Following painstaking research from the nation’s leading football pundits, and Robbo Robson, it has been discovered that many Arsenal players – amazingly - do not take kindly to being maimed every other year.
As well as not relishing the time-honoured British traditions of seeing their stricken teammates’ limbs hanging off by a spindly thread and receiving oxygen as they leave the pitch, it has also been rumoured that Arsenal are also believed to be, shockingly, mainly foreign (ed-I know! Who knew?). A close analysis of birthplaces reveals that some of the players are from distinctly non-English sounding places like ‘Caerphilly’ and ‘Plaistow’, which no-one can pronounce.
Sky Sports Goals on Sunday presenter Ian Payne revealed that he had interviewed Arsene Wenger after the game, though was having difficulty recalling it. “He said something involving the words ‘unacceptable’, ‘horrendous’ and ‘scandalous’ but we didn’t bother transcribing any of it, as them words have more than two syllables. There is simply no part for that in the English game”.
Added aggressively chirpy co-presenter Chris Kamara: “Besides, what would Wenger know anyway? He never ended anyone’s career at the truly highest level”.
A bemused Alan Shearer fumed at the news. “It’s just how Stoke play – lettin’ teams know they are there,” he blurted, with that smug look as if he was the first person to ever use the expression, “lettin’ teams know, repeatedly and violently”. Warming to his theme, the hard but fair ex-striker added “Everyone knows that there are ‘ways’ to play Arsenal that these big jessies ‘can’t handle’. I don’t need to tell you what they are, you’ve all seen the popular documentary Mean Machine with Vincent Peter Jones”.
Alan Hansen backed up his sidekick. “Poower. Paaasshun. Protruding bones coming out of young men’s legs. That’s what the Premier League is all about. That, and tedious dick-swinging blowhards like Alan, Mark and myself, who use our approval of latent violence as a means of trying to cope with the fact that we are hurtling further and further away from the memories of our physical peak, becoming increasingly weak and less virile as each weekend passes. Sometimes…sometimes I feel like I just don’t exist during the week”.
At some point over the weekend, every pundit named in the above article will have furrowed their brows, done their best serious faces and vigorously agreed between themselves that Ryan Shawcross is not that type of player.