LANS: Like A New Season


All this moaning about LANS – Like A New Signing. I think you guys are missing the big picture here…

We are simply resting a bunch of key players till January & February. And therefore possibly February & March. When they all come back it’ll be the mother of all LANS. Like A New Season…

In the meantime, stay chill. And for your diversion, I offer you…


0.31 Miles

At the end of the players’ meeting everyone got up from their chairs to make their way out of the room. But as Hector Bellerin straggled out through the door, he was unceremoniously hooked backwards with a jolt, swung around, pushed against the wall, his mouth smothered by a huge hairy hand. When he took in the scene, he was staring up at the combined grills of Cazorla, Arteta and Per Mertesacker, the latter seemingly attached by his arm to the smothering hand.

Mertesacker slowly removed the muffling mitt as he said in hushed tone, “Do not raise your voice, Hector.”

What’s going on? Hector inquired sheepishly.

We need to know if you’re in or you’re out, Hector. Tonight’s the night. You’re in…or you’re out.

In or out of what?

In or out of what?!!! Per’s voice trailed off in incredulity.  He gathered himself for a second attempt to get through to Bellerin. In or out of the break-out, you dipshit. Don’t you have any clue what’s been going on around you?

Well…no, actually. I really don’t. What IS going on? Everyone’s being so odd lately.

We’re all breaking out, dude. We’re done with this shit. The injuries, man. They’re killing us. Literally.

Well…not literally, Per.

Yes, they are LITERALLY killing us all.

Well, no. Not literally. Literally literally means…

Whatever, we’re done with this injury shit. No one knows what’s going on. The rumour is Arsene is suffering from Munchausen by Proxy, and that’s not even the worst theory floating around.

Then we brought in Shad Forsythe. Things got even worse. It’s hopeless. We’re fucked. There’s nothing for it but a fresh start. Scorched earth policy. Bring nothing. Especially not the third kit.

Fresh start?

Yep. Scorched Earth. Change everything.

Change EVERYTHING? How are we going to do that?

That’s the brilliant part. Wait till you hear this…We’ve actually been working on this for years. Diaby? At Marseille? Hah! My arse. And all those years of injury…Not quite as injured as you thought. He’s spent most of that time in the basement of the Emirates tunneling.


Yep! Tunneling. The man was a genius. A visionary. Before his time. One day during one of his rehabilitation periods, he was sitting  in the dressing room at The Ems, eating his rhubarb and custard, when a loose floor tile caught his eye. And so he took his desert spoon…and lifted the tile. There was a small hole underneath it…And then he…Just. Kept. Going. For years he worked on it before he told anyone else. He mainly “came back” from injuries just to give himself the excuse to go pitch side and drop the clay out of his pockets. After a while he realized he could never pull it off solo. So he called Rosicky to one side, and then there were two. Then Wilshere looked like just the kind of gold-nugget recruit they needed. RvP was a trouper – and all the shit that is thrown at him now, it’s sad. If they only knew. Arteta got in early. The fullbacks were superb in 2011/12 – sacrificed most of their playing time, all 4 of them. They must have dug a quarter of the way there. Last season’s injury rush was a huge recruiting boon and maybe our best digging season yet. And this year has been terrible as you know, by which we mean brilliant. And it’s almost done.

What do you mean, almost done?

5 more feet and we hit the 0.31 miles marker and we’re in!!

In where?

Highbury, man! We’re tunneling into Highbury. A fresh start but back home. And we’re leaving all this shit behind.

I can’t get my head around this. Who’s in?


Even Alexis?

Well, yes. Even Alexis. Though we’re not sure he knows what the hell we’ve been telling him. But he looks excited…like a Labrador. He’s our best digger. He’s like that drill that dug the Chunnel. We’ve to drag him out every midnight and then lock him up or he’ll sneak back down again.

What about Ozil?

Well, of course, Ozil.

You seem very sure.

You don’t get who’s running this show, mate. And to be honest, I’m not sure I can tell you. But I guess you could…guess it?

How far up does this thing go?

All the way up.

You mean Wenger?




Hector looked stumped for a moment and then piped up “Usmanov?”

Higher, mate. Think bigger. Much bigger. The BIG Cheese.

Hector looked blank, bemused and befuddled. Then suddenly inspiration dawns on him.





Finally, Hector! Finally you’re seeing the scale of this. All that alternative fuel fuckwittery?! That Biodiversity bollocks?! That was Flamini’s Ponzi scheme to pull in a few billion from the venture capitalist suckers. He and Diaby never lost touch. Diaby was the driving force, Flamini the Mastermind.

Jesus H. Christ!

Sorry, Hector! Jesus didn’t make the cut. said Per.

Haha. Good one, Per! No Hayssooosss! laughed Cazorla. For about 10 minutes.

So…really, guys. Who else IS coming?

All the players…And Shad.

And Arsene?

At that, the 3 veterans looked down at the ground, and shuffled their feet. After an awkward pause, Arteta answered: Look…we all love the old bastard. But we’ve got to cut out all the variables, the unknowns. Lose all the baggage. So, Wenger thinks he’s getting in the tunnel last. But we blow the tunnel before he can climb in. It’s the only way, man. It’s the only way.

Hector saw tears welling up in the Mikel’s soft eyes.

Hector cleared his throat, then firmly and deliberately said: “Ok. I’m in, guys.”


And with some pride, the 3 veterans took Bellerin down to view the escape tunnel. A narrow shaft, but immaculately engineered. And yet still a somewhat snug fit, even for Bellerin.

Impressive, guys. Very impressive.

Filled with hope for the future, they started to leave the room, arm around Bellerin’s shoulder. Suddenly, he stopped and turned on his heels.

“What about you and Cech, Per? Can you guys physically fit into this tunnel?

Oh. We’ll probably take a cab.