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Digging the Madness

Digging the Madness

January is typically a month of low spirits; bank accounts are generally drained as we all feel the pinch of the overly hyped festival of commercial vomitis that is Christmas. Resolutions predictably tumble by the wayside after your first three attempts to go for a run ended variously in a severe stitch followed by cardiac arrest. The summer and that fortnight of sangria and suncream are some way off, even Easter, your next significant break from the banality of nine to five, seems a lifetime away. As ever, football fills the dream filled gaps when life simply doesn`t cut the mustard. Football represents many things to many people; hobby, passion, lifeblood. But occasionally, it can also provide a fascinating paradigm to so called "real life." As January represents perhaps the most insipid period of the calendar year, it`s the time of the season when things go a little mad in the football world.

Much of this has been due to the advent of the January transfer window in England. I know the system has many detractors, but while not a staunch advocate, I am something of a casual admirer. I quite like the fact that teams have to build their squads at the beginning of the season and, if they ain`t up to it, tough shizzle mate. With the legions of mega rich investors flooding the Premiership, I think the window evens the playing field a bit. For instance, had Chelsea been able, they would have undoubtedly bought their way out of the little pickle they delightfully landed themselves in back in the early Autumn, and doubtless they would be leading the title race right now. As it stands the parasites were left to starve on a carcass of industry.

But what the window has really injected into the top flight is a sense of January madness, and this particular January has picked up the top hat and invited all and sundry to the tea party. Following on from my karma thread of a fortnight ago, Newcastle and Liverpool have transitioned from objects of schaudenfraude to spectacles of outright ridicule. Having sacked yet another manager who could not instantly turn the historically average (at best) Newcastle United into world beaters, the self congratulatory "Geordie nation" have now decided that the best way to alleviate their ongoing circus is to have Nelly the Elephant ride back in on her unicycle. The appointment of the floundering fusspot Kevin Keegan is a folly almost as laughably desperate and transparent as owner Mike Ashley`s "beers for the boys" act, decked out in replica shirt and sitting "with the lads, like." What an excellent solution to massage their delusional psyche, let`s all just stick our fingers in our ears, shut our eyes and pretend it`s 1996. Maybe Messrs Albarn and Gallagher can have at it on the cobbles again? We`ll all don kangol bucket hats and tell the world that we`re "mad ferret" and that "football`s coming home." Maybe Blair can sweep back into number 10 and we`ll all just forget about Iraq and the honours scandals? Maybe I`ll go back to secondary school and ponder which Spice Girl to masturbate over? And how is the new messiah greeted? With the sight of twenty thousand empty seats at a typically moribund St. James` Park. Best supporters in the world? My arse.

If there are any Arsenal fans left out there who were open to the clutches of megalomaniacal corporate investment, surely the current shambles that is Liverpool F.C. has given us cause to take our food for thought with a pinch of salt. The Benitez v Gillet and Hicks saga has taken a curious twist with the American owners openly admitting to having lifted their skirts towards Jurgen Klinsmann, offering him a tantalising view of some fetching lederhosen. With Liverpool`s form stuttering and the media muttering, the Americans eyes started fluttering. Openly soliciting your manager`s job is hardly the way to stabilise another season that has flattered to deceive. Benitez`s impetuous behaviour has only served to fan the flames and make the Liverpool F.C. soap opera my latest guilty pleasure. (Now that the Spice Girls are all mingers).

As we have discussed on this site at length this week, Lassana "verbal diarrhoea" Diarra has also been affected by a touch of the January crazies. After unsuccessfully attempting to get himself noticed in training by crying and crying and crying until his bottom lip did that weird trembly thing, holding his breath until he passed out and deliberately weeing himself, Diarra, after a mammoth four months effort, has decided to toddle off to Pompey. Not giving a seconds thought to the fact that the egg timer on Flamini`s contract is ever fading and Gilberto`s loss of form (together with the fact that Diarra is actually a genuinely talented player) he`s spat his dummy all the way to the South Coast. But not satisfied with his errant bout of impetuousness, Diarra has already told Pompey that he is plotting his next move to a big club! Eh? That`s right the boy who bailed on two top four clubs in quick succession now has ideas above his station. But Lassana, by walking out on us after four months, you ostensibly admitted you didn`t have the stomach to play for a bigger club, so, why do you…how do you…oh forget it! On top of all that, just as my view towards Nicolas Anelka was beginning to soften, he goes and joins Chelsea and Spurs decide the best way to solve their defensive crisis is to plough all of their resources into trying to buy another striker. To slightly adapt an old Bill Hicks mantra, "football`s a mad, mad world….and I`m so proud to be part of it."LD.

