So Gianfranco Zola vows to haul back West Ham from the trapdoor and a million east-end eyebrows jump skywards. We thought that Zola had slunk off to the Mediterranean never to return, like a cancerous cat finds a far-off meadow to lay down and die in.
Who knows what happened out in Sardinia? Perhaps the Zola famiglia rallied around the little man and cooked him a dinner to elevate his ailing spirits. With large furry-lipped aunts in black dresses dolloping grotesque amounts of fortifying ravioli onto his plate, and sage elders cursing the names of Sullivan and Gold while aggresively breaking focaccia and slurping olive oil. And as the vino flowed, Zola will have collected his thoughts and resolved to fight on.
All of which must have come as sour news for the rumoured heir-apparent Steve McClaren, lurking in some Whitechapel alley like Jack the Ripper under an FA-branded golf umbrella, waiting to pounce.
If his past ill-conceived attempts to ingratiate himself with the locals in the Low Countries are anything to go by, then we can expect McClaren to be polishing up his pearly king outfit and asking not to be referred to as the manager, rather the lor’ blimey guvnor.
Love a duck. Love a fucking duck.