Bless 'em all
So many unforgettable moments, and more joy to come next year
Time to take stockings, to look back and forward, shake it all about.
Rubbish team of the season so far: No contest, so no need to mention the name. In fact, they'll be the rubbish team of the whole season as they haven't got another competitive match, oh for ages, thank God.
Best team: Arsenal. Adebayor has come into his own, now Thierry Henry has gone, but the most improved have been Hleb and Rosicky. Last season, they seemed weedy, weak and flimsy, easily duffed up by the big Bolton bullies. Now they are wiry, strong and resilient, plus incredibly skilful. Well done, Wenger. You woz right. But I still think Man U will win the Premiership.
Surprisingly half-decent teams: Man City and Portsmouth. Though not much chance that either will finish in the top four.
Most fun stadium: Old Trafford. Can't take my eyes off the seats behind the away manager's bench. Early doors, there were two turbaned Sikhs sitting in a row, right behind him. Now there are four. And what about the mouse? We got a close-up of a real mouse going into a hole during the Man United-Sporting Lisbon game on ITV on 27 November, for I have it in my diary, oh yes, I record all the big events, and yet it was never explained. Had it crawled out of Fergie's wallet?
Saddest stadium: St James's Park. Those poor Geordie supporters, in their sad repro shirts, having to go around advertising Northern Rock, plus helping that lump of an owner in his repro shirt make even more millions from selling repro shirts.
Stupidest joke: When I pretended I'd been appointed a member of the England Task Force working on ways to get star foreigners to play for England. Turns out to be spot on. Almunia, Arsenal's Spanish goalie, is a year away from becoming a UK citizen. As he's never played for Spain at any level, he'll be qualified for England. Then he could replace the Spurs goalie.
Sad season for goalies: Apart from Robbo, Scott Carson looks naive and so does Craig Gordon, Sunderland's record buy, who was going to ruin the reputation of Scottish goalies by turning out to be quite good.
Best Motty quote: "It's going to be one of the most seminal second halves at Wembley." So he intoned at half-time in the England-Croatia game. A private school education is never wasted.
Strangest sight: Aaron Lennon running around in gloves. Because he's so small, the gloves make his hands look huge, like handbags at six paces.
Most apt song: Birmingham City's "Keep Right On to the End of the Road", a Scottish song written by Sir Harry Lauder in 1918, which City have sung for decades, for no apparent reason, but now at last they have a Scottish manager in McLeish.
Signs of the times: More than 7,000 Spurs fans went to Anderlecht for their Uefa Cup game, not long after the new Channel Tunnel link opened from St Pancras. It now means Spurs or Arsenal fans will find it easier and quicker to get to certain French and Belgian games from north London than to Newcastle, Sunderland or Boro - even to Liverpool or Manchester.
Signs of the signs: Watching Caen at home in the French first division, I saw a sign at the hooligans' end saying "Normandy Kop". Then I noticed that, for Germany, Nuremberg have on the front of their shirts "Mister*Lady". What can that stand for? An advert for Little Britain on tour?
Signs of old times catching up: Freddie Ljungberg, spotted loitering on West Ham's bench - almost bald. Let that be a lesson, Freddie. You should never have spent all those years dyeing your hair stupid colours.
England rules: Not the team, dum dum, but the language, which was used for all the announcements during the Israel-Russia game.
Fab game: It did happen, Lennon and McCartney came face to face again on 25 November - when Spurs played West Ham.
Events to come: Big Sam looks like surviving into the New Year, but could there be an early bath for Benítez of Liverpool? That permanent frown, moany face, chops and changes surely indicate something's going wrong.
Excitements to come: Lots of fun in 2008. Ho yus. In January we'll find out whether Chelsea, Arsenal or Portsmouth wins the African Nations Cup. OK, so the clubs won't actually be playing, but their lads could do it for us.
Then in the summer, despite the lack of E------, wot we're not mentioning, I'm expecting there to be more of our Prem League players in Euro '08 than from any other league, except perhaps Italy's. See, so much to look forward to.
Tags: 2007 Review