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July 2021

Dennis Bergkamp gives the team news and form for West Brom away

By Billy the Dog McGraw

I met with my fellow allotment lover Dennis Bergkamp as the sun rose over the Hackney Swamplands to discuss Arsenal’s injury crisis.

As we know Tottenham’s injury to Bale is very minor; he will travel forwards in time for a replacement to whatever parts are considered too fragile, and then be back in the present ready to resume duties before you know he didn’t leave.  But for us… well because Mr Wenger won’t buy a temporal machine we have to suffer.

Dennis confirmed the status quoJack and Theo are doing the outside running, but their inclusion for the Norwich game is not a forgone conclusion.  Rather there is an “outside chance” of either or both being ready.  Monreal however is up and ready to rock n roll.   Which means only Ryo and Diaby are out for eternity.

Dennis drew out a sheet of paper and showed me once again the team from the Reading game.


Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal,

Rosicky, Arteta, Ramsey,

Cazorla, Giroud, Gervinho,

“How many of those might change?” I asked.

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Another sheet of paper (he’s good our Dennis) and we had a back up team:


Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Gibbs,


Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski

Which is not a complete team, but not too bad, so there is a fair amount of room for change if Mr W. fancies it.   We both had a carrot and considered form.  Dennis pronounced:

“West Brom have got three wins, two defeats and a draw in their last six games.  Arsenal are slightly better off with four wins, and two defeats (Tottenham away and Bayern at home).

“But more importantly, Arsenal have now won five of their past six league games.  West Bromwich used to have good form, and were in the top four for a while but have trailed off a bit.”

“So the form is with us,” I said, and we both sniggered for a moment and drank some dandelion beer while perusing the blogs which purport to know things (as opposed to Untold which purports nothing but can eat with chopsticks).

Funniest gibberish we could find thus far was, to wit…

“Meanhile, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be sweating on the fitness of Theo Walcott (groin), who missed the Reading match, and to a lesser extent Jack Wilshere (ankle), who is likely to be closer to a return the week after.”

That is Soccerway.

“Was Mr Wenger sweating?” I asked and Dennis giggled uncontrollably for so long that I had to call the paramedics.  Unfortunately I hit the wrong button on my phone and got the paramilitary by mistake, but after only minor injuries we sorted it out, and oh how we laughed.

“Why is it called a ‘League Table’ in English?” asked Dennis.

No one knew and we pondered …


Premier League chair

Games Goal Dif Pints
1 Manchester United 30 +39 77
2 Manchester City 30 +29 62
3 Tottenham Hotspur 31 +15 57
4 Chelsea 30 +27 55
5 Arsenal 30 +26 53
6 Everton 30 +12 51
7 Liverpool 31 +19 48
8 West Bromwich … 31 +0 44

“Anyone here know about West Bromwich?” I asked the mob.   The Reverend Algerian Fitzgibbon-Beater put down his AK45 and said,

“Arsenal’s best bonus is that the Albion play better with Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu in the midfield.  But Mulumbu got sent off for hijacking a bus last week while picking up the ball and kicking it directly at that awfully nice Gary O’Neill, so Chris Brunt will play there.

“Van Morrison is no longer playing the pop circuit and he likes to move around a bit, but he has been injured so may not make it.

“Up front Shane Long could play with Romelu Lukaku.”   Childish giggling broke up but the gathering was brought under control in the way that happens when you have half a dozen sub-machine guns pointing at you.

“They done-great,” he added in the style of a football league manager.  “Roy Hodgson was good, and he left a solid foundation, and Steve Clarke hasn’t messed things around too much – generally by playing an extra man in midfield.”

I was shocked.  “A twelve man team?” I gasped, and everyone laughed at me.

When the bloodshed had been cleared away the Revered Algerian summarised.  “This could be the best ever season for the Alb’s,” he said, “and remember it is based on home form, not away, so this could be a tough one.

“On the other hand four of Arsenal’s six league away wins during this campaign have come in their last seven trips away from the Emirates, and no one scores like Arsenal in the last fifteen minutes.  But countering that the Chelsea boy Lukaku has scored five in his last six games at the Brambles.”

“Hawthorns,” I corrected, and there was more gunfire.

“We don’t lose Premier League games when we take the lead,” said Dennis, arising from his slumbers.  Only I could answer that:

“Arteta has scored three in the last three league games against West Brom,” I countered.

“A dog is a man’s best friend,” said Algerian.

One of the provisionals picked up a ukulele and gave us a splendid rendition of “Do not forsake me oh my darling” and we all cheered, admiring the League Chair.

“I am fed up with the League Chair.  Couldn’t we have a League Wardrobe?” asked one of the Provos and there was gunfire.

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11 comments to Dennis Bergkamp gives the team news and form for West Brom away

  • Mick

    This is absolute nonsense (I think) but I love it.

  • Manamongst

    As long as Podolski stays away from the line-up; and more importantly the wing, we should be alright. Would have said it’s time to give Arteta a rest, but he actually showed me something last week. Hey you can pass it and replace yourself up the pitch instead of watching…cause you know, it ddoes actually help Santi and Tomas R do their jobs more effectively. And Ramsey actually is learning how to play without being the guy that is trampling all over everyone else’s space. Because personally I like his improvement this year, and the running around like a chicken with his head cut-off act was wearing thin on me.

    I sure hope that Gibbs has hedged his bets and has been training at wing the past few weeks…

  • WalterBroeckx


    Talking about gunfire and other violent things.

    The father of Romelo Lukaku who himself was a professional football player is staying since last weekend in “Hotel Den Houten Paplepel” as it is called in Antwerp. You get the Hotel part I think. And “Den Houten Paplepel” is an old expression meaning jail.

    His father beat up is former girlfriend a while ago and then threw her in the trunk of his car and drove away with her and took away her freedom for a while. He now got a maximum sentence of 15 months for this and despite the fact that usually sentences below 3 years are not really executed (I know, I know, I know, I know…. amazing) the judge ordered he be arrested immediately because he tried to minimize the facts.

    And as in the court houses there is extra attention for cases of domestic violence since a while they put him behind bars.

    I wonder if this might have any affect on Lukaku in the next days/weeks/months.

    Anyone wants father Lukaku as Arsenal manager by the way? 😉

  • SJ

    Very enjoyable, good change of pace, more Mighty Boosh flavoured posts in future please! I use a blog aggregator to find articles – Maybe you could give these posts a special kind of title “Stories from the allotment” or something like that, so I don’t miss the next one 🙂

  • Ali

    why dont arsenal play with 4-4-2 formation???

    sagna ,mertesacker, koscielny, monreal,

    gervinho, arteta, ramsey, cazorla

    giroud, podolski

  • 49Unbeaten


  • Matt Clarke


    Those mushrooms that grow beneath the shed – stop eating them.
    Actually, no, don’t.

    As to why we have a league table – it’s so the oranges don’t fall on the pitch.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Steve bould doing the pre match press conference, and saying people at the club now realised the importance of clean sheets…….what would Stewart Robson say! He will probably put our improved form down to him……

  • Mickey Finn

    Very good stuff. I concur with SJ’s point at 9:30.Keep eating the shrooms. Cover the League Furniture in Cleans Sheets. Roll on the Cabbage Patch kid. Pure mangold.

  • Howard Webb is unpredictable we need to score another one very soon or he can easily web us,the sooner the better.Ramsey is still in Easter dreams hopefully we wont be regretting his miss. I like Denis the menace Gervinho almost did his thing but Webb was no interested as he was fouled.

  • That’s what i was talking about.