(because there’s no such thing as getting up too early when there’s a chance to watch Didier Zorka harrass Tomas Rosisky)

Though there’s still 13 points seperating Arsenal from Premiership leaders Manchester United, the Gunners lept over Portsmouth, Bolton and Aston Villa into 3rd place this morning with a 3-0 mugging of Spurs. Arsenal’s win — the first ever North London derby to take place in the shiny new Emirates Stadium, is considerable tonic for Arsene Wenger’s side after dropping successive games to Bolton and Fulham in the space of 5 days.

Visitors Liverpool are currently 2-0 up on Wigan Athletic, courtesy of a pair of early goals from text message maven Craig Bellamy.
Manchester United have snared Sweden international Henrik Larsson on a loan deal commencing January 1 from Helsingborgs. Larsson put up ridiculous numbers during a 7 year tenure at Celtic, and should provide impressive cover for United when and if Wayne Rooney misplaces his car keys or forgets how to lace his boots.

West Ham’s Teddy Sheringham, 79, speaks with the Mirror today about the perils of online gambling. Teddy, as the article notes, is a paid spokesmodel for gaming firm 888.com.

West Bromich Albion midfielder Ronnie Wallwork, currently on loan from Barnsley, was reportedly stabbed multiple times during a visit to Manchester’s Sugar Lounge last night. The World’s Best Bars website describes the nightclub as “a very hot addition to the Manchester bar scene. It™s aiming to set high standards with excellent service, knowledgeable bar staff who can certainly mix a fine cocktail, along with cool décor and funky music “ check out the Si Foresterio set on a Thursday and Friday night for the best. But, of course, with high standards come high prices and a severe door policy, so don™t even venture to Deansgate without your platinum card and your latest finery.” So I can only presume that Wallwork had either violated the dress code, misplaced his platinum card or asked the dj to spin something by The Worst.

Former Sun editor / TalkSport exec Kelvin MacKenzie claims he’s unrepentant about his handlng of the Hillsborough disaster. From the Daily Post’s Sam Lister.

Speaking at a business lunch, he told more than 100 guests he had only apologised to the people of Liverpool because the newspaper’s owner Rupert Murdoch had ordered him to.

And he insisted the Sun had only been reporting “the truth” when it accused Liverpool fans caught in the terrace crush of urinating on the dead and stealing from bodies. Mr MacKenzie was guest speaker at the annual lunch of Newcastle law firm Mincoffs LLP.

A source told the Daily Post: “There was a question and answer session and someone asked him if he went to Liverpool much.

“He said: ‘All I did wrong there was tell the truth. There was a surge of Liverpool fans who had been drinking and that is what caused the disaster.

‘The only thing different we did was put it under the headline ‘The Truth’.

‘I went on the World at One the next day and apologised. I only did that because Rupert Murdoch told me to. I wasn’t sorry then and I’m not sorry now because we told the truth.’ “

Recently, MacKenzie made all sorts of new friends when he used a Sun column to refer to the Scots as “Tartan tosspots” and took great delight in statistics that showed the Scots had a shorter life expectency than the English.