Granit Xhaka has just told Arsenal fans to f**k off, having been unceremoniously booed while walking off the Emirates pitch. TV viewers eagerly await the thoughts and analysis of a football punditry triumvirate. This is a discussion that never happened, in a studio that doesn’t exist. David Jones presents The Full-Time Whistle with Football365…
JONES: Welcome back to Football365. I’m joined in the studio by Graeme Souness, Alan Shearer and Garth Crooks in the wake of Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. We’ll get on to all the action in what was a very entertaining game shortly, but there’s really only one place we can start, Graeme…
SOUNESS: Yes, Paul Pogba. Who the f….
JONES: (holds hand up to stop Souness mid-sentence) No, Graeme…this is Arsenal and that is Granit Xhaka. Firstly, do you think the Arsenal fans were right to boo their captain from the pitch?
SOUNESS: Is he their captain? They say they’ve got five of them, but I didn’t see any out there.
Silence as Jones waits for Souness to actually answer his question.
SOUNESS: Look, if he puts in a performance like that I think the fans have got a right to vent their frustration. This is a guy earning millions of pounds a year, far more than I ever did. The least he can do is run around a bit. But then there are plenty of players earning big bucks these days who aren’t worth a dime.
JONES: Like who?
SOUNESS: Like Paul f***ing Pogba (sits back in chair triumphantly)
JONES: (sighs) Sorry about any foul language you might have picked up through our microphones there. So, Alan. Do you think the Gunners fans were right to… Garth are you alright?
CROOKS: Yes, yes I’m fine.
JONES: OK, it’s just that you nodded when I introduced you and you haven’t stopped since.
Crooks closes his eyes and continues nodding.
JONES: Fine. Alan, do you think the Arsenal fans have got a point?
SHEARER: Well if I show you this bit of analysis on the space he afforded the Crystal Palace midfielders, I think they do.
JONES: (puts finger to ear and whispers) I thought we had disabled the big red Match of the Day circles around players that illustrate nothing?
PRODUCER: We said he could use the 25 other methods of analysis, but he insisted on the big red circles. He said Gary always lets him use them.
SHEARER: (points pen at Jones) There’s no excuse for giving Palace midfielders space in the midfield like that.
JONES: So what should Xhaka be doing? Surely he can’t be within a yard or two of all of them all the time?
SHEARER: Shall I show you the red circles again?
JONES: No, we saw the red circles, thanks Alan. We just thought you might be able to tell us what he could do about it?
Shearer looks blankly back at Jones, mouthing the words ‘red’ and ‘circles’.
JONES: No? OK then. We’re now going to cross live to the Emirates, where Jamie Redknapp joins us.
Redknapp appears on the screen in the studio.
SOUNESS: (mutters under his breath) For f**k’s sake, not this prick.
REDKNAPP: Hi guuuys!
JONES: Hi Jamie, thanks for joining us. We’re just discussing the Xhaka incident here in the studio.
REDKNAPP: Oh yeah.
JONES: What do you make of his reaction as he walked off? It appeared he aimed a profanity at the Arsenal fans?
REDKNAPP: He told them to fuck off, Dave.
JONES: (winces and chuckles nervously) Ahem! Jamie remember we’re live on Football365 right now.
REDKNAPP: Can you hear me? (taps his microphone) HE TOLD THEM TO FUCK OFF DAVE… (turns to someone off camera) I don’t think they can hear me.
Video link gets cut off.
JONES: We appear to be having some technical difficulties, we’ve just lost Jamie there.
SOUNESS: (mutters) Good riddance.
JONES: Go on then, Graeme, what do you make of Xhaka’s reaction as he walked off? Emotions must have been running high.
SOUNESS: But he’s a professional footballer. You can’t let your emotions get the better of you in the heat of battle, you’ve got to keep a level….why are you looking like that? (shoots daggers at Jones)
JONES: I’m just wondering if they’re agreeing with you. (points at Shearer and Crooks)
SOUNESS: (frowning even more than usual) No! It was the way you looked.
Jones shifts nervously in his seat, turns away from Souness.
JONES: Do you agree?
CROOKS: (nodding more quickly) I agree wholeheartedly with everything Graeme just said. The intonations in his voice were nothing short of superb. And his tie looks great.
Crooks continues nodding as Jones looks at Souness, then Shearer, but gets nothing in return…
JONES: And do you think Xhaka will be punished for his reaction?
CROOKS: He may well be punished, but he will still make my team of the week, probably as one of four strikers.
JONES: Thanks Garth. Well we’ll be right back after this short break, when we’ll get the manager’s reaction as well as some more cutting-edge analysis from our guests here in the studio. See you shortly.
Jones smiles at camera two until the LIVE light goes off.
SHEARER: That seemed to go pretty well.
All nod in agreement. Especially Crooks.
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