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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Up For the Cup, Not!

Its one of those wonderful calm, tranquil Saturdays when we have no game to worry about. Some may see it as empty and meaningless with not even teletext to get excited about, but not me, Mrs Nelson will no doubt find other things to occupy my time. And unlike those "International Weekends" there’s still some games to watch if you miss it so much and even better there’s other people’s misfortunes to enjoy. Pards can even concentrate on getting players fit and showing those midfielders how to score.

But, you're thinking, how many times exactly have we enjoyed this nothing to do weekend? In the 60 years since we won the thing in 1947 how many times do you think we've been sitting here with no game in the 4th Round? What do you reckon, 30 years worth? A bit more than that? Well, it is a bit more, in fact in total its now 32 times that we've been sitting here doing nothing on 4th Round day. You could be forgiven for perhaps supposing that things were improving after last seasons FA Cup 6th Round exit followed by this seasons appearance in the League Cup Quarter Finals. But no, its been another early exit after the usual dismal failure this time at lowly Notts Forest. Not a great Cup team then.

Regarding transfer news, its all gone quiet on Kevin, Julian and Stefano but it seems possible that Madjid Bougherra will be arriving from Sheffield Wednesday, just 8 months after joining them from Crewe, although once again other clubs are still in the frame, with Reading reported as having offered half-a-mill more than us. Monsieur Bougherra has played 14 times for Algeria, and is reported as being very popular with Wednesday fans, winning the Player of the Month award after only two months and then being named captain shortly after. And he's used to a scrap having taken part in Crewe's, unsuccessful, fight against relegation from the Championship during the first half of last year.

One apparent blot on his CV is that his agent is none other than the notorious Charles Collymore, named in the Panorama football corruption scam. Apart from being charged by the Football Association in October for allegedly "touting" his clients without the knowledge of their clubs, on the progamme the Luton manager, Mike Newell, alleged that he had been "offered money" by Collymore. Get that cheque book out , Mills.

Meanwhile, over in Düsseldorf, Michel Platini, after winning the race for being the new UEFA President, is trying to upset the Addicks by completing his pledge to reduce the maximum number of Champions League entrants from a single country from four to three. Now that's really spoilt my weekend..

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