Thursday, April 20, 2006

Squirrel football

Last night was the first time that I can recall a squirrel featuring prominently in a football match. At least one minute of the ninety was dedicated to footage of the cheeky chap (pictured above) running around the Highbury pitch. The events were serious enough to make it into the BBC clockwatch commentary:

2006: The action gets back under way and Fredrik Ljungberg's pace takes him into the box, but the angle is too tight and he can only fire into the sidenetting.

2003: The referee Konrad Plautz has had enough of the squirrel and stops the game. He goes after it and looks set to give a yellow card for time wasting, but cannot catch the cheeky little fella who eventually leaves the field (probably for an early bath).

1959: The squirrel is clearly not happy with the attention Thierry Henry is getting as it makes a return to the pitch.

1957: Thierry Henry has the ball in the back of net but it is chalked off for offside. Video replays show that it was an incorrect decision, but the space Arsenal are getting in the final third is encouraging for the Gunners.

1956: A call of nature at Highbury as a squirrel appears on the pitch before wandering off into the stands.

1955: More success from another corner, this time it is Philippe Senderos who is given a free header but his effort is well over the bar.

Arsenal bosses have vowed to step up squirrel-proofing efforts in the new £357 million Emirates stadium.


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