Never imagined I’d bracket Sheffield United and Chelsea together but did so this week. I was in good company because Nigel Clough had the two clubs in the same sentence as well.
Firstly though, to Alan Hansen and his rather startling pronouncement last week that “Manchester City are the best side in the world.” It seemed to surprise Gary Lineker too, so I wasn’t the only one raising an eyebrow.
As everyone knows, Hansen has ‘form’ with such comments. He’s never allowed to forget his “You’ll win nothing with kids” aimed at a Manchester United side with some promising young players only for Fergie’s fledglings to win the title.
Memories are often pretty short in football but Hansen appeared to be dismissing European and World Club champions Bayern Munich. Then there’s a certain Barcelona who will be heading for the Etihad shortly.
Such comments have a nasty habit of biting you on the bum. Did Man City look the world’s best side on Monday night? No. Neither are they, wonderful though their season has been.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea produced an absolute masterclass to beat City. For me, it was the best, most complete performance I’ve seen all season not least because of who it was against.
Anyway, I was interested to hear Nigel Clough say after his side’s excellent win at Fulham that he’d mentioned the Chelsea example, how hard all their stars had worked, to his players in the lead up to their replay on Tuesday.
During the game, as United snuffed out another Fulham attack, I did think to myself (making obvious allowances) that United were doing a similar job to what Chelsea had done the previous night.
Somebody said Man City didn’t play as well as they normally do. That Fulham were poor. Perhaps the opposition just had a bit to do with it along the way!
* Biggest debate of the week? Kevin Pietersen. Michael Vaughan - whose now booming media career actually started as a columnist on this very newspaper - has been everywhere, passionately seeking reasons, wanting answers. KP really does split opinion.
Which reminds me of former Test chairman Geoff Miller, an excellent after-dinner speaker, getting a laugh from the diners... “Everywhere I go, I get the same question. Why is KP such a plonker?”