WE ARE approaching Christmastime and children everywhere will soon be writing up their wish lists for Santa Claus.
No doubt the man with the fluffy white beard will be inundated with requests for Xbox 360s, iPhone 5s and MacBook Pros by the techno-hungry next generation.
But what of our Swindon Town heroes?
When Paolo Di Canio, Simon Ferry and Sir William Patey put out a mince pie and a glass of sherry by the fireplace on Christmas Eve, what are they hoping they’ll receive for their troubles?
In a sensational Advertiser exclusive, we’ve got hold of your favourite Swindon Robins’ Christmas lists.
It makes for interesting reading.
“Dear Mister Claus, Obviously, thisa year I have been a very good protagonist. Obviously, I ama not at the top of the class at school but that is not my fault. Obviously, I’ma not after very much - only what would be normal ata Christmas. Two strikers, two midfielders, a full-back and a second-string goalkeeper would be alovely. Obviously. And a bigger budget. My old Santa would have got them for me.
Ciao, Paolo (obviously).”
“Alrite there big man, Never know how you fit down tha chimney, san. Pretty simple Xmas for me mate, I need to get ma custom-made wheels for ma commute. Not a car, cos I’ve not passed ma test yet. Wee Frankie’s buggy needs some proper trim, shiny hubcaps and a new stereo. And a safe so the wee little s**t cannae thow ma stuff all over Drove Road.
Love ya, Fezza.”
“Hey Santa, I’m still feelin’ really guilty and would appreciate it if you could send Preston a replacement water bottle.
“Dear Mr Christmas, I know it’s a bit unusual, but instead of milk and cookies, here’s a protein shake and a plate of yams.
Best regards, Darren Ward”
“Santa, In last year’s Christmas list I asked for a new role in a less fractious environment, where I didn’t have to deal with the constant threat of violence or aggravation.
In all honesty, I would have preferred it if you’d left me a lump of coal.
Yours, Sir William.”
“Dear Santa, We’re not asking for anything this Christmas as we’ve already experienced our fair share of generosity from Swindon Town this year.
All the best, Mehdi Kerrouche, Etienne Esajas, Lukas Magera, Mattia Lanzano, Ibrahim Atiku & Alberto Comazzi.”
Happy Advent to you all, enjoy the festive period.
- OH DEAR Chelsea fans, you’ve managed to completely shift my views in the space of seven days.
A week ago I was berating Roman Abramovich for taking the power and the passion away from supporters and corrupting the game through uncontrollable price inflation and a Veruca Salt attitude to governance.
Those points still stand but seriously, after the way the Blues’ supporters greeted Rafael Benitez on the day he took charge of his first game at Stamford Bridge, how can anyone keep their respect for such a brazen troop of single-minded twerps.
Granted, it’s not all Chelsea fans, but those who booed Benitez for simply turning up at the Bridge last Sunday - perhaps the same section who reacted angrily to being associated with stale Doritos and cheap cider by a Guardian journalist - simply do not have a clue.
How can you abuse your new boss on his first day in the job?
So he said a few silly little words when he was in charge of a different club - so what? Football’s an entertainment industry, he was entertaining.
And if words that were uttered in the past matter so much now, why on earth is John Terry still considered a leader and a legend - as that famous banner so infamously states.
The whole dynamic of the west London club is steeped in hypocrisy. It’s alright to boo an innocent man but cheer a racist. Warped logic that Abramovich himself would be proud of.
- THIS whole belly putter business has got a little out of hand, hasn’t it?
So the Royal & Ancient and their associates from across the pond finally get round to implementing a rule change about 20 years late, which basically prevents youngsters from learning to cheat as they grow up with the game, and we’ve gone and made a massive fuss about it.
But being able to anchor the putter to your body to enable a steady hand is a convenient and altogether unfair bypass round what is one of the most difficult skills a golfer can learn.
Allowing it to happen is like seeing hands in a ruck and pretending they’re not there or letting an athlete run out of his or her lane.
Most sports clamp down on these indiscretions quickly and firmly. In fact only football, where timewasting, sportsmanship, shirt-holding and verbal abuse are give free rein in the game, is stuck way behind in this respect.
Golf is perhaps the harshest self-regulator of them all. Players can forfeit multi-million dollar titles for accidently scribbling a four as a five on their scorecard; but they are aware of the rigidity of the rulebook and they abide by it.
So why the controversy surrounding belly putters? Well, a new American breed has been taught to exclusively use the longer putter. Inevitably they are having great success and now those around them are concerned they’ll be put back in their development by the rule change in 2016.
I say b******s to that. Games adapt and players must accordingly. It’s an overdue measure that was always likely to be introduced at some point. In fact, it’s remarkable it took so long.