Could a twisting of words force Pep into a British media blackout?

Barca, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool. IâÂÂve found myself in Groundhog Day territory watching the same teams in the last week.

IâÂÂll spare Arsenal fans from going over SaturdayâÂÂs FA Cup match. Five thousand of them travelled to Barcelona, 9,000 to Old Trafford to see two defeats and two cup exits in five days. I sat close to them at Old Trafford and they supported their team to the bitter end. However, Arsene had best put the Pomagne on ice.

And IâÂÂll save myself going over the old ground of LiverpoolâÂÂs win against United last week. Enough people reminded me of that at Anfield yesterday before, during and after an epic FA Youth Cup tie.

From the perspective of a journalist, Liverpool are a very friendly club to deal with. I had 1,600 words to write by the final whistle â a tall order, especially when the game completely turns on its head. Liverpool surged into a 2-0 lead before United stormed back to win 3-2.

Watch out for UnitedâÂÂs Ravel Morrison who scored two (and LiverpoolâÂÂs Raheem Sterling). Manchester lad Morrison has led a troubled life off the field, but he appears to have put his head down and to be concentrating on his football.

Could Morrison be the next big thing at Old Trafford?

AnfieldâÂÂs press box is small and right next to the directorsâ box, so Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and David Gill were sitting about three metres away. The senior people at Old Trafford have always taken the Youth Cup seriously. I didnâÂÂt spot Malcolm Glazer, though â maybe he was one of the visiting fans ejected for setting off a flare. In direct sunlight. At a youth game.

Four players were sent off too â a pair from either side. One of Liverpool dismissed players left the field, showered and came to sit in the press box. Next to me. He was fuming. He also wore a giant watch the size of Cilla BlackâÂÂs teeth. I had nothing to say to him, 1,600 words and all that.

Last week was busy, as it always is when an English team comes to Barcelona. I seem to get loads of messages like: âÂÂYou donâÂÂt know me, but a mate of a mate once saw you (standing on platform 9 at Crewe noting train numbers?). He said that youâÂÂd be able to recommend a cheap hotel in Barcelona, some great bars and restaurants, plus get us 16 match tickets for face value and fix us up with Carles PuyolâÂÂs model girlfriend.âÂÂ

IâÂÂm a helpful sort, but thereâÂÂs only 24 hours in the day and PuyolâÂÂs lady is the faithful sort.

The TelegraphâÂÂs Jim White has written for United We Stand for years and came over for the game to write a colour piece for all those retired generals in the Cotswolds. We arranged to meet for some food. âÂÂDo you mind if Henry Winter joins us?â Jim asked. I didnâÂÂt.

I first met Winter in 1996 while watching two Newcastle fans in wheelchairs try to fight each other on the Quayside, the fall out after Eric CantonaâÂÂs goal severely dented the Geordies title hopes. Winter has always been very pleasant, friendly and keen to talk football, though not everyone sees him this way.

âÂÂEvery morning, I get a tweet saying âÂÂYouâÂÂre a c*ntâÂÂ!â he explained. Some people, eh?

The British hack pack were also in attendance when Barca coach Pep Guardiola spoke the day before the game. Guardiola is bright and very respectful when it comes to the giants of English football. He answered questions in four different languages and was very complimentary when talking about Jack Wilshere.

"Make sure you get my good side..."

IâÂÂve looked again at my notes from the press conference. âÂÂHeâÂÂs a young player and looks like he could be a great player,â said Guardiola. âÂÂHe passes well and is aggressive. He combines well with his team mates.âÂÂ

He also stated that he had many similar players in BarçaâÂÂs B team who are riding high in SpainâÂÂs second division and beating the first teams of sides like Celta Vigo and Betis. Guardiola wasnâÂÂt demeaning Wilshere at all.

The following day, several British papers reported Guardiola had stirred up trouble and been disrespectful towards Wilshere and Arsenal. Apparently heâÂÂd âÂÂlaunched an astonishing attackâ on Wilshere. He was also accused of taking âÂÂa side swipeâ and of trying âÂÂto vexâ Arsenal and âÂÂsecond rateâ Wilshere. He didnâÂÂt.

GuardiolaâÂÂs English is good, but itâÂÂs not perfect. HeâÂÂs not au fait with the nuances of the QueenâÂÂs, nor the dangers of tabloid-speak â and for that he was punished. HeâÂÂs engaging, honest and articulate, but it would be understandable if he said nothing next time Barca draw an English team â when the British journalists would be the first to complain.

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