THE Gary Megson appointment at Sheffield Wednesday came under discussion and prompted one colleague to pose a question.
“With Micky Adams in charge at United, when was the last time an Owl and a Blade were in charge of the two clubs at the same time?,” he asked. And suggested it must be a long time.
Funny how things can drop so quickly from the memory but it wasn’t all that long ago.
As recent as Chris Turner, also a Wednesdayite, when he took over in 2002. His counterpart on the other side of the city was, of course, that noted Bladesman Neil Warnock now, it seems, perfectly happy with all things London.
As far as I can ascertain, these are the only two pairings to form managerial rivalries in the city across the last 50 years.
Megson, I firmly reckon, will get Wednesday turned round and heading in the right direction.
Whether that’s this season, and in time to get into the play-offs, is pretty much an outside bet.
Eight points doesn’t seem a lot but such a gap requires a lengthy winning streak and then you’re more or less hoping the half-a-dozen clubs above suddenly stop winning - even when they’re playing each other.
I liked Megson’s answer on Monday when asked if they could still get promotion.
No flannel, no “we’re only eight points off” or “anything can happen” type of stuff. “Not if we defend and play like we did last Saturday,” he said.
Certainly there’ll be no slouching. Starting right from 3pm Saturday, expect to see Wednesday ‘at it’ as they say and under orders to “work their socks off” to use the football parlance.
One imagines the message has already got across and it will be the Megson way or on your way as Wednesday start out on what is, at all levels, board, administratively and managerially, an entirely new era for the club.
Funny what can stick with you but one thing that did me from Rotherham United’s time in The Championship early in the last decade is that the best two teams I reckoned I saw were Megson’s West Brom and Iain Dowie’s Crystal Palace.
There were probably better ones, of course, but those two have always stuck.
If Megson gets Wednesday going like that Baggies lot then things will definitely turn round. And turning round is what Micky Adams is desperate for. In fact, there is now massive concern about United’s fortunes in the relegation scrap.
I’m sure Adams must be tearing his hair out as he now realises the size of the task he has inherited.
Renewing of the city rivalry next season would be no consolation at all - but the managerial head-to-head would be interesting.
One suspects all eyes will be eagerly trained next week on the Emirates Stadium but, more specifically on Barcelona when they play Arsenal in the Champions League.
Everybody likes to see the best and they are.
There’s one growing problem, however. Viewers see that, go out and watch their own team at the weekend and then get critical. I think there’s a danger Barcelona are becoming the standard people are judging their own team by.
When you’ve sat and watched them as many - crucially uncommitted - do, every weekend on TV, surely its harsh to expect anything even close to how they play when following your own side.
Like everyone else I shall look forward to it and try not to get too carried away by a two yard tap-in being described as a fantastic finish.
But like everyone else I will overlook any errors and wonder why “we” can’t play like that.
By the way, Barca did lose to (Second Division) Real Betis 3-1 in the cup the other week and Lionel Messi missed a penalty. So they’re not that good!