What do you think of it so far, this half-season we have seen? Time for the midterm reports.
Team of the season. Obviously Chelsea. There has never been, in the history of our football, an injection of new money on such a scale. It's worked, so far. But they have to win the Premiership. Otherwise, at every ground next season, they'll be hearing the same chant: "Warrawasteamoney."
League of the season. The Premiership, of course, because something unusual has happened. At the top, it's a three-horse race, which is good, but Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea are so far ahead, even now, that they don't have to look over their shoulders. They are in a league of their own.
We then have a middling league, led by Liverpool and Newcastle, a group of seven clubs who won't be relegated, but won't be in the top three. They are fighting it out, desperately, for the honour and glory of finishing fourth. The third league within the league is the rubbish league: ten clubs, any three of which could well go down. Spurs are ending this half-season as head of the rubbish league. So jolly well done. But I don't expect them to stay there. Too flattering.
Disappointments of the season. Wayne Rooney, alas, has not made such progress as last season. Are fame and wealth distracting him? Is Wayne on the wane? Emile Heskey has been disappointing, but we're used to that. Titus Bramble is beginning to look a total wally. Ronaldo at Man Utd has been revealed as a mere poseur. If he does one more step-over, I'll scream.
Good news of the season. Frank Lampard at Chelsea has grown in the game. Shearer continues to confound those who wrote him off. Scott Parker of Charlton has done good, but I still can't see him in England's midfield. Becks, as a virgin in Spain, has been excellent. But this half-season's winner is Thierry Henry. Arsenal might as well pack up if he gets injured.
Cliches of the season. "Overcooked" has had many outings, all of them unnecessary. All it means is "over-hit". But the winner is Peter Drury. Commentating on an Arsenal game, he came out with the old classic about a player "throwing a right foot at the ball". I hadn't heard it for a while and, for a moment, I was looking down the pitch, trying to see who was missing a foot.
Most puzzlingly pedantic phrase. This was uttered by Barry Davies, when he said: "And even more he."
Can you possibly guess what he meant by it? Take it slowly. The context was the Wales-Russia game, where you'll remember that poor old Wales got stuffed and therefore won't be going to Portugal. Barry had said of one Welsh player: "He came with such hopes." Then he noticed Ryan Giggs and added: "And even more he." See, it did make sense.
Names of the season. My favourite name is XAVI, who plays for Barcelona. When I first saw his shirt, I thought, hmm, is that his name or his number in Latin.
Names you no longer see. Wilfred has disappeared. Wilfreds were at their peak in the 1935-36 season, when 20 of them played in the Football League. I can't think of one in recent years, not since Wilf Rostron of Arsenal and Watford in the 1970s.
Boring sights. Players kissing the club badge on their shirt. So affected. And bizarre. Such as Robbie Fowler kissing his Man City badge. He should be kissing Leeds Utd's. They are still paying him £500,000 a season.
Horror sight. Two weeks ago in the Partick Thistle-Celtic game, there was a scene of total, full-frontal nudity when a Thistle player got his shirt pulled to one side by a Celtic player in such a way that it revealed he was wearing neither underpants nor a jockstrap, thus exposing his full tackle. It did at least prove one of Big Ron's old sayings - it is a man's game.
Chant of the season. In the Southampton-Portsmouth derby, a new event this season, both sets of fans were shouting: "One team in Hampshire, there's only one team in Hampshire." I can't explain why, but it did make me smile. I'm also smiling because I'm off on my summer hols to the West Indies. See you in the New Year. Cheers.