If Fabien Barthez is spotted before a match fussing over where to place his kitbag in the goal, there is no cause to worry about his state of mind. The Manchester United goalkeeper will merely be calling upon Feng Shui to help him out. The eccentric Frenchman, whose blunders have stood out in United's poor start to the season, is trying to solve his problems by signing up an expert in the ancient Chinese art to sort out his new home and give him peace of mind.
The World Cup-winner has just bought a £300,000 apartment and is consulting a leading French proponent. Devotees believe that correctly placed furniture and household objects helps ensure health and wealth by correctly channelling the life force known as "ki" or "chi".
Barthez wants to be sure his new flat brings out the best of him and gives him inner peace, leading to improved performances. So while Barthez is preparing for his next game he will also be trying to work out his internal alignment and ideal electro-magnetic fields.
Barthez moved out of a huge property in the south of Manchester – which Juan Sebastian Veron has taken over – to be more central, and he wants to be sure his new home is perfect for him, physically and spiritually. May the life force be with him.