The Premiership returns in force this weekend to deliver us from wasteful European adventure and the misty-eyed romance of the Cup.
With such distractions set aside, we can get back to the serious business of working out if this season of so many twists will serve us a few more, before the Spring sunshine and the smell of newly mown grass overpower us with longing for our summer residences.
Fortunately the fixture list for this weekend is such a tour de force of juxtaposition that we doubt the best chef in the land could match its menu for invention and appetite appeal.
After binging on tapas, cheap Rioja and cold chips, the juggernaut of Mancunian ambition rolls into the North East on Saturday lunchtime for a culinary encounter that would make Egon Ronay wince.
Whatever they eat in Hull isn’t likely to be found in any of Pellegrini’s kitchens. Too much salt and stale chip fat for his tastes we suspect.
On the other side of the Pennines toils a man that many of us think is miscast in this life. Close your eyes and imagine David Moyes as an industrious sous-chef in a promising yet realistic seaside cafe and you’ll know what we mean.
Take him out of this environment and set him the task of feeding 75,000 success starved United supporters and the seams on his kitchen trousers are likely to buckle.
But don’t take our word for this, listen attentively to David’s visiting cousins from Merseyside this weekend and you’ll hear we never walk alone.
Elsewhere we reckon the roadside cafe that bridges the red and white halves of London will be strangely harmonious this weekend.
Both sides are starting to realise that the bargain Norton Commando they bought from that dealer in Wembley isn’t likely to get them to John O’Groats and back in this lifetime.
Yet there’s a slip road to silverware lying ahead, for one team ending a famine that a trailer load of hot-dog stalls couldn’t manage, and for the other, an offer of a form of fame that escapes them at home. Which could make this the quietest North London derby of recent times.
With Sunderland v Palace and Swansea v West Brom completing the weekend line-up, it’s clear that everything football related will take some digesting during the next 72 hours. So don’t forget to click on the magic link below, enter your predictions and check the stocks of Rennies.
Finally, if you haven’t yet done so, may we suggest you check out our astonishingly successful funding campaign for Sporting Mouth. In the space of a few days we’ve already hit 50% of our target and have received many declarations of intent from would-be investors. If you fancy getting involved in something that could be bigger than Mourinho’s ego, don’t delay, unless of course you’re a specialist in failure.