09 October 2013

Exclusive sneak-peek into the pre-Interlullian team meeting

Before Gunners scattered like dandelion seeds on the wind to their various countries, we managed to get an exclusive, insider, in-the-know, fly-on-the-wall, backstage-report on the club's last locker-room chat before the interlull. To wit...

     "Gentlemen, before you go off to play for your various countriez, we need to drum up, uh, some news items to keep zatisfied the press here in England. So, uh, let us have your suggestions, please. No one? Ah. Nicklas?"
     "I'd like to discuss how much more mature I am now that I am a father. I could talk about how much perspective and all I've developed during my travels in other countries, learning that some of them have laws against driving in certain directions and all."
     "No, no, I do not think this eez vhat we are, uh, looking for, and, uh, ve need something of greater, uh, quality. Eet is, uhhh, more in football terms that we need."
     "Monsieur, I could, peut-être, put out something about being injured? Maybe this would stir up a bit of news for the blogs and journalists to discuss?"
     "How do you mean, Laurent? I do not think that Didier vould appreciate such news. Could you please to elaborate?"
     "I don't mean anything serious, maybe just a muscle pull? I have played, after all, quite a lot so far. Tomáš doesn't have to play for Czech Republic, so I was just thinking..."
     "Tomáš, is this true?"
     "Yes, sir, it is. It's really rather a sad story."
     "Ah, interesting. Something to, uh, make readers sad?"
     "Um, I suppose. See, I'm 33, sir, and—"
     "I know this, Tomáš, please."
     "—um, yes. It's just that this is probably my last chance to qualify for a World Cup, and we're in a tough group with Italy and Denmark. Even Bulgaria is above us, and...well, it's—I..."
     "Say no more about this, Tomáš  I will call your manager, I will call this Bílek and to him I will explain ze situation. This is what I mean, gentlemen. This, uh, story from Tomáš will give all of these, these, uh, blogs something to write about while you are gone. But ve need more. From Tomáš we have something sad, and from Laurent something bad, but also ve need something, uh, difficult, something, uh..."
     "Arsène?"
     "Yes, Jack?"
     "Could I maybe do something to get in trouble? I'm getting a little tired of being a golden boy. It's tough being made out to be the next Gunner legend, and they're saying I'll be the next Stevie or Paulie for England to boot."
     "Vhat do you have in mind?"
     "Maybe I could let someone get a pic of me holding a cigarette? You know, just for kicks? Make me look like a bit of a bad boy?"
     "This I like. This vill give them a lot to talk about. Are you sure that you, um, want to do this to your image?"
     "My image? Please. They're the ones who built me up and put me on this pedestal in the first place. I'm just your average bloke, not some god in cleats. I'm practically begging you to let me do this. Please?"
     "Well, okay, but do not, uh, inhale. This I ask you. Just to put it to your lips one time. Once, Jack, or ve vill talk of this and you will play on the wing for ze rest of the ze season."
     "Yessir."
     "This is very good. I like this. Are there any more ideas? Anyone?"
     "Sir."
     "Bacary?"
     "Mon contrat se termine en juin."
     "Yes, yes, Bacary, this I know, but, uh, it is not the time to discuss the contract."
     "No, sir, je voudrais—I am sorry; I would like to create a rumor that I will leave in the summer."
     "Ah, now I see. This also I like. It is difficult, is it not, to discuss contracts at this time? The speculation and the rumors, they always sell, and these, uh, these 'journalists', they crave something, anything, for a story? Very good, Bacary. Merci. We shall talk of your contract, mon ami, do not worry."
     "Merci, capitaine."
     "Arsène?"
     "Jack? Again?"
     "Yeah. Could I maybe do some other stuff, like say some stuff just to stir the pot a bit? I mean, it's time for players to represent their countries, right? What if I say something about how players should only play for their own countries. You know, 'England for the English', and so on."
     "I do not know of this, Jack. This sounds, uh, difficult."
     "Nah, it'll be fine. I'll keep it real vague at first and let 'em interpret it how they want."
     "Perfect. This will occupy them for many, uh, days while you are all gone. Of course, do not do anything else that is risky while you are gone. Some of you I will also ask to report, uh, an injury, nothing serious, just enough to, uh, let you rest. Aaron, where are you?"
     "Here, sir."
     "Thank you. Mesut?"
     "Sir?"
     "Good. Play well, but do not, uh, strain yourselves. It is important that you, uh, stay fresh."
     "Okay."
     "Yes, sir."
     "Thank you both. There was one more, who was it? Ah, yes, Kieran."
     "What is it?"
     "I know it is very, um, exciting, this call-up, but I want you to, uh, to be careful. We need you."
     "Yessir. I will, sir."
     "Very good. Thank you. That iz all. I—oh, excuse, please. I have a text from Dennis. Hm. Something about coming back, is it? This too I like. We have, uh, many things to keep them busy while you are all gone. All the best, gentlemen, except for you Spaniards. I vant to see France at the top of the group!"

Good times, this interlull. All the best to our boys wherever they play. We have almost ten days before everyone returns to face Norwich. How else will we fill the time, if not with a bit of folderol? I hope there isn't anything else Arsenal-ish in the news in the meantime, as it would consist almost exclusively of fresh injuries from international action.

Thanks, as always, for your visit. I hope you'll consider casting a ballot for me in the Football Blogging Awards' "best new blog" category. You can click here to here to vote via twitter or here to receive an email ballot. Until next time...