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Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Friday January 18 2008
Time: 11:38AM


We solve our defensive crisis by making sure the Premierships best central defender is back, fully fit, as well as signing one of the best young full backs outside of the Premiership. Anyone with the slightest level of intelligence would be aware that any striker signed would be to replace one who was leaving. It was clear that Liverpool's owners were simply sounding out replacements in case Benetiz walked (which he does have a track record of). Not sure where the pathetic bile against Newcastle comes from. It is great to see local fans walking around in the replica shirts of their local team, than try to claim lifelong allegiance to a club whose location they couldn't find on a map and every fan is often over optimistic about the prospects of their team ... its called 'being a fan!!' - masturbating over the Spice Girls? After that undignified rant, I would surmise it would be more likely to have been over Take That or Boyzone.
18/01/2008 11:50:00
As if to supplement the madness, everyone's favourite doppelganger has the pleasure of the first post in another of a longline of attempts to remove any semblance of humour from any article ever.
Little Dutch
18/01/2008 11:57:00
Any fool with a couple of twenties can wear a shirt, it takes more than that to support a team. Actually turning up to the ground is a start, and when you do turn up, not hounding out every manager going after ten games is a fine continuation. C'mon Englishspur, smile, it's Friday :-)
Little Dutch
18/01/2008 11:59:00
People who spend their lives always searching for negative must be so unhappy. Surely time would be better spent being happy over at Vital Spurs than miserable over here ES (or maybe life as a Spurs fan is so bad it's less of a chore being miserable over here?). I'm not saying that you're not welcome over here, but it's not like you enter into any banter like Chelski-Kev or TopSpur, you're just plain, well, miserable.
18/01/2008 12:22:00
A very good, entertaining piece on the January window theme LD. Sardonic observation and wit seems to pass some people by. If Victor Meldrew has an equivalent on this network then ES, in anyone of his incarnations, is it.
18/01/2008 12:52:00
You are a truly sad individual ES. I actually feel sorry for you, because its obvious you don't have any friends, relationships and you probably still live at home with your parents. Stop wasting the precious gift of life, and get one! Very enertaining article LD, made for good reading. Thanks.
18/01/2008 13:07:00
Still coming out with that old nonsense, Little Dutch ... its amazing how when challenged all you lot can come out with is words, but never actions. As for humour, isn't that someone that is supposed to be funny - you seem to confuse making borderline racist stereotyping (Germans, lederhosen) and abusing people who come from outside of London with some sort of comedic writing... pray tell why the 'Geordie nation' should receive the generalist description of self congratulatory? ... last time I checked not everyone has the disposable wealth all the ability to turn up to a game at very short notice but as the queuing once Keegan's appointment had been announced stretched for almost a mile, this merely shows what a shrewd businessman Ashley is. I bet you wouldn't say know to the laughable and transparents bloke's billions.
18/01/2008 13:16:00
I see you're a typical Arsenal fan, Cesky. Unable to provide any reasoned response based on the content of the article, you respond with personal abuse. Your parents must be just so ever proud of you.
18/01/2008 13:26:00
Que? It's an internet forum, what actions do you want? A virtual fist to the face? Commendation on the umpteenth attempt at calling me a racist, but it's too wafer thin and transparent to even bother arguing with. But kudos on the gay joke in your first post, irocially enough I might have chanced a slight laugh at that in 1996. "Abusing everyone who lives outside of London" I clearly targetted Chelsea and your lot in the article, I guess that makes me racist against everyone. Funnily enough, you chide me for "pathetic bile" when it is you that constantly comes here and seeks me out, if you find my writing so unpalatable, why do you keep coming back? I really think you should ask yourself why that is. Now, I've got bigger fish to fry than having another one of my threads ruined by a bipolar internet fantasist with a severe persecution complex and a penchant for petty identity fraud, so I suggest you toddle off and actually do somehting you enjoy (since you hate my writing, my sense of humour and my overt racism and all). I'd suggest going to Burger King, and continually buying burgers that you don't like so you can retire home to your basement and wcraft some letters of complaint. Oh and always look on the bright side of life.
Little Dutch
18/01/2008 13:27:00
ES - when are you going to give up on this pathetic attempt to paint LD as a racist? It's been a reoccuring theme through three of your carnations now. Having met Tim in real life I can guarntee you he is nothing of the sort, and even though I'm a northerner myself he was a complete gentleman for the entire afternoon!! Seriously, if you can't take a lighthearted article or a little bit of footballing banter in the way it was intented, then you're interested in the wrong sport.
18/01/2008 13:32:00
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