Well folks, belated Happy New Year to all from sunny 25 degrees, Addis Ababa, where weÃ¢ÂÂve just celebrated the Ethiopian Christmas, a full two weeks after Xmas in England and a week after New Year.
The great thing about Italy - especially if you reside in the north of the country - is that if you tire of the long, inclement winter then all you need do is hop on a plane and an hour later you are basking in the warmth of the south.
The Premier League table doesnÃ¢ÂÂt look quite as promising for Blackpool as it did a week ago, but I bet thereÃ¢ÂÂs not a single Tangerines fan who would not have settled for 11th position at the half way point in the league. They have a few games in hand too.
December 21st 2008 Ã¢ÂÂ the once great Leeds United were marooned in mid-table in League One, the third tier of English football. They had lost five games on the spin, including an infamous defeat to non-league side Histon in the FA Cup second round, a run that saw manager and former club captain Gary McAllister fired.
And so Phil Parkinson becomes the latest casualty of the hotly contested Football League sack race. Despite guiding the Addicks to a play-off spot in League One at the halfway stage of the campaign, Parkinson was given his marching orders by Charlton chairman Michael Slater in the aftermath of the teamÃ¢ÂÂs dismal 4-2 home defeat to Swindon on Monday, the culmination of a dreary run of five without a win in the league.