OK, poses indirectly. Tuesday’s scoreless draw between Chelsea and Manchester United struck the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning as something a bit shy of scintillating. Or to be precise, “Last night’s highly anticipated match between teams picked by two of the most cautious managers in Premier League history was one of those contests that was so incredibly boring, an army of ludicrously pretentious hipsters immediately took to the comments sections of assorted websites to post lengthy missives in which they tried to appear cool and knowledgable by pretending they’d found the game genuinely fascinating, going completely over the top in their praise of what looked to the Fiver like some fairly bog-standard defending against two sets of very toothless attackers”
Put it this way: if Stoke City and West Brom had played out a stalemate like that it would have been flung in the bin marked ‘unwatchable dreck’. For no other reason than the participation of Chelsea and Manchester United, this became “the football equivalent of a chess match”.
Luckily, with so much (not) happening in the transfer window, this is a time of year when actual football plays second fiddle to the really entertaining business of the Turgid Game: feverous, ongoing speculation about unspeakable, tedious nonsense. And perhaps with that in mind, José Mourinho attempted to provide something in the way of excitement and entertainment by doing an impression of an angry police chief in a 1980s Eddie Murphy movie and giving Wayne Rooney “48 hours” to decide whether he wants to leave Manchester United and move to Chelsea. In less than 24, it became apparent that the striker will not be handing in a transfer request and will therefore almost certainly be staying put. It is a state of affairs that will come as great news to False Nine Inside-Out Wingers 4-2-3-1 Fiver, if only we can wake him up to let him know.