Joy to the world – Christmas has arrived a whole month-and-a-half early at Everton, with the Toffees taking a leaf out of John Lewis’ book with a special festive advert promoting half season tickets.
But anyone hoping for a 30-second clip of sentimental magic designed to pull at the heartstrings as well as the wallet may have been surprised to find the grinning/gurning faces of Steven Pienaar and Samuel Eto’o looking back at them.
The former Inter Milan man certainly gives it his all, effectively mugging his way through several shots by raising his eyebrows frequently in a way that he may think is alluring but just comes off as weird, while there are several seconds of a photoshopped image featuring Roberto Martinez in a Santa hat.
Pienaar doesn’t fair much better, though the South African is probably just happy to be part of the celebrations at Goodison Park, having returned to the club from Tottenham, where their annual dismal start to the season usually results in Christmas being cancelled.
And while the pair are rather odd choices for the roles – I would have liked to see Sylvain Distain get the call-up, having missed out on playing for France all these years – it’s becoming fairly common for strange players to get caught up in the festive fun.
Take perma-serious Serbian Alexander Kolarov - a man who takes any anger issues out on a football by thwacking as hard as possible each and every week - who was recruited by City last year to sing Christmas carols, declaring, at one point, with a blank face "Santa Claus in town" to a jaunty piano backing track.
Bizarre, fun and 100% festive, get ready for more Christmas silliness in the weeks to come.