I have a confession to make.
I don't watch this tournament.
It simply doesn't excite me. It is great and all to have young players get a run out, but do I really need to watch it? And in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon? But with a match against Chelsea, with a ticket to Wembley and the finals on the line, I had to do a bit of research. And I have compiled that research here for you in, let's call it a preview, for your benefit.
As you all are aware,this tournament has classically been known as the Effyl Cup, presumably because it gives people with lisps an excuse to drink under the waxing glow of the floodlights. However, there has been a bit of a name change, alongside what looks to be some rule changes. Apparently, in the second leg of the semifinal round, a new rule takes place. Both teams are required to import a sizable number of reindeer for the match.
For Chelsea, this was a rather straightforward task. Abramovich merely opened up his check book and wrote a note for £30 million in exchange for the finest Ukrainian Caribou. However, questions have been asked about the acquisition of that Ukrainian caribou. There are allegations that the reindeer are either illegally sourced or counterfeits owing to the fact that reindeer do not live in Ukraine. However, at the time of publication, there have been no conclusive answers from any investigations. While Chelsea were easily able to acquire World Class reindeer, it appears Arsenal had considerably more problems. Instead of spending so much for their ungulates, Wenger apparently sourced his reindeer from sources of dubious quality, though he continues to insist that they are all Top Top Quality. Most disturbing, it seems that the funding for those reindeer, some £10 million, came thanks to the sale of Theo Walcott, with the remaining £15 million mysteriously earmarked for a shipment of zippers.
Arsenal TV are criticizing the move, pointing out that Walcott's pace could have been very useful as a substitute to remind the caribou of their natural predator, the ice cheetah. Most interestingly, the ice cheetah combines incredible pace with stellar camouflage, rendering it invisible to its prey. Nevertheless, Wenger was upbeat on his squad's chances, pointing to new signing, Henrikh Mkitaryian. On the Chelsea side, when asked to comment on how he felt the presence of Caribou in the match would affect his game, Victor Moses remarked on their horns, discussing such hazards. It is unclear if he was describing the reindeer or the player.
It is understood, based on my research, that after the match, that the reindeer will be set free upon the streets of London, similar to how they run the bulls in Spain. I was unable to determine whether or how many of the animals would then become reindeer jerky and sold in discounted meat pies.
Hold your ninety seconds! It seems that the tournament isn't named for reindeer, but after a random Thai energy drink, one that presumably combines heart-attack inducing levels of sugar and caffeine with what is unhelpfully named caribou essence. No word yet on whether the sale of permanently over-caffeinated Alexis Sanchez will affect Arsenal's chances.