War of the Roses

I don’t know what it is about cup draws, but whatever competition they’re in they contrive some how to fuck me over. Last season we had just every single round of both domestic cups at home; ‘why are you complaining you Big Four fuck?’ the chippier among you might ask. Well as good as it was for the team, for the lowly programme staff it was just about the worst thing that could happen, especially as it usually meant that we would go from have two or three deadlines in one week to four. Aaah, how I look fondly back on those days when we had a Champions League programme, two home league games on each weekend bookending that match and if we were lucky, a magazine deadline on top. Fun, fun, fun. And now this season’s Champions League draw, which has pitted Chelsea against Roma, a scenario that is a trifle uncomfortable for me in the following ways:

  1. Spangles is of course a devoted Romanista. If either one of us knocks the other out of the group it will cause South Ossetia-style conflict.
  2. Uncomfortable conversation with those around me on Sunday. I can already hear the question; ‘ Sei inglese? Quali Squadra?’ Doin’t make me choose lads, you’re only going to come off second.
  3. I don’t want to be stabbed in the arse by badly dressed urchins passing on their scooters.

Now as things stand both teams should easily qualify from a group that contains dead rubber like Cluj, but there’s something about this I don’t like. Maybe it’s the ghosts of St Gallen’s passed, but I have a nightmarish vision of the pair of us squaring up on 4 November, both having slipped up at some point and needing a result to advance. May I refer you back to number three?


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