He is one of a number of solid shouts for players that look old before their time. We also have the final words on lovely D-Beck and a rejection of end of season playoffs...
That's one opinion, but others give their thanks to the man. We also have ideas for a relegation playoff, happy memories of the season and a defence of Liverpool's campaign...
Forgive me for being blasphemous, or maybe turn the other cheek, or push a camel through something very small, whichever bit of the scripture that works for you, when I say at Christmas time, Jesus is not the saviour; that's football.
I've nothing against the long-haired dude from Nazareth (I really should make a joke about Dan McCafferty here but I know none of you know who Dan McCafferty is). He always seemed like a cool freak to me; could've been the singer in the Black Crowes and that would be a very good thing. But all the ones in funny hats who claim to speak for him? Well, there's your trouble, right there.
Celebrating Christmas has always been confusing to me. We're supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ, I think, even though there's no evidence he was born on December 25. In fact, December was the tenth month in the Roman calender. So the date is, as regards Jesus' birth, somewhat arbitrary. But then, society is largely secular anyway, so I assume we're mostly not that bothered and merely treat the holy day as an excuse to get absolutely bloated and mullered, which never seemed very respectful to Baby J.
Then there's Santa. I never understood who or what he was either. No-one could tell me when, as a small boy, I asked 'how did he get the job?' Adults told me to stop trying to be clever, as though being clever was a bad thing.
'But what's Santa got to do with Jesus and the whole Christmas thing?'
Nothing really. But he's around anyway, primarily, it seems, as a kind of embodiment of the old pagan spirit of celebrating the Winter Solstice.
"But is he the same as Father Christmas?"
Err sort of. He's part of a different tradition but it's the same basic presents and good vibes gig.
'But why is he wearing red? After all, Father Christmas always wore a green coat, not a red one, probably to symbolise the return of nature after the longest day. That makes more sense.'
Ah well, that's all down to dirty commerce. In the early 20th century companies started using images of Santa to sell their schmutter, especially Coca-Cola, whose early depiction of Santa/Father Christmas in the red and white coke colours, helped massively popularise (though did not originate) the idea of him being in red and white.
'So we're worshipping ad campaigns?'
Yes. Then as now. After all, why would that hideous I'm-so-fragile-I'm-falling-apart whine have been number one if not for our love of a John Lewis ad?
'And this is why we have to buy socks for relations we hate?'
Yes. Now shut up and stop asking questions, it's really just an excuse to get pished.
But I don't need the church or Coca-Cola to tell me to get drunk, I do that anyway.
'You think you're clever don't you?'
This is how my mind has worked on this since I was about 18 and is largely why I don't do Christmas. Not out of grumpiness or misanthropy but because it doesn't mean anything to me. Yet joining in the myth remains so absolutely compulsory; witness how many people are coerced into doing something they don't want to do - be it have that last glass of Advocaat or have sex with someone at the office party - with the words, delivered as a threat, 'come on...enjoy yourself...it's Christmas!!'
And don't get me started on the amateur once-a-year drinkers choking up the pubs.
This conflicting maelstrom of emotions and obligations are exactly why Christmas football is so important. It's an excuse to get out the house, to get away, to hide. I know I'm not alone in thinking this. Boxing Day crowds have always been the biggest of the year. It has always formed an important part of British culture. One of the reasons that a winter break finds little traction in Britain is because no-one wants to face the holiday period without football to alleviate the boredom and pressure of family life.
I reckon by and large, most of us to some degree or other dislike most of our extended families, but for reasons that no-one has ever been able to adequately explain, families are forced together over Xmas, faces fixed in death-mask grins, pretending there are good reasons why you don't see them for the rest of the year, when all parties know full well it's because they find each other mutually infuriating and are exactly the sort of people they would never choose to spend any time with if they were not family.
Everyone knows this but each year seems to forget how awful it is and invite or get invited around again.
Then there's all the pressure to have a bloody good time, to be joyful and happy within the prescribed period of days or be accused of spoiling the party. These are just some of the reasons why the season of good will to all men is also the time of year that more people kill themselves than any other. It's also why as soon as the lawyers offices open in the New Year, they are inundated with petitions for divorce.
All of this would be so much worse if we couldn't go to the match to let off steam, or go to the pub to watch the match and do likewise. As you will know, this is always referred to by media, management and players alike as 'the busy Xmas period when games come thick and fast'.
Except, the truth is, it isn't.
Perhaps appropriately enough bearing in mind the season, it's all a complete fabrication.
It is not an unusually busy period and it almost never has been. The Christmas and New Year period may have become mythologised as a time when lots of extra football is played but most of the post-war period has never seen more than four games played in a two-week festive period, which is usually how many games a club would play during the rest of the season in a similar period of time.
The difference - and this is where the myth grew u - is that in the 1950s and 1960s, many clubs would play the same side home and away either side of Xmas Day. That two-games-in-three days period is essentially where the busy Christmas schedule myth comes from. They still didn't end up playing any more games than normal across the two-week period, though.
But look at the fixture list this year. It's no different to most other periods of the season. Firstly, they get all this coming week off. There are no midweek games for anyone but Leeds and Chelsea. The next fixtures are at the weekend as usual. There's a full fixture list on Boxing Day, Wednesday - incidentally almost the only time this will actually happen on one day in the season - then there are the normal games the following weekend, and then again midweek around New Year.
So to recap, between December 17and the FA Cup third round on January 5, clubs are playing four games; playing weekends and midweek, pretty much as per normal. It simply isn't the exceptionally busy period it's painted to be. Even if you add in the cup game on the weekend of January 5, as there are no fixtures the following midweek, they are playing five games between December 17 and January 11. Five games in 25 days. Unexceptional.
I really wish it was more busy - we badly need more variables in football to break up the financial hegemony. I think we all do and maybe that's why we want to believe it actually is busy. Maybe like Christmas, we want to believe in it, we like the sound of it, but have essentially been sold something that doesn't bear much scrutiny and is largely based on a myth.