As I, and many others I suspect, prepared for yet another dismal British performance from Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday night, I even went as far as to choose my train home to coincide with the aforementioned fixture. Watching Arsenal on a highlight reel is relatively entertaining but actually having to sit through 90 minutes of is a degrading form of torture. It is so clear not only to Gooners but the rest of the footballing world that Arsenal are the perennial ‘busted flush’ of European football. I have literally flicked onto Sky Sports Score Centre online expecting a 2-0 or something like that, you know? A typical Arsenal first leg result that could inspire about 6 minutes of quality barnstorming football at the Emirates in three weeks’ time, only to fall short and leak another 5 as every outfield player charges forward like a possessed banshee leaving more vacant spaces than a night out with the Kardashians. However, at the time of writing, I find they are currently 4-1 down to Bayern. From the limited feed, it also appears Ospina (is Wenger mental?) has kept the deficit to single figures by all accounts. We still have seven minutes or so for Xhaka to get a second yellow too. I’m changing my descriptor, Arsenal are more representative of the ‘low pair’ of European Football. Because no-one wins anything with a low pair do they? Sorry, sorry it’s now 5 and some injuries to worry about too. It begs the question what with the race for the Champions League spots being robustly contested by at least 6 clubs this season, will Arsene consider throwing the EFL Cup / U18’s side out for the second leg to protect his ailing squad for the battle royal Premier League run in? Which ain’t a pretty one for Arsenal neither. Tough away trips to Liverpool, WBA, Boro, Spurs and Stoke with a smattering of losable games versus a resurgent West Ham, a vibrant City, a dreadful but effective Man Utd and an erratic Everton who are capable of turning anyone over if they’re in the mood, at home. Funnily enough, the only ‘cert 3 pointers’ are versus Sunderland and Palace and of course the team formerly known as Leicester City. Who, let’s not forget, will all be fighting like good un’s to stay up. Add a cruddy domestic cup match or 3 and that impending pasting versus Bayern to come, I fear we might see Wenger melt then explode like something out of Raiders of the Lost Arc over the coming weeks. But at least we’ll see the back of that care in the community dugout duffle trench coat.
Onto other observations made today, Chelsea are allegedly in advanced talks with Costa, which is code for the medical team establishing whether they can preserve him cryogenically after every game as it’s only a matter team before he falls to pieces given his 46 years old.
Elsewhere it has been revealed that Ed Woodward of Manchester United, not to be confused with Edward Woodward ‘The Equalizer,’ was hopping around Europe in the summer with a £85M cheque in his sky rocket displaying the commercial acumen more akin to ‘the tranquillizer’. However, Ed who spends most of his time in an office in London, like most Man United supporters, wasn’t necessarily expecting to have to do as many trips across Europe as he eventually had to. It transpires that Bayern refused to offload Thomas Muller for around £85M this summer. Given his (at best) average season to date, I’m not sure who was demonstrating the greater level of incompetence in that deal? £85M is also the price tag or the release clause allegedly attached to Antoine Griezmann who was until Woodward got involved a nailed-on Man United transfer deal accordingly to sources close to the club less than a month ago. However, the former accountant’s scintillating wit and repartee appears to be as engaging and welcomed as a rabid ferret in your boxers. He’s the only man alive who can deter a potential signing even with £85 Million at his disposal. If you believe ‘the miserable one’ there are dozens of world class players lining up to play under the Portuguese prima donna and yet Woodward went on to invest the cash in the dabbing coiffeur. Perhaps Ed should focus on other key organisational firsts as he did by hiring the first anti-terrorist specialist for the club. Rumour has it that the much-maligned Physics Graduate (man he is an animal) and long-term ally of the Glazer’s (don’t forget he penned that deal too) has also hired a bank of legal eagles to defend the crimes against football currently being offered up at the Theatre of Screams.
It is also rumoured the entire Leicester City football team have been arrested and charged with criminal impersonation after a tip-off from an anonymous caller with a Southern European accent. A police spokesperson broke the news earlier today and went on to say that Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa, Ndidi, Mendy, Bartosz Kaputska, Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernandez weren’t detained for questioning as Leicestershire Police “understood they were summer transfers signing and were crap prior to their arrival anyway”.
If the wheels hadn’t fallen off Spurs’ push for the title with injuries to the likes of Vertonghen and Rose, to then have their arses handed back to them at Anfield at the weekend, most fans were in tears at the news that their beloved Poch is about to be poached by Barca (or anyone else in Spain). In a press conference, earlier on Wednesday Poch issued the ‘come and get me baby’ code delivered by football managers which went as follows. “I can’t say anything about that, I am at Tottenham. I am very happy, I have four more years on my contract, I am enjoying an exciting project”. But who wouldn’t be more excited about a project that pays double in Barca or Madrid though? It may well be he’s not quite at the right level for Barca yet, but mark my words he’s ready for an Argentinian merry-go-round if Simeone heads to the Catalan giants.
And finally, on a brighter note, Big Sham Allardyce and Little Scammy Lee are putting the final touches to their end of season escape plan. Which will take the form of Palace requiring 10 points from the last 4 games of the season, whereby their odds of survival will balloon to around 40-1 only for a wee nippy Scouser with a dodgy glued-on ginger tash to rock up to Ladbrokes in Penge High street with 50 large in cash. You know what happens next……….