So this morning, after the usual warm up, I put first gear in and... the clutch won't come up!!! After a second of puzzlement I pull it up with my foot and it goes alright "funny.." I think, and as I go for the second gear, same thing!!!
At this point I play the part of the "indifferent driver" - oh it's just a morning hiccup, besides it's chilly today - and carry on. At this point the clutch starts working almost normally, getting stuck for half second at the very least bit of its travel..
I drive my way down to MK and my mind starts rambling about Alfa reliability, and how's it possible that a car with just 40k on the clock already has such issue, and how am I gonna do if I have to go to work and bla bla bla
I reach the traffic light and I feel something interfering with my foot, then the clutch stays down and the engine dies!!!
I start naming several of the saints from the Italian calendar, I look down to see what's the blasting matter and.......
...it was the bloody car mat that got stuck with the clutch pedal!!!
The screw that hold it in position came off and it slid under the pedal.. this taught me a lesson about Alfa and preconceptions: no matter how much we love our cars, as soon as we have a snag we start thinking the worse!