Monday, April 22, 2024

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review (of Months)

Having become somewhat frustrated with Arsenal Football Club of late, and being unable to do anything but howl to the moon once a week on this esteemed organ, and with nobody singly at fault for our late season disintegration, I have resolved to write letters of complaint. Not to a person, or the club itself, but as you will see, to the months of the year.

Arsenal, this is what you have driven me to.

Dear March,

I am writing to express my gratitude to you for being such a wonderful month in the world of Arsenal. Ah, March. March my love. March my sweet one, my love. What wonderful bounties you brought us, March.

You began by offering us an away draw at Spurs. Not a terrible result, and if our hapless Number 20 had not allowed himself to be in a position where Mr. Harry Kane could ‘win’ a penalty then we’d be in a better position now, but all things considered, a not disagreeable result.

We went to Rennes, where admittedly we lost, but we scored a precious away goal courtesy of Mr. Webbley; indeed, ‘twas our quickest goal in European football since Luke Ponsonby scored agin Galatasaray in December 2014. And we witnessed one of the signs of order in the universe, a sending off of number 5, Soccer Tits, an event which turned his face from man-who-has–just-seen-you-trying-to-chat-up-his-wife to man-who-has–just-seen-you-trying- to-chat-up-his-wife-and-now-has-another-red-card.

Then, sweet, dear March, you brought us Newton Heath. Roasted. On a platter. With an apple in their mouth and a bag of herbs up their hoop. Apparently Ole was at the wheel. Drunk, apparently, and in need of a refreshing night in the cells. Or perhaps Ole is a gunnar after all? The victory came courtesy of a baffler from Shackleton and a penalty from O’Bannon, which considering his miss against Middlesex had our collective sphincters twitching like a million rabbit’s noses. The loss was so devastating for United that their season seems to have dropped like Ryan Giggs’s sister-in-law’s undercrackers, losing to Wolves twice, Barcelona, Everton and City.

You returned Rennes to us, wonderful March, and we duly sent them back to Brittany thanks to an O’Bannon brace and a Maitland-Niles noggin-bobbler. We dared to dream, O March! How our spirits soared!

Yours, The Gent.

Dear April,

It pains me to say this, dear April, but after a pleasant start, you have really stuck your head down the khazi and flushed. You have Invited Captain Bovril for a sleepover*. You have unicycled into a funeral**. You have Arjen Robbened*** it all up.

There was Everton away, with our two shots on target. You teased us with the wins over Napoli, O April, but those results merely highlighted our utter ineptitude on the home front. April, you are like a conversation in which you are told that you have a very serious illness but at least you don’t have a cold.

You sent us Crystal Palace, April, and this was then we knew that you were bringing down the cosmic ire of the universe onto us. We then went to Wolverhampton, and we knew what was coming.

April, it pains me to say this, but you are the new November. Can you image the Arsenal of years gone by fearing visits to Leicester Fosse, Brighton and Burnley, for heaven’s sake? That is the legacy with which you have left us, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger. May you be banished for eleven months.

Yours angrily, The Gent.

Dear May,

I have to say that the early signs are promising.

Yes, there were signs of Aprillity in the way we conceded to Mouctar Diakhaby’s early goal against Valencia, but then, what’s this? We came from behind? To score three times? Who are these cads? We could have had seven! In a semi-final! Against Valencia Club de Fútbol who are riding high in La Liga. Leicester and Wolves away and Crystal Palace at home? Far more problematic than a European elite side who have thrice beaten us as recently as 1980 (the painful European Cup Winners’ Cup final), then 2000/01, and 2003.

The job is not done, May, and we have the expected demoralising home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion to contend with in the meantime, and then the 4-0 away loss to Burnley on the 12th, but we shall see.

My question, dear May, is it a trick? Are you being coached by April behind the scenes? Are we to crape into the Champions’ League via the tradesman’s entrance in order to be further humiliated next season? It wouldn’t surprise me. April is an untrustworthy slattern.

We hope that you behave yourself.

Sincerely, The Gent.

*Defecated in one’s bed
** Annoyed people in the most vulgar way
*** Made yourself the worst possible personage in the world

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