The Mill is astonished to learn this morning that the secret of Bolton's success is a devotion to fargling, or the game of rock, paper, scissors as it was known when the Mill was hic, haec hocing in the scholarship form. The penalties sound pretty severe at the Reebok, though, and Owen Coyle, a friend of Noddy it seems in the auricular stakes, is keen to stay on the sidelines. "Footballers on the training ground are just big kids," he told the Express. "They play scissors, paper, stone and there is a forfeit for the one that loses. Some of them are getting very good at flicking each other's ears. The size of my ears, I am staying well out of it."
Gérard Houllier's ears have pricked up at tittle tattle emanating from Old Trafford and Anfield that Manchester United and Liverpool are keen to take Ashley Young from Aston Villa. Tough, says Ged. It'll cost you £80m. United, according to the Mail, will throw in Michael Carrick and Darron Gibson, meaning they'll only have to find another £79.5m to match Villa's valuation.
Over in "shut it, you slags" territory in the East End, Ray Winstone is none too happy with the Happy Hammers. "I saw the Liverpool game," he says. "And it was a disgrace. Carlton Cole was walking. I don't want to see that." If Cole doesn't want to suggest an answer to the question "Who's the daddy?", he may want to buck his ideas up.
Birmingham City have the Swedish striker Denni Avdic in their sights and are prepared to go to £2m to prise him away from Elfsborg. Blues' 6ft 7in striker Nikola Zigic has already been put in the shade by his form but when they play Fulham next year he will really be in it if the Cottagers manage to complete the £3m signing of the 6ft 8in Lacina Traore from Cluj.
That would be the first deal of a busy January for Mark Hughes. Mohamed Al Fayed, says the Mail, is ready to bankroll a spree which will see Manchester City's Roque Santa Cruz, Shay Given and Shaun Wright-Phillips join along with Aston Villa's Luke Young, Freiburg's Demba Cissé and Tranmere's Dale Jennings. City may also let Adam Johnson go to Liverpool, who will finally sell Ryan Babel and Damien Plessis. ""Every footballer has to think about it when the time comes. It is still early but I definitely would consider [leaving]," the England winger told Metro.
Everton have £12m to spend but no one has managed to nail down any targets but they couldn't afford the Dinamo Zagreb pair Sime Vrsaljko and Mateo Kovacic. Arsenal have just had a £16.9m bid turned down, the Croats' vice-president told goal.com.
Wayne Rooney has issued one of those apologies that isn't really an apology, that puts the onus on your misinterpretation of his intentions. "I apologise for my side of things," he said, over 486 columns across the back pages of every newspaper.
Roy Hodgson has said Spurs are no longer mugs, forgetting that the accepted north London vernacular is "muppets". Robbie Savage, however, is less convinced. "If Spurs are champions withing the next 10 years I will walk down Seven Sisters Road in only my Armani Y-fronts, holding a banner reading: 'I was wrong.'" For that reason, and that alone, the Mill hopes he's right.
This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.