Saturday, June 15, 2024

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

I am now barely able to move. It is all I can do to dictate these words to the butler and his typewriter from my reclined position in my bath-chair. The buttons have all popped on my waistcoat. I cannot bear to even wipe away the jazz salt residue from my face. I am midway through the traditional ten day Gentleman’s Yuletide Binge.

If there was one thing our Lord Jesus would have wanted it is a festival during which ales are reduced to the status of soft drinks and fine chocolates can be taken before breakfast. Delicacies at the dining table chez Gent this festive season have included several Nebuchadnezzars of champagne, fourteen pints of single malt and a cocktail invented by my butler called The Spurs in a Final, which is an extremely bitter and expensive concoction that promises a great deal, comes in a ruinously costly plastic beaker and delivers absolutely nothing.

The centrepiece of lunch on Christmas Day was a magnificent boiled calves head. Cook began the extensive preparation process in our kitchens some two weeks ago with the scraping off of the calf’s hair, the removal of the eyes and brain, and the cutting off of the ears. The head was then boiled in salted water and the brains sauteed separately, and the whole dish proudly presented on a platter, neatly surrounding the detached tongue of the calf. By general consensus of the great and the good of London who were assembled around the table, this dish has now been renamed The Arsenal Fan Under Emery, in honour of the very similar process that one had to endure every matchday under our well-meaning overlord Mr. Dick.

But no more. There is a new Lieutenant General in town, and his name is Michael O’Malley Arkwright and he has come to Arsenal to do just two things: Smoke Capstans and kick batty, and he’s just stubbed out his last cigarette on Mustafi’s tongue.

So what do we know about our new leader? We know that he has been as bald as a billiard ball since the age of twelve. We know that as a player he had an array of medium and long range ordnance. We know that he has an obsession with the minutiae of the game, and judging by Manchester City’s recent dip in form he had no small part to play in their successes of recent years. We know that he was born in Yorkshire to Rodney, a coal miner, and Yvonne, a school dinner lady.

His early upbringing was predictably deprived. He survived for months at a time on Yorkshire puddings and handfuls of gravel. He had no shoes until he earned a little bunce by securing himself a Saturday job digging graves. He was such a hard worker that he did this for three years before he realised he needed a spade. He was spotted as a nine-year-old by a scout for Leeds United and spent several years in their academy before being loaned out to Macclesfield Town.

From there he went north of the border to Her Majesty’s Rangers of Glasgow, then briefly on loan to Hamilton Academical, before joining the blue scousers. Arkwright moved to Woolwich in 2011, and with us he won two FA Cups. He served as our captain for the last two years of his career. Whilst at Arsenal he often took training sessions and was being groomed as successor to the much more hirsute Joseph Guardian. This much we know.

But is he the golden child? To hazard our best guess we consult Britain’s very own Nostradamus and blow the dust off our first edition (1658) of Mr. John Lydon and the Swire Pistoles soothsaying work Sirrah, I Beg Thee Concern Ye Not Withe Yon Tallywags.

Is Mr. Arkwright the chosen one, the mysterious figure foretold specifically in the tale A Worke Concerning Anarchie in Her Majesty’s Dominions?

Let us parse the text:

Is he the anti-Christ?

Perhaps, if you are a lazy defender.

Is he an anarchist?

No, he favours strictly controlled tactics for defence, attack and transition.

Does he know what he wants?


Does he know how to get it?

That much is not clear as yet, considering the saloon bar full of inepts, joggers and no-marks he currently has at his disposal.

Does he want to destroy the passerby?

Yes. There is no room for those players currently not pulling their weight in this team.

Does he want to be anarchy?

No, please see above.

Is anarchy coming sometime and will he maybe give a wrong time, or stop a traffic line?

No. He is a stickler for correct timing and the fluid movement of the ball.

Has his future dream sure been seen through?


Does he use the best and indeed use the rest?

He has no choice until we strengthen over the next four transfer windows.

Does he use the NME?

No, he uses a complex system of statistical analysis.

Is this the MPLA?

No, he has never been a member of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola.

So there we have it. He may well be an exciting choice for the Head Coach’s position but he is not, as yet, the chosen one. Nevertheless we hope that in the American sense of the word, he does indeed get pissed and destroy.

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