Cruyff, Cliftonville and The Ketchup Song
Another exciting and hectic week awaits.
It starts with an interview with Jordi Cruyff on Friday, who lives in Barcelona, before a flight to Liverpool. ItÃ¢ÂÂs with Ryan Air so they will have worked out three new surcharges to extract coins from customers since my last flight. Maybe there will be a credit crunch tax or a new tax for each wing.
TheyÃ¢ÂÂve additional fees for everything else. TheyÃ¢ÂÂll charge me for checking in at the airport later as IÃ¢ÂÂll commit the heinous crime of carrying baggage. Where else am I supposed to check in? The pet shop?
After doing an interview with a Norwegian magazine in a greasy spoon cafÃÂ© tomorrow morning, IÃ¢ÂÂll watch the mighty Tigers play at Old Trafford at 3pm. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs only Manchester UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs second 3pm game so far this season and clashes with, my brother, JonathanÃ¢ÂÂs game.
Now 32, heÃ¢ÂÂs been labelled Ã¢ÂÂthe non-league gypsyÃ¢ÂÂ for his attempts to play for every semi-professional club in the north-west before he retires. HeÃ¢ÂÂs only got about four to go.
'Non-league gypsy' Mitten (L) in action for FC United vs Leigh RMI
On Sunday morning, IÃ¢ÂÂll drive my little brother Sam - another centre forward - to Lilleshall for Stockport County vs Shrewsbury Town at Under-14 level. After, weÃ¢ÂÂll go and see our grandparents. GranddadÃ¢ÂÂs brother Charlie was the family star, but granddad played professionally for Ballymena in Northern Ireland.
While on a job at Cliftonville four years ago, an elderly Cliftonville director told me that heÃ¢ÂÂd played against my granddad half a century ago. Ã¢ÂÂHard bastard. Centre forward,Ã¢ÂÂ was his description, which threw me as IÃ¢ÂÂd only ever known him as someone who watched horse racing and gave me sweets.
I called granddad and handed my phone over. The elderly pair chatted for 15 minutes about a game 50-years ago when they were on opposing sides. It was lovely to watch and there was a tear in Mr CliftonvilleÃ¢ÂÂs eye as he handed the mobile back.
Ã¢ÂÂLovely fella,Ã¢ÂÂ said granddad. Ã¢ÂÂHavenÃ¢ÂÂt got a clue who he is though.Ã¢ÂÂ
"Who's that? Is that you young Andrew?"
Monday morning means the United debate show on Channel M. The Manchester Evening News bigs it up on the front page, listing the showÃ¢ÂÂs participantsÃ¢ÂÂ¦ everyone except for the small-time no-mark that is me.
WeÃ¢ÂÂll then drive north, to Gary PallisterÃ¢ÂÂs house in Yarm for an interview. I say Ã¢ÂÂweÃ¢ÂÂ because the girlÃ¢ÂÂs coming along. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs partly because Michael Martin, the editor of the Newcastle fanzine True Faith, told her about the virtues of his city and the north-east when they met.
He didnÃ¢ÂÂt tell her it will be freezing and the opposite to the Brazilian summers she is used to this time of year. So itÃ¢ÂÂll be Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne thenÃ¢ÂÂ¦ after interviewing Nicky Butt on Tuesday morning.
What I wonÃ¢ÂÂt tell Nicky is that I invented the song Manchester United fans sang for him, the one to the tune of KC and the Sunshine BandÃ¢ÂÂs, Ã¢ÂÂBaby Give It Up.Ã¢ÂÂ ItÃ¢ÂÂs the only chant IÃ¢ÂÂve ever started and it caught on after Peter Boyle, the lad who starts a lot of the chants at Old Trafford, put it on one of his CDs of United songs.
A lot of the Manchester grafters are going up to Glasgow a day before Celtic play United to work the Oasis concert and one has invited us to go along. HeÃ¢ÂÂs known the Gallaghers since they were kids and, despite being United, he likes them.
FalkirkÃ¢ÂÂs mighty Arnau Riera Ã¢ÂÂ who lists his favourite song as Las Ketchup Ã¢ÂÂ The Ketchup Song , is coming too. HeÃ¢ÂÂs back from injury and ready to storm the SPL. After watching Oasis.
Riera celebrates scoring at Ibrox... and getting Oasis tickets
A day of meetings and greetings in Glasgow will be followed by Celtic playing United on Wednesday. United no longer have Louis Saha to miss a penalty in GlasgowÃ¢ÂÂs East End, so we should do alright. IÃ¢ÂÂm looking forward to the atmosphere as itÃ¢ÂÂs superb for big matches and that new Celtic song sounds brilliant.
A night train from Glasgow will deposit us in that London the following morning. IÃ¢ÂÂll never tire of arriving in London, but IÃ¢ÂÂm always happy to leave.
The editor rang earlier to sound me out about interviewing a Spanish speaking Arsenal player down there. If I do, I will attempt to sow seeds of self-doubt into his mind ahead of their game at the Emirates against the champions of Europe next Saturday.
And after that, itÃ¢ÂÂs back to Spain for Barca vs Valladolid. Oh, and IÃ¢ÂÂve got to find time to edit the next edition of United We Stand. IÃ¢ÂÂve already sent the designer a dozen pages, but thereÃ¢ÂÂs still 32 to go.
Good job the internet exists...