Thursday, 17 October 2013

How the Badgers Moved the Goalposts

Many have laughed at the idea that the badgers "moved the goalposts" on Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, when his cull failed to kill anything like as many of our monochrome friends as he had been planning. And many have been at a loss as to where it all went wrong.

But now, after putting our finest brains onto the matter, we've established exactly how the fleet-footed Mustelids have managed to outfox the Tory cull plans.

As you can see from the diagram, Owen Paterson, as befits a Conservative, has lined up in an old-fashioned 4-4-2. A  formation that might have worked in the good old days, but lacks the flexibility and adaptability of the modern world.

The badgers, on the other hand, have adopted a much more intelligent formation. The overlapping full-backs - dependent on having the sort of fitness you only get by running away from big blokes with guns all day - are able to serve a defensive role, while also getting forward to help in the all-important midfield battle. By comparison, the left wing of the Tories is dreadfully weak, while the right wing is always in danger of running out of control - or even going off to play for UKIP.

The versatility of the badger full-backs means that they can adopt the tactic of reversed wingers. This employs a right-pawed badger on the left side of midfield, and vice-versa. Playing with a traditional "target badger" at centre forward, this would be a bad move - reducing the number of crosses. But in this formation, it enables the wingers to wrong-foot the Paterson full backs, coming in onto their strong paws to shoot.

The top of the badger's attacking diamond is the "false number 9". A "false number 9" is a central striker who lacks the normal attributes of an old-fashioned centre forward. Since a badger is about two feet tall, quadrupedal and good at digging, it has very few of these attributes - hairiness being the only possibility. Instead of crashing into the box and putting his head in where it hurts, the false number 9 badger is more likely to drop off, hoping to pick up the ball from the midfielders and sett up somebody else.

So, in a nutshell, that's the tactical analysis of how the badgers upset the odds, through intelligent tactics and looking a bit like Newcastle United. But as they say, the season's a marathon and not a sprint. We'll need to wait and see what Paterson brings in during the transfer window. Probably the army, we reckon.


  1. I think that Patterson has been well and truly Badgered!!

  2. In stead of a cull, he could just trim them a bit - so perhaps Shearer as his No. 9 (would also confuse because of black and white strip).

  3. Here in Alderley Edge, we have had an influx of footballing badgers, who buy up perfectly decent stockbroker tudor badger setts, fill them in, and build glass-topped monstrosities. They only emerge to visit the Porsche dealership in Wilmslow, with the other 2 foot tall hairy local males, to buy a Spyder (which makes them look bigger) in order to crawl up the A538/A56 of a morning behind the school traffic, to visit the training ground . We old witches are rather too snobbish to cultivate them as familiar spirits, but the younger mortal females seem to be rather less fussy. In any case, if Burton Dasset is reading this, please be aware that there is very little competition for your undoubted charms at this end of the A34, so next time Eileen or Charlii are unreasonable, get on your bike and come up the A5. Oh sorry, I forgot : (


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