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Newcastle has become the new Arsenal; Arsenal the new Newcastle. October 17, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer.
Tags: ,

I tried to resist it, but I couldn’t anymore when I heard Philippe Auclair say on Football Weekly today that Newcastle’s match against Tottenham was broadcast in France last weekend rather than Arsenal’s against Sunderland. The two teams have switched roles. Newcastle is now the swankily run, Gallic-infused softshoe powerhouse. Arsenal has turned into the comedy club with a football wing.

This is how insane it’s gotten: Auclair even says that the crowd at the Emirates raised its voice to get behind the team. What? Arsenal fans are bored hipsters, shrimp-eating casuals and Japanese tourists with pastel-colored disposable cameras. They deafen their footballers with their silence, absolutely sap their lifeforce. Though it is rumored that Christopher Wreh is still alive and well and playing professionally in Indonesia, it has never been conclusively proven, to me anyway, that the Highbury hush did not actually burst the Liberian’s eardrums and kill him while he played for the Gunners. Auclair actually said that, aside from their talismanic captain/striker and defiant goalkeeper, the crowd was the only thing that kept Arsenal going.

Wait a minute? Talismanic captain/striker? Alan Shearer? Defiant goalkeeper? Shay Given? Delusional but influential crowd? Jammy win against Sunderland? Uncanny.

Obviously Thomas Vermaelen is the new Jonathan Woodgate and Jack Wilshere is the new Kieron Dyer. Andre Arshavin is the new Laurent Robert. If I were Mikel Arteta, I would be very worried I might be the new Nicky Butt. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is probably the new James Milner. Every Arsenal central defender is competing for the title of new Titus Bramble, but Per Mertesacker might just be the new Jean-Alain Boumsong instead. There is a worrying lack of a new Gary Speed.

Meanwhile, the unpredictable offensive x-factor mantle has passed from Nwankwo Kanu to Shola Ameobi. Cheick Tiote bears a passing resemblance in terms of thrust to Patrick Vieira. Fabricio Coloccini is certainly as big and slow as Sol Campbell.

This can’t be happening, probably because it isn’t, but I had to give vent to these thoughts.



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