Stoke is not in Stoke (and the first ever football blog to try a joke in Latin)

Today’s game is in the FA Cup, or Facup as it is known in the Latin tongue which still dominates the region where Stoke play.   As with all nouns in Latin the word “facup” can be conjugated and it is vital to be able to do this properly if wishing to discourse with the locals over a pint of whelks.

The full declension is…

Facupo, facupee, facupis, facupamus, facupartis, facunt

Here is the translation

  • Facupo = The FA Cup is my name (nominative),
  • Facupee = Oh FA Cup! (as in “Oh FA Cup how useful to find you there) (vocative),
  • Facupis = Naughty FA Cup (accusative),
  • Facupamus = My FA Cup (genitive),
  • Facupartis =  Would you like to come upstairs and see my FA Cup? (dative)
  • Facunt = FAcunt (ablative).

The FA Cup is run by a committee, and when one speaks of them it is absolutely vital to use the ablative, so that they know what you are saying.  Otherwise use the accusative after a drink, except for when greeting a member of the opposite sex were obviously the dative is required.

While speaking of Latin, the motto of the Stoke region is  Vis Unita Fortior which roughly mean “Strength United is a More Powerful Way to Kick you in the Head than Simply Pulling your Shirt off you Soft Southern Bastard”.

The FA Cup dates back to 1330 (just after lunch) when the Old Dragooners beat the 4th Royal Digital Electronics Database Regiment, 17-8 at Wandsworth Common in front of a crowd of seven codgers and a dormouse.

By quaint tradition (of which the Kingdom is correctly proud), the families of the codgers and the dormouse are all issued free tickets for Cup Finals even today, which is why there is no room for any regular supporters.

The story of the FA Cup is told in several books but as I didn’t write them I am not going to give them any publicity.  Instead you can read about my book by clicking here.

All about Stoke (a diminutive principality in the Kingdom of Mercia)

Stoke is a linear conurbation, 12 miles long and 3 inches wide, largely given over to spaghetti production.  If driving to the region it is important to approach in a very narrow car.

The origin of the name Stoke comes from the word “stoc” which means “place” in Old English, so if asking directions you need to say, “Where is the place?”  However since the second industry of the region involves catching plaice in the River Trent you could end up being slapped round the face by a haddock.

The first footballer in Mercia was Creoda who seized power in 584 AD, when  Stoke City were playing in the second division.

Twenty years on, by the time of King Penda (inventor of the ball point), the Mercians had developed the push from behind as a fundamental article of war, technology, technical drawing and football.  Indeed it was the push from behind that forced Princess Cwenburga (inventer of botulism in a bun) to marry Edwin, Port Vale’s most prolific goalscorer of the pre-Christian era.

King Penda (a tricky midfielder) scored a penalty in the FA Cup semi final of 653 for Nostradamus Nomads (who were then thrown out of the cup for knowing the result before the kick off and making a fortune out of running a gambling cartel).

Matt Hews is the most famous player ever to be produced by the region.  He lived 2500 years ago and poems and songs are still chanted and sung before all home games to commemorate the event.  The last stanza of the main song is still known as the Matt Hews Final.

The oddly named Aethelbald the Hairy divided the region into six separate principalities.  They are: Stoke (as noted, from the Latin, “Place”), Hanley (“Lesser Place”), Burslem (“Even Lesser Place”), Tunstall (“Extraordinary small place”), Longton (“A place so extraordinarily small that you can’t even find it”) and Fenton (“A place so tiny that no one believes it exists”).

The local population is 1,253, of whom 2,506 are permanently drunk (and thus have double vision).

When visiting Stoke

In order to reduce the number of visiting supporters who make it to the ground the club was renamed “Stoke” in the 19th century when they moved to Trentham where they “play” (I use the word is its loosest sense).   Their ground has recently been repossessed by the local building society, who have renamed it the Short Term Crazy Lending Stadium.

In keeping with the mis-naming of the entire region, the other team in the area Port Vale, are not on the coast (the normal place for ports) nor are they in a grassy depression.

