Saw this on When Saturday Comes forum, penned by one Hartley Sebag-Ffiennes...
'Twas as foul and base a spectacle as any conjured up by the poet Pope in The Dunciad, one which caused the nostrils of those of a properly Augustan sensibility to wrinkle with disdain, to watch the rank, blue-clad hordes spill out of Wembley stadium yestreen. The friction of knuckles against paving stones, the discernible motion in their trouser seats of hidden tails wagging furiously, the loud, collective mooing; one does not wish to descend into whimsical anthropomorphism by ascribing human emotions to these cattle but one could imagine that they were experiencing what we as sentient, thinking, feeling beings would call “joy”. Evidently, in their bovine obtuseness, these sub-people had misinterpreted entirely yesterday's association football result and its ramifications.
Yes, the score read 1-2 (it is as well that there were no further goals as this would have confounded the numerical capability of the average West Midlander) but this fails to take into account a raft of exquisite, aesthetic intangibles, beyond the ken of a mere scoreboard. What of poise? Deportment? Grace? Elan? Panache?
To descend into the linguistic cesspit that is the element of the “Brummie”, here is what they imagined to have occurred upon the football field yesterday. “Weeaoow put the ball more toimes than thiy did in the nit, loike – and at the end, we got a coop.” Ah yes, the Carling Cup – had the game resolved itself in such a way that this trophy had been presented to Arsenal, then in the unlikely event that our players had accepted the trophy, M Wenger would have marched furiously onto the pitch and prevented the exchange, in the manner of Sir Alfred Ramsey intervening physically in 1966 to stop an English player from swapping his shirt with his Argentinean counterpart.
Arsenal do not play football purely out of some base, banal, magpie-like desire for the acquisition of cheap and vulgar baubles, sponsored by the brewers of urinal alcoholic products. Does one imagine, for example, that Da Vinci was motivated to paint purely in the hope that he might one day be awarded the Luigi's Grog Pot? He did not; he painted for the betterment of men, and so that such men, in being bettered thus could know that they were better than other men.
So it is with Arsenal. Once again, the troglodytes could be heard to bray, “WHY DOESN'T ONE OF THEM SHOOT? JUST FOR FUCKING ONCE, ONE OF YOU MINCING LITTLE FUCKING BANTAMWEIGHTS JUST PUT YOUR FUCKING FOOT THROUGH IT RATHER THAN LOOKING TO LAY IT BACK TO BACARY FUCKING SAGNA WHEN YOU'VE A FUCKING OPEN GOAL GAPING UP IN FRONT OF YOU!”
All of which is to miss the point. Many a time in training some raw swain from the youth team is invited to play in a session with the masters of the first eleven – and, with his impetuosity having got the better of him, he is liable, upon receipt of the ball six or seven yards out, to let fly and blast it in into the top corner of the net. Whereupon both the manager on the touchline and the senior players will wince and tut-tut at his grotesque gaffe, for he has committed a faux pas equivalent to Rembrandt, having only half-completed one of his canvases, punching a hole in it with his fist.
No no, it will be impressed upon the neophyte; this is not the Arsenal way. And, session by session, he will be versed in the more sublime, tantric delights of the endless passing game – the eternal dance of the cut-off, the layback, the forward jab, the flick, the succession of triangular motions, the Euclidian spectacle which is the true end in itself. And then, once this philosophy is ingrained in every fibre of his being, his initiation will be complete when he is at last invited to visit the Emirates trophy room and behold its cabinet, a contemporary masterpiece of uncluttered minimalism, a triumph of form over content. Here, he will be invited to marvel at the spotless glass through which all is visible is one's own reflection, the finish of teak shelving, untouched by base metal. For this, is the Arsenal way, and thus it is destined to remain. Rosicky!