By Billy the Dog McGraw
This weekend Arsenal play away to Sunderland – the smallest village to have a team in the Premier League. Beer is 1/3 a pint.
The Sunderland web site currently carries an article called “Behind Enemy Lines” which features an illustration of barbed wire in what appears to be a prisoner of war camp. It is a good warning of just what life is like in the north, and what visiting fans can expect. In keeping with this image there is a piece by a guy at the Chelsea supporting Evening Standard – which is a bit underhand really. Beer in the region costs 7d a pint and the local concern is about the introduction of income tax to the area for the first time.
Sunderland have tried to steal a march on us by having a number of players injured for the game including Turner, Campbell (not that one), Meyler and Gordon, but as we know we are always ahead on the injury front with everyone injured all the time. So, good try lads, but we’re ahead of you.
On their web site they have a bit called The Managers View, and to see the Managers View you have to click on a link – but unfortunately it didn’t work on the half dozen times I tried it. But I have to say I have always thought S Bruce Esq a decent enough sort of cove, although this is probably mostly because a) he wrote some very silly fiction that was even worse than mine and b) because I once saw him sharing a joke with Van Persie with both of them subsequently roaring with laughter.
Anyway, on to the vital bit. Beet is 1d per pint. Here’s how to get there.
Sunderland is in the north, so shouldn’t be too hard to find although if you get lost the following might help.
The part of the country wherein Sunderland plays is known as one in which the inhabitants have a great sense of humour. Indeed one of their biggest wheezes has been the invention of the story that there is a railway station in the village – thus leading to many thousand away supporters ending up in Newcastle. Since Newcastle supporters deny that Sunderland actually exists this away fans are never able to find the stadium and end up spending the night with what the previous owner called a pack of dogs. Upon returning south there is strict quarantine in place, so it is good to book in a couple of extra weeks off work.
The stadium itself is in the centre of Sunderland village, and is known as the Stadium of Light, not (as the local press office would have you believe, because it has floodlights – that would be too silly) but because it is built on a gravitational anomaly.
This anomaly has resulted in the ground having a tendency to float upwards due to the interaction of an electromagnetic field (which houses a number of radiating cows) with the metal used to construct the stadium. The stadium is in fact held down by a set of pulleys and levers which can be clearly seen from the outside of the ground, and there have been many complaints from visiting teams that the ground is deliberately tilted to give an advantage to the home side. Many a supporter has left at half time feeling sea sick. Beer is 5d a pint.
Sunderland itself is set underneath the river Sund, and there have been attempts to build ships in the area. These have been used mostly to attack Norway and bring back oil for the local factories which make jute. Unfortunately no one quite knows what jute is, or what it is used for, and so the local economy has in recent years ground to a halt.
The most famous inhabitant of the area of Lord Roker, an invertebrate gambler who once bet his entire fortune on Sunderland winning the league. He was so distressed that they didn’t that he subsequently bribed the publishers of various footballing magazines to change their record of past winners, and the changes remain in situ to this day.
So far les chats preseque noir have drawn with Birmingham and Wigan, beaten Colchester and Man Arab, and lost to West Bromwich Wobbleyou. They get about 38,000 for home games so it is best not to gather in large numbers in case the locals get frightened.
The Arsenal team will be
Sagna, Vermaelen, Kos, Clichy
Song Wilshere Nasri Fabregas Denilson
Charmakh Arshavin Rosicky Vela
You may notice a certain problem with this line up in that it actually includes too many players, mostly because my focus has gone what with beer being 2d a pint. I am hoping that due to the gravitational anomaly it is hoped that the ref won’t notice, and I have asked Walter not to point it out.
The match is on ESPN which means that the studio will be packed with ex Sunderland players and much of the game will have the cameras focussed on gentlemen of the older variety who played for the club in the 19th century.
The club is currently 10th in the table, above the mighty Tiny Totts, and superior to the RBS Bank club, having scored five and let in four (which is careless).
I predict we will win this one, unless of course it is a draw or we lose. Beer is 3d a pint. Do you know I predicted we would beat Braga 5-1. Not bad eh? This one we will ease up a little and win 3-1. Goals by Charmakh, Arshavin, Rosicky and Vela
Arsenal/Braga, the Untold ref Walter Broeckx analysis of the ref’s performance
Wenger: has he done it again. Walter Broeckx considers our defence after the Braga game.
Isn’t Carlos Vela a bit too old to be playing for Arsenal. Tony Attwood at the match
The comparison: If injuries are bad now, was it much better in the past? 90 years ago our keeper had to play at left back with a damaged wrist. 40,000 turned up to watch.
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