A witty football fan exasperated with his team’s lack-lustre performances took one look at the club’s comedy mascot at half time and quipped that the team might play a bit better if the pantomime dinosaur was in the actual team!
Cliff Anderton made the satirical aside during Arsenal’s champions league clash with PSV Eindhoven as ‘Gunnersaurus’ walked past waving at fans during the half time break. ‘They should make that mascot centre forward!’ he repeated. ‘Then we might stand a chance!’ The joke was greeted with howls of laughter from the fans seated nearby, however during the second half the fan’s jokes became so funny that players were actually unable to continue playing for laughing. ‘Oi referee, where’s your white stick?’ he shouted, making the Arsenal back four double up with laughter. ‘Linesman, you forgot your guide dog…’ he continued by which point players and officials alike were laughing so much they were unable to play. Even at other football grounds across Europe the joke was heard by fans listening to their radios where commentators translated the hilarious one-liners that had halted the game at the Emirates Stadium.
The match ended in a draw, making the Dutch visitors the winners on aggregate. It means that Arsenal have yet again failed to progress in the ultimate European competition. But although disappointed by his teams performance, the soccer fan had been able to alievate the gloom with a well-aimed satirical sideswipe. ‘Yer have to laugh don’t you?’ he said at the end of the game as disappointed fans poured out. ‘You know those nine year old girls who did the penalty shoot out at half time? They should put one of them at centre-forward! Then we might stand a bit more of a chance!’
A spokesman for the Champions League said that players had to be registered before they could play in a match, and so neither a nine year old girl nor a giant pantomime dinosaur would be permitted to play in any UEFA fixture.