(Bald man looks at big screen, aided by big writing and big pictures as well as a tablet, for instructions on what to do next and still doesn’t know!)

So that’s it then! It’s over for another year. Football’s version of Christmas Day came and went with/without a bang depending upon which is your team of choice.

There is, of course, another minor present-giving period in January at which time delusional club owners and chairmen will get another opportunity to buy lavish gifts for their spoiled brat managers, but that is more akin to a birthday rather than the main event.

Sky Sports News had excited reporters at every Premier League ground from 6.00 am just in case anything happened. They were not looking quite so excited when the clock struck 11.00 pm. You do, however, have to admire their optimism if not the ridiculous amounts of taxpayers subscription fees that this exercise must have wasted!

Having reporters at every ground still didn’t stop the intrepid sports news station managing to lose a player. In fairness to them, Riyad Mahrez was with the Algerian squad in, believe it or not, Algeria, when he suddenly decided to board a plane to “somewhere in Europe“.

At the time “somewhere in Europe” was rumoured to be North London where he would replace the Manchester City-bound Alexis Sanchez, (a rumour quickly denied by Arsenal, who can never normally be accused of acting quickly on anything!)

What? Alexis Sanchez leaving Arsenal? We can almost hear your disbelieving gasps but yes, it’s true. Despite Arséne Wenger insisting that he would not be leaving and that he, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, would be part of a very rosy future for the Gunners, it seems that he was just practising lying to the cameras, (history proves that this is a common problem with Arséne and that he actually believes what he is saying to be the truth at the time, that’s how naive he still is!)

Anyway, Arsenal eventually refused City’s cash-only offer when it turned out that Monaco’s Thomas Lemar preferred to remain Monaco’s Thomas Lemar rather than become Arsenal’s Thomas Lemar. No real surprise there then. This meant that Arséne Wenger was unable to attract another top player even though offering a reported £92 million to his club.

That’s what happens when your club fails to qualify for the Champion’s League, (unless you are Manchester United), and you have a manager long past his sell-by date. Also, when his own players don’t appear to want to play for him then why should somebody else’s?

As for the rest, José Mourinho stayed in bed and Chelsea bought an Italian called Davide Zappacosta. Tottenham bought Fernando Llorente to raise the average age of the squad and Serge Aurier to raise the average psycho profile. Jürgen Klopp went for a walk while his club finalised the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, another one who, along with Llorente and, at the eleventh hour and halfway through his medical with them, Ross Barkley, snubbed a move to Chelsea

Pep Guardiola paced his office, slapping his head and grinding his teeth while his club tried to work out what, exactly, Arsenal wanted for Alexis Sánchez which, as it turned out, was a lot of money and one of their best players. While all this was going on they managed to ship Wilfried Bony off to Swansea permanently and Jason Denayer to Galatasaray on loan.

So Virgil van Dijk stayed at Southampton, Alexis Sánchez stayed at Arsenal. Philppe Coutinho remains at Liverpool while Riyad Mahrez is still with Leicester City and what do all of these players have in common with each other? Correct, none of them wanted to remain with their clubs and will now be embarrassed at having to turn up for training after the intrusion of a country call-up.

Now, once the international yawn is out of the way, all we will have to look forward to is another month of uninterrupted football until the next international yawn and the the birthday transfer window cranks up again in January.

We can almost feel the anticipation rising already.



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