‘This week I have tales for you, which may or may not be true,
But this is the post-fact era and if you don’t say anything, I won’t too.’
So let’s get going!
Arsenal and Arsene Wenger: Merely days after ending one great tradition, Arsene and his band of moody man-children took it upon themselves to put an end to another grotesque ritual this week. From here on there shall be no more statistics about the number of times Wenger’s Arsenal have met Mourinho’s teams and lost. There shall be no more waking up in a cold sweat when Mourinho’s men are due to visit the next day. The degree of ‘Specialist in Failure’ bestowed upon Wenger by the University of Jo-Mou is now no longer worth the paper on which it is printed. And as if to really rub his special nose in it, Arsenal could move above Manchester United in the table if they win their game in hand.
West Ham and Slaven Bilic: Ah, West Ham. The second team of all Chelsea supporters, if only for one game. And unlike their red cousins from North London last week, the clarets didn’t disappoint. Bilic’s boys dealt a hammer blow to Spurs’ title hopes as they turned them over at the Taxpayer Arena, rising to 12th in the table, possibly saving Slaven from the sack and handing the title to Chelsea. All in a day’s work.
Swansea City: After weeks of swimming against the tide, trying to climb the lifeboat, Swansea finally made a breakthrough in their quest for survival. Facing an Everton side who appear to have reached the limits of their ambition, Swansea found a willing rope-ladder and duly pulled themselves up. It’s now up to them to hang on for just a bit longer; the shore is nearly in sight.
Fraser Forster: We’ve learnt from reliable sources of the conversation that took place between the Saints goalkeeper and James Milner, produced here verbatim:
FF: “Look, Jimmy. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like to play the guessing game and I’m sure you don’t either. So let’s just do this – I’ll dive to your left and you can shoot anywhere else you like, no questions asked. I just wanna go on a holiday now and in the end, it’s just banter, right? Hehe!”
JM: ”Um, okay. Thanks?”
FF: “I said YOUR left, James. YOUR left, my RIGHT! For Christ’s sake! Come on!”
Jordan Pickford: Many top-flight teams will be scrambling to get the signature of the Sunderland goalkeeper, who has stood out like a shiny trinket in a pile of garbage.
The Audience: A secret meeting took place during the week between four teams with nothing to play for – Bournemouth, Stoke City, Burnley and West Brom. It was decided to give something back to the fans in terms of entertainment, which sounds quite revolutionary to us. Therefore, a gentleman’s agreement was put in place, stipulating that instead of the usual 0-0 sleep-inducer, each team will be allowed to score goals (!). “As long as no one scores more than the other, we should all be fine,” the bosses agreed and nodded smugly at their profound collective wisdom. And we’re not complaining. Two 2-2 draws and eight goals is infinitely more entertaining than two 0-0 draws and zero goals from last weekend.
Manchester United and Jose Mourinho: Jose collected his Class I Waitrose eggs and neatly placed them in the basket marked ‘Europa League’, kissed them all goodnight and smiled like a doting mother. He then picked up the Tesco eggs and without a word, pushed them out onto the pitch at The Emirates against a hungry Arsenal side. They cracked under pressure and now Manchester United could be scrambling for Europa League places, leaving Mourinho with egg on his face after he voiced his contempt for the competition earlier in the season.
Ander Herrera: After last week’s episode of The Benny Hill Show, Hatchet Herrera is back with another tale where he made a fool out of his own goalkeeper. As the shot deflected off Herrera, looped over De Gea and into the net, experienced lip-readers were able to make out the words mouthed by the stranded goalkeeper: “Wha… again? Ander, cabron! What did I ever do to you?”
Tottenham Hotspur: There was a lengthy discussion on Twitter over the term ‘bottled it’ and wiser minds than me concluded that you cannot ‘bottle it’ if you were never in the lead. So we need to come up with a new term for it since everyone seems to have gone off ‘Spursy’ for some reason. I poured myself a glass of wine to ponder over it, and as I put the cork back in, it struck me – they’ve ‘corked’ it. The dictionary seems to support my view, defining ‘corked’ as “spoilt by a musty taint arising from a fault in the cork”, which is exactly what has happened to Spurs. So, in conclusion, Spurs have corked it. Let’s make this a thing, yeah?
Hull City: Dragged back into the ocean at the same time when Swansea managed to find a lifeboat. The Proper Football Men Association have their knives sharpened and ready for Marco Silva if Hull do go down.
Big Sam’s Ego: Ooh, that must have hurt. For a manager who routinely boasts of his ability to take top managers down a peg or two, being thwacked 5-0 by one of those top managers must have made a huge dent in Sam’s ego, if that were even possible. Let’s just say there was no PowerPoint presentation with a detailed tactical breakdown for the reporters after that game.
Ty from AFTV: The merchandise fetishist made his first appearance on the telly, churning out excuses like ‘the pitch was too dry’ and other assorted rubbish. Although I was surprised to not see him decked in his full Arsenal gear and I couldn’t understand why the presenters kept referring to him as Jurgen Klopp. Strange.
Sunderland: Like a horror movie where you think it’s all over and suddenly a hand pops out of the sink and pulls you in, Sunderland continue to annoy the public who just want it to end. Hull City were the latest victims of the Moyesian curse, wherein his players suddenly rediscovered their abilities upon realising that they’re stuck with him for next season. As one match-going Hull City supporter so eloquently put it, “Just die, already. Sheesh.”