Stoke v Arsenal

Ahead of this game every Arsenal player is injured and so Vik Akers is likely to play in midfield, while Pat Rice will appear at full back.  I received a call half an hour ago, and expect to play centre forward given that I am the same height as Arshavin.


the team may line up like this (with options in parenthesis)


Clichy, Silvestre, Campbell, Eastmond (Coquelin)

Wilshere, Fabregas, Denilson (Eastmond) (Rosicky) (Merida)

Vela, Eduardo, Walcott (Rosicky)

Others: JET (who according to the Arsenal programme still does not have a squad number), Mannone, Traore, Watt.

Billy the Dog’s Prediction: Arsenal win by 3.5 haddocks to an egg on chips.

(c) Sir Tony Attwood, recipient of the Order of the Guatemalan Hedgehog (Second Class) for which I thank all who voted for me.

46 Replies to “Stoke is not in Stoke (and the first ever football blog to try a joke in Latin)”

  1. * Facunt = FAcunt (ablative).

    The FA Cup is run by a committee, and when one speaks of them it is absolutely vital to use the ablative, so that they know what you are saying.

    Brilliant. Just brilliant. So I presume UEFA speaks in the ablative too?

  2. With everyone scoring at Arsenal, i bet Stoke have hired a mathematician to help them identity which arsenal player should be kicked by everyone in todays game.

  3. I had a revelation last night in a dream sent from God. He said if we are in need of a holding player in song’s absence then the obvious choice is almunia.

    He advised that the best form of defensive cover the manager should sign is a latex sheath sold under the brand name durex, or if the manager wants to buy a less expensive but yet effective brand, then “mates” it is. The catch is that you have to use a water soluble pen to sign the defender, or else it could lose its cohesion.

    The cure for dressing room unrest is posture springing mattresses.

    The reason for the substantial number of players in-jury is due to the fact that they are all upstanding citizens and the justice system needs them jury service. Sometimes however when we are told they will be away for 3 weeks but end up being away longer because of necessary overruns.

    Lastly , never strike her under any circumstances as it may get you convicted. Bless our messiah wenger, he doesn’t believe he needs to strike her, he is a good god fearing man , he turns to her other cheek…

  4. Truly a great article like always. Not only making a joke of the opposition but in an intelligent way. Cheers from California, another gooner who loves the Untold Arsenal.

  5. Latest team news, the squad includes all those mentioned in the article plus Kyle Bartley, and Gilles Sunu. Seems that Fran Merida is still injured.

  6. And the teams…

    Coquelin, Campbell, Silvestre, Traoré,
    Eastmond, Denilson, Fábregas,
    Walcott, Emmanuel-Thomas, Vela.

    Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Eduardo, Ramsey, Arshavin, Bartley, Frimpong.

  7. I hate Rory Delap, but I hate that ball boy even more.

    There should be 5 minutes each half added on for that time wasting!

  8. Well Arsène took the gamble and it didn’t pay off. Only playing two regular startes from the beginning is a big risk and when they scored in the first minute it would be very difficult. I knew it would be difficult before the game as we had one of the thoughest draws, but thats life.

    The score is what it is, so we just have to concentrate now on the league end the CL. We don’t have to look at anything else now and have to play the best team always without resting any more players.

    And every coin has two sides and every dark side has a good side en the good side for us is that now Arsenal and Burnley are both out of the cup we can book our tickets to come to the Emirates as we know the game will be played begin March as planned.

  9. Well, we’re out. The Lord Wenger rolled the dice and came up snake eyes, but I’m not too bothered. I do wonder, though, how it is that Rory Delap takes 25-30 seconds per throw-in, 20 of which are spent wiping the ball down, and the ref doesn’t see it as time wasting.

  10. Hey Tony – I see that your fame is now spreading to The Guardian’s Minute-by-minute reports!

    Wondering if now Wenger will suggest that now we’re out of the Cup, it plays to our advantage…

  11. About the towell issue, it is up to the ref to judge this.
    On my field he can do this once, than I warn him to take the throw without using the towell and after that it is a yellow and if he does it again: a second yellow and off. He can throw as far as he wants but he can not waste time like that every time. I think we lost some 10 minutes of play every time Delap took a throw.

  12. So it’s another monthly issue of d&gs’ celebration in all things negative…

    I’m down that we are out but I accept that fact…now it’s another time to pick ourselves up and come back stronger once more…

    Going out of FA Cup is never a disaster…this isn’t am excuse, it’s just how I feel…

    I hate Delap and his throwing antics. 10 minutes should be added on in every game he played in.

