Let’s inflict some pain in Spain and vanquish Valencia…

Henry Norris Banner

Henry Norris is the football correspondent of the Bugle newspaper and an ardent Arsenal supporter to boot. He has had somewhat of a sabbatical but he is back in business. He is advancing in years but those who don’t know him very well at all insist his mind is as sharp as a sharp thingy and he is ready, willing and able to bring you his forthright views on all things AFC…please be advised, it is not for the faint-hearted! And, yes, he DOES hit the bottle early…

Valencia await…

“Here we are again, happy as can be — all good friends and jolly good company…hurrah!” Sorry, I didn’t mean to subject you to my singing but I have just recalled the very first chant I bellowed out in support of the glorious Gunners. This was back in the mists of time but I am preparing to rehash it in honour of the Arsenal when I attend the semi-final of the Europa League against that Spanish lot, Valencia, at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday of next week. I have had to cancel drinks at Claridge’s with Percy Maundalay-Chaundalay-Lovelace (a chum of mine since Eton, spiffing good fun) to attend the fixture – but, by jove, it should be worth it. Whisper it, but apparently our manager, chap named Unai Emery, was once in charge of the opponents. How frightfully unsporting. Enjoy the game!

Arsenal in Adidas – a new era…

I’m told by those charming bods at the club that the Arsenal are reverting to a new kit manufacturer for next season and that it is Adidas who will take over from Puma. It all sounds very grand to me. Back in my day, before the old king died, we stepped out in rather fetching woollen red jerseys and white bloomers with red stockings – and mighty fine we looked, too. Then that revolutionary manager Herbert Chapman came along and added white sleeves so that we were even more distinctive when we took to the field of play.

I say “we” of course but I never actually played for the club, merely did a spot of jotting down notes and filing a report or too to the Bugles – and very well remunerated I was, too. One thing that has irked me over the many years I’ve been a follower of the glorious Gunners is the choice to fool around with the colours of the away strip. To my mind, when it isn’t addled with fine sherry, God’s Own should play in yellow and blue on the road. We’ll soon find out if that is the case when the new strips are revered in the summer.

Arise, Sir Bob…

A delightful letter arrives on my oak desk from the very estimable Bob Wilson. You’ll know him from his time as a fine keeper for the Arsenal and for his time as a football anchor-man for the BBC. In his missive, Bob tells me he is doing well and that his charity, the Willow Foundation, is flourishing and raising lots of money and doing lots of good deeds. Well done, Bob! How this gent of a man hasn’t been knighted is beyond me. I’ve a drinks reception tonight with Her Maj and a few government bods and, if I’m not too squiffy, I shall bring it up!

Pip pip for now, old chums and remember: “Up the Gunners!”