Category Archives: Deadline Poetry

Mourinho Wenger

Arsenal 3-3 Anderlecht: Welcome to the New Normal

Welcome to the New Normal

The New Normal is Sanchez shredding defenders with a burst of speed or a splitting pass
The New Normal is Alexis taking a free kick, hitting the wall, and then following the rebound up with a shot that splits the defenders like a purple sea before curling into the bottom corner
The New Normal is Alexis working tirelessly, covering every blade of grass, giving everything to the team
The New Normal is Welbeck in constant motion, front to back, doing whatever is needed, getting into great positions, and winning penalties
The New Normal is Sanchez and Welbeck both working harder for Arsenal than anyone we have seen in the Red and White for the last 9 years
The New Normal is Oxlade-Chamberlain ghosting past hapless defenders, opening his body like Thierry Henry used to do and whipping in a powerful shot that easily beats the keeper
The New Normal is the Rocky Mountain high of a 3-0 lead against Anderlecht and the certainty that Arsenal will close the game out in front of the home crowd and thus secure a knockout round match against our New Normal knockout round opponents Bayern Munich
The New Normal is a referee missing an offside decision that was so shockingly obvious that a blind person could have seen it
The New Normal is an ever expanding circle of referee corruption in the minds of the conspiracy theorists: first it was just Mike Riley who was corrupt, then it was Riley, Dean, and Webb who were corrupt, and then it was the PGMOL who were corrupt, then it was that referee in Barcelona who sent off van Persie, and now it is every stinking referee in every competition who is corrupt, this has to be the only logical answer because in every single Arsenal match it seems like a major decision or two goes against Arsenal, or some wild decision is made where the referee mistakes Gibbs for Ox, this is true even in the games like the Emirates Cup, matches where Arsenal hired the referee, even in those games the referees get major calls wrong, proof that the referees are so corrupt that even when Arsenal pay for the referee he gets the calls wrong
The New Normal is also perhaps (just maybe) the referees always got major calls wrong and that we are only now aware of it because we get instant replay and telestrators and post-match breakdowns on YouTube, and perhaps (just maybe) referees need to be held accountable with an instant replay system which would overturn bad calls and get the major calls right
The New Normal is that poor refereeing decisions are ruining football, why watch a sport where the referees are either corrupt or wildly inept?
The New Normal is every Arsenal match there’s an injury
The New Normal is worrying about what would happen to Arsenal’s season if or when Alexis gets injured
The New Normal is Arteta being replaced by Flamini and the team suddenly incapable of holding on to the ball much less getting the ball up the pitch to the attacking players
The New Normal is Arsenal fans saying that Wenger will only buy a class defensive midfielder: who can pass anywhere on the pitch with perfect accuracy, who can and will cover every blade of grass covering the back four and linking play with the attackers, who does more than just destroy, and then watching as Wenger deploys Flamini who can do none of the above
The New Normal is Cesc Fabregas playing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, distributing the ball with pinpoint accuracy and even doing the dirty work of defending
The New Normal is Arsenal perennially being two to three players short
The New Normal is being so short on talent that instead of sending on a defensive midfielder who could kill the match off Arsene sends on disinterested players like Podolski to kill off the game, which makes no sense when you consider the fact that Podolski couldn’t defend an AHA moment and Arsenal’s midfield couldn’t hold on to the ball or get it to the forwards where Podolski could score because he’s such a clinical finisher
The New Normal is wondering how much longer Alexis and Welbeck will put in their outstanding workrate while everyone else around them is switching off and taking mini-vacations throughout the games
The New Normal is wondering how Alexis can play every minute of every match without getting burned out both mentally and physically
The New Normal is Arsenal incapable of killing off a game whether they are 3-0 up, 3-1 up, or 3-2 up
The New Normal is journalists no longer reveling in Arsenal’s fall from grace but tweeting sympathy for Arsenal fans who suffer comedy defending, late collapses, referee ineptitude, and irrational substitutions
The New Normal is Arsene saying that teams like Anderlecht or Hull are “better than you think they are” or that all teams have “improved and the competition is stiffer now days” which is a nice way of saying that Arsenal are “not as good as you think” and admitting that “Arsenal haven’t improved as much as they could have relative to the competition”
The New Normal is the fans leaving a Champions League match early and the ones who remained booing the manager and the team off the pitch
The New Normal is wishing that Arsenal had Vieira back or Cesc back or even “Aaron Ramsey of last year” back or wishing that Arsene would just buy that one player that they think Arsenal need and hoping that Arsenal are just about to turn a corner
The New Normal is missing the harsh reality that Arsenal are about three corners short of the street they need to be on
The New Normal is for Arsenal fans to either live in the past or the future because the present is no fun

Welcome to the New Normal



How doth the little Fabregas

How doth the little Fabregas
Improve his storied tale,
And flit from hive to hive alas
To find his golden grail.

How skilfully he built the gun!
How neat he carved its bore!
And kissed the crest upon his chest
Sweet nothings that he swore.

For Queen Catalan bade him return
And he cast aside his guns
He played the idler for all to see
And sat upon his thumbs

Now Catalan wants him no more
And Gunner’s bridge was burned
Into the arms of Special One
Flies Cesc forever spurned.


Following the form of Against Idleness and Mischief, via Lewis Carroll discovered in The Annotated Alice, edited by Martin Gardner.

What kind of water are you?

The sixth form poet tweeted this today,


which got me to thinking: there are so many more forms of water than still and sparkling. Which type of water are you?

Sea: the most abundant water on the planet, life giving, and essential to the human ecosystem. The salinity of seawater makes it poisonous to human life unless purified. (see the sea)

Brackish: Water that is betwixt seawater and fresh water, never one, nor the other. The undecided water, the transition between sea and fresh (see Florida).

Fresh: poetic, humbling, humans can’t live more than a few days without it and human culture depends on vast quantities for agriculture. Quickly vanishing in its natural form (see California).

Swamp: a wetland, unsuitable for human habitation, generally producing strange humanoid life forms (see White Hart Lane, London, N17).

Artesian Well: untreated fresh water that is naturally pressurized to spring from the ground, hippies love this stuff because it’s pure water as nature intended it (see Olympia).

Tap: fresh water that has most of the bacteria and other organisms filtered out, injected with fluoride (in most places), and then sometimes injected with chlorine which is a heavy metal that kills most life. Abundantly found in most human settlements around the world. Quality varies from place to place and is occasionally deadly. (see your home)

Bottled: water that has been encapsulated in a man-made petroleum-based container (bottled) so that it can be marketed, shipped, and sold at huge markups to people who fear their own tap water. Almost always plain tap water. (see Tescos)

Sparkling: bottled water that has been artificially injected with CO2 to give you the impression that there is a party going on in your mouth. (see Perrier)

Naturally sparkling water: extremely rare form of water that only occurs when volcanic gasses mix with fresh water. Wondrously effervescent, humans are attracted to this form of water and love to bathe in it. (see San Pellegrino)

Hot spring: non-potable fresh water heated through fiery volcanic action to produce a steamy warm natural bath. All primates are attracted to hot springs. (see Iceland)

Sewage: human effluvium, the remains of the human race, spews out of tubes. Found wherever humans gather. Often treated and turned back into tap water. If left untreated it poisons everything it touches. (see Twitter)