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It’s being described as football’s greatest tactical invention since ‘cattennacio’ In a Stirrer exclusive, Steve Beauchampé reports on amazing new plans by two much-loved Premier League coaches to strengthen their team’s defences.

Arsenal are to install giant wind machines behind each goal at the Emirates Stadium as the Premier League title race reaches its usual thrilling climax.

The giant fans - capable of emitting winds measuring anything from gusty to hurricane lite - will be placed in seated areas directly behind the nets and switched on whenever an opposition attack nears the Gunners’ penalty area.

Arsenal boss Arsene Whinger, the brains behind the idea, explained last night that a potentially major technical glitch had been resolved: “For the wind machine device to work correctly it needs lots of air and we get this by vigorously sucking it in when my team is on the attack - just like a powerful vacuum cleaner.”

However, many observers consider that Whinger already generates enough hot air during the course of a game to negate the need for a wind machine and suggest that he merely buys a ticket behind the goal and sits there during the match.

Indeed, during last Saturday’s game against Birmingham City at St. Andrews Whinger flapped his arms around so much that at one stage he took off and hovered over the fourth official for almost thirty seconds, berating him incessantly.

Wind machines are also being introduced at Old Trafford where Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson recently took to wearing an enormous watch around his neck, like Flavor Flav of rap group Public Enemy. Ferguson generously wears the watch during games as a way of helping match officials with their time keeping and it chimes Big Ben-style bongs when the Reds’ boss is happy that it’s full-time.

The moves come in the wake of Whinger’s recent offer to referee all future Arsenal matches himself as a means of addressing once and for all the football authorities’ continued insistence on providing the Gunners with determinedly unbiased and even-handed referees.

The offer was surprisingly turned down, despite Whinger’s willingness to officiate without the need to employ a brace of costly assistants to run the touchline.

Investigations by The Stirrer have confirmed that there is nothing in the laws of the game that specifically forbids the use of giant fans and vacuum cleaners outside the field of play, while an FA spokesman confirmed that no rules would be broken by the move and that in any case they were powerless to do anything about it even if they had been.

Welcoming Whinger’s initiative, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore stated: “As a progressive and forward-thinking organisation we support the introduction of new technology in football and are more than happy to give our blessing to trails of this machine between now and the end of the season.”

Scudamore stressed however that an extension of the experiment to other Premier League clubs was unnecessary, but added: “though we might allow it at Chelsea.”

(*It was confirmed last night that struggling Portsmouth are to be allowed to sell their Premier League points as a means of raising cash to clear their debts.

A Premier League spokesman said that the club - already effectively relegated after being docked nine points through entering administration - could use their remaining thirteen-point tally to raise much needed funds as an alternative to selling players: “Portsmouth have until 5pm on Easter Monday to sell their points, we feel that this course of action both allows them to pay their debtors more speedily and, by retaining their star players, maintains the integrity of the Premier League for the remainder of the current season.”

Chelsea and super rich Manchester City have emerged as favourites to secure the lions share of Pompey’s points haul, with the latter believed poised to table a bid of almost £200m for the lot.)



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