I am talking of course of the veritable hara-kiri that Woolwich inflicted upon ourselves against Olympic of Athens this Tuesday last. It is an annual part of being an Arsenal fan. Much like the spitting out of one’s cornflakes when the announcement of cash reserves is detailed in the newspapers; St Totteringham’s Day; Vieira Saturday, which always comes some time in early September when a ridiculously avoidable defeat happens because we failed to control the midfield; or the end of August festival of Nostrika, when we are informed that no strikers were available to purchase with clockwork regularity.
This depressingly familiar loss ranks alongside such Arsenalesque classics that we recall with an almost wistful nostalgia such as losing to that team of Greek part timers, PAOK Salonika, whose initials stand for Perhaps Arsenal Ought to Kneel. Last season’s revolver-to-the-temple 3-1 loss to a Monaco side who were so poor they should not only be banned from all of that Principality’s wonderful card rooms but publicly hanged. PSV Eindhoven. The 0-3 reverse to Sciatica Prague. 2-0 away to Duisberg over 50s. 1-0 to Antwerp Ladies. 3-1 at home to Lippstadt Wednesday. I may have made some of those up but you get the point. Truly, we are the Stoke of European football; occasionally something comes off, but on the whole, a poor, dismissible, shabby, apologetic excuse of a team. Unless of course there are points for guineas in the bank. In which case we are world class.