Football Diary
by Patrick O’Connor

THE BBC football website regularly includes a very funny satirical spoof TV programme called Special 1 TV featuring puppet caricatures of top football personalities.  It is ‘hosted’ by the Special One himself, the Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Apparently it was Mourinho who came up with the nickname Special One  but the British media adopted it with relish during his trophy-winning spell with Chelsea.

On the show Mourinho is, as in real life, never slow in coming forward with opinions and is often involved in put-downs with  puppet versions  of Arsene Wenger, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Wayne Rooney.

There is no doubting Mourinho’s standing as one of the top football bosses in the world but he is now in danger of being regarded as more clown than coach.

Uefa have given him a five match European ban for his conduct after Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.

Frankly Mourinho’s whinging has now become a bit tiresome and indeed, Real Madrid’s former president Ramon Calderon told BBC Radio 5 live that he thought the club’s reputation had been damaged.

Mourinho has regularly hinted that one day he would like to return to the Premier League and England where the media pressure will be intense.

There are some who say he would be the perfect replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson when the Manchester United manager eventually decides to retire.

For the sake of his own reputation and career in the game maybe it is time for the Special One to belt up.

Those great innovators Fifa (I’m being sarcastic) say they are planning to hold a two-stage testing programme for goal-line technology, with the results to be discussed in July 2012.

Take your time lads, it’s not as if it’s anything urgent. Buffons!

When you’re facing a financial crisis, you’ll take help from anywhere. According to the BBC, a fund raising auction for Scottish First Division club Queen of the South includes a range of items – including a bullock and a heifer. Also on the list was a farm gate and 15 dozen free range eggs.

Buzz off! A beehive on a crossbar held up play for 20 minutes at a Goiania state championship in Brazil between Vila Nove and Goias.

The fire brigade was called and they used an extinguisher and a flaming torch to get rid of the bees.

The weekend’s football in England saw Manchester United edge a step closer to the Premier League title and it should be confirmed next Saturday.

But many eyes will be on the other Manchester club, City, when they meet unfancied Stoke City in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

The way Roberto Mancini’s side were roughed up and finally dispatched by Everton last week will give plenty of encouragement to Stoke, their vast array of six-foot plus strikers, defenders and long throw-in expert Rory Delap.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if City’s millions of pounds of expensive imports found the going got too tough for them and came away with a trophy despite all that investment.

Incidentally, for the first time as far as I can remember, the cup final, the biggest event in the English football calendar, is taking place on the same day as four Premier League matches.

This means that supporters of Manchester United, Bolton, Wolves and Everton travelling back from watching their teams play at Blackburn, Blackpool,  Sunderland and West Brom, whose games kick off at 12.45pm, will not be able to watch the final (3pm kick-off) live from the comforts of their own home.

This is because the Premier League season doesn’t finish until Sunday, May 22 but the cup final is being staged this weekend instead of the usual Saturday after the last games are played when it is normally the only fixture on the calendar as it should be for such a showpiece occasion.

Why? God knows? I’m sure some cretin with the Football Association/Premier League etc has the answer.

But then again, what does he know about football?