• Saturday Night and Sunday Night and Monday Morning

    Saturday night: a party - a rare night out. Rarer still, this is a house party where parents are seeking a brief respite from the relentless daily machinations of work, the school run and trying to balance the budget. Everyone is in good spirits, looking fine and it could get interesting later. I glance around the room to see if there are any local contenders playing the Albert Finney character. Ah, yes, there is some potential here. Ladies - watch out...

    My mind turns to my other love . I wonder if Tevez, Aguero et al are asleep. It should be a quiet night in for them before the biggest game of their fans’ lives . I don’t suppose Ballotelli has turned in yet, but that doesn’t matter so much now. What Mancini wants is dependency and reliability; knowing that he can place his complete trust in those selected to walk down the aisle tomorrow. It’s time to go - we need to leave so that we can stand down the cover at home (and hope the kids sleep in a bit in the morning).

    Sunday night: a party takes up residency in the east (of Manchester). No longer will they be looking for the light in the pouring rain. This imight be the defining moment – the pivot point at which we will come to understand the decline of the west. Football is now so pervasive in society locally, nationally and internationally that Manchester Utd having to service their debt might become the way in which people will talk to their grandchildren about the scale of the economic problem in the early 21st century.

    The guys on the talk radios immediately after Man City won the Premier League talked of Utd now ‘having to spend big’. But surely it's a busted flush. The noisy neighbours now have them in check mate. Perhaps their near neighbours to the north might describe this as the chickens coming home to roost!

    Monday morning: This is the end (beautiful friend):

    To Eric – thanks for the memories (my favourite premiership player)

    To Michael Owen – thanks for the memories (‘that goal’ against Argentina at WC98 is my favourite football moment in the last 20 years. Despite your more recent problems with getting game time, you are lucky. Moments in history are bestowed on so few. If you could have stood in that pub at the end of the Smithdown Rd when it flew in you would have imagined that you would always be carried back into town on the lamb banana).

    To Sir Alex – thanks for the memories. Don’t let the bastards grind you down! If you were to read this, would you imagine that comment is directed at the noisy neighbours or your club’s owners, I wonder..?

    Football - Bloody Hell!

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