Arsenal and The Quest for the Holy Grail
In my opinion, Arsenal have not been awarded a penalty in 2016 (last time Dec 13, 2015) due to a comedy of errors by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) men in the middle.
Instead of just listing the multiple missed penalty opportunities and getting the expected standard defense responses (don’t complain about missed calls, it all evens out, don’t be so serious, etc.), what better way to highlight this comedic absurdity than in the manner of one of the greatest comedies of all time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
*Spoiler Alert: Some references will be made to Monty Python and the Holy Grail so if you have not yet seen the film but plan on doing so, I advise against reading further.
[I don’t think a spoiler alert is needed here – EVERYONE has seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Tony]
Arsenal F.C. have gone on a journey in search of the Holy Grail, no not some silly golden chalice, but the ultimate football golden opportunity commonly known as a penalty kick!
The Holy Grail is protected by the PGMOL army and their king, err, general manager, Mike Riley, who decide which football clubs are allowed to be graced by its presence. PGMOL and Mike Riley star in dual conflicting roles as protector of the Holy Grail, as well as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Protests are expected for their dual role requests, but they will claim a mysterious lady of the lake gave them Excalibur signifying their divine providence to make up the rules (sorry meant enforce the rules).
If told they are being irrational and that Excalibur is actually a plain metal sports whistle, they will just keep saying to shut up, so since there is no point in having a rational conversation with the irrational it was decided best to move on with the story.
The Holy Grail appeared twice for Arsenal in the league this season, with the last sighting occurring on the glorious day of December 13, 2015 at the land occupied by Aston Villa F.C. Since that fortuitous day, Arsenal have searched throughout the land yearning for another chance.
But make no mistake, the Holy Grail has not been hidden in some cave for almost 4 months, in fact it has made 36 appearances throughout the land.
(*Since then, 5 times for Leicester City, 4x for Tottenham and Everton each, 3X each for Manchester City, Chelsea, and Stoke, that’s right 22/36 or 61% of all the pks since split between 6 teams – up to but not including last weekend).
While pointing out these facts, the general manager interrupts stating as King Arthur, he is now going to knight the members of his Round Table. While trying to explain again that Excalibur is a whistle, not a sword, and that there is no round table, he proclaims he is going to select and honor his most inefficient, err, trustworthy loyal lieutenants, placing on their chests a badge in the shape of a shield.
…Now, Arsenal’s quest for the Holy Grail led them to lands far and wide:
- On 28th Dec 2015, at the battle against the Mouth of Bourne at the Emirates, Arsenal were denied by dark winds from the East, when Simon Francis the Grabby was able to grab a hold of Giroud the Gorgeous.
- Undaunted by the dark winds, Arsenal also traveled to a field occupied by Pools of Liver (or maybe it was Liverpool!?) on 13th Jan 2016, but were once again denied by Sir Not Keeping up With The Jones(es), when Campbell the Elusive was held by Moreno the Miserable.
- On 17th Jan 2016 at the Brittania in a battle against the Orcs of Stoke, the Holy Grail was again able to escape twice, when Sir Pawson of Selective Vision and Hearing did not see the Wolls of Cheating Cheid grab and throw down Giroud the Gorgeous or later trip the ankle of Theo who is Faster than Neo.
- At the Emirates Stadium on 2nd Feb 2016, against the Saints from the Deep South, Arsenal’s requests for the Holy Grail were denied not once but 4 times by a meddling Mason, when (1) Campbell the Elusive was held against his will by a Tudic Thud, (2 &3) when Giroud the Gorgeous twice could not escape the clutches of Fonte (min 67, min 69), or (4) when a Bertrand ran into Kos the Boss.
- On the day of love (14 Feb 2016), at the Emirates against the almighty Leicester City who are Powered by Kings (or was it kingmakers?), the Holy Grail played the cruelest of tricks when Sir Atkinson the Bent presented it to a Vardy Trickster, but denied Arsenal’s three rightful requests due to a Handy Kante (min 8) and when Giroud the Gorgeous was held once by a Huth (min 37) and then a Morgan (min 54).
- At the Castle of Old Trafford on 28 Feb 2016, the Holy Grail escaped once again Sir Pawson of Selective Vision and Hearing was blinded when a corner by Özil the Magician was thwarted by the Holy Hand Grenade of Rashford.
At this point, it looks like Arsenal players could be fouled in the box like the Monty Python’s Black Knight (arms & legs cut off), and probably still not get a penalty!
When the protector of the Holy Grail was asked to explain these denials of Arsenal’s rightful claim, not once, not twice, not thrice, but 12 times, he proudly proclaimed that “the accuracy rate last year was 94.2 percent.”
When asked how he knows such things and for the evidence? He responded in his King Arthur voice: “Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know.”
When told that is not an acceptable response, a singing interruption come from the PGMOL officials as King Arthur and the Knights of the Tilting Table:
“We’re Knights of the Round Table, we dance whene’er we’re able. We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable,”
(***Rolling my eyes, yes we know, we have all seen Dancing Dean)
[Singing louder] “We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.”
(***Trying to tell them they work at a Wembley, not Camelot)
[Now singing even louder] “We’re Knights of the Round Table; our decisions are horr-ible, many times we’ve given calls that are quite un-think-able, but our media will enable, we’re clearly mad in Camelot, and we’ll miss clear calls a lot.”
[Now screaming] “In matches, our calls are tough and unequal, quite un-rea-son-able. Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable / It’s a busy life in Camelot.”
That’s it; I give up where are the police to give “King Arthur and his knights” their proper ending!
Final thoughts: They star as King Arthur, but cannot take any questions because maybe deep down inside they fears having the fate of the bridge keeperbridge keeper?
See, the story could be a comedy if it wasn’t such a travesty.
For those that continually deny the influence of the officials and missed penalties, here is a response from the Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s French Soldier:.
Good day sir! I said good day!
The quest proceeds
- West Ham v Arsenal Sat 9 April – The Match Officials. Has the ref learned his script?
- Why is the organisation that runs refereeing in the Premier League so utterly secretive when other top refereeing organisations are not?
- There’s a bit in the latest Uefa fiasco that the media is missing, and it is a key issue.
- The Brickfields Gunners Blog – Fantasy Football Series Part 2.
- Last season the table after 3 games was headline news. But probably not this season
- 117 players tipped as coming to Arsenal before the window closes
- Why Arsenal recruited a new defence first, then a new attack
- After two games we can start to make one or two judgements
- Winning the opening two league games is not that common for Arsenal