Thin picking on the news front today, so we hope you'll forgive us for opening with a story that's a few days old. But it's a belter, and we haven't mentioned it before.
Those of you that take an interest in football's deformed and peculiar cousin "rugby" will know that Old Trafford regularly hosts rugby league's Grand Final. This year, that falls on the same day as England vs. Uruguay in the rugby union World Cup, which is being played at the Etihad, just across town. Interesting? Vaguely. Important? Almost certainly not.
Unless, you're the Daily Mail ...
Manchester United snub Rugby World Cup by staging rugby league's Grand Final on same day as England's last group clash
Bless them. They try so hard. Elsewhere, Alex Ferguson has revealed that a family bereavement contributed to his decision to stand down as United manager — which we already knew — but has added, apparently for the first time, that he'd have stayed on otherwise. That's from an exclusive Telegraph interview. He's got another book out, you see.
Alternate history department now, and Emmanuel Petit, formerly of Arsenal and France, has told football365.fr that he wanted to move to Manchester United after he left Barcelona, but was persuaded otherwise by the bright lights of London and his wife. That's in French, so our thanks to Mr G. Translate, as ever, even though he once refers to the player as "Small".
It was the same when I left Barcelona to return to Chelsea. I preferred the social life of London while Ferguson was waiting for me to sign for Manchester United. My wife did not want to go to Manchester. I really want. I should impose my choice.
Was Petit any good at Chelsea? We can't really remember. Anyway, lastly but certainly not leastly, Luke Shaw's had his second operation and is coming home:
Tragic stuff, really. Look what a few days in hospital have done to the boy's hair.