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Tuesday 21 October 2014

To Hull And Back (reposted)

To Hull And Back

Best Seat In The House
             It’s either feast or famine with the footie nowadays. Either we’ve the sort of wall-to-wall coverage almost every night of the week of club football that leaves me forsaking my missus and the soaps on the box in the living room, to slip off to watch yet another big game in the bedroom, to the point when it’s almost a relief to be able to spend a rare evening together. Or I end up so starved after a fortnight of the sort of tofu for the tastebuds, anodyne International dross that I’m left positively salivating for some proper round-ball nourishment.

             Obviously, as an adopted son of Ireland, I was up out of my seat roaring in exultation with every other Fenian, after the Boys in Green took the “Welt Meisters” down another peg or two, with O’Shea’s glorious injury-time equalizer in Gelsenkirchen. But it’s a damning indictment of the paucity of the protracted Euro qualifiers product that this was about the only match amongst the sixteen Internationals available to view last week, which held sufficient intrigue to be worth sacrificing Coronation Street for.

             Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. It was only a few minutes into the enthralling coverage of Saturday’s comparative fillet steak of an appetizer, in the early KO at the Etihad that I was reminded quite how much I’d missed the real McCoy. Much like when Suarez was weaving his own enchanting spells for the Scousers, Aguero had me so engrossed that it was hard to drag myself away from the telly to wander around to the Arsenal, while listening to the denouement of Spurs demise on the radio.

             In the past I’d have watched the entire match, before charging around to our ground in time for KO. But much like the old bull, in that even more ancient joke, with the wisdom of my advancing years (and increasing decrepitude!), I prefer instead to stroll around and save sufficient energy to savour all the pleasures on offer. 

             So far this season we haven’t lost a home game and superstition decrees that I dare not alter my pre-match pie ritual. Piebury Corner came close to losing my custom with our premature Capital One Cup exit, until I came to the conclusion that it was all my mistake, after adding some mash to my regular order.

             I began to fret about having to forego a stop at my favourite eaterie in future as the final whistle beckoned on Saturday. I also cast a glance up at Kroenke, Gazides and co. in the directors’ box. With it looking as if we were about to lose at home to lowly Hull at that point, I imagined that they must’ve been feeling mightily relieved that the AGM had taken place prior to such an infuriating defeat.

AW promises us one more In Jan, let's hope it's not too little too late!
             For all the media’s effort to make a meal out of what has become a perfunctory and typically banal corporate affair in recent times, last Thursday’s AGM did at least witness the most welcome return of the shareholder’s ritual of having ones photo taken with our long overdue tin-pot. With Usmanov’s minions rumoured to be offering up to £20k per share, for the extremely limited number remaining in the hands of individual Gooners, I felt quite privileged to be able to attend courtesy of an Aussie pal, who somehow managed to resist the temptation to cash-in his small piece of the Arsenal to the billionaire usurpers.

             As Fabregas continues to rub salt in our “buy back option” wound so frequently with each fateful contribution to Chelsea’s goal tally and with what’s increasingly looking like outright negligence, not to have included a fail-safe option enabling us to terminate Jenkinson’s loan deal, I take no satisfaction in expressing my fears as far back as August, about the potential implications of Koscielny’s niggling Achilles injury only a couple of games in. Instead of making excuses and gambling on waiting until January when it’s likely to be too late, why didn’t Arsène react by squeezing any available experienced defensive cover through the transfer window before it slammed shut? 

             Sanchez would get the cold shoulder from the rest of the crew if he worked with me in the theatre. They wouldn’t countenance being constantly shown up by his incessant work rate. If it wasn’t for the Chilean setting up our last gasp equalizer with his “never say die” intensity, after suffering two goals from the only two times the Tigers managed to get the ball down our end, their well-crafted second completely catching us with our pants down while we were still sucking on our half-time oranges, the board might’ve endured a whole heap more dissent at an AGM scheduled for this week

Apparently our seats are "cheap as Chips"
             As it was our bumbling chairman, Sir Chips (you really couldn’t make it up!), Gazides and le Gaffer were all primed to play a customarily plausible straight bat to the inevitable complaints about ticket prices, assets in the bank instead of on the pitch and the millions seemingly being leeched from our coffers by the corporate legions of Silent Stan. 

Where did I put my "Gentlemen's Fun Crisis" paddle?

             With nearly as many hacks in the Woolwich Suite as shareholders, the only hint of dissonance came in a token gesture of rebellion from the few brave souls who raised their hands to contend the blatant nepotism of appointing Stan’s somewhat vacant-looking offspring to the board.  This followed Sir Chips feeble attempt to convince us of Josh Kroenke’s suitability with his experience in dad’s Septic sporting empire but which left many of us thinking the lad was about as fit to run a football club as our charmain’s three replacement hips.

             Never mind fit for purpose, if I was involved in the running of a club that could seriously send a team out to face Premiership opposition with Monreal at centre-back, I’d be cashing in my nachos out of downright embarrassment!

Dressing Room Noticeboard &Player Instructions

Objective Achieved

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DrShaglove said...

You made it to the AGM, lucky(?) dog! You are looking well, feeling well too I hope? They actually let you touch the trophy, we couldn't get closer than three feet from it when it was on display in Jersey earlier this summer, but it doesn't matter anyway since my cousin blew the lone photo he took of me and my kids in front of it. Lovely write-up as usual -- albeit a trifle more negative than you've previously been. Can't imagine why! Saturday was FUCKING dreadful on the tele-box, I hope it wasn't so bad in person (how could it be!?). Hope all is well with you and yours.

The Hermeneutic Circle said...

This was great to read thanks