Roy Curtis' A-Z of the season just gone

Mario Balotelli features more than once on Roy's hit list
Mario Balotelli features more than once on Roy's hit list

From Alan Shearer to ZZ Top, nobody escapes here

A is for Alan Shearer: As bland as he is bald, as likely to court controversy as he is to walk into his local barber and demand a Marouane Fellaini. As edgy as a Corrs CD, makes Matt Holland seem like Hunter S Thompson. The Djimi Traore of analysis.

B is for Best league in the world: No Messi, no Ronaldo, no Suarez, no Neymar, no Champions League semi-finalist, no contest for the title, but there is Paul McShane… you decide.

C is for Chuckle Brothers: An RTE production starring Liam “Laughing Eyes” Brady and Eamon “The Spanish league is Mickey Mouse, baby” Dunphy.

D is for Dysfunction: A cynical, contemptuous owner, a manager on the verge of a breakdown, apathetic, derisive players, despairing, almost broken fans. Welcome to Newcastle Football Club, the last word in excellence. The HSE of football.

E is for Eejit of the Year: From a stellar cast our vote goes to Robbie Savage. Honourable mentions to Paul Merson, Ian Wright and anybody even vaguely associated with Soccer AM.

F is for Fitness report: We can exclusively reveal that Daniel Sturridge is confident of being ready for the final ten minutes of the second last game of the 2019/20 season.

G is for Grealish: Born in England, coveted by Ireland and as a consequence of his legitimate confusion, a whipping boy for the sad, moronic dullards of social media. Truly, the best supporters in the world.

H is for Hazard: Footballer of the Year and among the tiny group of world-class players who fully, consistently justify the cacophony of hype. And a repudiation
of the notion that there are no famous Belgians.

I is for Ireland: To whom Martin O’Neill could be saying goodbye as early as next month unless Scotland are given a cuffing.

J is for Jose: Machiavellian, narcissistic, bright, calculating, ruthless, decisive, brilliant. And that’s just the Mario Rosenstock version.

K is for Keano: The Maeve Binchy of Mayfield and emeritus professor of English who quit Aston Villa to ghost-write Roddy Doyle’s autobiography.

L is for Lucozade: Judging by his, em, colourful speech at Manchester United’s end-of-season awards, Louis Van Gaal employs something a tad stronger to replace
lost energy.

M is for Myth: Harry Redknapp is a brilliant transfer market wheeler-dealer who keeps teams in the Premier League. Exhibit A: Portsmouth. Exhibit

N is for Nostalgia: Remember when English football was the playground of McGrath, Aldridge and Houghton, when Irish players were leading lights at major teams. Here’s the frightening bit: It is 25 years next month since Italia ’90. Ole, Ole indeed.

O is for OTT: a week of official mourning, flags at half mast, black armbands for everybody in the audience, a river of tears. Liverpool should be applauded for their subtle, understated farewell to Stevie G.

P is for Party Animals: Gary and Phil Neville, the Brendan Behan and Paddy Kavanagh of English football. The Shane McGowans of the shires.

Q is for Quasimodo: Who finished just ahead of Mario Balotelli in the Premier League scoring charts.

R is for Rosanna Davison: Not pretty enough and a tad too rough for the Arsenal midfield.

S is for Sam Allardyce: Still waiting on the call from Real Madrid or Barcelona, still bewildered that the rest of the world remains blind to his obvious genius.

T is for Trading places: Imagine Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho swapped jobs for a season; would Chelsea retain the title, would Liverpool be also-rans? Just asking.

U is for University Challenge: Jason McAteer is rumoured to be the new host.

V is for Vindaloo and Volcano: About the only things remotely as hot as Lionel Messi.

W is for What a waste of money: 3rd Mario Balotelli, 2nd Radamel Falcao, but the runaway winner, at £4m-a-year, Sky’s Thierry Henry. Not since Marcel Marceau has a Frenchman earned so much for having absolutely nothing to say.

X is for Xanax: Take two twice a day Liverpool fans, it’s that time again. A year after Balotelli, Dejan Lovren, Lazar Markovic, Javier Manquillo and Ricky Lambert, two years after Iago Aspas and Kolo Toure, Rodgers is getting ready to hit the transfer market again.

Y is for Yaya: Don’t worry Mr Toure, we have forwarded your address to Mister Kipling. Altogether now, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…

Z is for ZZ Top: Who once sang about somebody who had legs and knew how to use them. The group this week cleared up confusion by stressing it was not in fact a tribute to Mario Balotelli.