ARJEN ROBBEN

Grow up! You're 35, for God's sake!

Walter Eagle

Arjen Robben, eh? What does he look like? A wuss. Footballers these days seem to be made out of candy-floss, rose petals and spiders' webs. In the olden days, footballers, proper footballers, would turn out for their clubs in short-sleeved open-necked shirts from August through to May, starting in hot summer, right through the heart of a wet freezing winter and in to next year's spring. Probably the same shirt all season. Probably the same heavy-duty cotton (or woollen in even older times) shirt whose sleeves stopped several inches north of their elbows. Gloves? Get out! The only people who wore long sleeves and gloves were the goalies. The gloves certainly weren't to keep warm. They were well padded to withstand the pain of trying to catch a heavy leather ball with prominent laces, usually wet through, probably icy, as it came hurtling at them trying to break their fingers.

But today's footballers? Just look at what Robben has turned in to. He's like a red version of ... well, I don't know what. He's got his team shirt on, which, amazingly, is short-sleeved. But under that he's got some sort of long-sleeved skin-tight vest/body-suit thing. So what's the point of short, loose sleeves on top? Who knows? Next thing is the shoulders. I can't decide what they might be. Are these power bulges, or air intakes or gill covers? They might just be the folding and rucking of the material, but you must admit they look a bit too symmetrical and arranged to be a random outcome. And then there are the gloves. He's not a speedskater competing in a chilled ice-rink or dome, he's a professional footballer! What does he need all this wussy clothing for? If you're cold, Arjen, run a bit more! I'll bet that the fabric that all these garments are made from isn't some rubbishy common cotton. No doubt it will be a high-tech elasto-wick-a-tron-ex (TM) blend. And not just high-tech, but high budget too, I'd imagine. And the point is why? To make yourself look like a complete shrimp, Arjen. By the way, what was wrong with your head? Why not have an elasto-wick-a-tron-ex hood that snuggly covers your bald little dome. You know, in case it gets cold, huh? What a shame this picture cuts off just below the waist. I bet he's exactly the kind of player who would probably wear matching tights with this ensemble too. And that's another thing. Tights! Under shorts! With socks over the tops of the tights! It must take him about an our to get dressed for every game. Or do they have servants to do that for them these days?


Hey! Look what I found! He is a tights man after all! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!

But, oh, he has rather spoiled the look, don't you think? Not quite the Christ The Redeemer or the Angel Of The North figure he's trying to channel in the first image (or some kind of aircraft marshalling guy with unorthodox hand signals). Did no-one ever tell him that grey shorts and green shoes never, never, never go with red tights? Where does he get his couture advice? What kind of fashion guru is he?

This time he's taken off his gloves. But his little fingers are so c-o-o-ld that he's made fists of his hands to keep them as warm as possible.

I still think I'm right about the hood. It would be a lovely little accessory. And as FIFA doesn't allow players to rip off their shirts in goal-scoring self-adoration any more, a hood would be an excellent substitute. What better as a gesture of celebratory revelation having just scored a goal. The unveiling of the wunderkind. "Behold, it is I. Arjen!", the gesture would say. I'm going to trademark, copyright or patent that idea a.s.a.p.

I'll offer a final piece of constructive criticism to our LRM (little red man). I'm so disappointed that he hasn't got those special dinky little knitted sock-a-boots or whatever the fuck they're called now, the ones that are elasticated right up over his dinky little ankles. In matching red, of course.

Oh, for God's sake, give him some matching lipstick while you're at it.