The last time Sheffield United hosted Arsenal in the Premier League we were blessed with one of the most satisfying sights in football.
Not even does Christmas morning come close to stoking up the feeling of excitement we all get by seeing an outfield player don gloves, an ill-fitting shirt with someone else’s name and number on the back and take up an off-centre position between the sticks.
2006 and Phil Jagielka’s 20 minute escapade as a makeshift goalkeeper as the Blades beat Arsene Wenger’s side 1-0 seems like a lifetime ago now.
Fortunately for Arsenal, tonight could be the perfect opportunity to finally exact some sweet revenge after all these years of torment.
And by torment, we strictly mean the memes for losing to a side that had an outfield player in goal for 20 minutes.
Arsenal’s return of six trophies since that day isn’t too shabby.
Those of you who don’t spend every waking moment on Twitter comparing Nicolas Pepe to Gervinho will know that the Ivorian has actually only had six professional seasons as an outfield player.
That’s right, prior to his emergence as one of the most promising wingers in Europe, Pepe spent his formative years in the game as goalkeeper.
The £72m man cited “boredom” as the root of his permanent rush from goal.
Pepe was eager to find a new position where he could get more involved with play and it’s fair to say that decision has been truly justified.
And thus, Arsenal have their very own Jagielka primed and ready to do a madness™.
A then fresh-faced Jagielka produced some freakishly impressive saves to keep the Gunners off the scoresheet at Bramall Lane.
In fact, his highlights reel watches like one that would get any fan excited if you’d heard your club were linked with a goalkeeper whose only existence was forty two seconds on YouTube.
An injury to Emi Martinez in the warmup is our only hope of this sick, twisted dream of ours actually coming to fruition.
So far Unai Emery has failed to be quite as bold as Neil Warnock in his decision to neglect the need for a backup goalkeeper on the bench.
Bernd Leno would also have to play his part tonight and just as the trailblazer Kenny did back in 2006, pull a hamstring to let the chaos ensue.
We know this will never happen, but that won’t stop us from dreaming.
Perhaps a move back to goalkeeper is the secret to unlocking Pepe’s potential at Arsenal?
Anyone? No? Okay then, as you were.
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