Dave Odell rounds up the week’s funny football stories

Mixed up in Manchester

Something of a twilight zone has been set up around Manchester. It has usually been fairly easy to distinguish between Manchester City FC and their local rivals Manchester United FC, right? Well, new City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was addressing a press conference to welcome new signing Valeri Bojinov, when he turned to the Bulgarian forward and asked: “Why did you want to join Manchester United?” A simple slip? Perhaps, but another of Eriksson’s new boys Rolando Bianchi was picked up from his hotel he instructed his driver to take him to the Carrington training ground. Where indeed he was duly taken, slightly strange as that is United’s training ground, though in his defence. it is just next to City’s.

Frank Sinatra raises high hopes

In the week that Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra had a warrant issued for his arrest by Thailand’s supreme court, City fans took him to their hearts by nicknaming him Frank Sinatra – and if their current form continues they’ll have High Hopes of finishing in a Champions League spot.

And another woman caught up in Sven’s world

Christina Tambaros, 17-years-old, received a text offering her an Inter Milan player for free, not to mention several messages congratulating her on getting the Man City job. After making a few inquiries, the puzzled student realised she’d been assigned Sven-Goran Eriksson’s old mobile telephone number after he quit the England post. She said: “I wasn’t surprised when I saw Sven was saying no-one had rung him, they ring me. I’m hoping David Beckham texts me soon.”

Such a WAG

After Roy Keane claimed players weren’t coming to Wearside because their wives didn’t like the shops up there, the reigning Miss Sunderland, Carly Auld, decided to speak out for womankind on national television. She declared: “It’s every girl’s dream to be a WAG. All girls look up to them and and want to follow in their footsteps.”

Over at Cardiff

The new, well old, Cardiff City strike force of Robbie Fowler and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will surely be dubbed Darby and Joan. Neither will be playing at the weekend due to ‘injury’ and ‘late registration’. Could the real reason be that the team coach has not yet been fitted with a wheelchair ramp?

Granada revolts

Carlos Marsá formed Club Granada 74 to take over CF Ciudad de Murcia’s vacated Segunda División slot for this season but his plans were hit by the local council’s refusal to allow the team access to the Estadio de los Cármenes, home to the existing senior Granada clubs. So Marsá went on hunger strike, declaring. “People may not like what I’m doing but the methods we’ve used up to now haven’t worked. I’m not hurting anyone, only myself… If I have to go I will go straight upstairs. I’m 59 years old, not 18.” However, he called off his action two days later after an offer from south coast town Motril, 60km away, and a television network has now offered the club a chance to star in a reality show.

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