Eyebrows were raised when David James's name appeared on the six-man shortlist for PFA player of the year.
However, nobody works harder at their game than James, who has spent his career test driving different hairstyles and has now, at the age of 37, found the perfect model to keep strikers at bay.
Having survived his obligatory moment of madness - racing out to intercept a through ball and taking an air-shot - he pulled off a string of superb saves, most notably repelling a Michael Owen shot that glanced off the keeper's bushy afro and over the bar.
Infamous blue rinse? Goal. Snoop Dogg/Rio Ferdinand-style braids? Goal. Bonkers, possibly Hitler-inspired side parting? Goal. Sturdy afro? No goal.
And that is why he is in contention for awards and the hairless likes of Brad Friedel, Tim Howard and Marcus Hahnemann are not.
It looked like Jens Lehmann was trying a similar tactic at Old Trafford yesterday, but alas the German's hair lacks the natural thickness and vitality of James's, and he was unable to get his straggly mop of curls anywhere near either United goal.
Lehmann made a surprise, but welcome, appearance after Manuel Almunia was struck down by a mysterious injury a day after publicly giving the German the Godfather "You're dead to me" treatment.
The Spaniard may reflect that karma is a fickle beast. Lehmann has spent the season slagging him off without reprisal. The first hint of retaliation from Almunia and he ends up sidelined.
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Early Doors watched the United versus Arsenal game in a hostelry and was not privy to sound.
Therefore, when it saw Cristiano Ronaldo stick away his penalty and then stand there, arms outstretched with a sneer on his face, it merely assumed that was his normal celebration.
And when he stepped up for a second time, stopped during his run-up, and tucked the ball into the bottom-left corner, ED thought it was just a real-time replay.
Despite having a sub-par game, the Portuguese has reached the point where he is so influential he can win a game without actually doing anything.
When United won a free-kick 25 yards out, all eyes were trained on Ronaldo as he prepared to unleash another rocket shot into the top corner/row z/the wall's crown jewels. Few people even noticed when Owen Hargreaves curled it in.
Early Doors said after the Roma game last week that Hargreaves was turning into Ronaldo, yet even ED was surprised to see the former stay-at-home anchor man score a potentially title-winning free-kick.
The introduction of Justin Hoyte five minutes from time signalled the end of the game as a contest. Like Gilles Grimandi and Pascal Cygan before him, the hapless Hoyte is Arsene Wenger's white flag in human form.
Having found himself hopelessly out of his depth in Arsenal's FA Cup tonking at Old Trafford earlier this season, he came on and was immediately targeted for humiliation.
Ronaldo's hilarious corner flag tap dance masterclass in injury-time prompted Hoyte to stop him the only way he knew how - by kicking him. A rueful Cesc Fabregas exchanged pleasantries with the grinning Ronaldo as he helped him back to his feet presumably saying: "If you had Justin Hoyte, I'd be doing the same thing."
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Yesterday's Liverpool game provided yet more proof that it's not only those nasty foreign imports who enjoy hurling themselves, unprovoked, to the ground.
Steven Gerrard's latest attempt to win a penalty was as shameless as it was blatant, and even managed to provoke outrage from the morally-bankrupt likes of Early Doors.
If El Hadji Diouf had attempted a similar con trick, the tabloids would be out in the street burning effigies. When it's a blood-and-thunder Englishman like Gerrard, they are prepared to write it off as dodgy studs, an inner ear infection or a sniper at the back of the family enclosure.
If the FA were interested in getting rid of diving, they would simply hand out retrospective bans to players guilty of obvious cheating. Why they do not is something of a mystery.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Thaksin rang Sven to reprimand him, telling him he would be sacked at the end of the season if results did not improve." The Observer's shady 'source' claims Frank Shinawatra has already lost patience with Sven-Goran Eriksson's unique brand of slightly-above-average results.
FOREIGN VIEW: When Billy Joel wrote "We didn't start the fire", he obviously wasn't thinking about Groningen fans, who set light to reams of paper before yesterday's game against Ajax. While Early Doors obviously condemns their thuggery, it was impressed to see that the louts still managed to give it a cosmopolitan flavour, with one Dutchman proudly sporting a t-shirt that said: "F*** Ajax".
PANDERING OF THE DAY: Having received an almighty barracking for failing to mention Rangers's UEFA Cup success, Early Doors would like to head off a storm of protest by saying WELL DONE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH. Happy now?
TALKING POINT: Most ridiculous sacking? Real Madrid feature heavily, with the dismissals of Jupp Heynckes, Vicente Del Bosque and Fabio Capello all called into question.
But Early Doors most likes this from ianbec: "Billy Davies' sacking was pretty ridiculous. If Derby hadn't been promoted he would still be there now instead of being sacked for his overachievement. Paul Jewell hasn't exactly covered himself in glory since taking over." Tell me I'm sweating...
Today: Inspired by Justin Hoyte, which other players ensure defeat just by taking off their tracksuit? And you can't have anyone from Derby.
COMING UP: Stay tuned for Team of the Week, Winners and Losers and all the regular Monday features. Oh, and Chelsea are playing Wigan later. Join us for that at 7.45pm if you don't have a telly.