It's hard to sympathise truly with Quins – not only because they took cheating to a ludicrous new level but also because of those silly jerseys they wear. But their victory over Northampton on Saturday – which ended Saints' unbeaten home record – was nonetheless impressive, especially as they achieved it having had two men sent to the sin bin. The comments of the Harlequins coach, Conor O'Shea, were interesting. "You can't coach that, it is all down to the hearts of the players," he said afterwards. You can't coach that? An admirable admission, perhaps, but it might have been cleverer to take the credit.
Once upon a time he bestrode the Old Trafford pitch like a particularly officious traffic warden, but for football's second-favourite Neville brother those glory days are long gone. Saturday saw him inexplicably escape what looked a certain red card for the second time this season. But while his on-field future may be bleak, a job in Ferguson's back team surely beckons, given his ability to get up the nose of Liverpudlians.
I appreciate it's not the done thing to criticise Liverpool supporters but the attendance on Saturday was pretty poor. Do they really want Rafa Benitez back? Fans of the other 19 top-flight clubs certainly do.
In September, Sam Allardyce said this: "I'm not suited to Bolton or Blackburn. I would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid. It wouldn't be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the Double or the league every time." Yesterday, he said this: "There has been a little bit of speculation, which I am flattered by, that Burnley are interested in me." Come on, Sam. Don't give up on the Real dream so quickly: with you on the market, Mourinho is a dead man walking.