Warning: contains occasional insanity, multiple insults, ephemeral nursery rhymes and mild fantasy.
So, here I am on Wednesday morn, with three thoughts in my head – which is an improvement of the one that normally resides there.
Thought one: will the game go ahead? If it does the 27.5 Notlob supporters who normally travel out of the badlands and into civilisation will not make is as the B78372 is reported closed, following an earthquake.
Thought two: if it does will I be able to get there? Looking at the snow outside my place in the midlands, it seems unlikely
Thought three: will I be able to get back home if I do get there? Who knows!
But let us be optimistic, let us assume the best, let us not be part of the D and G (drunk and geriatric) brigade.
So here we go with the Arsenal team
Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelan, Toure
Denilson, Diaby Ramsey (with Nasri as an option if Rosicky plays up front)
Arshavin, Eduardo, Nasri (with Rosicky and Vela as an option)
It is extraordinary that in a situation in which everyone is injured or in Africa we still can ponder over the options. Craig Eastmond could be on the bench alongside our usual suspects, plus Cruise, Barazite, Watt, Coquelin, JET and Jack.
On the injury front I am told by those who know even less than me (which is very few) that Clichy, Walcott, Bendtner, and Fabregas are not too far away. Give it a week or two.
As for the Trot Trot Trotters of Notlob Srerednaw, they are quite rightly famous for being the retrograde team that single handedly invented rotational fouling and rotational time wasting – ploys that still baffle all referees, and which allow the team to secure 0-0 draws the length and breadth of the country.
But enough of this contemporary stuff. Let us consider happier times in days gone by.
They reached the high point in their history in 1987 when they ascended to their spiritual home of the 4th division. What bliss.
In 2005–06 Europe went into total shock as citizens across the Union and beyond watched astounded as the club took their rotational tactics hither and yon. There were mass calls for their expulsion and they were finally knocked out in the last 32 of the Twirley Whirley Cup.
Notlob qualified for the same charade in 2007–08 tournament by finishing 27th in the EPL and this time a repeat of the tactics got them to the last 16.
Notlob play in the Kobeer Stadium which is outside the town, carefully situated around an industrial wasteland made up mostly of carparks (at least that how it looked to me). Their previous stadium is now a firelighter.
But do not be misled into thinking that Notlob have won no records. They hold the record for the most seasons in the first division without winning a sausage: 71 years. Not bad eh?
This season the Notlob fans have added a rare element of humour to their game calling for the resignation of the manager on the grounds that his tactics were too negative. Oh what fun they have in these northern climes.
Here’s their team
J Horner, J Spratt, W W Winky, I W Spider
H Dumpty, Duke of York, H D Dock, McDonald the Elder
M Goose, Q of Hearts
There is a chance that Jussi Jussi Jaaskelainen, raconteur, bass guitarist, parliamentarian and wit, will perhaps play in goal having been rested at the weekend in favour of Ali Al Habsi.
Chris Evans, radio disc jockey, geologist, oceanographer, novelist, and chef, will be in charge. Kevin Davies and Ivan Opportunity are alternative possibles as forwards.
The biggest problem we face is that the scrappage scheme has been extended and this club might be taken away before we can play the game, but assuming it (the game) goes ahead, then I think we should win 6-1, with five own goals and a shot from inside his own half by Denilson.
Owen Coyle has gone for a sanity test.
If you ever find any of these ramblings even fractionally amusing you should read MAKING THE ARSENAL which is funnier. www.emiratesstadium.info usually gives the low down.
And don’t forget the review of 100 years ago, when there was no snow, and everyone was miserable. www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk
I forgot to add in my original of this (updating it now an hour after the original post – Toure at full back was the mild fantasy).
(c) Tony Attwood 2010, under six fathoms of snow.
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