The Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, yesterday renewed his contract with the club for a further 25 years, taking him through to 2043 when he will be 94. Sipping Beaujolais Nouveau through a straw, his red and white Zimmer frame tucked away in the corner of his office, the Gallic master appeared bemused, elated and pugnacious as ever.
"The Gunners offered me a contract until I was 100, but that would be ridculous," said Wenger, "I want to enjoy my retirement. In 2043 I will open a restaurant in Paris with Tony Adams, 'Le Canard Mort' (The Dead Duck), in memory of my achievements."
Asked if he thought it might be time to hand over the reins, Wenger was adamant: "To whom, Monsieur!?", he jolted. "I am infallible, who can compare to my credentials. OK, we have not won anything recently, alors!, what are a few years in the life of a club. I can see now, mon ami, I can see. We are heading for a great victory, who knows where, who knows when. Vive l'Arsenal! Vive myself! You follow? Avec un chien, as they say in Rheims. I pledge to create a new team of Ray Parlours, yes indeed. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.... I tell you, I will revenge Agincourt. I despise Henry V, I adore Thierry Henry. Yes, football, I can still do it, n'est-ce pas?, ah, oui, Monsieur,ah oui....Santé!"