Bulldog Drummond wanders through the undergrowth
In the world of advertising, more and more placement of adverts is done by semi-autonomous robotic systems that buy space based on the algorithms that have been programmed in to them.
In the world of writing football match previews more and more of the writing is done by emi-autonomous robotic systems that conjure up sentences out of last week’s prose and then try to convince us that it is all new, and interesting.
Here’s an example – and I kid you not. This is from the build up in the last couple of days…
“Arsenal face going into tomorrow’s Premier League match against Burnley with a deepening injury crisis in defence…”
Which is what they said last week, and the week before, and the week before that.
So we know that Jack Wilshere is likely (no, is “set to” to miss the game. Kieran Gibbs faces a late fitness test in which in deference to the connection between Burnley and the aircraft industry he will be asked to define a Dihedral angle and struggled. It is of course the upward angle from horizontal of the wings or tailplane of a fixed-wing aircraft.
And thus journalists, having cut and pasted last week’s preview and handed it in to their couldn’t-care-less editors, are back in the pub where, scissors and sticky tape in hand and a treble whisky on the side, they paste together their match comments that read like the last set of match comments…
“With Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy already missing, the absence of Gibbs would mean asking Nacho Monreal to move to left-back, bringing teenager Hector Bellerin into the team at right-back and starting with Calum Chambers and Per Mertesacker as the two centre-backs.”
Which is a gnat’s whisker from what they said last week…. And because only the grimmest of news is good news for the press, Our Jack has injured both legs, has twisted his neck, has amputated his arm, has replacement knees, and a severe case of tennis elbow.
Or to consider it from another direction, “There is a slight problem with Wilshere. I don’t think he’ll be available against Burnley,” said Mr Wenger. “He will be out for six months,” burbled the media. “It’s very, very short term,” said Mr Wenger. “He’s not going to get off the sofa for a year,” screamed the media. “He took a kick on his knee. I don’t know if Tuesday will be too early or not. He’s not training at the moment.” said Mr W. “He’s gone, it’s over,” said the emdia.
Yaya Sanogo is available to play, having recovered from the plague. But Theo will have to make do with a spot among the substitutes after Mr W said he is “not completely ready.” So he’ll run up and down more than before in the warm up. If we go three-nil up I think he’ll come on.
“He is eager to play but that is always the period when the patience of a player is tested. They feel ready and they want to play and usually it is only later that they realise they were not completely ready. I know Theo well and he is a very intelligent player. He knows as well that he is not completely there yet.”
Olivier Giroud is apparently already champing at the bit, and if past tales are true, looking for a bit, and will return after the international break which now appears every other week, since Gibraltar and the Outer Hebrides were admitted to Uefa as independent territories, thus clogging up the schedules.
As for the opposition…. King Alfred the Great was a well known gastronome who toured his kingdom teaching Christianity and cookery, until he got to Burnley when he left his baked deserts (known as Lees) in the oven too long and thus gave the town previously known as meadow by the River Brun, its new name.
Indeed Burnley a market town in Lancashire with a population of around 73,500 at the confluence of the aforementioned River Brun with the River Calder and
The town is surrounded by villages such as Worsthorne, Cliviger, Hurstwood, Fence, Higham, Loham, Lower higham, Higher Lowham, Bestholme, and Giggleswick, and has a reputation as a regional centre of excellence for the manufacturing and aerospace industries.
Of Burnley Mr Wenger said,
“Their stats show that they are better than their points. They have been punished in games because they couldn’t take their chances. Sean Dyche has done a great job because nobody expected Burnley to be in the Premier League this year. Overall, I think his style of play is positive. They create chances.
“The consistency of what he has achieved is remarkable. He has taken the maximum potential out of his team and that is a sign of quality for a manager.”
“As for King Alfred he is the only monarch in British history to take the title ‘Great’ which tells you something, but I suspect Untold is wrong in placing him in Burnley, despite the coincidence of the name. I think he will be a little short for the game.”
Re the future Mr W said, “I don’t write ourselves off, other people do it. It is a little bit linked with mathematics but it doesn’t consider against who we have played, the quality of the teams we have played against, the kind of players you had missing in the big games. I think our attitude and dedication has been fantastic. On the efficiency front we can do better. If you look at the chances we have created and the chances we have given away, I think our finishing has not always been at the expected level.”
And what did the press make of this clear and forthright exposition?
“Arsenal are, by Arsène Wenger’s own admission, struggling to find their rhythm. ”
It makes one wish to weep. Here’s the team:
Szczesny, Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal
Ox Sanchez Ramsey Cazorla
The unusual ploy of playing without a goalkeeper and having five at the back is seen to be risky by some, but has been welcomed as a refreshingly new approach by Billy the Dog McGraw. “It’s a refreshingly new approach,” he said.
Arsenal Subs on the beach could be any of these: Martínez, Coquelin, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Podolski, Campbell, Akpom, Gnabry, Gibbs, Sanogo
And so to the stats and stuff…
- Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview
- How Man City’s problems began to arise…. nine years ago
- The media pile into Manchester City, but where have they been all this time?
- Manchester City accused of over 100 breaches of Premier League financial rules
- Every club now knows how to beat Arsenal (according to reports)