Terry Neill was the first. How he could ignore the way I floated the freekick towards the shed (Frank Stapleton) and the supreme finish into the homemade goal as it rebounded (headed down superbly by Frank) back to me has remained a mystery to this day. It was a move of immense skill. Firstly, the ball had to hit the wooden part of the shed to receive enough purchase to execute the perfect half volley. An inch higher and it wolloped the window. Frank couldn't head it back if it hit the window. Frank's head might smash. The wrath of dad would curtail this promising career if the window was hit. Every free kick was a risk.
The pressure didn't end there. The shot had to be perfect if it was to beat the goalie (garden chair) and sail into the top corner. An inch higher and it would smash into the runner beans (The North Bank) and Arsenal's number 9 would be sent to his room. I never missed! The ball rustled the net and I wheeled away doing my best 'Alan Sunderland 1979 FA cup final up yours Man Utd last minute winner' impression. It was only a matter of time. The Arsenal sign kids from back gardens don't they?
Don Howe was no better. George didn't want to know. Too busy winning stuff. Bruce seemed more interested in Bergkamp than me. Arsene? Enough is enough. This is an official 'come and get me' plea.
After my extraordinary goalscoring feats with Frank I moved onto the wing. I'd teach Theo a thing or two about pace and could drop a cross onto a golf tee. 60% of the game is in your head. My percentages are higher than that and Arsene loves a high stat.
I'm older now than I've ever been but I still feel I could do a job. As I've piled on the experience I've moved to central defence. I'm you man. I have Arsenal DNA in its purest form. If you need proof just see how many Arsenal kits my son has spent his birthday and Christmas money on. He has it too. I see myself fulfilling that Stepanovs/Silvestre/Squillaci role that Arsene is so keen on. I'll do it for £30 & a foot long hot dog for my boy. Not only would the club save money but I promise to jump at corners. I promise.
Injury wise I'm knackered. Hamstrings tight, dodgy right knee and a back that enjoys supplying me with jip. Still fitter than Diaby.
I also feel my attitude would complement the squad. I wouldn't make much fuss but I do have a small list of unreasonable demands. I'm happy to discuss these with the unreasonable demands department once they have passed Samir onto the Greedy Bastard Dept.
Firstly I can't really do away games. I have a family and I can't be away that long. Also I'm not wearing that ghastly blue thing Nike have forced on us. Europen away games are even more problematic. I'm afraid I'll have to pull a Dennis on those. I'm sure I can defend set pieces watching on the TV as well as the boys who are actually there.
So Arsene, I'm experienced, fitter than one member of the squad, can run further than Arshavin, jump higher than Squillaci, cheaper than Nasri and promise never to go to Barcelona. Not even on holiday. We can't leave the defence how it is if we are serious. The pre-season games have already proved what we already know. Come and get me Arsene. I, like everyone else reading this, still believe our childhood dream. If not me, Arsene, then who? We need to know.
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