Steve McClaren and Terry Venables have presided over the thrilling ceremonies at Soho Square, and I’m pretty sure I’d have needed a defibrilator had I watched it live.
All ties to be played March 10 or 11.
Middlesbrough or West Brom v Manchester United or Reading
Arsenal or Blackburn v Manchester City
Chelsea v Tottenham
Plymouth v Watford
Real Madrid are denying reports Fabio Capello will step down as manager after Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. Striker Antonio Cassano is said to be returning to the squad after suspension over his fitness — apparently, Antoine Walker was the wrong sort of personal training guru.
Though QPR chairman Gianni Paldini has already issued a denial, the Mirror claimed earlier today the Stupor Hoops were preparing to replace manager John Gregory with onetime Wimbledon fixture Joe Kinnear.
Peter Reid has had lots of bad ideas as a manager but his decision to take Manchester City on a pre-season trip to Italy in 1992 was one of the worst. On one drunken day, the players stumbled across an empty boxing ring and decided to stage their very own royal rumble. A few playful slaps were exchanged until beanpole striker Niall Quinn landed an unintentionally brutal one on midfield hardman Steve McMahon. The striker scarpered and forgot all about the incident until McMahon found him gyrating in a nightclub later that evening – and decked him. Fortified by rage and booze, Quinn chased his team-mate into the street, caught him and threw him through a shop window. Then scarpered again. The following morning, Reid summoned the pugilists and demanded to know what had happened: McMahon, who had no memory of the events, took full blame and paid for the broken window.