On the fifth day of Christmas

We were sent a visit from Burnley.

Over the years we tend not to do too well on Boxing Day and much better on New Year’s. So of course there’s no game on New Year’s Day this season and we have to make do with a New Year’s Eve Eve visit from Burnley, where the New Year being celebrated will be something like 1985. There are many things you could call Burnley, but cutting-edge and technological aren’t two of them. If you should happen to see any of their supporters on Saturday don’t be surprised to see them looking up and pointing. Tell them the bright shiny thing they’re staring at in amazement is called a ‘lamppost’ and it’s powered by a new invention called ‘electricity’.

They’ll be here because their team are lucky enough to be playing at Villa Park. Burnley have turned into one of those teams that get promoted a lot and relegated even more, and you never really notice them whichever division they’re in. You could write the same things about Burnley every season because nothing ever happens there, although they did get a bit of a shock last year when they found that the queen had died and it wasn’t Victoria anymore.

Vincent Kompany is still just about their manager and the ever-gracious Craig Bellamy his lovely assistant. Aaron Ramsey plays for them occasionally and you should know why they play in claret and blue. It’s Lucas Digne’s turn to be out but at least we’ve got a replacement ready and waiting. We’ve also got a new record-breaking run that needs to start.

Christmas wasn’t brilliant but we got away with it because a couple of our title rivals cocked up as well. It’s down to us to get back on track and this is where it starts to go right again. Farewell 2023, hello world domination.