By Bulldog Drummond
Taking his lead from the invidious aaa and their allies within mediaeval journalism (I rather like that phrase) the Rather Large Sam speaks. Arsenal are weak and so can be exploited. West Ham, quoth he, are going for Europe – and indeed Europe quakes.
A goodly length in times past Europe quaked for we all remember. September 2006. The Daily Mail, tribune of the fanatical far right “no foreigners shall pass”, was not at its succinctest with “West Ham mafia jibe t-shirts spark Sicilian riot” and verily this was not the sharpest tabloid headline, but it made the point.
“I’ve had harder walnuts” was the headline on one of the Inter City Firm’s websites.
So Europe quakes at the impending arrival of the eastern gathering descending on Europe, and Arsenal must do their duty to try to restrain a repeat.
Of course I jest; the number of West Ham supporters involved in the fracas with our Italian chums was small, and only a tiny minority would ever be silly enough to wear such unfashionable outfits, but although the fighting wasn’t amusing, the concept was one to make one chuckle.
Alex Song will probably be back – the man who went from being not fit to wear the shirt at Arsenal having been bought for £1,1000,000 from Bastia, and then being sold to Barcelona for £22,000,000 before being loaned back by Barcelona to WHU. Recent rumours on TransferMarket have him going back to us, or to Man U, or to Tottenham, or to PSG, or to WHU on a permanent deal.
Mr Wenger sayeth unto the scribblers of the mediaeval whatnot, “I brought Alex Song here at the age of 17 and kept him despite all the opinions that were against him. You don’t need to convince me that he’s a good player — he was a very good player when he was here. But you can always improve as long as you play and he didn’t play a lot in Spain.”
Which I think means, “he was good when he went, but Barce screwed him up like they always do, and now he’s playing in the east again, so he’s improved a bit.”
Fat Sam spake thus: “We have to bounce back from the Chelsea loss and I am relying on the home form that we have shown over the last seven games to be there in abundance. The last seven home games have been six wins and one draw, so it shows the type of form we are in at Upton Park. We have turned it into a real fortress again and I hope that is going to be the case against Arsenal. You have to get at them.”
Portly Samuel is the sort of manager who could be lined up to run Arsenal if the aaa were ever to force Mr Wenger out (his – the Greater S – contract with WHU runs out at the end of this season), although the lure of a state financed stadium in 2016 might keep Enlarged Sammy-boy where he is.
Showing his honesty, Mr Allerdyce does admit that the donation of state money to West Ham has helped them a lot. “The fact we don’t have to pay £450m for our new stadium is the best bit of business ever done in football by a set of owners. I don’t think there is any bit of business that has ever been as good as what David Gold and David Sullivan have done acquiring the Olympic Stadium.”
And I think in terms of WHU we’d probably all agree. As British tax payers most of us are crying at the flagrant breach of EU directives on state funding, and can only hope that when then Uefa case over the Real Mad land deal is finished, they will turn their attention to the state funding of West Ham’s ground, but this is Uefa… so who knows.
Actually The Large One did say some nice things about Mr Wenger, as in, “Wenger [Mr Wenger to you Sammy,] has been manager, accounting and financial director, there’s no doubt about that. The man set out a fantastic team before they decided to move and then built a couple of brilliant young teams despite the fact the same amount of finance didn’t appear to be available to him.
“Now he has almost got the Emirates paid off, hasn’t he? That’s his achievement and it is a massive factor considering it was a huge investment for them. But I don’t think he lives on that. I think Wenger [I’ve told you All Dyce its Mr Wenger] believes he can win every trophy he plays in, he can win the league with the team he has got.”
We’ve won six of the last seven at the Boleyn Ground, (named I believe after the Marquess of Pembroke) and have lost one of our last eight matches. The fact that this led to the abuse against Mr Wenger, and it was this that was largely reported, rather than our results, gives a measure of just how strong mediaeval tendencies in the printing presses are these days.
For this visit to the far east we shall with its memories of a bygone era, and one should speak in the right way, as in “Where is the privvy?” To journalists one says, “Make thy leave, sirrah”.
By my troth we shall be without Giroud but we might have Laurent Koscielny again which would be good. But the chances are slim, and even slimmer for Oxlade Chamberlain.
Yet I fancy the secret weapon of the Arsenal will be unveiled. And lo! verily! he is called Theo.
As for the rest, it is the same old same old same old: Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Mikel Arteta (calf), Mesut Özil (knee), Abou Diaby (calf), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Serge Gnabry (knee).
And that really tells the story. WHU have James Tomkins injured. And that’s about it. Six good men out for sure, two seriously doubtful and one ready-ish to return after a year out.
Yet despite the assaults upon us, we have scored at least three times in each of the last five against the easterners. And West Ham have not beaten us since 2006/7. But the knaves from the eastern quarter have won six of their last seven league home games, and have only let in three goals. Indeed the tricky fellas have not been beaten in the far east since August, when the weather was hot.
But these days we usually score (except against Chelsea) although we have a bit of a habit of letting in away goals before half time – if you just look at the last two games.
So it is interestingly instead of praising and enjoying the work of Alexis Sanchez the mediaeval media is now focussed on “where would Arsenal be without him?” which is a pretty simplistic way of seeing the world.
Only Ian Wright scored his first 10 top league goals in a shorter time than Alexis. He took 14 games, Alexis 17. So I expect tomorrow’s papers to start reprinting the league tables of the Graham era with all the Wright goals taken out – thus leaving us without any of those trophies. That makes the same sort of sense.
Thus we proceed verily…
Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs;
Walcott, Welbeck, Sanchez
Forsooth say I. Fare thee well.
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