Mary Hannigan’s All in the Game: 2021 rewound (part one)

Callum Robinson’s booster, Newcastle if they actually won things and Super League fiasco

Mr Motivator: "He's had Covid more times than he's scored for Ireland!"

Joe Duffy being severely mean about Callum Robinson after the player revealed that he had chosen not to be vaccinated. And with that Callum scored six goals in his next four internationals. Joe: The ultimate booster.

A Love Thing: "I just want him to drive me to a colonoscopy appointment, then sit outside eating a scotch egg in dignified silence."

Comedian Madeleine Brettingham declaring Gareth Southgate to be her "ultimate middle-aged crush", while revealing her Southgate-fantasy. The image will never leave us.


Underwhelmed: "If he plays at Barcelona like he did at Euro 2020, Messi will touch him on the shoulder and ask: 'Hey, have you been playing football for long?'"

Dutch pundit Johan Derksen a touch unimpressed by Memphis Depay's tournament.

Wheels Off: "We don't know what to do with the ball."

David de Gea, after a 4-1 mullering by Watford in November, hinting at what might have been behind Manchester United’s woes.

A Big But: "I do not want to comment on the Koeman situation out of respect to him . . . but the day Barca calls me I will go there on my knees."

Granada coach Robert Moreno offering his support back in September to embattled (now former) Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, and then very swiftly withdrawing it.

Finding Fido: "I'm all for a social media boycott because we should all be accountable for what we write . . . but on the flip side, it got me my dog back after it ran away from a firework display."

Steve Bruce reminding us that while Twitter and the like is, on the whole, evil, it has its positives too.

The Generation Game: "Is he an old player working in the studio?"

Sweden's 21-year-old Alexander Isak on being told during Euro 2020 that Gary Lineker had sung his praises.

The Most Splendid of Salutes: "He has the stride of a marathon runner, the solidarity of a communist, the voracity of a panther and the talent of a great football player."

Real Madrid old boy Jorge Valdano with a very mighty tribute to the legend that is N'Golo Kanté.

Jobby Centre: "I went away for a jobby at half-time . . . it was just a wee bit of poop and I was a wee bit late back over because I had to squeeze quite a bit."

Accies TV co-commentator Bobby Bulloch explaining, on air, why he was late back for the second half of Hamilton Academical v Ross County. At which point the club dispensed with his services. Party poopers.

(Not So Super) Spursy: "Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea. eh."

Florentino Perez trying to list the six English clubs who signed up for the Super League, and completely forgetting Spurs. Bless.

Sorry? "I see Wayne Rooney walking over to all the Derby fans, giving them the clap."

A Sky Sports reporter, who shall remain nameless (largely because we don’t know their name), uttering the wildest of allegations.

Knight Knight: "Obviously you don't want to get too carried away, but they could go and win it and then there's going to be a few Sirs - Sir Harry Maguire, Sir Luke Shaw, and so on."

Peter Crouch losing the run of himself midway through Euro 2020.

Rude: "I talk about Harry Maguire so much, so I try to avoid him. But he is really shit."

Rafael Van Der Vaart, making Roy Keane sound kind.

Hello? "Yes, Man United are bigger. Yes, Liverpool are bigger. But they're only bigger because they've won things!"

Kevin Keegan arguing that Newcastle would be as big as United and Liverpool if they actually won things. Well, yeah.

Tricky Transfer Targets: "I would like to have signed Maradona, but he's dead."

Then Nantes manager Raymond Domenech explaining why he opted not to bid for Diego in the January transfer window.

Quote of the year

"You don't feel pressure when you hit a bad pass to him. You send him a melon, he turns it in to caviar." Antoine Griezmann with a tres magnifique tribute to his then team-mate Lionel Messi.

Numbers game

3,000: That's in or around how many minutes the Super League lasted back in April, from lively launch to calamitous collapse.