Transfer window time. Leave it open and the cold draft of Premier League reality blows through you and some poor chairmen start to eye the hard pavement beneath with some fondness.
Using the odd hunch, some inside information and a load of old bollox (in other words, the Lawro way) here's my thoughts on the January to come. And beyond ins ome cases.
Having analysed where his young guns are going wrong, Arsene beefs up his midfield with three more Eastern Europeans, Arshicky, Roshavin, and Tippitappovich. He buys a new centre-back too – the Frenchman Laissez-Faire.
Gerard Houllier welcomes Liverpool to Villa Park with a team comprised of baa-lambs. It’s a goalless draw by the way. Stephen Ireland, bought from Man City for £8 million (or £10 a sulk) is sold to WWFC (that’s not Wolves that’s Whoever We Fucking Can).
Delighted to be at Villa isn't he?
Gerard looks to invest in some proven goalscoring talent, but unfortunately Michael Owen damages a tendon while emptying the dishwasher and Villa continue to struggle in the wake of....
Alex McLeish decides against any reckless spending in January. Which doesn’t half piss off Mrs. McLeish. Birmingham City however are keen for more of a cutting edge upfront so they plump for a man who can always be relied upon to finish his meal, Yakubu.
The chicken farmers rebut allegations that they know nowt about football after selecting their new management team of Glenn Cockerill and Chick Young. Out of retirement come Hen-ning Berg and Egg-il Olsen. After a good stuffing at Sunderland, and a bit of scratching around at home to Liverpool, the owners insist they are confident of success in the FA Coop.
Ian Holloway is confident that Blackpool will survive the drop and the jolly Bristolian’s turd-polishing continues as new signings Chris Iwelumo and Ade Akinbiyi score twice each as the Seasiders end January by defeating Man United.
Owen Coyle’s incredibly white snarling teeth remain unexplained. But he continues to encourage his team to add Routes Two and Three – unless it’s twenty minutes to go and you’re a goal down in which case bung it up to Big Kev and cross your fingers.
Ancelotti is pretty clear that he’s not going after anyone in the transfer window, although Chelsea have signed up four highly promising foetuses from under the noses of rivals Manchester United.
Selling Yakubu has removed several pounds off the wage bill and infinite stones off the bench. Moyes trawls the world for a reliable goalscorer and ends up playing Phil Neville up front with Cahill.
Sparky’s already mentioned he’s going to bag himself a new number nine until Zamora returns, and as luck would have it, Wayne Rooney becomes available. But Sparky says he’s looking for a goalscorer and opts for the laidback Roque Saga Cruise.
Roque in a familiar pose
Woy is welieved of the weins at Wiverpoow and while the new owners search desperately for a saviour they install a temporary Messiah in the form of King Kenny Dalglish. It proves hard to sign anyone for the crisis club but even harder to get rid of people. (Apart from Reina who goes to Man United in a shower of Koppite saliva). No one seems to want Poulsen, Ngog, Lucas, Babel, Konchesky, Meireles, etc, etc....wonder why?
Mankini goes from strength to strength. City put in a bid for Villa – that’s Aston Villa, the whole lot of ‘em bar Ireland. And Roberto is forced to pay thousands of pounds for new pipes and slippers for the front three of Balotelli, Jo and Adebayor. Plus of course the satnav tag for Tevez.
(Someone beat them for Chrissakes.) Fergie bags Beppe from Liverpool but sells Michael Carrick to a major department store’s shop window and Owen Hargreaves to medical science.
Pardew is replaced in January by a plate of jellied eels. The eels look to improve the Geordies’ defence by stealing Jamie Carragher from Anfield in the hope that his presence will make Sol Campbell look pacy. In the meantime Ashley wins a high court injunction forbidding Andy Carroll to go within four hundred yards of Eastlands – or Harry Redknapp’s house.
Tony Pulis meets Mark Hughes for handshaking practice, which descends into an argument about who’s the most Welsh. Meanwhile Pulis buys ina bit more creativity to Stoke’s central midfield with the purchase of Vince Grella. Yep. Vince Grella.
Steve Bruce’s team continue to beat the good’uns and lose to the bad’uns and so he too goes on the hunt for the manager’s holy grail – the goalscorer. Darren Bent is appalled until he realises that his latest hot streak has gone as cold as Aberdonian ice-cream and his team are shedding points like a hedgehog with eczema.
Well Spurs keep on putting a smile on everyone’s face. Arry tries to lure Carroll from Newcastle by offering a part-exchange show-pony in the form of Bentley or Krancjar. No one’s biting. Or elbowing. Or headbutting. And Spurs keep all eleven on the pitch for a change.
Di Matteo is desperate to shore up his static defence and replaces his entire defence with four bags of cement. Fortunately Fulham are their first opponents and Andy Johnson is unable to find a way past the stationary objects and the Baggies win 1-0.
Avram spends a fortune in the transfer window and by February the investment in the American genetic technology consultancy pays off when Grant picks all ten have successfully cloned Scott Parkers and the Irons win comfortably. Capello, by the way, doesn't fancy any one of them.
Roberto Martinez’s scouts have been scouring the four corners of the globe once more and unearthed an Amazonian Indian with a sweet left peg, a Congolese forest pygmy who’s surprisingly good in the air (the obverse of Peter Crouch, effectively) and a Filipino nanny to help Charles N’Zogbia get his toys back in his pram.
Mick McCarthy keeps up his “nobbut middlin’” blather like he were some monosyllabic Dales farmer from All Creatures Great and Small. And no one comes. And everyone stays. And none of ‘em get any credit cos they’s just ever so ‘umble Wolves.
Reckon we'll mek it til end of May Mr. 'Erriot?
And in cricket, Graeme Swann explains that the reason for the sprinkler dance is that it illustrates how we pissed all over the Aussies. Tsk!
And I stick by my prediction that Chelsea win the Premier League. Somehow. It may be that Liverpool won’t finish third, Villa won’t end up 8th, or Blackpool 20th. In fact I reckon we can forget them ideas. Please.
Oh and the Boro?... erm...
Well Happy *!?%ing New Year to the rest of you.