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...
We know there are several high-profile players who are looking for new or hugely improved contracts at the moment. Most of them seem to have their bidding done by various people in the media, no doubt looking to ingratiate themselves in order to get the job of ghostwriter for the players' next autobiography.
Football is so short-term in its outlook that the last game played has an inordinate amount of heft in the popular football imagination. Just scored a hat-trick? You're the Bestest Ever! Please sign on for five years and drain 20 million out of the club. We've forgotten about all those years you were injured, off-form, couldn't be arsed and didn't try.
Thus players get away with playing for a new contract; that phenomena whereby a player who has been inconsistent for the previous few years suddenly turns into a world beater.
New good form is blinding to many fans. They think it'll always be like this.
In these situations, the club and manager should stand firm. The reason they haven't yet offered a new contract or not a hugely improved one is because the player has, to some degree, become a liability or, just as importantly, will be so in the future. All players who have been pulling out their tripe successfully for the cause don't find the club reticent to re-sign them.
No player suddenly becomes very good - no player, a month or two before his contract expires, suddenly learns how to play football. If he's unusually good now it's almost always just a blip. A blip caused by the player trying harder because, for once, his lavish lifestyle relies on it.
There is also the passing of time to come to terms with. Time is an existential concept and not one that is easy to grasp, especially, it would seem, to the fan who seems to think because a 32-year=old player is good this month, that means he'll be just as good when he's 34 or 35 and has been kicked around a lot more, injured a few times and is now looking to retire to run a bed and breakfast in Lytham St Annes or have an alternative career as an inspector of lady parts.
The whiner who wants December's player of the month put onto an expensive three-year contract would be the first to complain in 18 months' time when he's on the bench every week and hoovering up five million quid a year for the pleasure.
Clubs must ignore the fan boys of players in the press who weep tears in public for the poor out-of-contract player, they must ignore short-termist blinkered fans who think this weeks good form is next week's certainty and remember why they have had doubts about the player in the first place.
The old maxim that form is temporary, class is permanent remains true but in reverse. It's usually trotted out when a great players regains his powers but it equally applies when a lesser player briefly has a purple patch. Good form, for many, is temporary and their lack of class is permanent.