The great Manchester City soap opera has been a true shot in the arm for those of us neutrals who don’t follow a Premier League side and have grown mightily tired in recent years of the Big Four bores. They can spend as much money as they want, but somehow City have managed to keep that engagingly gormless side we’ve all come to love. Mario Balotelli’s bib, Carlos Tevez throwing a hissy fit, training ground brawls, tumbling out of the Champions League and, less we forget, the sublime talents of Sergio Agüero and David Silva, a half-decent FA Cup final for a change and, oh joy, sticking one up Sir Alex. Thanks, City. Don’t go changing.
Runners up: Joey Barton's Twitter feed; Fernando Torres on bench-warming duties at Chelsea; Andy Gray and Richard Keys in Sky Sports’ Smash It-gate.
Lewis Moody may have thrown a wobbly when a confidential RFU report on England’s shambolic World Cup was leaked to the press, but it was only laying out in cold black and white what most of us had been thinking for months. The sparkling prose of the Rugby Players' Association own review of the tournament (Martin Johnson lacked “bollocks”, training was a “fuck-up”) made for the racier read, but the words of the suits at Twickenham have longer-term significance. We can but hope.
Runners up: Mike Tindall getting royally shitfaced in a dwarf throwing bar; Wales losing out to the French (the bloody French!) in the semi-finals, but…; the right team winning the World Cup.
England win a whitewash series against a useful India side, and, in the process, take the crown of the best test team in the whole world (ever. Ever, ever.) We’ll know a lot more about this side after the South Africans have been and gone next summer, but there’s certainly a determination about this lot that has been missing in recent times past. And, for now, it’s time to bask in a fine achievement.
Runners up: England winning the Ashes Down Under (you remember); Sachin Tendulkar (possibly) waving cheerio to Lord’s; Ireland giving England a bit of a tonking in the World Cup.
Sebastian Vettel can be a smug little irritant at times (all that “yes baby, that’s what I’m talking about!” tosh), but there can be no doubting the driver’s supreme abilities as both a racer and, crucially a team-player. The youngest double World Champion, he absolutely walked it this season, rather disguising the fact that it was a decent scrap among the five drivers he left in his wake. Like Michael Schumacher before him, the problem now for the sport is that Vettel might go on and dominate proceedings on the track for years to come.
Runners up: Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa’s ongoing little spat; Paul Di Resta quietly going about his business; the release of the wonderfully celebratory Senna documentary.
Mo Farah winning the first ever UK 5,000m world title was an inspiration; athletics at its best. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and run the race of your life. Days after he lost out in the 10,000m with just 20 metres remaining, our man took the lead with less than kilometre to go, snatching first place after running the final 400m in 52.87 seconds. Major goose pimple time.
Runners up: Dai Greene claiming the World, European and Commonwealth titles in the 400m hurdles; Jessica Ennis sidestepping the hype machine and focusing on more important matters; Wenlock and Mandeville, the London 2012 mascots, staying resolutely on the shelves at my local branch of Sainsbury’s.
Not a member?
To share your thoughts sign up now. You'll also be entered into the weekly lunchtime lottery.