With all the goodbyes on Sunday, one slipped under the radar. John Nicholson says we won't miss Michael Owen because, for the last few years anyway, he hasn't really been here...
Being sniffy about the Europa League is ridiculous. All football is inherently pointless and this competition is no more pointless than any other. Well done Rafa and Chelsea...
There are times in life when you feel very dirty. Indeed, the festive season, being what it is, you may be waking up and wondering quite why you did what you did to that woman at that party on the kitchen table...and with that aubergine...and while her mam watched too. You're a disgrace, you really are.
Yeah, we've all been there and that's the position I find myself in today; not in flagrante on a kitchen table brandishing a vegetable, but feeling dirty.
The source of this grubby veneer across my heart is simple. I want Chelsea to win the league.
No amount of showers and scrubbing with carbolic soap will remove this stain from my soul.
For a neutral, Chelsea have been hard to love in the last ten years or more. In the late 60s and early 70s they were a monstrously fantastic bunch of flash b**tards and psychotic hard men; an absolute joy to witness. Then they bought by Ken Bates, who is is hard to warm to under any circumstances. And then Roman came, looking like a Russian Fozzy Bear, and scooped them up to fondle. This didn't help.
The litany of reasons to dislike Chelsea FC is a long and deep furrow in the annals of football history and recent events involving John Terry have not exactly made them a sympathetic cause. Even that banner JT Leader, Legend, Lamprey, Lachrymose Lothario or whatever it says, burns a small scar on the soul, like a spiritual fag burn on the new sofa of your existence.
So that's why I feel a dirty, dirty boy when I say I want them to win the league.
Say it ain't so, Johnny, you cry.
Oh, it be so.
This is why. Firstly, Rafa Benitez.
I will not bend my knee to any man in my love of Rafa. There's nothing about him that I don't like. The way he doesn't celebrate goals, the way he says 'cloob' instead of 'club', the way he always looks slightly amused about something off camera when being interviewed, the fact he's got a fat belly and a sex beard, the fact he's really rather good at the job and perhaps best of all, the way the Chelsea fans bloody hate him for no good reason other than, ooh, he once called us names. It's perfect.
But it doesn't stop there, the first team is now rather loveable. David Luiz's hair is worth the ticket money on his own and now - put in midfield where his oddly splayed dancing feet can be an asset and not a liability - the boy's a dancer.
Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar are an irresistible trio of attacking midfield creativity. You've got Branislav Ivanovic, a centre-half now played at centre-half (he's clever like that, Rafa) a man with whose proud buttocks we can all admire and there's lovely Nando, blushing like a virgin bride in a sex toy store every time he whacks one over the bar and hears a co-commentator once again saying he just needs one to go in off his backside to 'go on a run'.
The evil is draining away from Chelsea. Ashley Cole's malevolence seems to be diminishing along with his football powers, Danny Sturridge has put his burdensome ego on six articulated trucks and driven it up north, and with John Terry now consigned only to publicity shots featuring a trophy, there are few reasons to get upset when they take the field. Admittedly, we still have to swallow everyone in the media trying to get Super Frank a new contract as though the lack of such an offer is some sort of contravention of the human rights legislation, but that is the only pain we must tolerate.
Some of the fans, with their 'you know what you are' chanting, are not exactly endearing but what could be sweeter medicine than winning a title with a manager they despise? On top of that, they have to dance their way around the knotty problem of not pishing off the owner while still being critical of the circus he creates at the club. It's an exquisite form of torture for the rest of us to witness and it will only intensify as they get closer to winning the league.
So I say Up The Blues. It feels dirty, it feels wrong but it feels good.