Miles Kington: Who're you lookin' at, Jummy Sartre?

'Plucky Scottish Premier team Arbroath Smokies were up against it with top thinking Paris St Germain'
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The Independent Online

And so another two nights of pulsating European football has seen our teams from Britain emerge with varying fortunes from the simmering cauldron of the sporting lottery that men call the Beautiful Game (writes our battle-grained, goal-hardened football correspondent Rene McGrit, the man who has seen it all, even if only on slow motion playback), and now we know which teams stood tall in the hour of examination, which teams crumbled under the heat and which teams withstood the heaviest artillery that the mainland mercenaries could throw at them...

(The editor writes: Rene, why don't you just calm down, take a couple of these pills and start again in first gear?)

It was a busy two nights in European football (writes Rene McGrit). Teams were flying out from here to all parts of Europe. Other teams were flying in from Europe to play here. You felt quite surprised that the airline industry is in any trouble at all, the sky being so full of footballers whizzing here and there. But most English hopes were pinned on the current Superchampions Superleague champions, M1 Wanderers, as they met their old Italian rivals AC Berlusconi in what had been billed as the Clash of the Titans.

"Clash of the Titans?" mused Wanderers manager Sir Ron Astion before the match. "Aye, well, mebbe and mebbe not. I have no idea what a Titan is. But let nobody be fooled. Berlusconi are a clever side. They can defend. And they can attack. You can never relax against them. But never forget one thing. We too are a clever side. We too can defend. But we can also turn defence into attack. They will never be able to relax against us. There should be 90 minutes of the most unrelaxed football you ever did see in your life. Frankly, I'll be surprised if we see any goals tonight. That'll be £500 in cash, please, Rene."

Well, he must have been a surprised man, because the final score was a pulsating 2-2 draw, which clearly brought a great deal of satisfaction to the crowds who were already streaming homewards at half-time. Elsewhere, brave Yorkshire club Bradford and Bingley United were making a first time visit to the Spanish club, Real Timeshare.

"Frankly, Rene," I was told in an exclusive chat before the match by United's manager, Steve Gudgeon, "Real Timeshare were an unknown quantity to us, so we ordered videos of their recent matches to study before we left. Unfortunately, we were supplied with a video of The Magnificent Seven instead, and it was too late to change it so we watched that instead. In fact, we made some positional changes based on the tactics of Yul Brynner and his men!"

It must have worked, because, with ten minutes to go, Bradford and Bingley were four goals up on the Spaniards. Then the tiring Yorkshiremen gave away four soft goals and clung on to a 4-4 draw by the skin of their teeth.

"It all started to go wrong for us when our Chilean full back Santamaria was sent off for carrying a knife," Gudgeon told me afterwards. "I don't get it. James Coburn was never penalised in the film. So why the red card for Luiz? Where's the justice? That's £200 in cash, please, Rene."

Meanwhile, plucky Scottish Premier team Arbroath Smokies were up against it when they met the top-thinking team in France, the existentialist postmodernist Paris Saint Germain.

"Frankly," said the manager Sandy Shoals, after the match, "they were asking the kind of questions we couldn't begin to answer. Right from the kick-off, when the referee asked their captain which way he wanted to play first half, and the captain said: 'What do you mean by "which way"? In what sense does a football team play in a certain direction?' – well, I knew we were in for a rough time. But we had questions of our own to ask, like "How d'you like that, pal!?' and 'Who're you lookin' at, Jummy?' so I reckon we did well to come away with a result. That'll be 50 quid."

The result he came away with, sadly, was a 4-1 first leg defeat. Other selected results are as follows.

 

Cup-Losers Cup

Dresden (China) 0 Meissen Men 0

AC Milan 0 DC Milan 0

Eufa Tureen

FC Minestrone 0 Cock o'Leekie 0

Real Gazpacho 0 Dynamo Borscht 0

World Cup qualifying match

(Antarctica)

USA Weather Ship HL Mencken 0

South Georgia All-Penguin XI 0

(match abandoned, ref drowned)

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