This is an extract from the Premier League Bible. It is taken from The Gospel According to Midtable Obscurity. I hope, like all of us who believe, that you enjoy it.
'Now in a corner of the country known as Swansea there lived a girl called Mary and one night when her fella was out and that, there was a bright light in her bedsit and Angel Rangel appeared before her.
'"Be not afraid" said he, but in a weird accent Mary didn't understand, "for I have been sent with great news. You shall carry a child and he shall be called Michu, and many opportunities shall he take. He shall be in a stable born. Not an unstable, that's where Mario Balotelli was born."
'"But it cannot be" said Mary, "for I am a Virgin."
'"In Swansea?" smirked Angel.
'"I am, you cheeky bastard" she insisted. "Although the Government would like me to be replaced by First Trains. Have you been sent by God?"
'"Yes, although He had to ask permission from Sir Alex Ferguson first."
'So saying, Angel Rangel vanished in a flash of light and wasn't seen in the first team for quite a while.
‘Now across the land, Word came that a Messiah was to be born, a leader of the line who would prove that from poor beginnings goalscorers do come. But lo, word did reach the lands in the East. Or the Eastlands.
'And there came an edict from he whose tresses look like a photograph from a hairdresser's window in the early 80s. And he did demand 'Bring me this mother of Michu that we might make him ours, and drape him in blue as blue as the sky, as we always do with blokes who have made their name in funny little places, ha ha!'
'And soon the cry rang through the ears of all mothers of prospective footballers and those with any sort of pride and loyalty fled before they were captured by the Abu-Dhabi Lucre.
'Mary was heavy with child and so her husband, a bloke who so loved footy and carpentry that in his spare time he made wooden centre-backs called Williamson and Bramble. We shall call him Joseph or Joe-Cole for short (and I mean short).
'Joe-Cole managed to get hold of a tatty old donkey and then this Tony Adams carried Mary much as Robin Van Persie had carried Arsenal for two seasons, or Steven Gerrard Liverpool for full seven years, the poor sod.
'Eventually they arrived in a town called Bethlehem. Now all the inns there were taken up by rich holiday-makers, two of whom, Messrs Berbatov and Sturridge, were over-relaxing by the pool.
'The inn-owner said they had a stable with a few animals in there but the Leeds fans would be gone before dawn. So Mary and Joe-Cole lay down with the Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joey Barton (the ass).
'And that night, to the WAG a baby Michu was born (once the doc had turned up to perform the elected caesarean). And glory shone all around.
'Meanwhile above the town and up in the hills, three shepherds were playing keepy-uppie with a sheep's bladder. It was one of those new sheep's bladders that moves unpredictably through the air.
'Angel di Maria appeared to them and they were sore excited cos he was, like, almost as good as Ronaldo... on his day... but not very often for Argentina.
'"Be not afraid" spake Angel "For know that an excellent striker has been born this day."
'"But why tell us?" said the older shepherd. Moyes was his name. "We won't be able to afford him."
'"Nor I" said Redknapp, the second shepherd (although to be frank, he had a bit of cash stashed away and was more than ready to put a bid in).
'"Nor I" said the third, who had only really dallied with shepherdry and knew naught of it, despite his name of Shearer.
'"But this striker may yet be cheap, as little as a fifth of a Giroud and yet in truth twenty times his worth."
'"We shall come to see this miraculous sight" said Moyes optimistically, even though the Kenwrighting was on the wall.
'And then in the East there appeared a star. And not long after that, Manchester City bought it. It would've gone to Chelsea but the star wasn't sure he liked what their captain said about stars. It's quite possible he was starrist.
'But three wise men followed this star (at least until Kia Joorabchian became its agent). And the wise men were called Hansen and Lawro and Andy Townsend (and yea, verily, the word 'wise' was used ironically... c.f. Little Peter Crouch, Upright Luis Suarez, Squeaky-Clean Sepp Blatter.)
Yea, and many opinions had they of this star, many of which were so fucking obvious they didn't need saying but they said them anyway.
'They never made it to the stable. But the Three Kings did.
'That's 'king Chelsea, 'king Manchester City and 'king Manchester City.
'And they found the infant forward lying in a manchego and they offered it gifts: gold, gold and more gold. Just loads of gold really. And Frank, incensed, Lampard in part exchange.
'And though the Mary Mother of Michu hated the thought of it (she was from Croxteth originally) she felt unable to resist and finally allowed the newborn king to go to one of the Big Three for a six-figure salary.
'And lo he of Man U did hold the baby aloft from his Manchego, cried Hosanna Bless the Lord and placed the child upon a lowly bench where it sat like Andy 'Christmas' Carroll for a whole year and a half and the poor lad and his Mum wondered why they'd left Swansea in the first place.*
Happy Christmas To One And All!!! I shall be knocking back an extra hot toddy for you Villa fans out there.
Up the Boro!
*In later chapters Michu finds himself in the wilderness for a whole season. When he returns he is crucified for missing a penalty, before finally managing to get on the end of a decent cross.