Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

This week the Gent hands over his column inches to a new man …

Hello, I’m Dennis Suarez. You may remember me from such movies as No Goals for Celta Vigo B, Seven Glorious Strikes for Barcelona B, Loan Vengeance: Sevilla, 2012: Etihad Judgement Day, The Realest Real Deal at Villareal: Competence Near Valencia and Bit Part Part VI: Barcelona A.

Now I have brought my relative competence as a midfielder to Arsenal Football Club, and I am determined to write my place in the history of this great club between February 2019 and May 2019.

I have a number of things going for me. First of all, my name is Denis. Not Dennis, you understand, but it’s close enough to make Arsenal fans angry and wistful about a time when they actually used to win titles. My other name is Suarez, which also brings back memories of a hilariously botched Arsenal transfer. But hey, at least my loan fee was £2,170,000, and not £2,170,001, eh Gooners? Perhaps the deal would have fallen through? Ha ha, yes. I would just like to state on behalf of the world diaspora of Suarezes that I do not bite people in public and am not a racist.

I would now like to remind you, even though you need no reminding, of some of the very many highlights of my moderately competent career so far.

You will of course recall my quotidian showings for Manchester City, particularly the time when I came on at 88 minutes for Edin Dzeko in a pre-season friendly. A friendly, I should add, not against any old club, but against probably the biggest soccer team in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Galaxy. I then came on for the chinless wonder Samir Nasri in the 67nd minute of a match against none other than Wolverhampton Wanderers. I think you will agree, this shows that above all I am a footballer.

After workaday performances like that it was little wonder that Barcelona came calling, as they were in the market for an average player who can do a number of things reasonably well in the Segunda División. If you don’t speak Spanish this means a league that is even better than La Liga. Unsurprisingly a solid 6/10 player like me is always in demand, and off I went to Sevilla on loan, a move which saw Croatian chancer and second-rate journeyman Ivan Rakitic move to Barcelona as a makeweight for my deal.

My Sevilla debut, known as The Day of the Dawn of Denis Suarez or El Día del Amanecer de Denis Suárez was on 12th August 2014 in the world’s most prestigious competition, the UEFA Super Cup. That season is forever known as the annus mediocris mirabilis because it proved that even garden variety water carriers like me can contribute to winning one of European football’s top titles. It was a victory for the little man.

After my two goal haul that season, it wasn’t long before the scouts of Villareal came a-calling for some of that old Suarez average magic and sure enough I ended up moving to the second greatest team in the Valencia region, until Barcelona could once again not resist my reasonably proficient charms no longer. And then, the happiest day of many Arsenal fans’ lives, or at least the ones who are connoisseurs of occasionally reliable three star midfielders. I signed on loan for about three months.

I enjoyed meeting Mr. Emery again. I asked him what the tactical plan was, and where he saw a fair to middling midfielder like me playing. He said he calls his system ‘El Secadora’, which literally translates to ‘The Tumble Dryer’. I have not heard of this before, but Mr. Emery is often far ahead of current thinking.

“I call it The Tumble Dryer, because currently I am like the man who is desperate for a dry shirt and is late for work. He throws the wet shirts into the tumble dryer in a panic and switches it on. Shirts of all colours are thrown together in the tumble dryer. Just chuck them in there and wack the machine onto the highest heat. So Denis, you will play central midfield, or wide left or wide right, centre half, or right back, or perhaps left back,” he said.

You have to admire a man who values slightly above average players who can play in several different positions over the more romantic and magical players, naming no names. I am looking forward to showing off my run-of-the-mill skills off at Huddersfield on Saturday and then perhaps at the Borisov Arena in Barysaw, Belarus on Thursday. What a time to be alive for an unremarkable midfielder.

I would like to thank Arsenal Gentleman for two things: One for giving up his column inches to me this week and secondly for my Gentleman’s Name, Denis Sudworth, ‘The Middling Midfielder’. Apparently my special move is a 15-yard reasonably accurate pass to a teammate called ‘The Quite Good Pass’.

I look forward to showing off my range of quite good passes to you all and will relish the sound of polite applause as my name is read out on the tannoy.

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