FOOTBALL: ELEVEN ASIDES

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The Independent Online
People with a reason, after yesterday, to look forward to Christmas?

Nicky Barmby (Everton)

He scored the fastest goal in England yesterday after 4min 22sec of the Toffees' 3-1 win at Watford. Time for an England recall?

Kevin Phillips (Sunderland)

By scoring the two goals in the home win over Southampton, he reached the incredible total of 19 so far this season. Should get 40.

Gerard Houllier (Liverpool)

Could the good old days be back at Anfield? Goals by Michael Owen and Titi Camara secured a 2-0 win over Coventry and kept the Reds fifth, just six points behind the leaders. Will 2000 be their year?

Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

1999 has certainly been his and United's year. After the Treble, they are back on top of the Premiership having defeated West Ham 4-2.

Ottmar Hitzfeld (Bayern Munich)

Last year's unluckiest club enter their winter break two points clear.

Tony Hale (West Bromwich Albion)

Bad day for Baggies as the chairman resigned and two players were sent off in 3-1 loss at Ipswich. First Larus Sigurdsson saw red for violent conduct then Matt Carbon copied him with a professional foul.

Mr Shearer (Dover)

While the England and Newcastle centre-forward drew a blank at Bradford, his namesake, Lee, helped Dover to a 2-1 win at Kettering.

Dick Advocaat (Rangers)

Their 5-1 away win at Motherwell keeps them a point clear of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Is the League won already?

John Gregory (Aston Villa)

Welcome reprieve, but Villa missed three penalties in a week (one by Gareth Southgate in the Worthington Cup and one apiece by Dion Dublin and Paul Merson in yesterday's 2-1 win over Sheffield Wed).

Terry Smith (Chester)

After their 2-1 defeat of Halifax, they're off the foot of Division Three.

David Platt (Nottingham Forest)

The 1-0 win against Crewe means he'll keep his job until Christmas.

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