Continuing the Alternative Arsenal Alphabet, we move on to the letter B which, when lying on its side, looks quite comical.
Please remember this is the ALTERNATIVE alphabet, so don’t scream and shout at the absence of Brady and Bergkamp.
There was a time, when we kept winning games 1-0 and when George Graham’s famous defence was meaner than Scrooge, when we fans actually revelled in the ‘Boring, Boring Arsenal’ epithet. But it was much more fun later on when Arsene arrived and we became ‘Scoring, Scoring Arsenal.’
Battle of Old Trafford
It was September 2003… Arsenal and Manchester United were the two best teams in the country; Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane were in their pomp; the rivalry was intense. Vieira was sent off in the 80th minute after receiving two yellow cards in three minutes – thanks in part to play-acting by Van Nistelrooy. In the dying seconds, with the score at 0-0, United won a penalty. Van Nistelrooy took it but it hit the bar. The reaction from the Arsenal players was fantastic – with Martin Keown bouncing in the Dutchman’s face like a demented Zebedee. A mass scuffle broke out, leading to five Arsenal players and two United players later being fined.
Battle of the Buffet
A little over a year later and we were back in Manchester with a 49 match unbeaten run under our belts. Mike Riley and a ridiculous dive from the Granny Shagger conspired to end our run. The fun really started in the tunnel, when scuffles broke out and Cesc Fabregas lamped a pizza onto Alex Ferguson’s head. The first and only time a pizza has been served with an extra topping of twat.
Melvyn Bragg – or Lord Bragg to you – is one of our celebrity fans – and as one of the most erudite and intelligent gents in the land (check out his wonderful “In Our Time” show on Radio 4), it just goes to show that Arsenal supporters are the brightest and the best. By contrast the Spuds boast Darren Day and Chas ‘n’ Dave among their support, while the Chavs have David Mellor and Michael Greco.
Chelsea fans can bombard our players with a thousand sticks of celery at Wembley and that’s OK; Spud fans can pelt an injured player (Theo) and the stretcher bearers who are carrying him with coins and that’s OK. One Arsenal fan throws a single banana at Gareth Bale and he gets banned for three years (perhaps he should have launched an a-peel). Mind you, I did like this line from the trial: “Thomas Flint, who, the court heard, has no interests other than football, was sentenced to a three-year football banning order, fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £25 victim surcharge.”
It may work for the Oilygarchs of Manchester and West London, but I am delighted to say that it’s something that Britain’s classiest club does not engage in.
Right that’s a few to get you started… now over to you.