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Enjoying My Sunday Morning


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Woke up this morning feeling fine, nothing special on my mind and, ever the optimist, looking forward to reading the good reviews Chelsea always get after a decent away win [yeh, right], especially when it takes them back to the top of the Premiership table. Whilst not quite going so far as to be a fully fledged Mock the Week fan, I do like a good mocking of a Sunday and there is no better object of intent than Garry Richardson on BBC Radio 5 Live, as his morning show always makes me laugh, instantly reminding me as he does of Steve Coogan’s superb caricature of the inept interviewer, Alan Partridge.

This morning was to be no exception because, as always, the BBC needed no encouragement to acknowledge the genius that is Arsene Wenger and the 12 year anniversary of him being in charge of the Gunners was too good an opportunity for them to miss another airing of their all too frequent adulation sessions. What could possibly go wrong when you could talk about his achievements with none other than guest for the morning, Liam Brady, an amazing midweek 6-0 kiddies hammering of SheffU to eulogise over, an anticipated drubbing of Hull City to pay homage to and the crowning, crowing, glory of league leadership to offer up as evidence of, well, I’ve said it once so let’s all say it again, his undoubted genius?

As it happens, this concluding question mark falls neatly into place on two counts because, not only did the program format go radically wrong, but Arsene’s anointment as Patron Saint of Puberty in the Premiership had to be postponed for another day due to someone called Phil Brown defacing the vision of greatness that was expected to appear at the Emirates yesterday evening. Don’t you just hate it when someone does that to a work [of art] so obviously in progress over a 12 year period? If Garry did, he didn’t show it, ploughing straight on to introduce Liam and together they hailed the stuffing of SheffU as a miraculous triumph, although mercifully stopping short of saying that it heralded a bright future, as that [after Saturday’s result] would have been just plain silly, wouldn’t it?

No, instead what we got was the now obligatory reference to the genius of Wenger, somewhat diluted by Brady having to admit that the great man ‘would not be happy with yesterday’s result’. So, no mention of the shock/horror nature of that result then Liam? I don’t know, the Arse faithful turn up for a good meal of loaves, fishes and water turned to wine, served up by mere striplings on a bed of nice [football] and they don’t even get seconds, let alone first(s). Still, unperturbed, Gary dismissed Liam from his presence, probably a lot earlier than he had anticipated, and turned to his studio guest, the Telegraph’s Kevin Gartside, for moral support [Wengerwise] only for the hack, after the requisite ’there is a hint of genius about him’ (a hint, just a hint??, are you blind Kevin???) to bring us all crashing back to earth with the admission that ’it has to be said Phil Brown did him yesterday’. This proved to be an assessment with way too much realism in it for Garry, who bluntly brought an end to the discussion with an indignant pause followed by the seamless of intros into the next item ’…and now on to tennis’.

No sooner had I stopped laughing at all this Cooganesque nonsense than Sir John Hall, the ex-Toon owner, was on to talk about Newcastle and how, to all intents and purposes, their troubles are down to overseas ownership of other Premiership football clubs. Foreign money, apparently, is the major problem that good honest Northern clubs like Newcastle are fighting against. Oh, by the way, he also believes that Chelsea are the biggest offenders through having a wage bill of £150 trillion pounds - it shouldn’t be allowed, what with it being very big and very, err, foreign. At this point my sides were hurting and I could take no more, so I switched the radio off whilst mimicking Richardson, as best I could in my Alan Partridge voice,… ’and now on to the real world’.

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