  13. I’m a bit worried that Campbell and Silvestre are our cover for W.G and TVR ………..yipes

  14. There’s an element of resignation in comments above which I don’t really share.

    We put out a team of 9 players who had not been playing in the first team and held a mid-table EPL team 1-1 for most of the game. I think that is sensational. By the end we still had 6 players on the pitch who don’t normally get into the first team.

    Give it another year or so and our reserves will be able to beat about 80% of the EPL – which is an astonishing achievement, given that we are not doing what Man City and Chelsea do. Man City have put out a reserve team today and include within it a £30 million player.

    Better still Ramsey is back and there is a suggestion that Nasri is not far off, plus I am hearing that Bendtner might be there for the Villa game.

    And Mark, to my mind it is not quite as simple as that. Song can play central defence and will back soon, and I thought Campbell had a decent game myself. And from next season we have Djourou, and the chance to buy again or promote someone from the kids ranks.

    If we had not had 11 players unavailable then sure, we could have put out a much stronger team from the start and undoubtedly won, but this experience for JET, Coquelin and the rest has been really good for them. Theo has had another bash at his comeback (and I am much happier seeing that in a Cup match than a league game) and the likes of Vela and Eastmond continued their development.

    I’d say this was a success, and I’m personally happy to have this cup and the other cup used as reserve team games to help the constant development of our lads, and a place for the few senior pros we use to back up the squad, to have a game.

  15. One other thing – in addition to the phrases I recently came up with that journalists always use as a shorthand for thinking, the reports on this game also give us “dumped out of” as in “Arsenal were dumped out of the Cup.”

    And if you want to read something extraordinary, have a look at Arsenal Mania. It runs an article that says that Clichy, Denilson, Theo, Almunia and Vela are all fairly useless and none should be in the squad. Indeed the attack on Theo is just about the strongest I have seen on an Arsenal player from an Arsenal web site since I started Untold.

    It really does show that Le Grove is losing its position as the number one for doom and gloom and they will have to sharpen up their act if they wish to retain any prominence at all.

  16. lol, even if arsenal had played another half hour they wudn’t have scored…..excuses apart……one more cup gone…..i think it’s the same unlucky end of january…hw much stake kroenke has in arsenal??

  17. what’s the point tony??????if wenger can’t hold on to players……..who wud want to play at such a low wage, without titles for so many years……u always talk of next year… year…no offence but its the same story every year….i hate lg and other blogs for their negetiveness but ur blog is too positive for comfort ….fact is ppl like on this site are rare entity, who believe sumday is gonna b ars day of glory…but its hard to keep players like fab at 80k when he knows he is worth 200k….for hw long wenger can keep him at arsenal….at the end money matters b’coz a futballer has a short life…..and then sumone else wud step up as going by ur notion….and then 1 year for his development and then 1 year challenging the tilte and when bcome gr8 he will leave….and this vicious cycle will go on… at some point wenger has to remove his salary cap…

  18. i think u r paid by wenger or may b boards, but it’s nice to have a person to calm things around……

  19. Arsenal have now entered 18 competitions without winning won since the dire Man.U. cup final in 2005 (21 if you presume the bookies are right and they win nothing this season and Wenger sticks out their ho-hum youth team in the league cup next year).

    Does there come a time (2008, 2011, 2018 maybe) when casually getting knocked out of tournaments becomes a problem, or have Arsenal just forgotten how to win things?

    Tottenham fans must think it’s Christmas every time Wenger ‘comcentrates’ on the league or that bloated European tournament.

  20. neutal fan, we are not waiting by looking up to the sky for the second coming of silverware, we are actually enjoying the process of developing young player to become star players. If they choose to move at the end, that is the choice they make in their life just like you would. Sir Tony never promised you a siverware next year, he simply chooses to support his beloved Arsenal as he sees it he should. Now, you can choose to do that as most of us here or you can question everyone’s intention when the Arsenal loses a game or “dumped out of a cup”.

