01 April 2015

CONSPIRACY! Forces unite against Arsenal's chance at glory...

A dramatic, exclusive exposé has been unearthed, and it threatens the very fiber of our being. It pervades almost every level of international football. Put simply, forces have arrayed themselves against the Arsenal, and it will take every ounce of bottle (let's hope it's a pint) we have to overcome it. Imagined injuries. Flight delays. Incompetent managers and referees. It's all there, and it's all threatening to undermine Arsenal's campaign at its most crucial juncture. Mad, am I? We'll see who's mad. Let's peer through the looking-glass, shall we?

Item the first: injuries. Am I alone in finding it suspicious that Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, and Raheem Sterling suffered injuries under the most-auspicious (suspicious?) of circumstances? Lallana pulls up lame, so we're told, against Man U, only for his replacement, Steven Gerrard to last a mere 38 seconds? Methinks that there are strange doings afoot. To wit: the incisive, energetic Lallana is spared 45 minutes of exertion while the grizzled, graying Gerrard is sent off for a moment of madness. We won't see hide nor hair of him come Saturday, that's certain.

Elsewhere, it seems that Daniel Sturridge has thrust his hip akimbo, perhaps while doing the Hokey Pokey, and has been spared the expense and effort of European travails. Not to be outdone, Raheem Sterling has apparently stubbed his toesie-woesit, sparing him the pain of facing off against Italy, forcing our own Theo Walcott into 54 minutes of pointless exertion. It's almost enough to beg questions of a certain manager who saw fit to play Theo through the middle and occasionally as a #10 while moving Phil Jones to defensive midfield—a stroke of managerial madness akin to handing the opposition a laser-pointer and encouraging Jones to play the part of frantic feline. Bright-eyed he was, but hardly bushy-tailed.

So these Scousers three were permitted to return to dear ol' Blighty a bit early, it seems, while various Gunners scampered and slogged around the pitch. Then comes news of a flight-delay, eh? Those Gunners (and Spuds and Mancs, it must be admitted) would have to fight off jet-lag, lumpy hotel-room beds, and surly room-service while said Scousers bask in relative comfort closer to home. It's almost as if those Scousers planned their injuries ahead of time in order to avoid international duty—what's more, it now seems as if they knew something that their compatriots didn't: there would be a flight-delay after a pointless friendly. Conspiracies are indeed afoot...

Enter, stage-right, the cartoonish villain: Anthony Taylor. I submit to you as exhibit A his performance for/against us against Aston Villa, a performance so abysmal that the FA dropped Taylor from the Prem the following week.

Add it all up and you've got some well-rested Scousers and some worn-out Gunners ahead of a vital clash on Saturday. Still not adding up? Let's run through it again.

Okay. Here's what we've got. The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer-people—under the supervision of the reverse-vampires—are forcing our Gunners to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the chance of a second-place finish or FA Cup glory. We're through the looking-glass here, people.

Offered in the spirit of April Fool's Day. Have a good one!