Early Doors takes a nostalgic and sherry-fuelled look back at the year's big stories through the medium of recycled posts. ED returns on January 4.
January 2: Shay Given announces he wants out of Newcastle because they are so rubbish
ED's take: The following is an announcement on behalf of the Early Doors dogs' home:
'Shay used to be a happy, bouncy puppy, full of energy and life. A family in Newcastle bought him and he loved nothing more than to leap around on the grass, catching balls in his mouth and chasing after referees.
But then Shay's owners started to mistreat him. They told him they would give him shiny presents but he got nothing. Shay's new playmates were big lumbering dogs including a shaggy-haired Argentine mutt who kept falling over.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City - for just a few million pounds a month you can give Shay a better home and help him rediscover his zest for life.
Remember - a Given is for life, not just for Christmas.'
January 6: Carlos Tevez denies Manchester United's claim that they offered him a new contract.
ED's take: Among the most famous scientific theories that shape the way the world functions are Newton's Law of Gravity, Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Fergie's Rule of Purple-faced Banishment.
The latter theory states with complete certainty that any footballer who crosses Alex Ferguson will be immediately be flung out of Manchester United by an unstoppable whirlwind of fury.
Victims of the volatile phenomenon include Paul Ince, Jaap Stam, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy - and Carlos Tevez is next.
Tevez has surely booked himself a one-way ticket on a train to another, less rainy, city (copyright Nemanja Vidic, 2008) after launching a broadside at Fergie over his contract situation.
January 9: Cristiano Ronaldo crashes his Ferrari.
ED's take: When discussing Cristiano Ronaldo's dubious ability on free-kicks yesterday morning, Early Doors mentioned his uncanny knack of hitting the wall.
Little more than an hour later, he did just that in a two-day-old Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano that cost him nearly a fortnight's wages.
On his way to training, Ronaldo's car hit a roadside barrier inside a tunnel and bounced off a wall, leaving a smoking pile of precision Italian engineering by the side of the road.
Mike Riley immediately awarded a penalty and sent the wall off, even though replays showed it made no contact with the player.
As soon as pictures emerged of Ronaldo's wrecked Ferrari, people inevitably started to use the 'D' word.
No, not d***head. Diana.
January 20: Manchester United's £108m bid for Kaka fails.
ED's take: In a shock twist that nobody saw coming, Kaka's world record transfer to Manchester City has fallen through.
In other news, Ross County have just missed out on Lionel Messi, while Early Doors's audacious bid to sign Martin Amis has also failed.
City can at least claim to have got Milan's attention with their bonkers £108m bid, but their dogged attempts to sign the player may inadvertently have jeopardised the fragile truce in the Middle East.
It was interesting to see where Silvio Berlusconi's priorities lay in his capacity as both Prime Minister of Italy and President of AC Milan - he rushed home from a Gaza peace summit in Egypt to hold real emergency talks over the future of Kaka.
January 29: Long-time Premier League pacesetters Liverpool continue to implode.
ED's take: There is a moment in The Producers when the two main protagonists realise the best way to make money out of a Broadway show is to make it as completely, disastrously unsuccessful as possible.
And so they set about making the worst musical they possibly can, a fawning and ridiculously camp portrait of a certain Nazi leader, sub-titled: 'A gay romp with Eva and Adolf at Berchtesgaden'.
Early Doors would like to know: Has the last month been Rafa Benitez's answer to 'Springtime for Hitler'?
Did he sit down with Rick Parry, Tom Hicks and George Gillett over Christmas and, after one Harvey's Bristol Cream too many, decide that Liverpool could rake in more cash from their continued status as English football's nearly men than they would from winning their first league title for two decades?
- Manchester United
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Manchester City
- Carlos Tevez