    Sir Tony, I actually read this article after the game and thoroughly enjoyed it. You’re funny, you really should try a stand up comedy. Don’t say you have a stage fright. Eastmond and Conklin are real gems, aren’t they? Good to see Ramsey back and Theo on the way back. These guys make a real impact in the run in.

  21. And if defeat hurts us,
    on a rare and seldom day,
    We will not desert you
    Our Gunners in arms.

  22. If even MU can not hold on to Ronaldo why should we worry about players that might leave ?
    CR was in a team that won leagues, CL and other cups and still he left.
    Players leaving is not all with winning things or more money. Like Cesc sais: if I would leave Arsenal without trophies it would feel like a failure and I dont want to fail.

    Sean correct me if I’m wrong but for the moment Chelsea, MU and Arsenal have won nothing yet this season. And if you like to believe the bookies why dont you look at the bets at the beginning of the season by those bookies and where Arsenal was the favourite team to drop out of the top 4.

    Not all teams have an injury list of some 10 players at this moment. And some players like Denilson and Ramsey are just coming back from injury and have to find the rythm back.

    And we couldn’t have the luck of an easy draw against a lower league team.

  23. ืำneutral fan;

    With no disrespect whatsoever, you still have no idea do you?

    It’s great that you hate those stupid sights, I’m glad.

    But it’s so easy to say anything in “hindsight”, it’s a require skill for you and d&gs.

    Another great skill is predicting everything. It doesn’t stop although they’re often wrong.

    Please note that most of us here never predict anything, we simple WISH and BELIEVE and SUPPORT the notion that we will do good.

    But enough with you. Welcome to Untold Arsenal where we love our club and the manager who brought us so much joy very much.

    There’s a comment at arsenal mania which reads “I would take Babel instead of Wallcott in a heartbeat”. That sums up everything I believe about the moaners.

    Theo Wallcott is still a kid plagued by injuries. The poor guy is under so much pressure it’s unfair for a kid his age.

    Diaby shut everyone up didn’t he? He was the previous target, Denilson will always be and now it’s Theo Wallcott. After this lost Vela too now became another no good player.

    I stop caring about what those morons think but I still have rights to say and protect my club and the players.

    And the fact that we’re actually topping the table with about 10 players out does not get mentioned anywhere else whatsoever.

    …………bring on the next 4 games then please……….

  24. And people also overlooked the fact that Sol Campbell did very well for us today.

    The moaners also bash Wenger for playing Cesc……

    Hypocrisy runs deep in d&gs camp. They bash Wenger for playing the ‘kids’, blaming him for not trying and DELIBERATELY lose the cup tie. While at the same time they also bash Wenger for playing Cesc saying he’s our best player why not rest him. And in bringing the 3 senior players into the game it’s stupid because Wenger did not try to win from the first whistle.

    Does anyone see what’s wrong with that mentality and their whole mentality as a group?

    I’ve met better tiny totts and manu fans than those morons who say they love my club. Haven’t met a better chelski fan though 🙂

  25. Jay Emmanual Thomas looked way out of his depth, Walcott was woeful, Vela is never even going to tie Robbie Fowlers showlaces let alone emulate his goal scoring exploits and Fabianski just looks a bit shell shocked all the time. Our first team is great but some of the squad players are overhyped in my most humble opinion.

  26. Thanks for the reply Tony.

    Yes Song can play central defence, and Campbell is good, agreed.
    Actually Silvestre is a decent player.

    Last season we were derailed at the critical point by injuries in central defence, and Man U and Chelsea went for the jugular.

    My one real fear with Arsene’s squad is central defence.

    Campbell is good of course, but time will tell if he’s sharp enough for the really tough matches.
    Silvestre is good, although I really don’t like the fact he’s ex-Man U. Again, I am inclined to think he’s not quite at the level of WG and TVR, and could be exposed at the highest level.

    And that’s our cover.

    Song is not a defender because he belongs as DM, and we have no-one of his calibre to replace him there yet.

    Eastmond could be the find of the season – maybe even a World Cup player – but I still prefer AS as DM. Period.

    And if either Silvestre or Campbell get crocked, as can happen with older plyers, then we are down to bare bones.

    Its not been easy for AW losing Djourou, and I hope he brings in a defender before January closes.

    That’s my view.

