It all started way back when, way back when Gary Lewin decided to up sticks and head for the bright lights of St Georges Park and Team England.
On his way out of the door he shouted back to Arsene,
“I know a guy, he’ll see you right. I’ll call you from the car”
Bemused, Arsene headed back to his office, expecting to never hear from his once faithful physio again but as sure as eggs are eggs, Arsene’s mobile began to ring.
“Arsene, as I said, I know a guy, well actually he’s my cousin, great bloke, knows his stuff, should be there in about an hour or so. Have fun !!”
Confused, Arsene set off to the gym for his daily workout, only to be stopped half way down the corridor by someone who looked vaguely familiar.
“Hi Arsene, I’m Colin, Gary sent me, says you need a physio. Gary gave me a run down of the job spec, it doesn’t seem to hard. Where’s my office?”
Bemused by the whirlwind unfolding in front of him, Wenger gestured towards the far end if the corridor and continued to the gym, thinking this was all a dream.
Colin, on the other hand, as happy as a dog with a new bone, scampered down to his new digs, lapping everything up.
“Gary, said he’d see me right” he yelped out loud. “Cushy job, he said, no one is ever injured, state of the art training, state of the art facilities, what can go wrong?”
Colin eventually found his new abode in a dark, dusty corner of London Colney. He opened the creaky door to find 1 table, 1 bed and a whole lot of dust.
“Gary was right” he thought to himself, “nobodies been in here for years. This is gonna be a doddle”
And for the first few months, it was. Colin got to watch The Arsenal, every week from the front bench. He made a good friend in Pat, who seemed to have the same job as him, nod your head when Arsene spoke and scream when the team scored. Everyone seemed to like him and nobody really bothered him. Life was sweet.
But suddenly, things stared to change. Somebody we used to know called Robin, kept popping into Colin’s office and kept complaining about his knees, talking about anterior cruciate ligaments, patello-femoral pain and other long words that Colin really didn’t understand. Colin just wanted the easy life, so he brought a shed load of nurofen and kept feeding them to Robin, hoping he’d disappear (which eventually he did).
Then things stared to get really tricky. Some guy called Aboooo stared to share his office. He would wake up every morning, complaining about a different pain everyday. First he leg, then his knees, then his back and this went on and on and on. Colin was beginning to think this Abooo was a bit of a hypochondriac.
“I mean, how can anyone be in that much pain” he reported to Arsene after one on Abooo’s extensive nurofen sessions.
“Look Colin, Stan is getting worried” said Arsene, with a furrowed brow. “We are paying Abooo £60k a week and he’s always injured. Why is this so?”
Colin started to sweat, the tablets weren’t working, who or what could he blame. Then it came to him;
“What ?” replied Arsene.
“Fragile players. Some players have a greater disposition to injury. They are just more susceptible”
“That seems to make sense. I’ll explain to Stan. Thanks Colin”
Over the next few seasons things just went from bad to worse. Aboooo moved into the medical centre, Jack and Rambo started making regular visits and Colin had to start bulk ordering Advil from the U.S.
Arsene was getting desperate. The fans and the press began to notice the worsening injury problems and were beginning to question his methods.
“Colin, what the hell is going on?
“Well boss, I’ve done some research and that has lead me to believe that it’s the smoking that causing the repeat injuries. You see, when the ….”
“Spare me the details Colin, that seems feasible, I’ll have a word with the players and get it knocked on the head. As you’ve been under the pump recently, I thought I’d get you some help. I have a mate called Shad. He knows his stuff, he’ll be able to sort this once and for all”
A month later, Shad turned up. He undertook a review of the facilities and methods and concluded that everything was ship shape and to Colin’s relief recommended that nothing be changed.
Over the next few months Colin and Shad became besties. Abooo and Jack kept popping in for visits and the were joined by Ox and Theo on a regular basis, but all in all things were going ok. Arsenal started winning things and the injury issue seemed to fade from the headlines.
But then November 2015, the worse case scenario came to pass.
In one week, Le Coq, Santi and Alexis all rocked up to the medical centre. The team was decimated and Arsene was livid. Colin and Shad were panicking, Arsene had called an emergency meeting and they didn’t have the answer. They feared the worse, until, just as they were setting off to see the boss, the phone rang.
“Yes, I see, cheers mate, that explains it” answered Colin and then he and Shad ran out to Wenger’s office.
Out of breath they arrived, sat down and prepared for the worse.
Arsene went mental, “No team. Always injured. What the fcuk are you two doing?”
Shad shuffled in his seat, stared at his feet and feared the worse, but Colin just smiled.
“What the bloody hell are you so happy about?” yelled Arsene.
“It’s all cool boss, I know the problem. I just got a phone call from a bloke called ‘arry and he explained it all to me”
“Oh, really” screamed Arsene,“and what did this ‘arry say?”
“It’s bloody obvious boss. IT’S THE PITCH, it’s too good”
Arsene just stared and shouted,
“Oh why don’t the 2 of you just fcuk off !!!!”
English by birth, Australian by choice. Traffic Engineer, Arsenal ST Holder, Sun DreamTeam Winner, Writer on @GunnersTown, Depeche Mode, Welcome to my world…