Don’t worry, I’m not going all NAMBLA on you with this one. But I must say I am not-so-secretly delighted that Tottenham have drawn Swiss side Young Boys in the playoff round of Champions League qualifying. Based on the alternatives, which included dangerous opponents such as Kiev or Sampdoria, or testing trips to Auxerre and Braga, the boys from Bern are, on paper at least, a far more favourable opponents for my lads from North London. Besides, who wouldn’t want to play a game in the new Wankdorf Stadium, which now features a “hot seat” where team newcomers are traditionally greeted with a lap dance (no, I am not making this stuff up).
So, Spurs have arguably the easiest opponent in the final round of qualifying before the group stages and they’ll be coming home for the second leg…no wonder Young Boys sporting director Alain Baumann says his team has been handed the hardest possible draw. Sure, the Bern boys beat Turkey’s Fenerbahce to get here. But still, there’s no way we can screw this up, is there? Gawd, I hope not. Jermain Defoe is so pumped up, he already thinks the Yids will progress further than Arsenal. We’ll find out Aug. 17 and 25th, once the ties are done.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are looking at a 2000 mile trip to play Turkey’s Trabzonspor in Europa League playoffs, with Man Citeh facing Romania’s FC Timisoara and Aston Villa set for a rematch with Austria’s Rapid Vienna, who knocked them out at this stage last season.
Elsewhere in North London, Gooners are celebrating that another young boy, better known Cesc Fabregas, has not been seduced by the attentions of Barcelona and committed himself to the attentions of Arsene.
And if all the talk of man-love is a little much for you, we’ll throw you a bone. A Portuguese pal and Sporting fan is concerned about Tottenham’s pursuit of Lisbon-based striker Yannick Djalo (which our ’Arry has rubbished, for what it’s worth) because it would deprive Sporting supporters of chances to spot his lovely wife Luciana Abreu in the stands. Take a look and you’ll see why nine out of 10 young boys say she’s magnificent.