In a parallel universe Manchester United released their first financial figures of the post-David Moyes era this week, concluding six glorious years in which the club seamlessly moved on from the retirement of Alex Ferguson.
It was back in 2010 that I sat down with Brian Barry-Murphy for a lengthy conversation about the highs and lows — but, mainly, the highs — of what the then 32-year-old Rochdale midfielder was only too happy to describe as a “journeyman’s” career spent mainly in the English lower leagues.
The light-hearted fidgeting of Christmas 2018 is over and the serious fretting of the new year can begin in Manchester City households. We can at last raise a tentative glass to the rebirth of the real City. Frail, feeble, and flawed.
Manchester City can consider themselves highly unfortunate not to beat Wolves. They hit the woodwork three times, Rui Patricio made a world-class save from Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus missed a simple chance, and the Wolves’ goal should have been disallowed for handball.
Antonio Conte’s damning and withering verdict of Chelsea’s performance as they threw away two points against West Ham has left even more question marks hanging over his future - with any hope of Champions League football next season now looking forlorn.
When Arsenal lost 3-0 at home to the best team in England, four days after losing in the Carabao Cup final, there were some onlookers who described it as rock bottom. Now that statement is looking both over-ambitious and lacking in foresight.