Marinho Muses

I have had an absolute shocker this week. My 6-a-side team lost 8-0, and however often I tell myself “we kept them out for 10 minutes”, even that age-old cliché can’t drag me out of the pit of footballing despair. To add insult to injury, after the game I received a message from our captain reminding me that I hadn’t paid him £3 for the pleasure of being heavily beaten. £1 for every 2.67 goals conceded. Bargain. If the midweek Championship fixtures offered hope, such optimism was swiftly quashed as Brentford swept Birmingham City aside by 5 goals to nil. At £20 a ticket, that’s £1 for every 0.25 goals conceded. All in all, not the greatest footballing week for myself.

The same can’t be said for Wigan Athletic, who arguably produced the shock of the season by derailing Man City’s quadruple challenge. The League 1 side’s 18% possession brought back memories of Celtic’s 2-1 victory over Barcelona in 2012. Although the win propelled Celtic through to the last 16 of the Champions League, they ultimately left the competition after losing 5-0 on aggregate to Juventus. At a generous £40 a ticket per leg, that’s £1 for every 0.0625 goals conceded (for those of you that are interested). Luckily for Wigan, they’ve successfully avoided Juventus in the quarter finals of the FA Cup seeing as the Italian champions are, in fact, Italian. Southampton – coined “the Juventus of Hampshire”, by absolutely no one ever – should prove slightly easier opposition.

Stumbling through the rounds by repeatedly squeezing past slightly inferior opposition, Southampton are on quite the underwhelming cup run. Similarly, Brighton have ridden their luck against poor opposition, however find themselves with the mammoth task of turning over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Looking to join the two clubs from the south coast are fellow Premier League survival hopefuls Swansea City, brought back down to Earth by Sheffield Wednesday following an 8-1 trouncing of Notts County.

I find it’s always tough when your underdog side gets drawn against fairly decent Premier League opposition rather than ‘the big guns’ – going down 8-1 at the Etihad can be brushed off as a defeat to the best side in the country, going down 8-1 at the Liberty Stadium is a bitter pill to swallow. Still, Notts County can consider themselves lucky, if getting beaten 8-1 by Swansea City is a bit of an embarrassment, losing 8-0 against ‘Unprotected Cesc’ in the local 6-a-side league is nothing short of diabolical.