FA Cup final day is undermined by the scheduling of league fixtures

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The Independent Online

Being of the old school, I think it is a real shame there are Premier League matches today. The FA Cup final is a special day but the prospect of the title being decided beforehand is bound to spoil it a bit for Tony Pulis, who deserves his day in the sun. It used to be like a holiday day at our house. Everyone would come round from about ten in the morning and we'd watch all the build-up while munching on fruit pancakes.

I think it will be an intriguing game. Stoke City are far better than people make out and they are just the sort of team to upset Manchester City. I'll be keeping an eye out for Jon Walters. He was my main transfer target in the summer. I chased him for weeks and even had him in my office. But Tony whisked him away with the lure of Premier League football and the fact his missus could live near home. I usually tell players they made a mistake when they go to other clubs, but it looks as if he made the right decision.

I was asked by TV to go to Wembley but my wife, Sharon, and Natalie, my eldest daughter, are doing the 26-mile MoonWalk for breast cancer tonight and I thought it only right to support their preparation. However, I think I'll tell them our sports scientist said 3pm-5pm is the optimum time to get a pre-walk sleep in.



2. Lennon attack shows the risks all managers are facing

The attempted assault on Neil Lennon, pictured, by a fan was frightening. It brought home to every manager that you have to be on your guard: it only takes one nutter. Neil was lucky, it could have been far more serious and I fear it is only a matter of time before something really bad occurs somewhere. I do think when Neil looks back over recent months he will realise he could have handled himself a little bit better on occasions. That will come with experience. However, nothing he has done warrants being attacked.



3. Exclusive: My one-night stand with a trophy wife

I took the league championship trophy home after we won the title on Monday and asked Sharon, did she mind if I slept with it? I love her to bits, but it was only for one night. She slept in the spare room.

On Wednesday I took it to my son William's school assembly. Then we went down the road to see the younger kids. The teacher said: "This is Mr Warnock and he has brought a cup with him. Can anyone tell me what football club Mr Warnock manages?" This bright little boy thrust his hand up. He said: "Crystal Palace United, Miss."

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