02 December 2013

The WAT: Arsenal's title hopes to be crushed by the transience of time

Arsenal extended their first place lead to seven points on Saturday, after a 3-0 demolition of Cardiff City -- no small feat, given the well-drilled and newly promoted side earned a draw at home against Manchester United, the current title holders.
Aaron Ramsey, who scored a brace on Saturday,
and will someday die, whether we win this thing or not.
[credit: Ronnie Macdonald]

However, ecstatic Arsenal fans were once again reminded of Father Time's brutal and unyielding transience when, the following day, that lead was diminished to four points -- three points less than the day before.

When reached for comment, Arsene Wenger, who is French and therefore spends a lot of time thinking about this, said: "Euhhh, yes, it is true. Time passes inexorably, but we have trained for this. I think it requires a little bit of mental toughness, and the players know how to take the season one game ... one day at a time."

When asked to speak specifically regarding Arsenal's title hopes for 2014, Wenger reluctantly addressed the query: "2014. What is 2014? It is just a number, it means very little to me, it means very little to the players. Let us say that your question is not based purely on an intangible human concept -- an illusion. Sure, we may win in '2014'. But what about after that? We will someday lose again."

"OK, do you want a two-dimensional answer? Yes, I think we are in a good position," Wenger continued, after a probably brief, but manifestly interminable period of silence. "For now. But who knows what the future could bring? Inevitably, every living thing dies alone, n'est-ce pas?"

Reporters, in an attempt to change the subject, then asked the Arsenal boss about his squad's level of fitness. "Lukas [Podolski] is still out with a hamstring injury, and we still expect about three weeks until he is back to match fitness," Wenger said to the now cautiously optimistic press pool, before going on: "and likely 50 to 70 years before the player's death. Possibly more, given advances in medical technology. But ultimately, death comes for us all. Even all of you," garnering groans from the nearsighted journalists.

"In the end, when I am dead, when this current squad is dead, when all of you are dead -- what will it matter if we won a trophy in '2014' [at this point, Wenger used air quotes], or if we finished at third or fourth -- which really isn't that bad? Our memories will die with us. When the sands of time erode all record of our excellent run of form so far this season, what will it matter? We are dust, we are dust ...", said Wenger to the lot of underpaid sports writers, who had already begun packing their materials and were now filing out of the press room en masse.

At press time, sources confirm that Wenger is still sitting there, right now, with the lights off.

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