By Billy “The Dog” McGraw
Never before in the history of Arsenal has it happened. We have… a team. More than a team. And team and then some.
And most of them are… shhhhh, say it softly, fit.
In goal: well we have a goalkeeper. We don’t talk about them.
At the back we have: Eboue (Sagna is the statutory new injury – it is written into the club constitution, we have to have one each week, and it seems like it is his turn).
Vermaelen is well, Vermaelen. No one knows what he’s got wrong with him. Probably food poisoning or ear ache. But we have Squillaci and Koscielny, with Djourou lurking. Out beyond there is Clichy. Gibbs is injured in sympathy with Sagna.
Now moving on to the middle part of the greenery.
We have Cesc Fabregas. We have Tomas Rosicky. We have Samir Nasri. We have Carlos Vela. We have Theo Walcott. We have Denilson.
Actually I am getting bored writing “we have” all the time. It goes like this…
Defensive: Song / Denilson / Diaby / Wilshere
Attacking: Fabregas, Rosicky, Nasri, Vela, Walcott, Lansbury
Forwards: Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh
All I can say is it is a bloody good job that that Van Persie fellow is not fit otherwise it would be quite impossible, and you know how embarrassing it is when players start squabbling.
How do we sort a team out of that? Charades? Pick a card? Well, to find out I took Mr Wenger to the Toppled Bollard, Islington, and quizzed him.
“Och aye the noo,” said Mr Wenger. “It’s a bra brick moo….” [are you sure this was Mr Wenger? – Ed]
After some other introductory chat we settled down to our pints of whisky and resolved the problem.
The team will be
Eboue, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy (Djourouorou) (I don’t think that is right – Ed) (Nordveit, Eastmond)
Song (Denilson / Diaby)
Fabregas, Nasri (Rosicky, Vela, Lansbury)
Arshavin, Chamakh, Walcott (Bendtner, Jay Em Tho)
The reserves in the back line look a little thin, or perhaps I mean young, but with Song able to pop in there too and back up for him, we should be ok.
As for Birmingham City, well I went for a look on their web site for some stats or background, but they only seem to do pictures – so I guess literacy ain’t wot as gud as it getz daun sarf, no wot I mean guv? The old pillage (pillage = village = city, Birmingham City – it is cockney rhyming slang)ain’t quite got the numbers game (numbers game = bingo = lingo).
Birmingham’s fans (all five of them) are referred to as “Bluenoses” and when visiting the area it is important to carry a can of blue paint, to add your personal decoration to Ondré Nowakowski’s Sleeping Iron Giant,
Actually you shouldn’t because defacing art is a crime, and you will be hanged for doing that.
The mascot used to be a blue nose but is now Beau Brummie, a play on word, or so I am told.
Honours: the club won the league cup in 1963.
This season has been of considerable significance for the Blues since they have beaten Blackburn, Rochdale and MK Dons. In their last game they lost 0-2 at home to Everton. But they are one point above Liverpool.
As a city Birmingham has made repeated attempts to join the European Union, but has been turned down on the grounds that its language is too strange.
The current news on the Birmingham City unofficial web site is
1. The club want to expand the stadium to a 46,000 capacity although no one is quite sure why
2. The tactics for the game against us involve
2.1 Two physios on the pitch for every injury
2.2 Leave water bottles on the pitch, stop the game, rush on, get them
2.3 Every goal kick to take at least one minute
2.4 Keeper to take 15 seconds to take a kick out after picking up the ball
2.5 Rotational fouling to be the norm
2.6 Outfield players to engage in rotational time wasting
2.7 Physios to engage in rotational running onto the pitch, slipping over, getting up, treating each other, walking back with limp.
2.8 Birmingham manager to complain about ref’s watch 10 seconds before start of the game
2.9 Formation to follow Scotland’s approach: 6-4-0
3. Jean Beausejour will not play.
4. Alex Hleb will play and be greeted by chants of “You should never leave the Arsenal”
5. Alex McLeish has told Birmingham fans frustrated by the stuttering start to the current campaign to trust him.
6. Alexander Hleb is confident it will not be too long before he can celebrate a Barclays Premier League victory in a Blues shirt.
7. Alex McLeish is hoping the international break will allow winger Jean Beausejour to recover from a medial ligament problem – but he is wrong.
8. Birmingham were defeated at home for the first time in 13 months recently, after a run on 27 consecutive 0-0 draws and manager Alex McLeish was unhappy with the boos which greeted his team at the final whistle.
9. There is no point 9.
10. Alex McLeish has revealed midfielder Lee Bowyer felt hurt when he was dropped earlier in the season but believes he can still make a major impact at St Andrew’s. Ah bless.