Santa's coming to Kallang

An artist's impression of the Singapore Sports Hub.

He's making a list. He's checking it twice. He's gonna find out who's been naughty or nice. Well, enough about Roy Keane's black book and all the people he hates this week.

Let's talk about football's festive wish-list. You know whom I'm really talking about.

He wears red and promises to deliver gifts for his naive followers at Christmas.

And that's just Brendan Rodgers. Ho ho ho.

But the white-haired man is getting ready for the sack (no, not Alan Pardew).

It's that time of year to pick the perfect present for the good, the bad and the bald of world football.

1. Hair replacement therapy for Sports Hub

I've seen the ads in the paper. Those hair-loss lotions are a guaranteed cure for bald spots.

The pitch at the National Stadium has, at times, looked like 100 Wayne Rooneys. I'd never make fun of a person's appearance ordinarily, but in the case of Rooney, the question must be asked: How many times can one man go bald?

But then, the groundsmen at Kallang must ask the same question every day. If the hair replacement therapy doesn't work, the pitch just needs some sort of cover over the sandy spots, something that stays still and can be guaranteed to never move around the turf. Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala fits the bill.

Good to hear that the Sports Hub is doing something about it.

2. A dictionary for Brendan Rodgers

It's sometimes hard to hear the Liverpool manager over those loud white teeth, but he has made a point of referring to the Reds' "spirit" and "commitment" and how "excellent" they were against the game's powerhouses… like Bournemouth.

He needs to check the definitions of these words in an updated dictionary. Or, I'll have whatever he's drinking.

3. A delete button for Radamel Falcao

Does anyone remember the outrage over U2's new album being automatically uploaded onto all Apple devices for free? But, the initial hype soon gave way to a nagging realisation that the product was substandard and not really worth keeping. That's Falcao's story of his time at Manchester United. Apparently, Bono called Falcao and thanked him for the smart business model.

4. A mystery guest for Liverpool

The festive season is always about the surprises. Opening up a gift that was least expected can be a season joy. For Liverpool, a mystery guest would be a real treat, someone unfamiliar, someone unexpected, a total stranger in the dressing room. Any decent striker would do.

5. A DeLorean for Southampton

The Saints want a time machine to take them back to September. One day, fans will sit grandchildren on their knee and reminisce about the good old days at St Mary's. Actually, they can start doing this now.

6. A Disney contract for Vietnam

Hollywood executives saw tapes of Vietnam at the Suzuki Cup and were extremely impressed. They think the semi-finalists have a bright future.

They haven't seen anything this Mickey Mouse since Walt Disney first started scribbling.

7. A dictatorship for Sepp Blatter

What do you give a man who's got everything? One gift for the Fifa president would be a totalitarian state, complete with a complicit army, a controlled media, an obedient population and an aggressive intolerance of any dissent whatsoever. But at this stage of his career, Blatter may not accept a job with reduced power.

8. Underpants for David de Gea

All that's missing from the goalkeeper's attire is a pair of underpants. He is a modern superhero, a Spanish Superman. And he faces Kryptonite - renamed the Man United's Back Three - in every game.

9. A Dummies' Guide to football for Aussies

Australia hosts a sporting event in the form of the Asian Cup next month.

For many Aussies, it will hold about as much public interest as a healthcare conference on Asian constipation. A dummies guide could really help to boost awareness.

In parts of Victoria, real sport will always involve oval balls being held in the hands. But hey, what consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business.

10. A better 4G phone plan for Bernd Stange

Our national coach struggles to communicate with the Singapore Lions. No matter where he stands, he always seems to get a poor reception.


This article was first published on December 21, 2014.
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