It was back in March that former Scotland under-21 captain Ross McCrorie tested positive for Covid-19 when he was on loan at Portsmouth from Rangers.
“I was out cutting the grass and I got a phone call from [head physio] Bob [Bacic]. He told me my test had come back positive. I was proper shocked and I think I swore at him. Everyone started to message me like I was dying, but I’d not had any symptoms at all.”
He found his self-isolation period severely tough, passing the bulk of it by watching Netflix, like “the Gordon, Gino and Fred show and The Last Dance documentary”.
Come August, Rangers sent him on loan to Aberdeen. He had a quick break away with the Scottish under-21s, then returned to base. At which point he was told he had tested positive ... again.
How tough was his second bout of self-isolation?
Very. “I was just by myself, stuck inside looking at the four walls for two weeks. I completed Netflix as well,” he told the Daily Record last week.
What did he watch? “A film called Deja Vu.”
The definition of appropriate, that.
Mechelen’s change of tune on Shved
August 2020: “Let’s be honest here, Marian Shved is an outstanding talent who would not normally choose to play for a club like Mechelen. He will bring a real injection of quality to this club. He’s a shy guy and we are going to have to take him under our wing a bit, but he will soon get to know his new team-mates. I can immediately see that the boy can play. He’s an excellent addition to the squad and we are lucky to have him.”
Mechelen manager Wouter Vrancken mega excited about signing Ukranian winger Shved on loan from Celtic.
December 2020: “I don’t feel like I should be wasting my time on him anymore. He puts himself above the group. He regularly arrives late and even pretends not to be here. He is introverted, but his arrogance makes it worse. Well, it stops now. If he wants to be a loner, he can. Go play billiards for the rest of his life, or something.”
Mechelen manager Wouter Vrancken no longer mega excited.
By the numbers
18 - That's how many days after his 16th birthday that Borussia Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko played in the Champions League, making him the youngest ever to feature in the competition. He was born in November 2004, which feels like last week.
Quote of the week
Heaven is filling up with stars . . . may God welcome you with open arms, my friend." – Pele, tiring of bidding adeiu to the greats, this time Paolo Rossi.
Word of mouth
"Get rid, I have been saying this for 12 months, he is the most overrated player I have ever seen in my life." – Jamie Carragher urging Manchester United to say au revoir to Paul Pogba.
"I have a soft spot for Lionel Messi, he is a guy that every time I see him play football makes my life better. I hope if he comes to Manchester it's to my club and not the other." – Juan Mata. The prospect of Messi playing just in front of Fred and Scott McTominay is ... intriguing.
"I'm one of the top five strikers in the world. I can't do anything wrong from a tactical point of view." – A bashful Romelu Lukaku. "I played against Paolo Maldini and now I'm playing with his son, Daniel. Hopefully I can play with Daniel's son also, that would be a miracle." – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, feeling so ageless he reckons he could play with Paolo's grandson.
"I wouldn't say it's the most exciting football you've ever watched, but you only have to look back at Arsenal with George Graham. They used to grind out their 1-0 wins and bore the arse off of people. I wouldn't say Tottenham are boring the arse off people." – Teddy Sheringham with a lusty tribute to Jose's lads.
"I wouldn't mind a job at Stockley Park just having their slippers on like they seem to have there." – We're guessing that VAR officials aren't on Villa boss Dean Smith's Christmas card list.
"You and Diego will have fun playing together in heaven, but train well because when I arrive, I will make you run!" – Fabio Capello warning Paolo Rossi that when he, Capello, gets to heaven, the fun will be over.