The thing about Christmas gifts is that they often tell you more about the giver than the receiver.
Like when your wife gets you a set of DIY tools even though the only thing that’s ‘handy’ about you is the pair of appendages at the end of your wrists. Basically, she’s telling you to fix the broken curtain rail, or else.
So when I was killing an idle moment speculating on what would make the perfect Christmas present for Arsène Wenger, I realised that it would all depend on who the gift was coming from.
For instance, a set of fine towels sent to the boss from Lady Nina would have a totally different meaning to an equivalent gift from Tony Pulis.
And a “Have A Great Break” Christmas card from Ivan Gazidis would be a whole lot more palatable than the same message from Ryan Shawcross.
In that spirit, the list that follows is what I think the perfect Christmas present to Monsieur Wenger would be from a selection of people about whom we may all hold strong opinions.
And when I say perfect, I mean from Arsène’s (and Arsenal’s) point of view.
From Sir Alex Ferguson: A copy of his secret text book: “How To Win Ugly.” However, this present will turn out to be a disappointment for Arsène. Far from being a manual on how to grind out results while playing like a well-heeled Blackburn, the book is, in fact, a series of portrait photographs of Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.
From Tony Pulis: The Stoke City 2011 souvenir football, complete with club crest. Unfortunately Arsène will not be able to do his trademark keepy-uppies with it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkchgKFTKys), because the ball is oval shaped.
From Pep Guardiola: A syringe and a specimen bottle, with a request that the objects be used to extract the Barcelona DNA from our captain and return it to Catalunia, where it can be injected into Barca’s youth players. (Arsène will sabotage the plan by filling the specimen bottle with Essence of Eboue, which will cause the Barca youth team to grin a lot and put itching powder in each other’s underpants).
From Julian ‘Wikileaks’ Assange: The secret dossier that reveals how both Dennis Bergkamp and David Seaman were deliberately targeted with laser rifles (causing momentary blindness) during certain key moments of a 1999 FA Cup semi final. The confidential papers also reveal who paid for the hit: Alex Ferguson and Sky Sports.
From Harry Redknapp: An important email message:
Subject: Contact me urgently
BANK OF COCK PLC
RE: TRANSFER OF ($19,780,000.00 USD) NINETEEN MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED AND EITHY THUSAND DOLLARS(URGENT & CONFIDENTIAL)
Dear Friend Wenker,
I have the honor and confidence to introduce you to this business in view of the fact that you are trustworthy and reliable.
I am Mr.Harald Rednakp
I work in the foreign Payment Department of BANK OF COCK PLC LAGOS NIGERIA.
There is an account opened in our bank in 1990 but since 1996 nobody has operated on this account again.
After a private investigation I discovered that the owner of this account was a foreigner who has since died without having a beneficiary to this account.
My investigation proved to me also that nobody from the company knows about this account since the company has not become operational.
The amount contained in this account is US$19,780,000 USD.
It is my wish and intention to take this fund abroad for investment and I am believing you are a trusty man. THIS IS OPPRTUNTY TO GOOD TO MISS. OH YES.
My colleague and I will need you to send an existing account for us to transfer the money into. Please send me all your bank details including account number, sort code, secret password and PIN number at once and you become very rich man Mister oh yes.
Contact me urgently at email@example.com
Mr. Hairy Redknip.
From Emmanuel Adebayor: One banjo (worse for wear). One cow’s arse (as new).
From Ashley Cole: A selection of store cards, with the following note: “Dear Arsene, I have been sent these cards by some of the stores where I regularly shop. These include Phones 4 U (mobile phones), Victoria’s Secret (sexy lingerie for my many ladies) and Harrods (butt plugs). I do not know why I have been sent these things. It says that they are ‘loyalty cards’ but I do not know what ‘loyalty’ means. I thought perhaps you could pass them on to Tony Adams for me…”
From Alan Pardew: A DVD copy of Rocky and a brief note: “Round Two – It’s On.” What Pardew doesn’t know is that Arsène keeps a knuckle duster in that knee-length duvet coat. He confiscated it from Armand Traore.
From Sam Allardyce: A polite letter:
“Dear Mr Wenger,
As you kno, I have always admired yure work and the way yure teams play futball.
But no team is perfect and if you shud find yourself thinking that maybe you do be needing sum extra tactical coaching then perhaps you mite consider me for a job.
I really need a job. Pretty please.
PS: I am not fat like they say I am and I will eat broccoli if that’s wot you want. Please giv me a job.
From Phil Brown: A litre bucket of fake tan, with a note: “Get your orange side going Arsène – you look pale enough to be English. Mind you, I don’t use the stuff meself; my skin was made for me at World of Leather in Purley Way, Croydon. It’ll last for ever.”
From Alisher Usmanov: Princess Leia, and Han Solo in a carbonite panel.
From the Supporters of Manchester United: A vow to replace their repulsive anti-Wenger chant with a new version that celebrates his love of French wine. From now on, the Old Trafford faithful will sing: “Sit Down You Oenophile*…”
And to finish on a more practical note, if it was down to me, Arsène’s perfect Christmas present would be a win against Chelsea on December 27th. Once we break our hoodoo with the top sides there’ll be no stopping us.
What would you wish Arsène for Christmas?
- Oenophile: a lover of fine wine; a connoisseur.