Football ... it's a funny old game, innit?

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The Independent Online

So, we have been treated to another midweek marathon of mesmerising football (enthuses Rene McGrit, our seen-it-all, done-it-all, forgotten-it-all soccer sage). We watched as the finest of British clubs took on the best of Europe in the theatre of championship football! The greatest actors of modern times on the footballing stage ... The dramatic scripts unfolding before our eyes ... The stars taking their exits and their entrances ... And from the wings, the managers watched as their all-star casts battled it out ...

So, we have been treated to another midweek marathon of mesmerising football (enthuses Rene McGrit, our seen-it-all, done-it-all, forgotten-it-all soccer sage). We watched as the finest of British clubs took on the best of Europe in the theatre of championship football! The greatest actors of modern times on the footballing stage ... The dramatic scripts unfolding before our eyes ... The stars taking their exits and their entrances ... And from the wings, the managers watched as their all-star casts battled it out ...

The editor writes: Rene, Rene, take it easy! I think you'll find a theatrical metaphor may be difficult to sustain in a football context. See, the players have seen the script in advance, and memorised it. So theatre is not a competitive sport. And there are no winners or losers in a three-act play. OK? Just a detail, but I think a valid one. OK, let's start again. And try to mention the scores this time.

The skies of Europe were thick with planes taking footballers hither and yon this week (writes our sober-suited, water-drinking football expert Rene McGrit) in order to fulfil their obligations in the many European football trophy chases which crowd the sporting calendar these days. One unusually interesting fixture was that between the crack London side, Bloomsbury, and the formidable Dutch side FC School of Rembrandt, which saw the Londoners cross to Holland for the first leg of this vital quarter-final encounter.

"Londoners?" twinkled Bloomsbury's mercurial Corsican manager, Luigi Mortadella. "Us? Are there any Londoners in the side? Any Englishmen? There are so many foreigners playing for us that I don't know what language to use. There is one defender, guy called Clamp, very good player, who we have had for two years and I have never understood a word he says. I have only just found out he is from Glasgow! But I still can't understand him."

Nice one, Luigi. What about the game?

"Well, we came here to attack. What we didn't know was that they were going out to entertain. They were so entertaining in the first half that they scored twice while we were laughing. At half time, I said to my men that we should go out to tell a sincere narrative in a workmanlike way, with plenty of interesting character portrayal, hopefully with one or two final twists. They all saw what I meant and went out and scored three goals in the last 10 minutes. Unfortunately, Clamp let one through as well, so that was 3-3. Let's call it £500 for the interview, Rene. In cash."

Meanwhile, crack English side M1 Wanderers were up against their ancient Spanish enemy, Real Timeshare. I asked manager Sir Ron Aston before the game if he feared their old nemesis.

"Nemesis?" he said. "Greek footballer, isn't he? No, I am not frightened of the Spanish. What I am frightened of is mortality and disease. Six of my best players are off with groin strain. I tell them - keep your sex life for the close season! As if that wasn't enough, at the end of last Saturday's game our new midfielder from Albania, Zbart Krojha, broke a leg and had to be destroyed. Silly boy. Call it £300, Rene."

M1 Wanderers came back after a narrow 2-1 victory, unfortunately to the other side. Elsewhere, Yorkshire's Bradford and Bingley Utd played host to the post-modernist French side Paris St-Germain.

"They're a thoughtful side and they asked a lot of the right questions," admits manager Len Gudgeon. "However, most of them had been answered by Kierkegaard years ago, so we sailed home 3-0 on the night. As I said to their manager, 'In the words of Descartes:I score, therefore I win'. He wasn't amused. Tough."

Other results in brief:

UEFA PUNCH BOWL

FC Riesling 1 Sporting Cinzano 1

Pimm's No 4 1 Pimm's No 1 4

EUROPEAN TUREEN

Dynamo Borscht 1 AC Minestrone 1

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING (Group 40)

Baffin Island 1 Puffin Island 1

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