Roy Hodgson and Sir Alex made hot, sticky love. Slipping on kimonos, they sluiced into the jacuzzi smelling of patchouli and sweat bearing glasses of chardonnay. With lava lamps, soft emo music, and a doobie to while away the hour.
Spent, they emerged giggling, splashing each other conspiratorially one last time before taking on a befuddled press where they batted eyelids and mouthed "So happy together". Coy and cute.
Liverpool vs Man Utd used to be war. Rafa and Sir Alex could not bring on themselves to say each others names. The former Liverpool man's tirade against Sir Alex is a historically and histrionically celebrated clip as is Sam Allardyce surrogate showdown for the Man Utd coach. The tabloids used to eat this stuff up from sunrise to sundown - the run up to the match itself was a furlong.
Maybe it's the sign of the times. Maybe it's the past relationship between Hodgson and Sir Alex getting in the way of good old fashioned hubris and smash mouth. But a lot has to do with Liverpool eating humble pie and Man Utd's recent weakness closing out matches.
One misses those days when Rafa and Jose Mourinho gave these rivalries an edge with their attitude and mind games. It's one big mutual admiration society nowadays. Here is Sir Alex protesting that he ever was anti-Liverpool.
"That changed under the last regime but it's not a big issue for me."
Note the choice of words. Regime. It's code for fascism. We have no stinking fascism nowadays. It's Woy. Woy Hodgson, for god sakes. The friendly neighborhood shoe salesman. Cue The Turtles and love for all and all for love. I only hope that it is all out war on the pitch this weekend because the managers are more liable to high five each other.