As the Premier League season draws to its fantastic conclusion, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has come under increasing criticism over his team selection to face Hull City at the KC Stadium on Sunday, but the enigmatic Scot has dumbfounded his critics this morning by picking a player who could arguably be described as United's greatest-ever player - Sir Bobby Charlton.
Next Wednesday's Champions League final against Barcelona is looming large on Sir Alex's horizon, and it was thought he might well field a team of reserves, in order to have all of his superstars available in Rome.
Sir Bobby, who scored 199 goals in his 606 appearances for United, has always regretted not having reached the magical 200 goal-figure, and is eager to put that right.
On Sunday, at age 71, he will get his chance.
Criticism for Sir Alex has come from all corners of the Northeast, with fans of Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland all moaning that it is against Premier League rules, and mithering the PL to warn him not to field a weakened side.
PL rule E20 states: "in every league match, each particpating club should field a full-strength team", and Newcastle fan, Ron Glumm, said:
"Why, aye, id's against the integitty of the bluddy PL, izenet? Be diffrent if id wuzuz, bud id izentuzizzet?"
Sir Alex told reporters at a news conference this morning that he understood the sentiments of supporters in the Northeast, and had a certain amount of sympathy with their views, but that the Champions League final was foremost in his thoughts.
"Ah, bollox to 'em."