Robbo's Christmas presents
It's that time of year when we all look forward to a portly man in a white beard showering us with gifts and goodwill. But sadly Ken Bates can only own one football club at a time.
It's the time of year when that red-nosed old dear usually comes into his own - however it looks like Fergie'll struggle this year.
It's the time of year when we think of nuts roasting on an open fire and thank the Lord we're not Tiger Woods.
Christmas is for giving. And as I've spent 2009 not giving a monkey's, it's time I changed my tune.
'Father Christmas' juggles ball at West Ham
To Fabio Capello:
Yards and yards of cotton wool - enough to wrap around Wayne Rooney 'til June.
To Dean Ashton:
He'll be badly missed by all of us who reckoned on him being a cracking international number nine. So I give him a crash course at the Andy Townsend School of Post-Match Punditry...
Day 1 - holding a computer pen.
Day 2 - cliche awareness (obviously at the end of the day it's a tough one to call but this day is all about giving 200% and it could be make-or-break for many - it's a big step-up from Day 1, that's for sure.)
Day 3 - articulating the obvious.
Day 4 - never curbing your enthusiasm.
Day 5 - personal testimonies from Robbie's Earle and Savage...
To Michael Owen:
A summer fishing holiday. That way he might be able to get at least something in the back of the net come July.
To Roberto Mancini:
The new Man City boss will probably need a stab-proof vest, with extra protective layers in the back.
To Mark Hughes:
Well I'm tempted to tell Santa not to bring him anything, given that he won't be expecting the sack.
To Paul Hart:
Some Polyfilla... so he can keep filling those gaps.
To Rafa Benitez:
A new bench. With a few scatter cushions maybe. He's going to need a comfy spot for a long lie-down before very long.
To Everton FC:
A grant to build a new stadium somewhere - and more urgently a grant to turn half the area of the club's training facilities into a new centre for physiotherapy.
To Dean Richards:
A box-set of the TV series 'True Blood'
To Chris Hollins:
Well, a long rest. I know it's called Strictly Come Dancing, but that Ola was a flaming slave driver. On the other hand if you have to pick someone to whip you into shape then hellfire you could do a lot worse.
To Sir Alex Fergsuon:
A visit from the three Wise Men - Messrs Pallister, Stam and Irwin - and their return to the first team pdq. What a horrendous injury list. (Just to reassure you all, that last sentence was not typed with anything approaching a straight face.)
To Arsene Wenger I give:
Wine, wine, wine, wine and more wine.
To Mick McCarthy:
After his team's righteous victory over Burnley, what can I give him? Well I might just remind him how comprehensively Fulham thrashed United, but apart from that I'll reward him by keeping my gob shut.
To Thierry Henry:
Some knitting needles and some wool, anything to keep his hands occupied.
To Diego Maradona:
A dinner for two with that !#?*er Gordon !#@?! Ramsay. What a lovely conversation that'll be.
To Gareth Thomas:
Well a lot of respect - and the hope that certain members of the press aren't going to start digging around for a load of old cobblers about the bloke. I've read various comments by the uninformed that he should've come out earlier or never got married when he knew he was gay but if you think it's that easy then you clearly don't know owt about professional sport. Good on you, son.
To Andy Murray:
Another British man capable of holding the right end of a tennis racquet so he doesn't have to haul Team GB through another hapless David Cup tie.
Scunthorpe fans get in the Christmas spirit
To Jenson Button:
A really dazzling driving outfit so we might still be able to see him in Lewis Hamilton's shadow. Or maybe vice versa.
To Mike Ashley:
Peace on earth. And in Tyneside too. Oh, and a buyer.
Some Ikea vouchers. What's the betting they'll use 'em to buy a vast quantity of unnecessary tables that take all year to finish and then they'll use what's left over to pay for an almost entirely meaningless Cup.
To David Beckham:
A trip to the local hairdressers. All that money and he still cuts his own hair.
To all the WAGs:
A gag. Hell, we could call it a wag-gag. Anything to keep them out the papers while our lads are in them for the best of reasons in South Africa.
To Ian Bell:
A ruler so he can practise drawing straight lines - and then get his bat in the way if a ball is rolled along it.
To Wayne Rooney:
A first happy Christmas for Colleen and Kai. And a first nappy Christmas for you, lad. It's time you got your hands dirty, Wazza. All right, carrying and fetching and nursing along a helpless little thing is an onerous burden for anyone, but if you can do it for Man United you can do it for Kai.
And a Merry Christmas to dozy bloggers everywhere!!!