Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Sport - Glove Story

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Sport - Glove Story

Article excerpt

My foul-mouthed friend Claudine had it about right after seeing Michael 'full frontal' Fassbender's latest sex-and-angst gloomathon, Shame. 'I didn't know where to look, ' she said, 'when Carey Mulligan started singing.' And anybody who's spent any time caring about Arsenal these past few years won't have known where to look as the team was pulled apart by an ageing Milan side, before collapsing to Sunderland in the FA Cup.

If you want a long and happy life with the full complement of legs, it's always best to keep on the right side of Roy Keane. But the Cork man was on to something when he complained about the number of Arsenal players wearing gloves: 'No professional footballer worth his salt should enter the field of play in gloves. They should have been worrying about playing for their manager, not worrying about getting cold hands.'

So it's all about tough glove, then.

We northern European types don't have much time for tights, snoods, or even gloves. Typical Mediterranean softies. But indeed Arsenal have become pretty dismal, and it will be a sad day when the casual football fan looks on an Arsenal game much as you would a Bolton or QPR game. If Arsene Wenger does go, and his marvellous project does run into the sand, it would be good if he were treated with the respect and love his great vision deserves. Even by those fans of other, less attractive teams. It would be a passing that needs a Wagnerian accompaniment. . . Siegfried's funeral march perhaps, always a big favourite round the Archway Road. But hey, it might not happen. After all, Arsenal weren't effectively booted out of the Champions League by, say, Young Boys of Berne. Milan are top of Serie A and have won the European Cup seven times: seven times more than Arsenal, or indeed any London club.

The heavyweight Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, are both PhDs, speak five or six languages each, and behave with considerable dignity. …

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