Link between two pushy players

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IT’S not happened for a while but one of the office Wednesdayites was smiling (well, it is the close season!)

“What do David Prutton (Wednesday’s new signing) and Paolo Di Canio have in common?” he smiled.

Must confess that apart from a Swindon connection (the Italian having just become the third ex-Wednesday player on the trot to manage there after Danny Wilson and Paul Hart) I was stumped and any smile on my face had been wiped off.

So, you can guess who was grinning as he let me into the answer ... they’ve both pushed over referees!

Di Canio’s little fit of pique which sent referee Paul Alcock into that rather theatrical tumble is well remembered around these parts and it certainly doesn’t seem 13 years ago.

It was a huge news event at the time and the subsequent FA Disciplinary hearing was actually held at Bramall Lane.

I recall going down there with our Owls man Paul Thompson and the place was crammed with media from all over the place, most of whom seemed to adjourn to the chippy across the road from the ground when they said the verdict would be announced after lunch.

The outcome for the volatile Italian was an eight-game ban although some reports, as this week, still say wrongly it was 11 games. The other three he received were for the actual sending-off offence itself.

That was two less than Prutton got.

The FA sidelined him for 10 matches for pushing ref Alan Wiley when playing for Southampton in 2005.

Sometimes you have these funny feelings about football, particularly about a match.

Often that’s all it is and many of these “funny feelings”, which tend to have me leaning towards an unlikely win for the underdog turn out to be wrong.

But I’ve got this funny feeling that Man United (or Mansh United as they were calling them on Sunday) are going to beat Barcelona in the Champions League Final tomorrow.

Hopefully, they won’t come and take me away beforehand so that I’ll miss it. But I think they can do it. They are also in the most unusual position for them of being the underdog. That doesn’t happen very often at all to Mansh United and they’ll relish that although Barca are used to meeting determined underdogs every time they turn out.

I won’t go into any reasons but whatever way the ‘funny feeling’ goes I’ll have a smile too!

Former Blades boss Gary Speed tried something a bit different with his Wales squad this week and invited a top magician into the camp to put on a show and for the players to chat and ask him questions.

A pity he didn’t get him in at Bramall Lane. Then again perhaps they did considering the number of points that kept going missing!