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Sunday 31 August 2014

Matt Lucas Still Available For Weddings, Barmitzvahs & The Arsenal

I received an email from one of my Irish Examiner Terrace Talk pals to say that according to a footnote in Sud Ouest there were four scouts watching Bordeaux v Bastia, three French and one from the Arsenal. So perhaps my terrifying nightmare won't come to pass.....unless our scout was watching Sanogo's brother!

Who'd have thunk it, Spurs lose 0-3 at home to the Scousers and we're still below them in the table!
Peace & Love

Silent Stan Kroenke is hardly a regular at home games, let alone our majority shareholder travelling with the Gunners on the road. So naturally his unlikely appearance at the King Power Stadium yesterday set tongues a wagging, with Gooners everywhere clutching at the straw that our anonymous owner might come riding in on his white charger at the last minute, with his Louis Vuitton suitcases stuffed full of cash.

Doubtless it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but where Arsène was previously reeling off his long list of the promising square pegs, who he wants to shove in our gaping round hole up front, at least he left me clinging to some hope of reinforcements before the transfer window slams shut tonight, when instead he spoke about still being “very active” after we dropped another two points this weekend.

Travelling to Leicester inevitably results in us reminiscing nostalgically about Bergkamp’s hat-trick at Filbert Street and it’s a testament to the sublime quality of Dennis’ display all those years back that a 3-3 draw against lowly Leicester remains a stand-out memory from such a magical era.

Who knows, Sanogo might eventually make a name for himself, but sadly, at present, the French youngster is at the opposite end of the footballing spectrum and he brooks absolutely no comparison with our old Dutch master.

If Yaya had pulled a hat-trick out of the bag yesterday, le Prof would’ve probably put his feet up and taken the day off today. But after witnessing our centre-forward allowing the ball to pass between his legs, when standing almost on the penalty spot, this didn’t exactly scream of a player with the greatest goal-poaching instincts. Perhaps like the rest of us, Arsène suddenly starting sharing the nightmare of the goal scoring responsibilities, in crucial forthcoming clashes against City and Chelsea, all resting on Bambi’s flailing limbs.

The Sunday newspaper tales suggesting that the Gunners were attempting to gazump Chelsea were positively risible. I found myself struggling to picture Arsène rocking up to some clandestine rendezvous with Loic Remy, or Harry, with the lorry load of readies necessary to hijack this deal!

With the limited list of potential targets dwindling with each successive transfer news notification that pings on my mobile phone, I’m doing my best to come to terms with the possibility that Le Prof intends to mend and make do, so as to avoid the massive disappointment come midnight tonight. And if Wenger does plan to act, he had better pull his finger out, before the Gunners end up lumbered, signing “the only gay left in the village”. 

Although as Arsène duly pointed out, for all Man City’s marvelous array of firepower, they still managed to lose at home to Stoke on Saturday and our failure to beat the Foxes wasn’t just down to Sa-no-goal. Mezut Ozil didn’t over exert himself in midweek and Ramsey wasn’t even playing, but where in our previous two matches we’ve managed to compensate for our failure to find top gear, with the resolve necessary to nick goals at the death, the lactic acid in our heavy legs left Leicester looking the team most likely to snatch the win yesterday.

I heard Alan Green whinging on the radio about the fact that Wenger had rested Wilshere after our midweek exertions and personally I would’ve preferred to see Jack afforded the opportunity to continue to play himself into some form. Sanchez would’ve been most entitled to an afternoon on the bench, after leaving absolutely everything out on the pitch against Beksitas. But with each successive performance my admiration for Alexis increases, as once again the Chilean worked his socks off.

However we struggled to match the full-blooded intensity and desire of the newly promoted side and roared on by their vociferous crowd, I can’t see too many teams rolling them over, if they can maintain such hunger over the course of the entire campaign.

Many moaned about this boiling over into actual bodily harm on occasion, but I love a good old-fashioned physical battle me. I’m not sure Mezut found his afternoon in the Leicester sunshine quite so enjoyable, but I have some sympathy with him and all our wealth of midfield talent. It must prove somewhat soul-destroying to have the patience to craft an opening in such a tight encounter, only to look up and realize there’s no one capable of producing an end product.

Surely after striving for so long to garner the collection of talent necessary to produce entertainment in Arsène’s idealistic image, our manager cannot deny us the piece or two which might complete his jigsaw puzzle. But then I seem to have been singing this same song for far too long.

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