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Premier League New Year’s Resolutions


“A New Years resolution goes in one year and out the other”

Many New Year’s resolutions may already be broken but it’s a bit different when it comes to Premier League footballers. They don’t need to hit the gym to bulk up or (Benni McCarthy aside) get on a diet. So what should some of the Premier League’s men be looking to learn in 2011?

Rory Delap – Learn…a new trick

As all the girls will tell you Rory, long throws are so 2010.

Nobody is talking about “The Delapinator” anymore because his long throws have lost a lot of their potency. For everyone has wised up to Stoke’s fabled gadget and without it, Delap has faded from the spotlight. `

Delap: A one-trick pony?

When a dog rolls over for the first time, it’s impressive but he needs an array of trickery to stay ahead of the pack. Does Delap have a fetch? Can he pull out a bark if the long throw is bombing? I have my doubts.

It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant like a step over or a dummy. This is stereotypically English central midfielder Rory Delap we are talking about. So I suggest he works on a way to develop his long throw. Perhaps doing it backwards or blindfolded? Just a thought Rory, just a thought.

Owen Cole – Learn…where the nearest JJB is and find some tracksuit bottoms!

I like Owen Coyle and lately it appears so does the majority of the country. I just have one major quam with the Bolton boss. His insistence on continuing to wear shorts even in sub zero conditions.

Everyone’s complaining about snoods and gloves but Coyle’s short shorts are even more worrying. Allow me to elaborate. Coyle may be a “tracksuit” manager and that’s fine. If he wants to keep his Sunday best for well, Sundays, so be it.

But what happens when a bigger job opportunity comes alone? Let’s say for arguments sake, at Chelsea.

It’s a Champions League night at The Bridge and José or Pep roll up in their suave, sophisticated suits which perfectly reflect their marvellous tactics.

Then out comes Coyle dressed like an overly enthusiastic substitute to greet them with a handshake. It just doesn’t work. Bigger things may await Mr Coyle in 2011 so let’s hope he dresses accordingly.

Bolo Zenden – Learn…how to dance

The day Asamoah Gyan rocked up in Wearside a warning should have been sounded out to all in the near vicinity. Prepare to party like it’s 1999.

The burning question was who would be the first to join Gyan on the dance floor, Anton Ferdinand? Danny Welbeck? Jordan Henderson? Yet it was 34-year-old Bolo Zenden who joined the Ghanaian in celebration when he scored against Chelsea.

Zenden: Down with the kids

The Dutchman fell into that awkward trap dads do when trying to act “cool” in front of their kids’ friends. Gyan’s moves looked all the more slick when accompanied by his fellow Ghanaians but Zenden’s “booty wiggle” left a lot to be desired.

Still when it comes to Zenden, the will is certainly there and where there’s a will, there’s a way.

With the wide variety of reality based dance shows on television at the moment, Bolo has no excuse. If Vince Cable can master the Foxtrot I see no reason why Zenden can’t bust out the sprinkler or a dice roll for all those at the Stadium of Light. Stay strong Asamoah, we’ll get you some backing dancers yet.

Gary Neville – Learn…how to say “retire”

It’s not as if Father Time has just called for Neville. He’s been waiting outside the door with lager, some chicken and a fishing rod for quite a while.

Last year didn’t end well for the Manchester United right back. He was taken off at half-time after being abused by Matthew Etherington against Stoke and then should have been sent off after he felled Graham Dorrans at West Brom.

A magnificent long-term servant for both club and country, it is sad to see Neville withering away like he has been. The passion is undoubtedly still there in one of the most ardent footballers the league has ever seen but the legs clearly don’t correspond with the brain anymore.

Sir Alex Ferguson is too proud and has too much respect to sit Neville in that rocking chair so it has to be down to the man himself to call it a day.

If I was Phil, Tracey or Neville I think I’d have worked hard to drop a few hints in my Christmas presents. I imagine him now owning a pipe, slippers and a commemorative engraved watch with “thank you for your services”.

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