It may shock readers to discover that not everyone at Guardian Towers supports Arsenal. Living next to an organic deli in Islington is not a pre-requisite for the job, you don’t have to wear cranberry-coloured tops for work, and editor Alan Rusbridger doesn’t spend his lunchtimes working on Medium Paper’s offside trap. Even so, it’s hard not to be affected by the palpable Oh-Isn’t-Thierry-wonderful vibe. Which is probably why the Fiver found itself feeling sorry for Arsene Wenger earlier today.
For, having spent the last decade fending off snarling attacks from one bully in Sir Alex Ferguson, Wenger now has to deal with another one in Jose Mourinho, who last night followed up calling the Arsenal boss a “voyeur” who has “a big telescope to see what happens in other families” by revealing he had a file of quotes from Wenger about Chelsea Football Club. “It is not a file of five pages,” he snarled. “It is a file of 120 pages.” Er, who’s the creepy voyeur now, Jose?
What’s clear is that Wenger, a man so thin he’d be rejected for the Mr Muscle adverts, needs someone to stick up for him. Sadly, all he’s got is Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood. “I think it is best people don’t talk about individuals,” sighed the Old Etonian with an upper lip so stiff it makes Botox manufacturers blush. “At the top level, there is no animosity between Chelsea and Arsenal. We are determined to live as friends in the Premier League. I am sure this will all blow over.” Hmm, anyone believe him?
(Thierry Henry, congratulated after his crazy curling shot went past Jaromir Blazek in the 23rd minute at Highbury)
Courtesy of yesterday’s 3-0 blasting of Sparta Prague (as seen on Setanta’s promo-heavy, programming-light US channel), Arsenal are through to the final 16 of the Champions League.