Some stories you have to dig for. Furiously scratch at the undergrowth to reveal the glowing truth. A truth that had been concealed by desperate people willing to resort to skullduggery and nefarious means to secrete the facts. You may get dirty in the process but the public deserve to know. The lengths you must resort to may weigh upon your conscience – but the truth will out. Other stories literally fall into your lap.
I was at my usual spot outside Arsenal’s Colney training complex. The security guard who stood sentry had been made aware of my visage some time ago and had made it his duty to stymie my attempts to gain access to the holy grail of Gooner fandom. As the players luxury automobiles drove past me, some took pity on this devoted, if slightly unhinged fan and stopped to sign autographs. That is until they recognised my face and hurriedly zoomed away. The piece of DNA I needed from Santi Cazorla to create the ultimate Arsenal player would have to wait. I already had all the spit I could ever need from the rest of the squad as they grew to hate my repeated attempts to steal their underwear.
I stood in vain hope that a player would stop their car, wind down the window and leave their luxurious head of hair unguarded. Not one even remotely slowed their sojourn into training. I slumped into my foldable chair and supped at my flask of Um Bongo. I would wait out the hours it would take for my heroes to finish honing and sculpting their talents and attempt to curry favour with them as they exited. Maybe try laying in front of the cars as they approached again – although the bruises on my abdomen proved to be an effective reminder of the risk involved.
As I sat musing on tactics to obtain the last jigsaw piece to my Gunner-RoboCop, in my field of vision thanks to my powerful binoculars fell a nondescript suited man shaking hands with none other than Ivan Gazidis. They were shaking hands at the exterior door. Gazidis went back inside and the suited man started to walk up the slim road to where I sat.
He approached me and asked where the nearest bus stop was. It was strange that such an official looking man would look to use public transport as transit. I informed him of the long distance involved but no emotion nor reaction was displayed. With a curt nod he started the long walk towards the bus stop.
I watched him until he could no longer be seen. The encounter struck me as strange, especially seeing as the man had just been involved in a meeting with Arsenal hierarchy.
I contemplated on the finer nuances of the interaction until my eyes fell upon the floor and what lay upon it.
It is now common knowledge that Arsenal have been granted permission to extend and improve the facilities at their expansive Colney training complex. The plans have been viewed and details that were previously sequestered were now in the public eye. The details I held in my hand at that moment were also of training ground plans but held no parallel with the plans that are currently in place.
The object that lay on the floor – upon closer scrutiny – were the original plans for the Colney expansion plans. The details that lay in my palm were vastly different to the ones that everyone know of now. I stuffed the valuable papers into my coat and sped away from the scene. The DNA chase could wait.
I went back to my abode so I could pore over the plans.
The details that I was privy to and now share with you all are of stark contrast to the ones that have been officially released.
The biggest difference would be that all ceilings of all buildings were originally going to be lifted by about seven inches to negate the maintenance costs of continually fixing where Per Mertesacker kept headbutting door frames and lighting. Common sense really.
Amongst the other startling revelations was a planned salon for Mikel Arteta. Seeing as Arteta may be at the club post-career, the club were looking to accomodate Mikel’s demands that his hair must always be of immaculate standard. The permanent transfer of Nicky Clark however, was ongoing.
Another eyebrow-raiser was a Hall of Mirrors that was exclusively for Olivier Giroud. Our chisel-jawed Gaul had complained of a lack of opportunity to view his wonderful features and thus, the club had looked to give him a room devoted to the pursuit of physical perfection.
Seeing as injuries had blighted our start to the season and had continued to dine upon our players, an expansion to the medical centre was in the original plans, but attached to the building was an offshoot of this facility. In this attachment was a massive playroom, filled with ballpits, board games, the finest gaming consoles and other assorted fun activities. It was exclusively for Abou Diaby in his downtime from extensive massages and horse placenta applications. There was ample room for his choice of playmates, be it Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey or Keiran Gibbs – who had regularly frequented the injury centre in the past.
A boxing ring had also been lined up amongst the other fitness paraphernalia. This had another use though, other than another novel way to develop strength and core fitness. Steve Bould had requested it, on the grounds that the frustration he had in seeing his defensive suggestions falling on deaf ears in the early part of the season had caused his ulcers to act up. He had needed a safe method of catharsis in order to improve his health and keep the three hairs that sat upon his head.
Other improvements that had been included in the first set of plans were a permanently running treadmill so Alexis Sanchez can continue his chase for the zenith of fitness, a stage in the centre of the canteen so Carl Jenkinson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could work on their ‘banter’ and entertain the players and staff, a gymnastics expert for Laurent Koscielny so he could continue to excel in acrobatic clearancesand not forgetting a ban on zips of any kind within the training complex.
At the back of the dossier, was a single sheet of paper stamped in red ink with the word ‘CONFIDENTIAL’. This sheet contained the biggest and perhaps the most controversial of all the advancements Arsenal had planned.
Dead in the centre of the facilities would be a room filled with high-backed chairs and luxurious comfort. Music that relaxed and enchanted the soul would be piped in to set at ease any who was within its confines. The men who would have access to this sacrosanct room would require a key of which only three would have existed.
Only Jack Wilshere, Wojicech Szczesny and Arsene Wenger would have had possession of the keys. They would go there to unwind and relax. They would go there to smoke the finest of cigars from Cuba and cigarettes rolled on the thighs of Robert Pires. It was a smoking room.
I recoiled when reading this for the first time. These original plans though, they must be disseminated . The people must know. I’ve kept this to myself and have been forced to live out of my car, moving from place to place as the Club have me in their sights. I live in fear and in the shadows. I know I haven’t much time left. My Arsenal DNA project would never reach fulfillment. You all must know the truth. I must leave. Someone is knocking on my car window and I didn’t order room service…………….