the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

Arsene keeps a close eye on the hair loss. Image: REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh.

When Arsenal were invincible, it seemed like their glory would go on forever. For game after game, their boundless beauty was the envy of teams the world over, and their grace and allure on the pitch might have launched ships, if North London wasn’t essentially landlocked.

Arsene Wenger has worked hard to maintain Arsenal’s looks over the past eight years, and it would be fair to say that occasionally, when light and dark collide and shadows fall at just the right angle over the Emirates, a casual watcher would never spot the imperfections.

But a large hat can’t hide the weakness of a midfield that was once lustrous and shiny. Last summer, the hair started falling out, and by the time the transfer window closed, they were almost completely bald apart from a few strands they managed to scrape across their shiny pate. It was embarrassing, but worse was yet to come.

When the teeth first started to wobble, we will never know. But it’s been a while, and no one apart from the increasingly myopic Wenger was surprised when they confirmed their intention to leave via a statement on their website in July. Now they’ve gone. One can manage perfectly well without hair if the embarrassment isn’t too crippling, but to lose one’s teeth?

Of course, the appointment for veneers has already been booked, but who knows whether they will inspire a great big shiny grin or crumble after one bite of the tricky baguette that is the EPL? A philosophy of natural beauty is admirable, but tough to sustain when the cracks and wrinkles show through the heavy layers of make-up. Investing heavily in plastic surgery is the only solution.

It isn’t like they can’t afford it.

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