Stupid nicknames, silly gaffers get on our goat!

CURVE BALL has just returned from a holiday in the sun to a country that is knee-deep in relentless rain and poverty. Maybe that explains our grumpy mood this evening: we are wet, miserable, and our mood isn't helped by flicking through the sports pages either.

Hence, the following five pre-conditions must be enforced before we will even consider a return to perma-smiling, non-grumpiness. Here goes:

(1) Bury G-Mac: Not the golfer

(pictured), but that hideous nickname. We have survived until now without turning into a nation of A-Rods and J-Los and P-Diddies. True, we have long succumbed to the initialised awfulness of Bod and Rog -- but the nearest we have come to Brangelina is Bodamy. Let that be it. Give us the Gooch and the Drogs any day.

(2) Tell Rafa that he isn't Eric: That's a fact. In recent weeks, the former Liverpool manager has made several ham-fisted attempts to ape the philosophical musings of a certain Monsieur Cantona ... he may as well have been speaking Cantonese. It seems like he cannot see the wood for the trees -- or is it the sugar mountain for the priests?

(3) Bradley must go! As in Paddy Bradley must quit the Derry panel again. Thereby providing another opportunity for him to make another comeback.

(4) Alter O'Neill: As in the GAA must immediately call a Special Congress at which a motion is passed changing the shape of a standard Gaelic football (pictured) to an oval liathróid. Radical, yes -- but how else are we going to beat the Aussies?

(5) Gag Harry: As in threaten Harry Redknapp (pictured) with a gagging order if he persists in making these outlandish threats to stop speaking his addled mind after matches. The prospect of a silent Harry is scarier than a ranting Rafa and G-Mac rolled into one.