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Two UK Rappers Pick Surreal Combined Man Utd/Arsenal XI - A Farcical Analysis

Two UK Rappers Pick Surreal Combined Man Utd/Arsenal XI - A Farcical Analysis
By Mikey Traynor
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You'll have noticed our fondness for local colloquialisms at Balls.ie if you are in any way familiar with the site, and at the risk of confusing our very welcome users from outside of Ireland when they see a term like "lost the arse altogether", we will continue to use them.

However, we are open to broadening our horizons.

Earlier in the Premier League season a clip from Arsenal Fan TV we shared got a very positive response, the 'Callum fuckin Wilson, blad?' one in case you missed it, as we got to see how people in other places talk about football. In that case, young Londoners.

In a similar vein, we came across a video uploaded by Soccer AM featuring two UK rappers, Tinchy Stryder and Wretch 32.

You may remember Tinchy Stryder from a number of high-charting singles, including a collaboration with N-Dubz that was the soundtrack to many an awkward Irish teenage session, and Wretch 32, too, is very big over in the UK.

That and the fact they both support the two teams in Sky's live Saturday game [Tinchy a Man Utd fan, and Wretch an Arsenal supporter) is why Soccer AM asked them to pick their combined Manchester United and Arsenal XI.

The Team is weird. Really weird.


If they were trying to pick the best possible team, then we would genuinely have to question whether either man watches football at all.

However, they may have been going for something different. We've watched the clip, and have broken down the decision-making process behind each pick. The results are fascinating.



A look inside the mind of a recording artist when asked to do their best football pundit impression.

So let's break down how this team came to be, and the parameters used to select each player from the goalkeeper to the striker.

David De Gea (over Petr Cech)


It's started off easy, with Wretch 32 accepting that De Gea was the better goalkeeper and conceding to Tinchy Stryder, despite the Spaniard's lack of goals scored.


W32: If I'm being realistic, I'll give you 'dis one.

He aint got no goals doe.

Hector Bellerin (over Tim Fosu-Mensah)

Then things got interesting, as Tinchy initially wanted to pick the Man Utd player because he is from Ghana, although he represents The Netherlands at international level.


Ultimately, he acknowledged that Bellerin's speed gave him the upper hand.

TS: Fosu-Mensah, GH Ghana and dat.

W32: This is definitely Bellerin for me doe.

TS: I aint gonna lie, I aint gonna lie, Bellerin his pace is too much so I'm gonna pick Bellerin as well.

Eric Bailly (over Laurent Koscielny)

A baffling choice, Man Utd's injured and insane-yet-promising defender was picked over arguably the best defender in the league on current form. This was a gesture from Wretch that this would be a friendly debate.

W32: I like Koscielny doe..

TS: I rate him. But I see a lot of downs in his game.

W32 D'you know what doe, where's his appearances?

TS: Appearances? 13... 256, yeah. He's new innit? He [Koscielny] has been there for ages and I don't think he's won a Prem yet.

W32: Aight. Take you man, take your man.

Shkodran Mustafi (over Chris Smalling)

The friendliness of this debate was then confirmed by Tinchy, who returned the favour and sacrificed Man Utd's best defender, but not before bringing up the metric of appearances, something he claimed was not an issue for Bailly.

W32: I'd take Mustafi over Smalling doe.

TS: Real talk where's his appearances doe? Where's his goals'n dat?

W32: Yeah it's looking mad, but... He's solid man.

TS: This one's a hard one. He can have it. I'll be honest, I want the best team innit.

Nacho Monreal (over Daley Blind)

Clearly the Spaniard is very high in the estimations of Wrech, and Tinchy is not a fan of Blind.

W32: I'm not even gonna.. I don't need to sell you dis.

Michael Carrick (over Granit Xhaka)

Appearances vs bangers, which is more important?

TS: Yeah he [Xhaka] has scored a few bangers this year but..

W32: Them bangers are dem... Pfft! This is what the fans need doe. The fans need entertainment. Have you ever been in a stadium when he's on the ball? The whole stadium is sayin shoot.

TS: Nah I've been in stadiums when people win trophies and dat, so.

W32: So you've not been anywhere recently?

D'you know what just on appearances I'm gonna let him.

TS: And goals yeah.

Francis Coquelin (over Ander Herrera)

Despite being Manchester United's best player so far this season, Herrera has been snubbed because Tinchy is a fan of Coquelin.

TS: Nah this one I can't even argue the fact that I think you can have him.

Alex Iwobi (over Wayne Rooney)

An interesting discussion took place here, with the fact that this team was being picked on that very day being absolutely crucial.

W32: Obviously the stats look mad, yeah? But today.. Who would you pick?

TS: Today? Wazza you're my people man, but..

W32: Today!

TS: Wazza's my people but.. I fink.. *points to Iwobi*. Nah but real talk if you check it doe, who bring more to the game doe, today?

W32: Today.

TS: Today. OK. I'm not happy with that but..

Mesut Ozil (over Juan Mata)

The Arsenal fan has absolutely no doubt, and after a quick acknowledgement that both players are good players, the Man Utd fan agrees.

W32: Well this one's gonna be a no-brainer.

TS: Mata, ooh yeah you know what he [Ozil] is world class, he's different. He [Mata] is different, but he [Ozil] is just different. You can have him, it's cool.

Paul Pogba (over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain)

The roles reverse here as the Arsenal fan, Wretch, now tries to suggest an idea he knows won't be accepted.

TS: Whoever you're bringin', just doesn't matter.

W32: You see, when he [The Ox] comes on he turns up. He's my guy.

TS: We'll go Pogba, yeah?

W32: Yeah we'll go Pogba.

Alexis Sanchez (over Marcus Rashford)

While it's clear that Marcus Rashford is the guy of both men, Sanchez was determined to be brining more to the table on that particular day.

TS:Yeah... But he [Rashford] is only young.

W32: Actually, I like him, I like him, I think he's gonna be a strong prospect.

TS: Real talk.

W32: But we aint here to talk about.. We're here to talk about.

TS: Today. Now.

W32: Yeah. He [Rashford] is my guy doe.

TS: Nah but he's the guy doe. But, yeah Sanchez.

W32: Cool. So basically it's Arsenal, and De Gea.

So there you have it. Appearances and bangers are what makes a player 'different', but none of that matters if you're not doing it today.

...This is what happens during the gap between international football and Premier League football.

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