February 18, the day the touch paper was lit with three words - pot, kettle, black.
Forget Fergie and Wenger, forget Fergie and Rafa or even Fergie and Mancini, the mind games have well and truly started in terms of the JC MSFL title race.
Hendon boss David Garbacz was this week accused of double standards after becoming the latest manager to criticise a referee. The current Manager of the Year got himself in a right tizz after his team saw their title hopes dented by a Brady side, who Garbarcz believes benefited from he felt were a couple of generous decisions from Richard Jaye.
Garbacz doesn’t have previous when it comes to criticising the man in black, but one or two have picked him up for crying foul.
Darren Yarlett, the former Neasden manager and coach, and Brady boss Joel Nathan reminded Garbacz in no uncertain terms how he was quick to point the finger at North West Neasden over the famous ‘greatest team’ debate.
If anything, now is the time for cool heads. Perhaps he was trying to adopt Fergie style tactics and take the focus off his team last weekend. Either way, it wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever and it certainly wasn’t appreciated by referees across the league.
David, consider your card officially marked.
* Like me, I’m sure you enjoyed the good weather last weekend. What was puzzling, to say the least, was the number of matches postponed despite two, dry, crisp sunny days from Friday in London. Alas, several councils across the capital fielded blanket postponements of all their pitches. I was in the neighbourhood at Chase Lodge in Mill Hill and can tell you that the pitches were in pristine condition, but there wasn’t a football or footballer in sight.
If you ask me, calling a match off should be a last resort, not a calculated decision made a full 48 hours before the game is scheduled to take place.
But as South Manchester Sports Club chairman Jonny Davis says: “Before we know it, it’ll be the end of the season and they’ll be shutting down near-perfect pitches for reseeding.”
* East London and Essex is something of a hot-bed for top Jewish keepers these days. In 2009, I remember seeing Gary ‘the Cat’ Grant flying across his goal to deny Israel and help Team GB win gold in the over-45 Masters football competition at the Maccabiah Games. In the 1990’s, Jason Roukin was on the books at Chelsea and more recently we have seen the likes of Daniel Lee, Jordan Davidson, Bradley Grant and Wingate & Finchley’s Ross Weinrabe emerge.
However, the signs are that Redbridge Jewish Care’s Matt Kemp could be the best of the lot. The new kid on the block appears to have the lot at such a tender age - agility, great reflexes and he’s a great reader of the game. Until now, he was the best kept secret but remember where you heard the name first when you see his name on Maccabiah squad lists of the future.
* Former JC MSFL referee of the year Warwick Blake will be the man in the middle latest ESPN All-Star match at Wembley. Blake will be joined by Simon Cudner and Martin Fox for the match at the home of football on March 9. Liverpool fan Blake will be sure to have his notebook ready with Reds legend Ian Rush expected to be involved.