Now, I’m not after your sympathy much here, but Thursday nights are a pretty difficult night for me to write on here. It’s a bit too far removed from the Tuesday night matches, but still a little bit too far from Saturday to be able to offer a relevant precis to what has been going on (not that it has stopped me in the past, of course). So, this evening, in handy bite-sized chunks, is a quick round-up of everything that has been going on over the last few days or so. Well, some of it.
Jose Mourinho Has A Massive Strop: Really, I don’t really care very much about this, and have been studiously avoiding the matter, but it would appear that the Portuguese Man O’ War (I’m scribbling that down to re-use for a title soon) used his match programme notes launch a thinly-veiled attack on Roman Abramovich, for not giving him (you guessed it) enough money to spend in the January transfer window. Now, I know that he’s playing to the Stamford Bridge gallery, and trying to win over sympathy ahead of what promises to be a simply thrilling PR battle between them, but it’s difficult to have much sympathy for the man that has had a gazillion pounds to spend on his team, and looks like not winning the Premiership this season. The point is that, up to a point, any coach could do a reasonable job with the resources at his disposable. Take away a couple of his trinkets, and he has started to look somewhat more vulnerable. With reports from Madrid indicating that Real could be at the point of making admiring cooing noises in his direction, he could be on his way back to the Iberian peninsular, and I find myself thinking… meh. The Chelsea machine will keep rumbling on.
Sly Spotted At Goodison Park: Well, what a sight that was. Sylvester Stallone was at the Everton vs Reading match on Saturday, ostensibly there to cheer on The Toffees, but there in reality to promote his new film, “Rocky Balboa”. Interviewed in “Match Of The Day”, he felt that Reading’s goal was clearly off-side (it wasn’t) and that he was having a lovely time (he looked like he was, but this could have been the result of extensive plastic surgery). He also mentioned that, during the filming of “Escape To Victory”, Pele broke his finger with a shot whilst practising their moves for filming. It made me locate a copy of this most preposterous of war movies and at some point, I’ll be sitting down and watching it. Wish me luck.
FA Cup Third Round Replays: Well, the BBC made the right choice in picking Newcastle’s utter, utter humiliation at the hands of Birmingham City. Now, Newcastle were atrocious, but one couldn’t help but be impressed by Steve Bruce’s team. How long, I wonder, before the effervescent DJ Campbell gets snapped up by a bigger club? Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur battered Cardiff City at White Hart Lane. For those of you that haven’t seen the highlights, yes it was as easy as the 4-0 scoreline might have suggested. They play Southend, who beat Barnsley 2-0 on Tuesday night, in the Fourth Round. Manchester City were given a fright by a spirited Sheffield Wednesday side, but edged through by the odd goal in three, and Wolves set up what promises to be a fierce Black Country derby against West Bromwich Albion after an excellent 2-0 win at League One title contenders Oldham Athletic.