  27. BTW Eboue will be back against sunsday or maybe against wednesday as Ivory Coast has gone out of the ANC. Unfortunately this means Drogba and Kalou also will be back.

  28. Mark, as you mentioned it is possible that Sol or Silvestre may get injured, but this game should give them a needed match fitness just in case WG or TV gets injured. The real question is how Sol & TV or Sol & WG fare if in fact they paired together. Even if is possible, it’s unlikely to have both WG & TV out injured at the same time. There are 4 CDs and Song as a backup. I believe that should be enough.

    Walter, that was some dodgy defending from Ivory Coast. 89th min they were leading 2-1 and 2 min later they were outnumbered in their own box and allowed Algeria to tie. That’s ridiculous. They should have closed out that game. Drogba went missing as usual, he even managed to swing and miss a clear scoring chance. He reminds me of Ibrahimovich. They hide behind their flag when playing for their country.

  29. Yes very bad defending twice. Glad Wenger dumped Kolo Toure. Two goals on crosses and no Ivory Coast defender near…

  30. …but your blog is too positive for comfort…
    …arsenal have now entered 18competitions without winning (a thing)since…2005. surely, Untold Arsenal is catching its share of d&g commentators, even if they agree they can do need to be cheered up sometimes.

    Bur alas, they can get no joy until they reach the conclusion by themselves that there has to be MORE to being a fan of ANY club without expecting that the club MUST win something every 1,2 or 3years (take your choice – since the conclusion gathering pace out there is 4 or more years is too long).

    1. No club can guarantee that at any time or phase of its life.
    2. No club strategy can guarantee that in any given year.
    3. Only a few clubs have been able to do so and for a few years relative to the long history of the clubs – (Liverpool many years ago, ManU, Arsenal (until recently)and Chelsea); yet, the stadia of Stoke City, Leeds, Burnley, West Ham and Portsmouth are brimming with fans every marchday. Why do their fans come? Because they fancy their clubs’ chances of winning the cup in the year?

    Untold Arsenal and its fellow travellers want a cup as badly as you guys but in addition, see the bigger work being done to guaranree the longterm survival and competitiveness of the club and accept that when 11 of the club’s top players are out injured, it must impact negatively on the chances of the club in one competition or the other.

    So, we choose not to lose our cool or hair. We choose to keep our joy and trust in Arsene Wenger…It is a choice we have made consciously and calculatedly but which, apart from laying out the basis for the choice posting after posting, we cannot make for anybody else…

  31. If somebody like Gallas or Vermaelen had gotten injured yesterday, what do you think the headlines would’ve been?

    It’s so easy to criticize, and to point out what “should have” or “could have” been done.

    Everybody says they know better than the manager, but the types negative comments I’m seeing in the press (and to a degree here), which are well after the fact, are chicken shit.

    Injuries and a hellish fixture schedule put Arsene in a bad position, and he made his decisions. Sure, he might have played certain players that “might not have been up” for the shitty, huck-and-chuck anti-football that Stoke plays. That’s fine. It happens, and he and the players will learn from it.

    It’s NOT the end of the world. We will recover. We believe in Arsenal, and we believe in Arsene Wenger.

    (I’m angry–don’t get me wrong–but I’m much angrier at Rory Delap and those stupid towel boys. It’s called football for a reason!)

  32. @Diceman — I apologize. Should’ve read your posts before, since I basically said the same thing. Just wanted to vent a bit, I guess.

  33. Tony,

    Agreed. This was an experience for 9 young lads. Wenger did not gamble with these boys he was not risking the season ahead. We have the season at risk the next 2.5 weeks. I always choose to look at the positives unless there are none. And, when there are none then bury my head and the last thing I want to do is here from as we say in America for some “Benedict Arnolds….Laugh no offense intended. Neutral Fan you need to change your name or find some ##@#’s. Maybe you can say neutered fan…And Sean what’s the point of saying the obvious about trophies and none since 05? Is that your measure of a team you like? Maybe you should make those points at the end of the season not the day after we held 1st position all week. What do you say for a team and organization about Stoke? About Wigan? Sunderland? You are such a short sited fan…

  34. Hey people may say that this site is overly positive. But is it not better to be positive than to be negative especially when you are a fan or a supporter.

