An old VHS held the key. It was in the basement.

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Image borrowed from here

I like to think that this is the very machine that our merry gang of defenders sat down in front of the other day in a bid to fix things defensively. You see, Arshavin, when he was trying to find a copy of his contract in the basement, had stumbled upon it in the storeroom that contains, amongst other things, George Graham’s old scarf, a somewhat dishevelled Glenn Helder and Paul Merson’s pool cue. Anyway, Andrey didn’t know what it was of course, because they didn’t use VHS in the Soviet Union. They were betamax all the way.

But Arsene knew, as he tends to – he’s got trillions of VHSs at home, all lovingly arranged in player alphabetical order (though Mrs W has now recorded Corrie over the top of the Stefan Malz scouting appraisal and Chamakh’s is being used to prop open the shed door).

Le Boss set it up and made them watch it. The video still sitting inside the machine had a segment of Tony Adams dropping Steve Morrow, followed by Nigel Winterburn doing passing practise with his right foot, a montage of Lee Dixon’s own goals, Steve Bould’s top ten near-post flick-ons and Martin Keown reminiscing about when he played midfield with Ian Selley. Taken together, it’s had the desired effect.*

*Except let’s not get too carried away. I was not the only one who got over-excited in early September when we point-blank refused to concede goals at all. Look at this, on the front page of the Guardian’s sport section.

And we all know how it panned out after that. So if it’s alright with you, while I’m obviously encouraged that we’ve not let a goal in for two games and have looked tidy at the back, the proof will be in the pudding at the end of May.

But I do like the idea of a basement storeroom at Arsenal with loads of old trinkets in it.

I also like the idea of a rock-solid defence.

Though I don’t miss VHS.

Or Ian Selley (no offence, Ian).

Sorry about this, but this is what happens when there’s no Arsenal and it’s as cold as hell outside.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.