Infamy! Infamy! They’ve All Got It In For Me!

I’ve been waiting ages for an appropriate time to use the most oft quoted line from a Carry On film and on the eve of the biggest match of Arsenals’ season so far, Ronaldo provides the perfect moment. Far from preparing by praising his team and their performances in recent months, he complains that he feels unloved by the crowd – something to do with (a) you played for Barcelona and (b) over the past two seasons, your performances have not been up to scratch. Every team has a player whose very name brings a groan – over the years at Highbury, Graham Rix, David Hillier and current favourite, Pascal Cygan have all been subject to this “constructive criticism”.

Not having read the papers today, I would imagine that “a number of Premiership clubs will have been alerted” to his situation and no doubt Chelsea and Arsenal – straight swap for Henry? – are linked with him. If he were to go to Stamford Bridge, it would be something like an East End crooks reunion on the teamsheet, John “Mad Dog” Terry in defence, “Fat” Frank in midfield and “Big” Ron up front.

Nil Desperandum is how I believe the Latin scholars would sum up size of the task facing Arsenal tonight. And so do the bookies, apparently. Thierry Henry to score the first goal and Arsenal to win 2 – 1 is a rather meagre 50 / 1…

Wemberlee! Wemberlee! We’re the famous [insert team name here] and we’re going to Wemb, er, Cardiff. Perhaps the worst kept secret in football, after Martin O’Neill’s succession to Sven’s throne, is out and official. Wembley won’t be ready. So what’s the big problem? The contract will be filled with penalty clauses so financially, the FA won’t suffer. The FA Cup Final at Wembley lost it’s lustre when they knocked the old stadium down and hitched a ride down the M4 into the Principality. Complaints are outweighed by compliments about the Millenium Stadium with players and supporters apparently enjoying the day, unless they’ve lost of course. The only teams that complain, with some justification, are the semi-finalists who cannot get out of Cardiff on a train after the match. The logic of sending say two north western based teams to Wales is lost on me so I hope the FA will bear this in mind when the final four are drawn, assuming that of course, the 4 London based teams are knocked out. What do you mean there are only three left in the competition? Chelsea, check; Charlton, check; West Ham, check; Manchester United…

The finalists are likely to include a London team if the history of the FA Cup is to be obeyed, with Arsenal winning three times, losing once and Millwall not even bothering to turn up for their appearance a couple of seasons ago.

Today’s tunes continue the tribute to Paul Weller, this time from The Style Council – era. A vastly underrated band musically, they suffered from the fact that Weller disappeared up his own a***hole for long periods of time whilst they were in business. I mean, sure the continental cafe look was stylish but The Cappucino Kid? Sorry Guys, pretentious twaddle and completely unfunny into the bargain.

Two live tracks from a 1985 gig at Wembley, My Ever Changing Moods and Shout To The Top.