G’evening lads…. Nice to see you’re all hale and hearty eagerly waiting for the new season to kick-off. Originally I’d written a piece on tactics and stratagems that could come into play in a (agonizingly long) week’s time but then I realized that the transfer window hasn’t slammed shut yet and things could really change depending on the Van P situation. Song’s departure looks far more unlikely to stay in spite of the unpleasant din directed towards the hallowed halls of the Grove, I’m referring certain foul CataLOON creatures flapping their jaws at any reporter, willing to brave the spittle to hold a microphone near one of their maws. Evidently the new saga is starting to begin… but let’s put such potentially unpleasant talk from our minds and focus on amusing ourselves for a while to kill time before we take on Sunderland.
Random ideas often pop into my noggin during my jogging sessions, most of them quite entertaining, some slightly disturbing and a few, completely pointless…… Yes, yes I know what they say about an idle mind. But anywho, the prospect of combining a few of my favourite hobbies (football and music for starters) seemed too good to miss; so I thought I’d go around assigning theme songs to players, based on their personalities….
Wojciech Szczesny (copy-pasted of course) – The Pole at the goal as the gunning faithful fondly call him. Cocky, bordering on arrogant but luckily the arrogance is not unfounded unlike other members of the squad (Bentdner, I’m looking at you), the song that pops into my head first is “Undaunted by the Adrenaline Mob”
Tommy V – Also goes by Verminator, the vice-captain, he looks like he stepped out from the pages of comic book, only missing a bloody sword and a spear dripping human-entrails. Calm composed but explosive when required and strong-willed. He gives you the impression that he would never crack under torture. “The Nomad by Iron Maiden”. A wise man once said, Bruce Dickson and his army of guitarists rule all that is metal.
Per Mertesacker – The Teutonic Giant, slow and lumbering at times but capable of some simple but brilliant organizational work, not unlike “These Walls by Dream Theater”. It seems like an ordinary song until the drums kick in, simple but elegant vocals by James LaBrie and solid string work from Petrucci with a beat that just sticks to the inside of your head , great stuff from now-replaced Mike Portnoy.
Laurent Koscielny – I’ll freely admit during his first season with the gunners, I used to groan out-loud every time I saw him on the green, I had all but written him off, but his performance in the last season has turned some heads and the groans have most certainly turned to whoops and “Fuck Yeahs!” Is still prone to the occasional brain-fart but he is certainly the best central defender in the squad by a country mile. Definitely “Calm Like a Bomb by Rage Against The Machine”. Zack de la Rocha’s crazy vocals accompanied by Tom Morello’s epic guitar work definitely does the trick.
Bacary Sagna – All hail the ultimate full-back in the league. He epitomises the spirit of hard-work and duty. I have scribbled a few lines about him in the past, and I’m willing to bet that there isn’t a single gooner who’d have a bad word to say about the French right back. His fight against last season’s injury and his subsequent come-back is the stuff of legends. “Invincible by Two Steps from Hell”. Stop staring at the page like a brain dead united fan and listen to the song on youtube if you haven’t already heard it.
Onto the midfield…
Aaron Ramsey – The lad has gone from precocious youngster to a prematurely written-off has-been to a pillar of the Arsenal midfield. I’m quite aware that he’s got a long way to go but lets not forget that he was a talent that Arsene had to go toe-to-toe with Ferguson to sign, it gives you an idea of what kind of player he is. “Trust by Megadeth”, one of the few songs that Dave Mustaine doesn’t snarl his way through and the outcome is simply brilliant.
Mikel Arteta – The Spaniard that plugged the gaping hole left by a fellow Spaniard and a certain truculent Frenchman. The Pivot. The Engine of the midfield, call him what you will but the impact he has created in the midfield has been enormous, he bears the brunt of the burden when it comes to keeping the game moving and he does it all without having expectations of having his name song sung by the masses. An unsung soldier in every sense of the word: “The Trooper by Iron Maiden” (yes, they are my favourite band).
Jackie Boy – If I were to declare him as one of the most talented midfielders of his age, no one would bat an eyelid. The media have heaped expectations on his young shoulders and his come-back is one of the most awaited events this season for any goner, but unrealistic expectations apart, every soul will be gladdened to see the No.19 on the red and white again. “Eagleheart by Stratovarius”
Alex Song Billong – The man has taken banana- shaped trajectory through ball and made it his. Other than having a killer name (You can’t not love Billong), he is the picture of versatility when he bothers with unglamorous stuff like defending. “Big Gun by AC/DC” was practically written about him (not really) and AC/DC has the Young brothers with their guitars….Enough said.
Tomas Rosicky – I don’t know it was the goatee or the general demeanour but to me, he always came across as a stoner. Now don’t be mislead by my weird perceptions, he is an immensely talented midfielder trapped in a body as fragile as paper. Long bouts of injury kept him in the sick bay (incidentally, he there once again) but he evidently he has used the time on the bench to hone is guitar skills… wish he would play a little more though, he gave us a glimpse of his talent last season before limping off to try out the new medical wing. He is epitomized by the track “Dark Matter by Porcupine Tree”, the slow and somewhat melancholic voice of Steven Wilson with casual yet mesmerizing instrumentals is a must listen.
Theo Wally – The quintessential speed demon with the pace to eviscerate defences before they can say “Halt! Who goes there?”. He can be devastating at times and dismal at others; most gooners call him one dimensional, which isn’t entirely untrue but he’s been developing steadily (albeit slowly) over the past few seasons and can become an effective winger over the next few years if he stays focused. But I must say, the demands for 120k a week are not justified at all. “I Just Wanna Run by The Downtown Fiction” seems to suit the speedster, doesn’t it?
Gervinho – His real name is ridiculously complicated and I can’t be arsed to look it up. He just crossed the pond and signed on last season and he had a fairly average season as he seemed unable to shake off the ACN debacle, I’m putting my money on him being truly fantastic this season. The billboard sized forehead just adds to his ineffable coolness; “Surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani” for him.
The Ox – The nick is not too popular but I really don’t see why. Another kid Wenger managed to entice from Southampton, he seems intent of nipping on Theo’s heels. Raw and pacey, he is an exciting prospect and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if he gazumped Theo’s place on the right side of the attack. “Through The Fire And Flames by Dragonforce” is almost fast if not faster than he is, yet hopeful and optimistic in its essence.
RVP – Erm.. this is uncomfortable. I’m going to pretend that this summer never happened and carry on. “Orion by Metallica” Slow to build up and the silence at the start makes you wonder if there was anything at all on the track, but when it does gather steam, it explodes all over the speakers and blows your doubts away, much like the captain was last season.
For obvious reason I’m not going to cover the rest, the new additions are rather unknown to me, maybe I’ll dream up some anthems for them by next summer. Here is a little bonus section…
Thierry Henry – “King of Kings by Motörhead” the name says it all, Lemmy screams the chorus “Bow down to the….Bow down to the King!!!!”, trust me, you’ll enjoy this even if you’re no metal-head.
Dennis Berkamp – “Under a Glass Moon by Dream Theater” regal, technical, awe-inspiring just like the player himself.