If you haven't been paying attention, it's nearly Christmas, again. It's the time of year where Santa's being handed his list of who's been naughty and who's been nice in order to dish out presents correctly.
So with the season upon us, we thought we'd play the role of Santa (well I'm already fat and beardy), and see who is on SAFC's naughty list and who's on the nice list, in our opinions anyway.
Without further ado, here's the naughty list, who we feel's more deserving of a lump of coal than a shiny sixpence come December 25th...
An easy choice really, as I think Cattermole's as it's fair to say he's been naughty both on and off the field. We'll start on the pitch though, where his performances have been less than inspired. Out played on a consistent basis by partner Jack Colback, and on the rare occasions he's given a chance, David Vaughan too. Yet somehow he retains the captaincy. He's also still managed to be a yellow card magnet, with 5 so far in his 10 appearances. There's also the small matter of his recent off the field indiscretions, for which he should be severely reprimanded by the powers that be.
It's the ones you love the most who'll hurt you the most, or something like that. Headed into the season Gyan was very much 'the man'... a truly world-class striker who along with the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Connor Wickham and maybe even Ji Dong-Won were going to take us to glory. Then came an extortionate amount of money from the Middle East, and heads were turned. Of course the club themselves aren't absolved of blame here as they could well have kept him, but at the same time Gyan could well have chosen the prestige of the Premier League over the moolah of the Middle East. Even recently when we've tried to woo him back it doesn't look likely, and I think all fans still feel slightly shat on.
Much like his best mate Clattermole, Titus has had his fair share of problems off the pitch as well as on it. His post-Norwich City defeat antics are well noted, and the club rightly banned him. Barring our recent defensive worries, I'd like to think he was nowhere near the team. Bringing the club into disrepute in the way he has, whether he gets proven guilty or not, is for me unforgivable. Luckily he is who he is, and losing Bramble shouldn't be too much of a loss, in the back end of last season/early part of 2011 he was largely injured, and anyone who endured the pre-season will have saw him turn into the Titus Bramble of old, slow, cumbersome and prone to give away a silly penalty. I've not seen much improvement this season. Titus, you've been a very naughty boy.
I was as delighted as anyone else when Bendtner arrived at the club, and he was magnificent at the start of his SAFC career, however since those few games it's been a little down hill. It could well have coincided with the teams general downward spiral, but I don't think it can be argued he's looked uninterested and out of sorts. I can't recall a striker so reluctant to get in the area. This isn't particularly 'naughty' but it's very disappointing. What is naughty however is his off the field antics, bothering pizza shop employees, demanding free food before being made to look a bit of a chump when two young ladies helped him out. Oh, and his alleged car smashing spree with Lee Cattermole. All in all, he's been a bit naughty of late, and needs to turn it round ASAP or Arsenal can have him back.
No, this entry isn't being forced in by Michael Graham, it's entirely down to the fact that our reigning "Player Of The Season" has been fairly poor all season. He seemed comfortable at left-back last term, but looks lost this year. Also his "commitment" which so many seem quick to laud seems to have spilled over to out-and-out aggression with the sending off against Newcastle, plus the needless stamp on Juan Mata. Phil needs to sort his act out, and sharpish.
And I think that will just about do it without wanting to be overly critical. I'm sure there's cases for several players given the start to the season, but I'll leave you the reader to discuss that in the comments. Tomorrow, we'll have a 'Nice' list, as is only fair!