Time Is On Your Side, Fergie
Thank goodness there's more to talk about this weekend than Boro's 5-0 drubbing at home to the Baggies. In the Blue Bell, Happy Hour was re-dubbed Grievin' Evenin', and even then an ocean of half-price pintage could not have drowned the multitude of sorrows that swirled around that boozer.
Anyway onwards and upwards (or backwards and downwards at it was at approximately 10.30pm on Saturday) we're still well-placed and as long as the back-four stop defending like daffodils in an April shower we might clamber back out of the bear-pit.
We were back in the same seats for the Manchester derby, sipping quietly on our bitter shandies. We couldn't drink quickly 'cos that would've involved drawing breath every now and then - and my word, there wasn't time, was there?
The papers were filled with the petty back and forth between Hughes and Fergie. A pair of D-list E-cup F-wording glam girls couldn't have served up a less snippy little hors d'oeuvre.
Tevez was jeered so forcefully by the OT regulars that even the prawns were jumping out of the sandwiches to have a pop at him. That pre-season sky blue billboard was pure wummery, to be fair, although it made me smile to see 'Welcome to Manchester' beneath a picture of the little menacing looking scurrier. I suppose in the Boca they've got a big Rooney billboard to scare off their River Plate rivals.
What a game, though! The back fours need to hire some counsels for the defence pretty damn quick cos if they were my players I'd be prosecuting them to within an inch of their lives.
Foster looks less and less like a top keeper (and by inference more and more like an England keeper) with every game. Rio's still capable of the most dim-witted clangers and as for Micah Richards, what the hell's happened to the lad? Does he lose 10,000 more brain cells with the each chunk of bling?
Mind you, it made for fine entertainment. The attacking flair was for all to see, not least from the Welshmen. Craig Bellamy was at his direct best, not least when (allegedly) slapping the chump who'd got himself on the pitch.
Giggs was immaculate, and an inspiration to us all. We could all be a bit like Giggsy with a little more self-belief and a little less curry and beer. Trouble is the self-belief sometimes comes through the curry and beer. Doesn't it? (That's enough beer talk, Robbo, it's not big or clever - Ed).
I've heard lots of drooling United smarty-pants' saying how it just had to be Owen to bag the winner. Well no. Fergie doesn't have some pre-ordained right to be correct all the time, just 'cos he has the ability the bend time to his will.
If he was correct about, for example, Dimitar Berbatov he'd have taught the headbanded Bulgar to head the ball towards the corners rather than straight at the keeper all the flaming time. Even Darren Fletcher can do that. (By the way, can anyone else hear his name on a commentary without repeating 'Fletcher' in your best Mr Mackay voice? Just me then.)
Sparky's most upset that United were given time to finish the job. I know he's in charge of some sulky millionaires (the City back four's communication skills had all the togetherness and spirit of an Eastenders family Christmas at the Mitchells) but he might have to lay the blame at the door of his own dithering team.
Nevertheless it's more grist to the mill for the Old Trafford conspiracy theorists. To think they spent all that bloomin' money on that particle collider thingammy in Cern when they haven't even begun to explain how time can slow and/or extend within the confines of Manchester United's football stadium.
I mean we all know that Parkinson's Law says summat like 'Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion'
Fergie's Law states that: 'Time expands so as to make the work available complete.'
It'd be a bit one-eyed and ungenerous to claim that Sir Alex is the only footballing deity to have redefined the laws of nature.
There's Arsene's Law, too, that states that: 'The direction in which I am looking shall be the polar opposite to the direction in which a misdemeanour occurs.' This has been contested in recent days by what has become known as the Adebayor Paradox.
There's also Warnock's Law: 'Defeat is always a construct of maladministration.'
And Roman's Law: 'The Champions League is just one manager away.'
Rafa's Law: 'Zones must be marked. The left-back must be average.'
Also, here's an entry from Gerrard's dictionary:
'international friendly n, groin strain'
The Toon Army dictat: 'You get the chairman you deserve.'
Diouf's Law: 'If there's a nose to be found I'll get up it.'
Scotland's Law: 'If it ain't Rangers, it's Celtic.'
The JT Rule: 'I shall be deemed to be a goalkeeper when star-jumping to block a goalbound effort.'
Maradona's Law: 'Great players make bad managers.'
And then there's the noblest of them all, the Denis Law: 'He that shall score 'gainst those that once he called his brothers shall not raise his arm in victory.' Clearly a certain City striker broke the Denis Law, although I'm told there is an Emmanuel Ade-by-law.
United's victory was fair enough really, but you just can't help feeling that four minutes would've been four minutes anywhere else. No more. No less. It's just a good job Sir Roger Bannister didn't break the four-minute mile in Manchester or they'd be ripping up the record books as we speak.