Neil Humphreys: Who’s been naughty or nice in the EPL?
With tongue in cheek, our columnist plays Santa and hands out the presents
The large, jolly chap is back and ready to make dreams come true. That's right. It's the return of Sam Allardyce, which can mean only one thing. It's Christmas!
Our festive friend has been given the sack, but enough about Slaven Bilic. It's time for Santa Claus to make his list. Here's my random list of presents for the English Premier League's personalities.
A DVD of Die Hard for Mesut Oezil
It's the ultimate blockbuster of the festive season. On Christmas Eve, an isolated man is trapped inside an expensive building, looking for a way out.
Oezil thinks Die Hard is a documentary. In the movie, Bruce Willis runs around barefoot, which is relevant here.
Oezil hasn't been seen in a pair of boots for months either.
A permanent ban on fans at Arsenal
Apparently, the atmosphere around the Emirates has actually improved since lockdown. When social distancing measures were introduced, the stadium got louder.
A grotto for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's elves
As every child knows, Santa's loyal helpers are called elves. Solskjaer's elves are called former teammates.
All year round, they busy themselves in their workshops (TV studios), whistling while they work (lying) and doing the only thing that makes them happy (pretending Solskjaer is the next Sir Alex Ferguson).
Santa's elves fill his sack. Solskjaer's elves stop him from getting the sack.
Apparently, the real Santa is so impressed he's tried to hire Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand. But they insist that a job cannot be completed or judged in a single night, but across a dozen transfer windows.
A halo for Marcus Rashford
The spirits of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa keep calling. They want their sainthoods back.
This kid is putting all previous acts of heroism to shame.
In one year, Rashford has provided free meals to the poor, started a reading campaign for underprivileged families and knocked in plenty of winners for Manchester United.
Is there no miracle he cannot perform? Apparently, he's been asked to turn Paul Pogba into a settled teammate, but said that's one miracle too far.
A new agent for Paul Pogba
The Manchester United midfielder favours older men who say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
He's keen on Donald Trump, who'll be available shortly.
A Juergen Klopp voodoo doll for Jose Mourinho
There's no better sight in football than Mourinho foaming at the mouth. He needs a nemesis like a Kardashian needs a credit card. And now he's got one in Klopp.
Be honest. If these two are not rolling around the touchline like Borat and his business manager by the end of the season, we'll all be disappointed.
A Netflix special for Harry Kane
One of the biggest Netflix hits of 2020 was Tiger King. It was a show about a man with light hair who liked shooting on camera.
Viewers also made fun of his voice. It's the story of Kane's life.
Plus, Tiger King included an enigmatic guest star that earned a lot of money for very little work.
The character was supposedly getting away with murder. The part is made for Dele Alli.
A strong cup of coffee for Ralph Hasenhuettl
The Southampton manager is far too high for his own good.
A second league title for Klopp
This is not about Liverpool. This is about Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. From the touchline, he famously mocked the Reds boss for his solitary title.
Let's pray for the day when Lampard is forced to say: "Sit down, Klopp. Don't give it the big 'un with two f****** titles."
Incidentally, how many titles must Klopp win before he can "give it the big 'un"? Asking for a friend who's won nothing as a manager.
A gag for Frank Lampard
A detailed explanation of Covid-19 rules for Harry Maguire
The Manchester United defender has taken the rules literally. He seems to think social distancing applies on the pitch, too.
On the plus side, there's less chance of him catching the virus. He rarely gets close enough to anyone.