Henry Norris is the ancient football correspondent of the Bugle newspaper and an ardent Arsenal supporter to boot. He has had somewhat of a sabbatical but he is back in business. Each week he’ll bring you his forthright views on all things AFC…please be advised, it is not for the faint-hearted! And, yes, he DOES hit the bottle early…
Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolašinac will soon be sharing their tunes in the dressing room ahead of Arsenal games. The Lyon striker has been confirmed as the Gunners’ newest player and Kolašinac, of course, is already in the ranks of the Arsene Wenger regime.
But, it is perhaps unlikely that the pair’s shared love of one band, in particular, will go down too well as Wenger’s charges look to get fired up by some pre-match music.
For I have discovered that both stars have a passion for rascally post-punk rappers Sleaford Mods – the Nottingham mouthpieces who recently caused a bit of a stir at a popular musical festival at Glastonbury, I am told.
The punky poets, who go by the names of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn (mainly because that is their given names), came to the attention of defender Kolasinac when they played a secret gig at the Gelsenkirchen Dominoes Club during his first season with Schalke, from whom he joined Arsenal for a fee not unadjacent to a free transfer on a four-year deal.
Goal-getter Lacazette, meanwhile, who completed a club record £45million move to Arsenal, has a rather more unusual link to his fondness of the band.
The France star has an uncle, James LeBoat, who was the Sleaford Mods’ roadie and all-round hard nut when they toured France in 2012 after they met him at a cross-dressing networking night in Lyon.
Le Boat, now retired and who lives in the sleepy seaside village of Aldwick, West Sussex, takes up the story. He said: “The Mods are good guys and I got on with them from day one. We shared mutual interest and we worked together for a couple of months five years or so ago.
‘They were good times and I remember young Alex showing an interest in the lyrics and their political standpoint.
“I gave him Sleaford Mods t-shirt and a few CDs and thought nothing of it. He turned in to a huge fan. Now, of course, he is in England and will probably have the chance to go to a concert. I hear they are big now. The Mods, not the Arsenal. I wish them all the luck. And I wish Alex all the best, too, and ask him to remember his impoverished uncle back in France. Send me money anytime, my old pal. Send. Me. Money!”