The fan - Hunter Davies marvels at footballers' haircuts
For the first time in ages, non-fashionable hair has become fashionable
Halfway through the season, more or less, so time to take stock, look ahead, and see what the rest of it might bring for all those concerned.
Referee Graham Poll is probably dreading it. I first heard the chant during a Man City v Man United game during which he gave some dodgy decisions against the home side. "Oh, Graham Poll, you're a fucking arse'ole," so 10,000 voices sang. Now it follows him around the Premiership. Poor lad, what can he do? He could say that where he comes from, Poll is pronounced "Paul", so sorry, chaps, you're well out of line, rhyme-wise. That might stop them. Or not.
Harry Kewell, he must do better, and also Wayne Rooney. No, he's not done bad, he's just not done good enough. Watch his first touch; he lost a bit of confidence, which is something I never expected. Stewart Downing of Boro, all the commentators have fallen in love with him, but I'm not convinced. Only got a left peg. But I do like the look of young Reto Ziegler, the Swiss blond at Spurs.
Names to savour, because they are new to me this season and, well, they are really, really lovely names. Willo Flood of Man City, isn't that romantic-sounding? Dexter Blackstock of Southampton, straight out of Thomas Hardy; Wagner Love of CSKA Moscow - should be in Hollywood.
There's one chant we may never hear again after this season, but I'm so fond of it. It always makes me smile. "One team in Hampshire, there's only one team in Hampshire." Sung by both Portsmouth and Southampton fans. Most fans north of Watford probably never realised there was even one club in Hants.
And banners, well, let's hope we get some good ones. Best one so far was held up by Sporting Lisbon fans at Newcastle's St James's Park, and was written in English: "Thank you for the lovely night out, Newcastle Girls." Wasn't that sweet. Or was it satirical?
Managers, don't say we'll lose any more. So far, there have been new ones at Blackburn, Newcastle, Spurs, Southampton, Portsmouth and West Brom. Who will be next to go? Keegan at Man City, Chris Coleman at Fulham?
Hair: nothing much to report this season. Fashion-wise, for the first time in ages, non-fashionable hair has become fashionable. I'm thinking of people who haven't changed their hairstyle since primary school, when their mum did it for them, such as Lee Hendrie, Mark Delaney, Gavin McCann, all of Villa. Who copied whom? "Oooh," one of them must have said in the dressing room, "you look cool." Paul Scholes of Man U has of course always been a trendsetter when it comes to crap hair.
Let's hope we don't copy the latest fashions for refs in Italy. Have you seen their new frocks? Fluorescent lime-green matching top, shorts, sox. Ugh, I have to avert my eyes.
Will Everton disappear in a puff of blue smoke, slowly slithering down to their normal, boring position so that we'll forget they were ever up there, with the Gods? I hope not. It would be nice to see them give Chelsea a run for their money, money, money.
I don't believe for one moment that Jose Mourinho had his fingers crossed for Barcelona. It was a double bluff. Which he is. A walking, talking, posing one. But his supreme self-confidence seems to have passed on to his Chelsea team. So far.
Four English teams into the last 16 of the Champions League, followed by Germany 3, Italy 3, Spain 2, France 2, Portugal 1, Holland 1. So hasn't England done well this season! And I expect Chelsea and Man United to go further still.
But I fear for Liverpool, so limp unless Steven Gerrard is fired up, and Arsenal, nowhere as strong without Patrick Vieira on top form, which he hasn't been for most of the season, and also their habit of underachieving in Europe, a mental block they don't look like shifting. All the same, I am very excited. Plus there's Newcastle and Boro in the Uefa Cup. Gosh, a lot to look forward to in the rest of this season.
But first, I'm looking forward to my hols in the Bahamas, visiting Ocean Club, Kamalame Cay and Pink Sands. See you in February.
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