Henry Norris is the football correspondent of the Bugle newspaper and an ardent Arsenal supporter to boot. He has had somewhat of a sabatical but he is back in business. Each week he’ll speak to Eldo71 here at arsenalinsider.com to bring you his forthright views on all things AFC…please be advised, it is not for the faint-hearted! And, yes, he DOES bit the bottle early...
Arsene Wenger has told us we won’t see the boy wonder Jack Wilshere pull on the famous Arsenal shirt this season and that he will also be missing from England duty come the infernal Euro thingy this summer.
Quite right too!
By jingo I am as patriotic as the next man* but steady on, the Arsenal come first and no mistake. We don’t want to let our bright young gun balls up his injury again playing for the Three Lions in some god-forsaken tournament in Eastern Europe.
Lord knows we need Master Wilshere back in full swing next season and I heartily recommend he enjoys a month or so in the Caribbean - Jamaica, somewhere hot like that - to fully recuperate after his horrendous season out injured.
As long as the locals don't get him on the funny fags and he doesn't imbibe too much potent white rum I reckon it'll l to the boy the power of good. Oh, and watch out for those Yardie fellows. Mean buggers to a man so I understand.
I just only hope that our beloved leader doesn’t trot out the old “it’s like signing a new player line” when Jack the lad comes back into action. But it will be I suppose. If I were Wenger I would impose a one-year ban on the fragile player turning out for England as of the start of next season.
As for his other 'must-dos': It’s time to break out the big bucks and bring in quality and ship out players who quite simply don’t cut the mustard.
*Represented Old Blighty at Gin Rummy in the John Player Invitational Classic in Monaco in 1962.
Had the privilege of joining a few sporting luminaries for a rather boozy lunch yesterday ahead of the Royal Arsenal’s encounter with the Wiganites (a match that I shan’t bother referring to as it has been swiftly expunged from my memory) and was privy to a few snippets of gossip regarding those in charge within the of corridors at the Emirates.
Amongst my fellow diners were former exponents of the glorious game with the Gunners, namely Samuel Nelson, luggage-liker David Hiller, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Tony Woodcock and Alex Manninger.
In no particular order I was told that our chief protagonist, Arsene Wenger, wears a wig; David Dein has his very own portable toilet seat which he brings to matches and that Ivan Gazidis collects beer mats in his spare time.
Of course, it’d be a poor show from me if I were to divulge who said what during our two hours together (and in all honesty I was far too blootered to remember) but it is fair to say their were a lot of loose lips.
A gin and tonic might tempt me, however, if you ever see me propping up the bar in the Silver Bullet before home games…
Forever in our shadow
Well, sod my old grey boots! There I was on Sunday having a nice nap after a bit of lunch and a few scoops when the irksome yet very necessary telephone rang.
It was Grayson T. Mannering, an old chum from prep school who has kept in touch and who, like me, is an advocate of Her majesty’s Arsenal. “Have you seen this comedy of errors,” he asked of me. “Those cretinous imbeciles who boast a chicken on a ball as their badge are doing the finest comedic routine ever seen at Wembley. They have capitulated in the FA Cup semi-final and it’s all too much for their fans who have deserted the ground and by association their team.”
So, that was that, then Harold Redknappington. Off you pop now to manage England and no doubt we will see another false dawn in the land of the dunderheads known as White Hart Lane.
I must admit I rather like the adage used by these young chaps who go by the name of Gooners: Forever in our shadow.
Pip pip for now old beans…