Did 2012 live up to expectations?

By DAVID WOODING

AS we enter 2013 and ponder what lies ahead, it’s worth turning the clock back a year to recollect what our thoughts and aspirations were as we stood on the threshold of the year just gone.

It turned out to be a tough year in many ways for lots of people but there were some dazzling hightlights which made it one to remember, too.

Here’s the leader I wrote for The Sun on December 31, 2011. Happy New Year!

Roll on 2012.

MANY of us will be glad to see the back of 2011 when the clock strikes midnight.

The past twelve months have been tough — and things won’t get much easier in the year ahead.

But amid the economic gloom, there’s much to look forward to in 2012. Tomorrow is the start of Olympics year, when we can show the world just how great Britain is.

The Sun will be a major cheerleader for both athletes and nation as the countdown to the London games begins.

There’s also a double bank holiday coming up to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.

And to cap an action-packed summer, England’s football aces will be fighting for glory in Euro 2012.

But if you just want to escape, you can always book a £9.50 Sun holiday when the offer returns next week.

We wish our loyal army of readers, distributors, newsagents and delivery teams every happiness in 2012.

So tonight, let the good times roll and have a Happy New Year.

I’m fed up with women talking balls

By DAVID WOODING

EURO 2012 is here and my wife has suddenly developed an interest in football again.

I couldn’t help revisiting a polemic article I wrote during the 2006 World Cup, which created a bit of a storm.  It ended with me making an appearance on TV’s Richard and Judy to defend my stance – and face an angry feminist.

Here it is again for you to read and comment on. Remember, please, it’s tongue in cheek but I’d be pleased to read your comments.

WE’RE halfway through the World Cup – and I can take no more.

Not the football, that’s fine…it’s the wife talking about football that has to stop. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a male chauvinist.

And I love the sound of my wife’s voice – almost as much as she does. But I’m fed up with listening to her talking balls.

I snapped as she began wittering about changes in England’s midfield tactics.

Like millions of men, I’ve been left speechless by the sudden change that affects women every four years.

Whenever I brought footie into the conversation before the World Cup, I was told to shut up and stop being a bore.

Now, when the subject is raised, I can’t get a word in edgeways. Suddenly, she’s the fount of all knowledge on the subject. It doesn’t stop there. She’s even put an England flag on HER car. And a woman in an England shirt has now become the height of fashion and sexiness. Strange. When my son and I don our Liverpool shirts, she complains we look like “oiks”.

I can take that but her attempt to become a living room pundit drives me out of my armchair and up the wall. It’s also the frequent stating of the obvious, like: “The pitch looks green.” Or: “Ooh, that wasn’t very nice,” when a thug of a defender clatters through one of England’s few remaining fit strikers.

Then she shows her grasp of tactics by yelling “pass it” or “shoot” whenever a player has the ball – even if it is Paul Robinson taking a goal-kick.

It’s worst when she gets a female pal around and they discuss the merits of David Beckham or Thierry Henry.

Even this is just about bearable.

What I can’t stand is when she tries to show off her “knowledge” of the beautiful game. Even Sven’s got more nous. It’s painful.

Let’s admit the facts – women are genetically programmed not to understand the offside rule.

On Saturday, I’ll settle down to watch the England match with a beer in one hand and a red card in the other.

She has warned me that if I wave it at her she’ll exact revenge – I’ll be banned from going shopping with her. What a result!

THE THINGS THEY SAY…

What happens if both England and Sweden win all their group games?

How old is Nancy?

What? Another game? How many more are they playing?

Ooh, that was a big kick – when the goalie takes a goal-kick.

David Beckham’s changed his hair.

You’re not having another lager, are you?

Never mind, there’s always next time…

YOUR TURN, LADIES: GIRLS, just who is talking balls? Add your comments below!