Norf Laaandan

What’s wrong with you, Arsenal and Spurs players? Can’t take the heat?

North London proves a little bit too edgy for troubled footballers…


People who survive North London are cut from a different cloth to the average gent. That’s probably why Hleb can’t take it, but the likes of Lehmann, Bergkamp and Amy Winehouse can. They’re just a little bit edgier, and don’t seem to mind that one minute the pavements will be littered with drugs paraphernalia, and the next you’ll be diving out of the way of a speeding Range Rover on a gorgeous cobbled street. It is, in short, testing.

Hence, you’d be hard pushed to find an area in the world that football players seem so eager to escape from – and that includes Wigan. Of Arsenal’s magnificent 2003/2004 team – the invincible one – Toure has remained on board, whilst only Bergkamp and Lehmann have completely stopped playing football altogether. Parlour may soon join them having been left in the cold by Hull. But Cole, Campbell, Pires, Vieira, Ljungberg and Henry are still playing at fairly high standards, just for different teams. Lauren is rumoured to enjoy the odd kick here and there too.

Of this year’s class, Flamini, Hleb and Gilberto have all flown the nest in recent weeks, whilst Adebayor, and even Cesc Fabregas, have been linked with Barcelona over the weekend. Adebayor looks likely to go after one really decent season, and one indifferent one. And possibly joining him on a big expensive bus zooming through the gates could be Gallas – set to be stripped of the captaincy, and flirting outrageously with Barca and Paris St Germain – and Van Persie, who was supposed to be the new Bergkamp, but could yet be found speaking broken Italian in a Juventus press conference. They want him for around £15 million.

Surprisingly, no one seems particularly interested in Eboue.

Over on the Spurs side of North London, the good ship Tottenham is enjoying an equally choppy ride. Four are linked with Sunderland (Malbranque, Chimbonda, Kaboul, Tainio), Berbatov will surely be acing his way to Man United, while Keane slopes off to Liverpool, quietly cheering and whooping under his breath.

As for the rest of the debilitated team, there has been much talk of Aaron Lennon sloping off to Blackburn as part of the Bentley deal, Paul Robinson joining him (or going less north, to Villa), Dawson bolstering Newcastle’s shocking defence, and even Darren Bent – still alive apparently – furthering his rep at Everton.

Never has North London seemed so unappealing.

Have these people not tasted the subtle joys of Hampstead Heath?

Have they not bothered to stroll around the breath-taking grounds of Alexandra Palace?

Have they not enjoyed a Camden head-rush?

13 responses so far
  • What the??? // July 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    What is the point in this stupid article? What crap!!

  • Dan Mac // July 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Why do I bother… I know it, as soon as I click on this I think why did I do it!!!

    Firstly – Lehman hasn’t retired.

    secondly – the 4 sunderland bound players… they would stay given chance, but they aren’t being given the chance… Lennon has stated following a chat with Ramos that he wants to stay and ramos wants him.

    In fact from a Spurs perspective – it’s only Keane and Berba that are leaving… the rest are being sold!!

    R E S E A R C H !!!
    isn’t that part of your job??

    If I was this bad at my job I’d be well and truly sacked!!!

  • James // July 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    What’s Camden got to do with anything? Go back to school you anus.

  • Sean // July 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Joke article – so maybe should be treated as such – heaven forbid that I leave myself open to the accusation of lacking a sense of humour.
    Presumably, on this basis, Cristiano Ronaldo has been sitting in his Mancunian home with his Morrisey collection on repeat play: ‘Oh, manchester, so much to answer for’ :-O

  • no65 // July 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    This article is worse than the worst of sportlingo and caughtoffside

  • the bridge boys // July 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm


    what a total cock

  • Josh Burt // July 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Ahh, deliberate mistake spotted. Of course I knew Lehmann hadn’t retired! Well spotted, passed the test, pat on the back etc…

  • baggyshorts // July 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    What is the point you are tring to make with your ramblings?

  • Lord Sidcup // July 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm





  • Avram Magic // July 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Grow up Spuds and Gooners. What is it that you disagree with in this article exactly? That more players seem to be leaving your club than any other (even bankrupt West Ham!)? I’m pretty sure the world is out to get your clubs, right? Quit with the persecution complex – it makes you look like laughing stocks!

  • Laa Laa // July 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    A football story for teletubbies

  • Fab4 // July 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Err, there is a big difference between players being desperate to leave and players being in demand. Gallas has been “flirting outrageously” with PSG and Barca, has he? You mean they are both interested in him. Same with Cesc and Van Persie. How many of the Invincibles were shipped out after they hit 30? Except Cashley, all of them.

  • Eto’o and Robinho say no to London, Wenger mumbles something mean… | The Spoiler // January 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm

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