Everyone's back in the office/college/school, aye? Everyone's had the 'oh yeah, not bad, ate too much but it's Christmas!' conversation half a dozen times? Cracking.
It's time to look forward, not back. Time to look to 2020, not the year – or decade – that came before. With that in mind, here's some things to look forward to (or hope for) in the next 12 months.
Juventus Not Winning Serie A
Sick of it. Sick of Juve, year after year, rolling to the Serie A title as if the actually-pretty-good challengers don't exist. Remember that really good Napoli team under Sarri? When Mertens was unplayable? Lovely. Wonderful. Batted aside by the Juve juggernaut.
Antonio Conte's Inter, though, might be their best-equipped challenger since the start of the current run – since Milan in 2011. Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are electric, Diego Godin is obviously great, Stefano Sensi is electric and...none of that really matters, a Tony Pulis Stoke side could knock Juve off their perch and they'd be hailed as saviours of Italian football at the moment. Just do it. Do it.
The Sacking of Disgraced Fraud Pep Guardiola
[DISCLAIMER: Apparently this has to be said, which...even I gave you, the reader, more credit than that in the initial version of this article, but I obviously don't think Pep Guardiola is a 'fraud' and this section has been written with my tongue firmly in my cheek and oh my GOD how do you people live being so angry all the time. I hope he does get sacked now.]
It's a very hard line to walk, being a football
Mister Wenger's Vision of Football Future
Arsene Wenger's new role at FIFA, 'chief of global football development', is pretty unclear. It's probably a fairly broad remit, so we're choosing to believe that Mister Wenger is now in charge of football. All of it.
2020 is the year that all clubs must, by rule, claim to have 'nearly' signed a famous player who's doing well somewhere else. 2020 is the year that French teenagers rule the world. 2020 is the year where nobody sees controversial moments.
It's Mister Wenger's game, we're just playing it.
The Inevitable Entropic Heat Death of the Universe
Scientists will tell you that this is 'trillions of years away' and 'not necessarily inevitable', but Liverpool are going to win the Premier League in April and if the world doesn't end immediately after that happens, we're going to have to deal with an entire internet full of...that.
Also, a quick primer for those of you on the social medias. Joking about World War III: silly, trivialises a conflict which is going to end with the deaths of lots of civilians and very few consequences for the perpetrators, all played out anyway. Willing the i
Football Finally Coming Home
We get a Wembley final for a major tournament this summer. One way or another, the European Championship trophy will come to England in July – remember, the tournament that Three Lions was originally written for, even if '98 is the better version.
Besides, there are a lot of really flawed teams in Europe. The Netherlands look good, but with Memphis' ACL injury they may have to rely on the unspeakably bad finishing of Luuk de Jong. France manage to lose games for no apparent reason. Belgium have never been able to put it together and their defenders are old now. Italy are very untested.
It couldn't...could it?
I Dunno, Tim Sherwood?
It's been a while since we had some Proper Sherwood, man's been out of football club work for two and a half years. Bring him back, someone. Make him assistant ballboy or something. VAR advisor. Anything.
The Continued Existence of Irish Football
The Irish FA (the FAI, if you will) is on a knife-edge at the moment. The organisation is millions and millions of Euros in the hole, and has admitted that liquidation is a very real possibility. An entire country's FA, and by extension its national league, and by extension its clubs, and by extension its future development of young players...all at risk.
That's a problem. Here's hoping things are worked out.
Less of Erling Håland
Absolutely no move could've been better for the football-consuming public than Erling Håland going to Borussia Dortmund early in the January window. We won't have to look at his massive gurning face in the Champions League because they're out, we won't have him linked to Manchester United until at least the summer (by which time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be gone and we won't have to pay attention to that narrative) and he'll be playing against better defenders.
It's nothing against him personally, but...actually, yes it is. I hate his smug face, I hate his big farmer body, I hate his hair, I hate his weird