Jack - coming back soon, but not according to Claridge
On the way home from the match on Monday night I was listening to Radio 5 Live as usual. And, without wanting to break with tradition, one of their "experts" served to wind me up by peddling their usual anti-Arsenal sentiment. On this occasion it was Steve Claridge. I don't know what Claridge's gripe with us is. There is no obvious reason for him to dislike Arsenal, other than the fact that the man is a grade one idiot. Maybe he has lost a lot of his bets on Arsenal over the years. He was clearly smarting from Arsenal's progression past Leeds and was in no mood to give any credit to Thierry Henry, or anyone else associated with the Club. So, what did he actually say that has managed to wind me up so much that I am writing about it four days after?
As the programme was coming to its conclusion Claridge was asked by the presenter, Mark Chapman, for his summing up. Claridge went on to say how the win was merely "papering over the cracks" at Arsenal. He qualified his view by stating that "there's not much to come back in to the Arsenal team that played tonight." What an absolute clown this guy is. Ahead of the eleven that started, and the used subs, the following would all be in the first-choice of players: Sagna, Gibbs/Santos, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Wilshere, Gervinho and Van Persie. I make that seven positions, out of eleven, that would have been filled by someone else had they been available, or not rested for the FA Cup tie.
Claridge is one of an ever growing number of professional Arsenal haters who are in a position to set the agenda for people who want to criticise us. These people (Steven Howard of The Sun is another in this category) will not let simple things like incontrovertible facts get in the way of a ridiculous statement. The most annoying thing about mugs like Claridge is that this prat is working on the BBC. We are actually paying the wages for this man. I don't know about you, but I'm slightly uncomfortable that part of my licence fee funds the gambling habits of low-life scum like Steve Claridge. Why does the BBC employ a man who was a less than average footballer (hence the fact that he played for so many clubs) and failed Manager, to give "expert" analysis on football? It's not even as though Claridge is particularly articulate. He just about manages a full sentence every now and again.
I hate Claridge even more than he seems to hate Arsenal. He's right up there with people like Robbie Savage who seem to have conned media outlets in to thinking they were some kind of cult figure in football, who everybody secretly liked but wouldn't admit to it. In the words of the German sailor in Dad's Army, Claridge's name "will also go on the list."
There will be a preview of the Swansea game at some point tomorrow.