read to him. He has a number of personal mottoes, one of which is:
HE WHO HAS THE BALL HAS FEAR
Other less well-known ones are:
– FAILING TO PREPARE LIKE THE STASI IS PREPARING TO DIE BY THE STASI
– A BACK SEVEN IS THE PUREST OF ALL FOOTBALLS
– I WOULD PLAY THREE GOALKEEPERS IF I COULD
– DELAY POSITIVITY UNTIL IT IS NECESSARY
– THE BEST NICKI MINAJ SONG IS THE ONE ABOUT THE ANACONDA. THE ANACONDA SLOWLY CRUSHES ITS PREY. THIS IS A PAINFUL, BORING AND EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE WAY TO KILL. ANACONDAS ARE THEREFORE THE BEST SNAKE AND THEY HAVE JOSE MOURINHO’S UTMOST RESPECT
Yet the only documentation he needed to distribute on Saturday was a small 5” by 3” card upon which, in embossed gold lettering, the legend:
ARSENAL WILL FUCK THIS UP IN THEIR FINAL THIRD.
And so it came to pass. : All three of their goals were the result of Woolwich losing possession. To give United their due, and I am gritting my false teeth so hard they are beginning to shatter and fly out of my mouth and across the parlour, their front three of Lukaku, Martial and Lingard were a most unMourinho-like devastating combination.
And yet when £90m storm drain Paul Pogba performed his party trick, a potentially career ending tackle, like the one he meted out agin an Inter player whose name escapes me, and was rightly dismissed, Mourinho the Anaconda came out to play, United ceased offering a threat on the counter, and crushed the life out of us.
We shall not dwell on the trespasses of Messrs Masterson and Costerley, Mr. Valencia pouncing on a loose one from the latter and Mr. Lingard side-footing a second after Mr. Masterson took longer to make a decision than a five-year-old boy at the sweet counter.
Not even dear old BATE Borisov vouchsafing us a half-dozen goals last evening can take the edge off what was at once a disheartening but thrilling encounter. Now the visit to St. Mary’s Young Men’s Association F.C. becomes a fardel rather than an encounter pregnant with possibilities.
If we had won, it would have sparked a hearty festive charge to second or third position. As it stands, having suffered our first home league defeat since losing 2-1 to bloody Watford.
Let us not cozen ourselves – that fixture now looks rather foreboding.