A fascinating implosion likely to excite cosmic boffins everywhere

Paul Doyle
·6-min read
<span>Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA</span>
Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

OH BHOYS!

After travelling more than 126 million miles, Nasa’s Perseverance rover is reporting back to Earth from Mars, where, apparently, it has so far been unable to find anything quite as extraordinary as Liverpool’s title defence. This news has been greeted with bemusement by fans of the Queen’s Celtic, who have been banging on all season about a fascinating super-stellar implosion likely to excite cosmic boffins everywhere, or at least from Ibrox to Ross County.

The latest twist in the Queen’s Celtic’s mission to explore the outer realms of absurdity came on Wednesday, when one of the men behind the phenomenon, Neil “The Truth is Out There” Lennon, hit the ejector seat. “Neil Lennon has resigned from his position as football manager with immediate effect,” read a statement on the club’s website after one of the longest countdowns in history. “Neil has served the club with distinction as both player and manager, delivering numerous successes, most recently completing the domestic treble in December,” it continued with an otherworldly spin.

Related: Lennon's exit gives Celtic a chance to reset that they dare not waste

There was some mystery over the timing of the decision – why not two months ago? – but, on the other hand, it made perfect sense for Lennon to scarper now, what with the Queen’s Celtic 18 points adrift of the Pope’s Newc O’Rangers, who could clinch the title at Celtic Palace next month.

No matter what anyone says about the style of football produced by Lennon’s team this season, The Fiver has long admired his very creative and entertaining brand of excuses, so his own account of the reasons for his departure was eagerly anticipated. Who would he swing at? Nicola Sturgeon? A prejudiced pandemic? Journalists who can’t defend set pieces? “We have experienced a difficult season due to so many factors and, of course, it is very frustrating and disappointing that we have not been able to hit the same heights as we did previously,” teased Lennon. “I have worked as hard as ever to try but unfortunately we have not managed to get the kind of run going we have needed. I have always given my best to the club and been proud to deliver silverware to the supporters. The club will always be part of me. I will always be a [Queen’s] Celtic supporter and will always want the best for [the Queen’s] Celtic.”

LIVE ON BIG WEBSITE

Join us for hot MBM coverage of Tottenham 3-0 Wolfsberger (agg: 7-1) in Big Vase from 5pm GMT, before a Big Cup double-header at 8pm of Atalanta 3-3 Real Madrid and Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-2 Manchester City.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“All I hear whenever a job comes up it is that it’s got to be some young guy with bright new ideas. And you know what? There’s not that many new ideas that come around in football, it’s still kind of the same, keep it off the opposition and put it in their net and get it back” – Mick McCarthy on the simple science behind Cardiff’s rise.

Don&#x002019;t curb your enthusiasm, Bluebirds fans.
Don’t curb your enthusiasm, Bluebirds fans. Photograph: Cardiff City FC/Getty Images

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It’s another Football Weekly special: has Fifa really changed? Part two.

FIVER LETTER

“Re: yesterday’s Fiver letters. Can I be the first of 1,057 credit card pedants to point out that, while Amex do issue charge cards, they also offer several credit card products. I would get out more, but I live in Texas and there’s no bloody electricity” – Ben Mimmack (and 1,056 others with electricity).

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day prize is … Ben Mimmack.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

MTK Global, the boxing management company founded by suspected crime boss Daniel Kinahan, is moving into football with little-known Danny Vincent at the helm.

Premier League clubs will vote on whether to allow fans back for the final day of the season, with concerns that home teams could get an unfair advantage by excitable effing and jeffing in the stands.

Olivier Giroud is rightly chuffed about his acrobatic winner for Chelsea against Atlético. “I love overhead kicks,” whooped the 78-year-old as he watched his goal on repeat. “We had the better chances – a deserved win.”

Still no hairs out of place, earlier.
Still no hairs out of place, earlier. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka wishes he could challenge the perpetrators of abuse on social media disgraces face to face. “I don’t see them as supporters for my club,” he sighed.

Just hours after becoming the youngest English goalscorer in Big Cup history, Bayern’s Jamal Musiala stomped all over $exually Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver’s hopes that he would be the next Gazza by declaring for Der Mannschaft. “It was the right decision to play for Germany, the land I was born in,” he cheered.

Sulky teenager José Mourinho, 15, reckons he’s finally growing up. “Thank God I am not the manager I was,” blabbed Mou, who is now into Elliott Smith instead of My Chemical Romance. “I lose a game and I am not happy. But maturity helps.”

Forest Green Rovers plan to trial a kit made from coffee bean waste against Colchester on Saturday. Easy on the League Two gags, please. “We have to improve the ethics of clothing manufacture and the sustainability of the materials, and we have to use less, so we are only changing one of our three kits each year,” whooped owner Dale Vince.

And Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on the Sanremo Music Festival lineup from 2-6 March, when he’s due to sing live over four nights despite the small and not inconsequential issue of Milan’s busy Serie A schedule. “Evidently Ibra needed to rest, because without this possibility I would not be able to understand how Milan may have consented to a request of this kind,” moralised former president Silvio Berlusconi.

STILL WANT MORE?

Nobody is busier than the golf/fitba correspondent right now, so spare a thought for Ewan Murray.

You know what? Olivier Giroud is probably just dead good at football, reckons Barney Ronay.

Timid Atlético paid the price against Chelsea for going back in time, writes Sid Lowe.

Gladbach’s Marco Rose, who will be Dortmund’s Marco Rose next season, gets his chat on with Nick Ames about philosophy, “Kloppo” and facing Manchester City.

Star showings by Lucy Bronze and Ella Toone showed that Hege Riise was keen to let England players express themselves, explains Suzanne Wrack.

It’s this week’s Knowledge on top-scoring goalkeepers, the player who nodded home five headers in a match and more footballers named after footballers.

Beau Dure on the British coaches lured to the U$A! U$A!! U$A!!! under false pretences.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!

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