These things that have happened in the day time.

Half-baked Thought of the Day

Like the obsession over Lionel Messi’s goal in a calendar year record, end of year lists in football seem arbitrary. I was mulling over doing a best games of 2012, which I may still do this week as there were so many this year, but otherwise I face the concept with dread. Lists! Isn’t the internet just teeming with them already? What does this blog become if I hand over the editorial keys to the chaos of SEO? Don’t say Bleacher Report.

Anyway football doesn’t live and die in years, but in seasons (turn, turn, turn). With all the tournament retrospectives and Best of the Season Awards that clog up the bloggy arteries as it is, demarcating the calendar year to discuss the big stories in football is slightly gratuitous, although I do miss the end of year Footy Show quiz, which is dead, I guess. Just…dead. Or at least dead to me as I haven’t received an email about it yet KRISTIAN JACK.

So you’ll get none of that from me, save this best games thing, or maybe a best of Counter Attack slash Footy Blog). Although I don’t even remember what I wrote yesterday.

The Noos

I don’t know Neil Warnock personally, but I kind of think he’s a jerk. He looks like a jerk, which doesn’t help, and it helps even less to think of his face saying these words, about Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, whom Warnock’s Leeds will face tomorrow in the Desperate Credit Card Company Cup:

“I haven’t thought about shaking hands yet. But I don’t think I should get into that because the last time I heard from Rafa he was threatening to sue me if I mentioned [the row] again. It was an email and I think it was his solicitor who was threatening legal action but I think it had Rafa’s name on it. I’ve got it in a scrapbook at home.”

He’s mad because Liverpool put out a crap team against Fulham late in the 2006-07 season to preserve the first team to try and win a European Cup. Fulham were able to win and stave off relegation, at the expense of Warnock’s Sheffield United.

This is so unfathomably stupid it’s hard to reasonably countenance. No Neil, Sheffield’s shit record of 10 wins, 8 draws and 20 losses and 38 points got your team relegated. It’s called league football.

Some Boxing Day Premier League fixtures are under threat because of a tube strike. Why not play them in France? Or, and I think this would be amazing, why don’t all home and away supporters march together in unison to the stadium? Form gangs and just take over the roads? Do people really need to drive places on Boxing Day? Harrods Sales go on for the whole week, I think.

It’s easy to play the “spoiled players” card when discussing Mario Balotelli appealing his Manchester City club fine for “on-field discipline” issues, but I actually think Balotelli has a case here. For one, like end of year best of lists, it seems kind of arbitrary. It certainly isn’t related to his yellows and reds this season, of which he has received 2 and 0 this season respectively. He tried to backheel and so gets a fine? He doesn’t score when he starts and kind of acts a bit huffy and gets a fine? It’s unprofessional and it takes manager Roberto Mancini’s daddy issues with Balo into the stratosphere.

Liverpool attacking midfielder Suso was fined 10,000 pounds by the FA for calling teammate Jose Enrique “gay” on the Twitter for having his teeth whitened. I’m fine with that. Players represent their clubs who employ them, and I’m sure there are rules of conduct in the Premier League no one is aware of because they’re boring. Also, fuck homophobia, even if it’s casual.

Anyway, FourFourTom responded with this. Which provokes the question: why does anyone follow FourFourTwo on Twitter? I think the answer is “Nickelback is a popular band.”

Premier League clubs inching closer to an agreement on FFP, yo. One or clubs like Aston Villa, who spent wildly and stupidly on players without being able to pay for them, oppose any regulation.

And finally, a nice Christmasy story involving Celtic replacing stolen gifts.