Schadenfreude Tuesday

I kind of meant to watch the Champions League football on ITV1 last night but, you know, “Spooks” was on BBC1 and… does anyone really care about these seemingly interminable group matches that act as wall-to-wall televisual filler between August and Christmas? I ask the question in all seriousness. Sometimes, something that I have previously written on here nestles in my head and leaves me thinking for several days and, over the last couple of days, I have been thinking about the supposed “death” of international football. Vastly overstated, if you ask me. The Champions League is supposed to the pinnacle of club football (it isn’t, by the way – in terms of quality you’re much better off checking out the Copa Libertadores when that starts in the new year if it’s quality and competition that you’re after), and my patience has been worn thin by week after week mismatched matches involving English clubs, often not playing very well, yet still managing to overcome plucky European clubs with about a tenth of their resources. It’s true to say that, in Italy, a sizeable proportion of the population (I’ve seen the figure of 70% quoted) support one of Inter, Milan or Juventus, no matter who else they go and watch. The figures are nothing like that high is England for Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool (no matter how much...

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