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Knocking the Arsenal: weirdest story ever

This media story is so odd that I have spent half the morning thinking about it, wondering if I am having one of those blank spots, one of those moments where you are sure that grass is pink, and have to be taken outside by the grandchildren to have it proven to you that by and large it is green.

It started at about 7.40pm on Radio 5 on Thursday.  I was driving on country roads (the M40 being packed solid) and on came this fella saying that Arsenal now had real problems because they had lost three of the back four.

I have to admit I nearly did an Ashley Cole (as when he lost control of his head when learning that Arsenal had offered him a miserly £2.6 million a year salary.)  Blimey I thought: Gallas out, then Clichy out, and now either Kolo or Sagna is out.

So I slowed down a trifle and listened hard.  Who was the other man?   But there was no other man.  The back four (which I in my simplistic manner) have always thought to include a left back, and then for balance a right back, and then two central defenders in the mould of Gallas and Toure, seemed now to include, a left back, a central defender, one more (unspecified) and a goalkeeper.

Yup, the three of the back four injured:  Clichy, Gallas, and Almunia.

Oh well I thought, stupid idiot BBC commentator (who was only on because he was doing Manchester Arab in Germany), so I left it and thought no more of it, enjoying instead the beauties of Stowe in the Wold and like minded locations.

But this morning, behold and lo! I open my Guardian and there, on page 6 of the footballing section it says (and I quote verbatim), “Wenger also lost his goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia, and a third member of his back four, Gael Clichy, to injury on Tuesday.” (top of column 2).

So what is it?   Does the back four now mean left back central defender, right back and keeper?   Or is Sagna or Toure injured and no one told me (I check the AFC site and there is no mention).

Or is this another attempt to play Knock the Arsenal.   By announcing three of the back four (with the conventional meaning thereof) as being crocked, Arsenal feel that they have no chance, and thus excuse the central focus on the north west that the BBC and Guardian have?

For one medium to say “three of the back four” could be a stupid bit is misreporting, but for two different media to use exactly the same phrase, can be nothing other than

a) a conspiracy

b) me being a turnip and utterly failing to understand the basic conventions and meanings of the phraseology of the game.

So please, put me out of my misery.  Back four means the last four outfield players playing in a line defending.  Right?   And two of our normal first choices are injured, right?

Or wrong?

(c) Ivor Got-Confused. 2009.

4 comments to Knocking the Arsenal: weirdest story ever

  • pig

    not a turnip anyway

  • Ian b

    Tony, heard the same on Radio 5 and i thought it was me that was going mad. In keeping with the spirit of the BBC if both Sagna and Toure get injured then 5 of the back 4 will be out. What a headline that would be! Keep up the excellent work.

  • king_henry

    hi there Tony,
    why dont you write about the mancs debt story(I know you have in the past)…their debts have RISEN to 700 million inspite of winning the league & european cup.would love to hear your thoughts on that…

  • joshua

    HAS HAD ENOUGH OF D STUPID FUCKING DECISIONS ARESENE WENGER HAS MADE TODAY HE HAS KILLED OF ANY CHANCE OF LIFTING ANY SORT OF SLIVER WEAR DIS SEASON AND THINKS HE SHOULD GO BK 2 FRANCE AT D END OF D SEASON CAUSE HE IS FUCKING UP ARSENAL CAUSE NOT WE ARE LOOKING AT NO SILVER FOR WOT 4 YEARS NOW DAT HAS JUST PISSED ME OFF DAT FRENCH BASTARD NEEDS 2 PISSS OF SOON BEFORE HE DESTRORY’S ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!