Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: It’s a crisp finish, but no assault or shake in London

iT was the one we were all waiting for, the clash of two old enemies and all week the hype about the potential fall-out was deafening.

But that's enough of Rangers and Celtic, did you ever hear as much guff in all your puff about whether Wayne Bridge and John Terry would shake hands ahead of Chelsea against Man City?

Luckily Kyle Lafferty didn't have to shake hands with anyone as he'd probably have collapsed like a felled oak but I'm sure all Celts fans will wish him well as the new lead man in ITV's new spectacular, Bambi on Ice.

It was a strange week in football, dominated by things that didn't happen, other than the inevitable at Wembley when Wayne Rooney scored his 377th header of the week, or something like that.

“He's done it again, it's another headed goal from Wayne Rooney and this one is covered in gold dust,” announced Alan Parry on Sky's coverage of the Carling Cup Final, the only surprise being that it wasn't sawdust.

“He's scored with more headers in the past month...” he continued, and suddenly Ashley Cole and Terry's lawyers showed an interest, but that would have been a cheap shot.

Back to the Bridge and we needed a calming presence to ensure that things were put in perspective, so that would mean Match of the Day sending for Jonathan Pearce, a bit like letting Stephen Nolan look after your burger.

“The alleged betrayer meets the betrayed,” he began, and when they did eventually meet and nothing happened, it prompted JP to add ‘Wayne Bridge avoids John Terry, there was a momentary eye contact and that speaks volumes.' Not the only one.

If only JT had thought to enlist the help of the last person whose handshake, or lack of it, had dominated proceedings in that neck of the woods, the wee lad who stitched up Stevie G, but let's face it he isn't the brightest, is he?

And talking of daft things, Arsene Wenger's latest rant about his poor wee Gunners coming under-fire from all-comers. The tackle that flattened Aaron Ramsey was hard, but not malicious, and while we all feel sympathy for anyone who breaks their leg, it's tempered somewhat by the myopic one's sniping that his side are being assaulted every week. Not clever.

No, that mantle still rests with Clarke Carlisle, whose successful appearance on Countdown this week was a real conundrum for miserable consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant, Alan Hansen.

After the Burnley man made a couple of boobs, and we're not talking about the lovely Rachel Riley here, Hansen said, ‘I really don't think he should have been on Countdown', his point, presumably, that he couldn't concentrate on football.

The fact that Countdown is pre-recorded seemed to escape him and it's hardly mountain-climbing, is it?

What would he rather Clarke do in his time off? Nip off with one of his team-mates' missus, get legless or do ads for Morrisons?

He's hardly Burnley's biggest concern in the numbers game at the bottom of the league, that would be another nine-letter word — brianlaws.

Belfast Telegraph

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