the free­dom of Manch­ester* *AND NINE OTHER SPORT STO­RIES YOU WON’T BE SEE­ING IN 2012...


Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

LON­DON was to­day sud­denly shrouded in dark­ness as a swarm of MOTHS en­gulfed the city – when Arse­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger creaked open his wal­let to fork out £50mil­lion for Europe’s hottest prop­erty, Napoli hit­man Edin­son Ca­vani.

The highly-rated hit­man ar­rives as Robin van Per­sie leaves to pur­sue a new ca­reer as a weightlifter.

The Dutch­man has been slowed down sig­nif­i­cantly in re­cent times by his new-found mus­cu­lar frame – a re­sult of car­ry­ing a whole team on his shoul­ders all sea­son.

It’s the first time tight­fisted French­man Wenger has prised open his purse to buy big since... ever.

And it’s the first time the Gun­ners gaffer has bought some­one good in a po­si­tion that was cry­ing out to be filled.

Now Lon­don is brac­ing it­self for hell to freeze over as Wenger con­sid­ers buy­ing a de­cent keeper and a mid­fielder who can tackle. ALEX FERGUSON has de­manded no more in­jury time at the end of games.

“It’s get­ting a bit silly,” said the rednosed Scot. “There’s just too much time for teams to mask av­er­age per­for­mances with a late goal or two – and of course a string of ques­tion­able ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions.”

Our re­porters have dug deep to re­veal that Fergie is in fact suf­fer­ing from a rare form of repet­i­tive strain in­jury caused by con­stantly look­ing at his watch.

Hav­ing been told to trash the time­pieces for the good of his wrist, the pur­ple-headed one sees lit­tle point in so-called “Fergie time”.

A spokesman for refs said yes­ter­day: “OK, Alex.” SKY SPORTS sub­scribers were up in arms last night af­ter Scott Parker played in a tele­vised match and was NOT awarded man of the match.

The Spurs mid­fielder, who has run slowly a lot for the White Hart Lane out­fit this sea­son, twice put through his own net be­fore miss­ing an open goal from a yard as his side crashed out of the FA Cup 2-1 to pub side The Cock Well Inn.

Parker, who re­cently ran out of brown to oil the noses of needy com­men­ta­tors, still came a close sec­ond for man of the match.

He later said: “I was that kid in the Mc­don­ald’s ad­vert you know – the one do­ing the keepy-up­pies.”

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