(Bennett — not quite how he envisioned making his CSTB jpg debut)

Be it the three-way battle at the top of the Premiership or LIverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United all being part of the Champions League’s Elite Eight, the Guardian’s Russell Brand considers the boom thusly ; “as much as being a testimony to a renaissance of genuine competition this mini-era says much of the way that football is reported “ with such hyperbole that Liverpool can go from being hailed as the world’s greatest side to being damned as a gaggle of incompetent pansies in the time it takes to say their name three times into a mirror.”

The Champions League tie at Anfield this week was an unexpected thrill. Chelsea were remarkable and Guus Hiddink’s tactical acumen became screamingly apparent in spite of being allied to gentle Dutch humility. It was like being walloped round the chops with a glorious penis only to find it was attached to Alan Bennett.

I hear that the two key components in Chelsea’s triumph were Michael Essien’s skilled control of the recently crowned “world’s best player” (by Zinedine Zidane) and the exploitation of Liverpool’s zonal marking. Why do people persist with zonal marking? It is one of the things within the game that no one has a good word to say about, like Astroturf or Millwall fans. Zonal marking, as a phrase seems always to be preceded by “flawed” or “failed” or “fucking useless”. Hiddink’s predecessor and testosterone factory Luiz Felipe Scolari was a practitioner of zonal marking and it drove him out of a job.

People hate it; I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the collapse of the global capitalist system was in some way precipitated by a zonal marking system. I bet JFK’s security agents were employing a zonal marking system the day he was assassinated “ “we didn’t think to mark the book depository or the grassy knoll. They were the only two zones we left unmarked. Seems ironic now,” said one CIA operative.