Geordie the Bruce, possibly a descendant of Robert de Brus, Lord of Hartlepool, is back in his shed in Newcastle, contemplating his position after the first few skirmishes of the new season.

His difficult boss, the Lord of Newcastle, Michael de Ashley, is having more problems with his business empire, so is likely to be even more awkward than usual, and apart from an unexpected victory in north London, his army’s campaign is not going especially well.

So Geordie seeks advice on the web, where he sees his old mentor Sid the Spider, and asks him how he can make his army more consistent and thus avoid the wrath of His Prickly Lordship.

Sid ponders on this for a while, then says “We spiders make nets. You football people have nets. We sit on ours, waiting for someone to come along and get caught up in it. Your goalkeepers do much the same. In fact Hartlepool's goalkeeper recently did get caught up in one. Why don’t you do what we do? If an opposition player gets close enough to your net, your goalkeeper should eat him. That will give you a numerical advantage, although it might give the goalie indigestion.”

“I’m not too happy about that,” says Geordie, “but I’ll put it to the boss.”

And the very next day he’s sitting in His Lordship’s office, recounting his conversation with Sid the Spider.

“That’s a great idea,” says His Lordship, “it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there so what’s wrong with player-eats-player?”

Geordie then says “Think of all those expensive players who could be lost though.”

“Good job we haven’t got any then!” says His Lordship.