From Eastlands to La-la Land
Any road, if you didn't know they've been planting lucky charms all round the place at Manchester City in the hope of bringing good fortune.
Offices have been adorned with all sorts of tut apparently. They've got 'lucky fortune trees', (presumably money grows on them), 'three-legged monkey toads' (has no one told Dr. Tax that UEFA cup-ties are played over two legs? Mind, I bet Stuart Pearce would have killed to have a couple of tripeds on the bench when he was playing Samaras and Bernardo Corradi up front); and of course there are dozens of Buddhas everywhere.
Personally, I like Buddha. If there is a way to enlightenment then I reckon sitting under a tree and eating might be as good a way as any.
Under the Eastlands turf they've put magic crystals, too. How did they get hold of them? Did they send Liam Gallagher into town with strict instructions to get the best price he could for Benjani and the dimwit swapped canny 'Arry's cash cow for a bag of sparkly rocks?
Surely it's what's on top of the turf you ought to be worrying about and, in recent years, the team-sheet for City has been of a quality that, let's say, could nourish herbaceous borders.
That is until last year when Sven proved to be an almost Biblical fisher of men and briefly transformed the side. Still, if you want a bit of luck, you're probably best off not sacking the best coach you've had in years. Not sure they'll be in the Uefa cup on the back of the fair play award this time next year with Sparky in charge. He seems to favour the Corporal Jones approach to footy - they don't like it up 'em.
Then again I'm not sure that the best reward for behaving nicely all season is an away leg in the bleeding Faroe Islands in the middle of your summer holidays. (I always fear that the Welsh national team will get drawn against the Faroes one of these days which would be a nightmare as they tell me in the Faeroes that Wales get absolutely slaughtered.)
Some very dedicated City fans ('dedicated' is code for 'should be put in touch with medical authorities') have been forced to abandon their sea trip to the mid-Atlantic on account of stormy weather. Fair play for having a go, mind, and having more awareness as to where EB Streymur's stadium is than Ronaldinho ever had of where City play their home games.
I'm sure it wouldn't have worked out anyway, but was anyone else giggling behind their hands - or actually roaring out loud - at the notion of the goofy genius fitting neatly into a Sparky 4-5-1 formation?
Shinawatra's money may be bringing all sorts of possibilities to the club but it seems that one of the things Eriksson took with him when he cleared his desk was a sense of proportion. Then again you have to be a bit of a fantasist to support City (or Boro come to that) and although this Hong Feng Hooey seems to be a little bit hat-stand it's no dafter than some of the good luck rituals I've seen.
I once played with a centre-half who had to ride to the match on his lucky bike. 'Course if we were playing 20 miles away he arrived looking about as ready for action as Chris Waddle after he's - well as Chris Waddle cos he always looked knackered didn't he? - and he only lasted half an hour of the actual match.
Me mate Tony Thompson insists on a curry the night before a big match - which is all well and good but the knock-on effect doesn't make for a good atmosphere in a crowded dressing-room if you get my meaning.
Me, I've got a whole series of lucky clothing and furniture for England games and - when you think about it - they're not exactly working are they? Of course I'm the only man I know who's had to go to A and E for seven stitches after being hit across the face by my own lucky horseshoe.
And sometimes it's a bit of an excuse all this idle superstition. An unnamed international great couldn't go on the pitch without a shot of his lucky Cognac, and another famous clogger would only enter the fray if he had screwed in his lucky filed-down studs.
So maybe the open shakras and good karma oozing through the Eastlands corridors will do something for the well-being of the football club. Although nowt could have improved the cosmic aura more than the absence of one Joseph Barton from their ranks.