    We might not win trophies but we surely win hearts. People who are actually neutral love to see this club play just like the brazilian team of the 70s and barcelona. Even when we have 9 new players we go out and play and dont hide like Chelsea with fear. We are happy to use our resources and not borrow someone if we have an injury.(Is it not why a reserve team is being made).

    We are happy to be entertained in the truest sense of football and this pride is more important than winning trophies.

  35. After defeat I really feel bad but what the hell, does it change the result? No, so after a few hours I start looking for positive things and so one could say I always see the glass half full but what is wrong with that?

    Live is too short to feel miserable too long. The good news is most of our players will be fit for the Villa game and our defence had a good rest. Bendtner could be back, he should be. No extra injuries. Rosicky had a good rest. Eduardo didn’t get kicked to peaces, Arshavin has had a bit of time to recover. Ramsey is back.

    We will be fielding a completly new team on wednesday. It will be like 9 or 10 new signings. 😉

  36. Walter, I like your style.

    We lost due to a towel and a few bad bounces. Not because our team wasn’t good enough. It’s tough to play FOOTball when the ball is always out of play, up for grabs, or in the hands of Rory Delap.

    I’m a bit worried for young Theo, who seems to have lost all his confidence. I can never understand fans who make personal criticisms at our players. It’s not like that’s going to make them play any better. We need to get behind Theo!

  37. @diceman
    are u retard??????u support arsenal b’coz in your opinion it’s a factory producing world class players??? let me ask u one thing….will u work for a company which pays u 1/2 of ur worth???knowing u can achieve lot more with other company at a higher wage….will u be motivated enough to work hard if u don’t get paid according to ur extra hardwork that u put in???and if u don’t get recognition either, at such lower wage, why wud u work at the same place?????u guys don’t want to buy any 20-30 mill signing, nor do u want to keep players by shelling out sum money, then what exactly do u want???presumably ur stadium….

    u will again point out u don’t have money, under debt, with injuries, fcuking towel boy(hilarious),blah blah…

    only losers have excuses…….trophies….

    and lastly ur team will never grow b’coz wenger…sorry…debt won’t allow it…

    for tony

    what’s ur debt condition?? hw much is left???

  38. Any one who doesn’t understand the simple fact that a fan speaks in terms as “my”, “our”, “us” or “we” as they speak of their club has no clue.

  39. “It really does show that Le Grove is losing its position as the number one for doom and gloom and they will have to sharpen up their act if they wish to retain any prominence at all.”

    Priceless !!!!

  40. To whom it may concern:

    Of course I own the club! That’s why I have free rights to talk shit and moan about “my” team, its manager, the players, and its policy. I also get to call other fans of the team retards and morons when they disagree with my opinion woohoo!!!!…oh wait that’s you neutrual fan…

    Taking a shot at me saying the word “my” team is clearly very smart, a very good attack….and did I say smart?

    And you know, there are other things in life other than “money”. Many footballers nowadays put cash as their number 1 list but there are many others who choose “loyalty” or “passion” when deciding what to do.

    You think players like Henry (the years at Arsenal) and Totti stayed because the clubs paid them more than the others were willing to?

    Cesc is smart and he understands the club and its policy. He’s not some greedy bastard who will move because the Spanish teams will pay him more cash.

    He might move some day but not winning and not getting enough money will not be the deciding factor…maybe you came to this blog too late cause I wrote a piece on Cesc, about how he’s not a coward who will leave because the side he captained for one or two seasons does not win a trophy.

    Try having a respectful debate of different opinions for once, it’s refreshing.

    The things you often say here only prove how we think of the people at the other end of the meaning of “support”.

    Cause 20-30 mil won’t guarantee a title but it’ll sure guarantee happiness for one sector of fans….and Cesc will leave because he’s just like cole, flamini, sliding Arsenal shirt wearing stroller,and many others who quit and enjoy more success than being at Arsenal right?

  41. and when did anyone here ever said we are under debt?

    We all know we are the best in terms of finance.

    Only those who do not pay attention or have no idea would miss all the things Tony and others brought up financially speaking….

  42. to rephrase one of the sentence above before another shot is aimed at me…

    ….everyone here knows that we are basically the only club who pay off its debt within its means…meaning we are basically the only club who make is not running a loss every year with more debt added…

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