How to be a journalist for a national paper

1.  Get a list of the Arsenal first team.  This can be difficult between the drinking and sleeping, but there is one on the Arsenal web site – if you can find that.

2.  Get a list of top European clubs.   This is harder, but here’s a tip – there are a couple in Milan, one in Madrid, one in Barca.   If you want to look sophisticated throw in a German side from Bavaria.

3.  Put the two lists next to each other.   for this you will need to clear the bottles and glasses off the table.   Wiping the table can help but is not essential.

4.  Move the two lists up and down and then at random read across the lists – so you might have Almunia next to Real Madrid, and you can then write “Arsenal shot stopper to Real???”   It is important only to use language that no one else would ever use – words like “ace” and “linchpin”.

5.  In the article you say that whoever it is, is “set to” move to where ever it is.   “Set to” is a meaningless phrase, but it is important to say it.

6.  Now comes the tough bit – you have to get a list of players from France, plus a handful from the rest of Europe and South America.  It is important that none of them is famous in the UK.   Then you say, “Peruvian wonderkid to sign for Gunners” or if you work for the Sun “We’re Gunner Get You”.

7.  It doesn’t matter that no one has heard of the player – or that the player even exists.   You just write it.

Simple isn’t it?   Even more amazing is the fact that the newspaper might well pay you for all this drivel.