Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: It’s safari not so good for Armagh in Championship

Isn't it really boring without any football on the box, seems like ages since there's been any on and it's going to be ages before there's any.

What's that you say? There's something on in South Africa? Surely not, has Gary Bailey challenged Nelson Mandela to a quick game of Subbuteo on (Arjen) Robben Island?

Too late, thankfully in this part of the world we have a summer alternative, but in the words of Captain James T. Kirk, it's football Seamus, but not as we know it.

I have a young slightly confused chum from the Maiden City who would argue that gaelic football is no more than 15 goalkeepers having a kickabout but I met Anthony Tohill once at a party and he's a much bigger and scarier Derryman so hand me an O'Neills top and let's get on with it.

Of course the big news before the start of Armagh's clash with Monaghan was that a star performer in his usual position had been pulled out and placed in a very uncomfortable spot by the management — but that's enough about Jarlath Burns.

With his beloved Armagh in action, he had been annexed to the commentary booth to sit beside Mark Sidebottom but given what was to come they'd have been better off bringing in Kate Humble.

As for the real change an injury to keeper Shane Duffy meant that Monaghan took to the field without a recognised shot-stopper and handed the gloves was not the reserve but outfield player Darren Hughes. As it turned out they could have played Nerys Hughes but don't be surprised that if David James isn't fit on Saturday that Emile Heskey is between the posts. He can do less damage in there.

We were told to expect ‘ignorance and intrigue', but again that's enough about the commentary booth, but not for long.

"Expect to see two teams go at one another like two bull elephants vying for the attention of the same young lady elephant," said Mowgli Sidebottom clearly making a late bid to swap the Falls Road for Victoria Falls.

Rory Woods was then described as a ‘bull of a man', playing for a Monaghan team that are ‘a little like a boa constrictor, they constrict and they squeeze.' Okay, we get the idea, but you're just taking the hiss now.

Talking of wild uncontrollable animals that would have Darwin scratching his head and chucking books off the side of the Beagle, someone had better get a muzzle for Wayne Rooney before the big kick-off.

Then again, with big Emile about, there's every chance he'll trip him up as he's getting off the coach in Rustenburg. Be better off with Rusty Lee than Heskey, who I see is 100-1 to be the Golden Boot winner.

There's more chance of Monaghan playing an outfield player in goals or James Corden being absent from our screens for more than 15 seconds.

He turned up on Britain's Got Talent to drone out some England drivel that was cringworthy even by Simon Cowell’s standards and then on Soccer Aid where as assistant to Harry Redknapp the Three Lions lost on penalties to the Rest of the World.

An omen methinks for Saturday as an American, Woody from Cheers, was on target. Ledley King better keep an eye on Norm at the back post.

Belfast Telegraph

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