You are always hearing negative things about footballers, what you don't hear so much about is all the good works players do, the charity visits and so on. We had an example this week when several of my players and staff gave up their time to coach some schoolchildren.
I had promised Dominic Jordan, our vice-chairman, that I'd do a session at his son's school. I thought there would be about 20 kids. He rang to say, "Did I mind a few more?" The figure kept rising until it reached 120 so I recruited some help – players Clint Hill, Julian Speroni and Shaun Derry, and some of my staff.
We went on Thursday and had a great time for three hours. I took the forwards and did some finishing practice. Shaun did some passing and moving exercises with the midfielders. Julian worked with the goalies and Clint showed the defenders how to clog somebody (if there's any refs reading, I'm joking).
We also had Gary Issott and David Muir from our academy who were excellent. I often watch our academy coaches when I take William to the under-eights and find them amazing. I am managing a Championship team and I couldn't do what they do with the boys. They have so much patience.
2. 'Twelfth Night' has me at sixes and sevens
That was our second trip to Lingfield in as many days as we had a race day there on Wednesday. I took Sharon along hoping she would bring me some good fortune, but no such luck. Amy and William came closer than either of us. They gave me £2 and picked No 2 in the first race.
It was called "The Cuckoo" and with 200 yards to go it was winning, then another horse come from nowhere and pipped it at the post. I wish I'd only put £2 on my nags. Amy did save me a fortune as we had to miss the last two races to get back for a school play she was in.
Since we'd lost in every race no doubt we'd have lost again, although a few of the lads backed a horse owned by a Palace fan in a late race. He said it was a decent each-way bet, and it came third so he was right. Not that you'd have got much of a return at 5-1.
The play was Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". After the applause had died down Sharon turned to me and said, "Did you understand that?" I looked at her and thought, "Should I lie?" I said, "To be honest, no, but I enjoyed watching Amy."
Like every parent, you just can't take your eyes off your own child. The best performer there, though, was William.
A seven-year old sitting through an hour of Shakespeare. How well-behaved is that?
3. Redknapp had to deny King's crowning moment
I had to laugh when I heard Fabio Capello had told Wayne Rooney he was a "crazy man" for thumping the corner flag after being sent off against Fulham last week. I've said that a few times to some of my players. I agree with what David Beckham has said. You can't change the animal. If you do he does not have that fire in his belly and I think he is better with the fire in his belly. I don't think it makes him a risk. International football is not as physical as the Premier League. He was just sick at missing a couple of chances and his team losing. As for thumping the corner flag, well it's better than thumping the centre-half.
Capello had another debate on his hands with the row over Ledley King's call-up. I'm not surprised at Harry Redknapp complaining, but nor am I surprised Capello wanted to call King up. At the moment I'm inclined to side with Harry. I know Tottenham are more or less safe but after the season they have had it is vital they get the points to make sure. If the Ukraine game was critical to England qualifying it might be worth playing him but we're well-placed so with all King's problems he's better off resting. However, come the end of the season I'm sure Capello will still want to try King out.
4. All quiet at home as Amy shows who's boss
As it's international week I've given the lads the weekend off so players like Jose Fonte can go off to Portugal to visit their family. Anthony Stokes had plans, but then he was called up by Giovanni Trapattoni for the full Republic of Ireland squad. I'm pleased for him as he has worked hard and been through a difficult period.
Sean Scannell might have gone with him but he is seeing a specialist as he may have to have an hernia op. That would finish his season. But it could end on a high note as he is on the shortlist for the Championship Apprentice of the Year at the Football League's Awards dinner at the Grosvenor tomorrow night. I hope he gets it. He's done really well. When you think this time last year he was just playing in the juniors. He then got in the reserves, then the first team, then Ireland's Under-21s and the full squad. Quite a year.
Home is as quiet as the training ground as the kids are away for a week. Amy's year six have a ski trip to Austria so I knew she was due to go away. Then, one night, the pair of them were so nice to me. Cup of tea, papers, "What do you want to watch on TV, Dad?" I knew something was up. Then just as they were going to bed Amy asked, "Is it OK if William comes as well because we are one short and will have to cancel the trip if he does not?" Sharon always says she can't believe I behave as I do at football as I'm so soft at home Amy can twist me round her little finger.
Unfortunately, being away last night, I missed waving them goodbye. They left at 2.30am this morning. Good luck to the teachers.
5. Clough film takes artistic licence too far
I got to know Brian Clough when I was managing Notts County and he was at Forest and I have to say he's not the Brian Clough portrayed in The Damned U nited even if Michael Sheen plays him very well. While I've not seen all the film, and I believe it is a more sympathetic portrayal than the book, which I did read, there are so many facts that are wrong.
You have to look at the film as entertainment I guess, with some artistic licence, and not worry too much about the facts. As we all know, never let them get in the way of a good story. As the article in The Independent this week said, there hasn't been a good football film, though I did enjoy having my memory jogged of Brian Glover's character pretending to be Bobby Charlton in that great scene in Kes. That was a real northern film with proper accents.
I have both Sharon and Simon Jordan, my chairman, taking the mick out of my accent now. Sharon's asked me to stop calling people "love", as it's "common". Simon goes around saying "chuffing this", and "chuffing that", as I do. As I said, it could be a lot worse.
I told Simon if he wants to produce another film, having done Telstar, I'll write him a football script with a bit of humour in it. As I said to his director, Nick Moran, it's time for some comedy, people need a laugh right now.Reuse content