By MARTIN LIPTON
Chief Football writer
Friday Oct 14: Still recovering – probably quicker than Fabio Capello – from the late-breaking news of Wayne Rooney’s Euro 2012 ban and the press conference leftovers from Chelsea to devour as well. A few calls to UEFA – to confirm an appeal would be a shot to nothing, with no chance of the ban being increased – and the FA to pass on the news and seek a reaction. Otherwise, quite a quiet day.
Saturday Oct 15: Up with the larks to watch the egg-chasers Down Under. Not sure Warburton would have any defence for that tackle on the football pitch. Second half of Liverpool v United on the box then off to Chelsea, showing great resolve to Just Say No to the three-course meal, although a turgid first half means I can’t resist the gateau during the break. Simple win for Chelsea, with David Moyes realistic about Everton’s lack of financial resources and Andre Villas-Boas backing Daniel Sturridge’s England claims.
Sunday Oct 16: Day off, but not until lunchtime, with a match report to write up and a few calls to make. Keep an eye on events at The Emirates and St James’ Park but others have to carry the burden today. Thankfully.
Monday Oct 17: LMA chief Richard Bevan sets the cats among the pigeons by claiming Barclays Premier League foreign owners want to scrap relegation and institute a closed shop. Aston Villa particularly angry at a perceived slur. Ongoing developments with the Chelsea Pitch Owners also mean a day of telephone calls, while trying to sort out looming trios to Genk and Kiev and a planned managers’ lunch.
Tuesday Oct 18: Joy of joys – 15 minutes of watching the Chelsea players warm up at Cobham before a 90 minute wait to see Villas-Boas. At least the Portuguese has learned to lighten up and speaks glowingly of the standard set by “benchmark” Barcelona. Then a Good Samaritan disaster. Agree to drive two Belgian journalists back into London, let them off at Tube and drive away – to discover they’ve emptied the boot of all the bags…..including mine with the laptop in it. Frantic round of phone calls to try to discover their identity before forced to go to Stamford Bridge where I know they will be at Belgian press conference. Return of bag was a a huge relief!
Wednesday Oct 19: Easy day followed by a late night, although Chelsea make easy meat of the Belgian minnows. Famine has become feast for Fernando Torres although he chooses not to speak in the mixed zone. Branislav Ivanovic is the agreed spokesman on his behalf.
Thursday Oct 20: Recording BT’s Lifes A Pitch podcast in the morning followed by a Central London meeting with a contact. Big event of the day was sitting next to Greg Walace (of Masterchef fame) on the Tube back home. He tells me I should cook with rapeseed oil rather than olive oil. Journalism doesn’t get tougher than this!