The Badger is finding it hard to tell which was more predictable this weekend; Manchester United’s comeback against Aston Villa or Arsenal’s stubborn refusal to win a game. In truth, they are both so unremarkably predictable that you may as well ask which UCD residence has the lowest level of syphilis*.
Honestly, the only thing that surprised The Badger this week was the fact that Celtic managed to beat Barcelona by refusing to actually play football. After the game, Celtic were heaped with praise, describing them as “heroic”, “magnificent” and “only having the ball for 47 seconds in the second half”.
If you don’t believe The Badger (which is something you should never, ever do), you can check it out for yourself on the official UEFA stat sheet, which said Celtic had possession of the ball for a grand total of 6 minutes and 51 seconds during the game, giving them a whopping 11% possession for the night.
Of course, Celtic fans will claim that the only statistic that counts is the goals scored, and (for once) they are right. Celtic managed to hold out Barcelona for 90 minutes by playing a revolutionary 10-0-1 formation.
The Badger also found it amusing when many pundits decided it would be appropriate to call the night the greatest achievement in Celtic’s European history, completely ignoring the time they actually won the European Cup in 1967 after beating an Inter Milan side that had won two of the previous three tournaments with a team purely comprised of players born within 30 miles of Glasgow.
Gone are the days when such a team could be built, not simply because of the current transfer climate, but also because Scotland are terrible at all sports again. In fact, it seems as if British and Irish football has hit a rut, with the over-rated Wayne Rooney the closest thing there is to a world-class player in any of the “Home Nations”.
What this week also proved was that the constants claims by Sky Sports that the Premier League is the best in the world are either an attempt at self-promotion, or a complete inability of the English to accept they are not the best at something. The Badger believes it could be a combination of the two.
It’s sad that it is only November and The Badger is already growing tired of the football season. Perhaps a winter break isn’t such a bad idea after all.