Weird week in football: Banners, booze, and burger shops

Every Monday, theScore will highlight the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of European football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.

In a week where Dutch legend cum FIFA technical director Marco van Basten proposed eliminating offsides, match officials, and replacing the ball with a beach ball (don’t tell Pepe Reina), there was plenty of peculiar in football.

Here’s a look at the Weird Week in Football, with a shout to Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon for becoming this column’s new favourite player/advocate for literacy:

Keeping up with the Kebabs

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce prepped for Saturday’s visit from Preston North End by ordering a pre-match kebab while sporting club trackies and trainers. Appearing svelte compared to his hefty days with Wigan, Sunderland, and Hull City, full credit to the former Manchester United centre-half.

(Courtesy: @footballtips)

Given the fact Bruce looked chipper at the chippy, one would imagine that his takeout order did not include anything for wantaway striker Ross McCormack.

Never-pooched Sanchez highlights banner day at the Emirates

Arsenal talisman Alexis Sanchez capped off a frenzied seven-minute period of injury time Sunday at the Emirates Stadium against Burnley with a last-second Panenka penalty that snatched the three points for the host.

It was a banner day for Sanchez, whose goal gave him a Premier League joint-best 15 on the campaign, and for his famous pups Atom and Humber, who were honoured with some crafty signage. Fashioned by Gunners fan group REDaction Gooners courtesy of crowd funding, the banner was met with derision by some who said it makes a mockery of Arsenal’s tradition.

That camp would apparently rather return to the days of 1-0 to The Arsenal, George Graham’s defensive-minded football, and shin pads fashioned from the Daily Mail and pitch mud.

Imagine having a good time at a football match and showing some love to a player the club is desperate to keep. Pity the fool who fancies a little fun.

Celta spurs Sergio’s spit

With a jealousy-inducing cocktail of stately good looks and timely goals, Sergio Ramos is one to drool over.

Ever a charitable player, the Spaniard returned the favour against Galicians Celta Vigo last week.

Celta shocked Real Madrid on Wednesday with a first-leg Copa del Rey victory at the Bernabeu, though in ranking the unexpected, the Los Blancos centre-half hawking a loogie at Sky Blues striker Iago Aspas certainly rates.

Stewed Stewart spices up Scottish draw

Maggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you: I’m hammered.

A typically drab Scottish fifth-round cup draw Sunday got a much-needed boost from the ageless British purveyor of feathery hair and scream-inducing songs, Rod Stewart.

Sir Roderick was in the house for the live televised event, and it would appear that the 72-year-old Celtic supporter’s idea of a balanced weekend diet is a drink in each hand. While the booze may not be the best way to embrace a crooner’s twilight, it’s worth a shot.

EPL | theScore

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