She hasn't had the best couple of weeks, poor Cheryl Cole. Criticised for refusing to vote, criticised for responding to Saint Wagner's remarks live on air, she doesn't seem to be able to do anything right. So, the timely pre-release of the video to her new single should put those still with their pitchforks out back into the shed, where they belong (the people, that is).

The pace has really been slowed down in this one, and it looks an altogether different Cheryl from the defiance of 'Fight For This Love' and the kooky 'Promise This'. If we are to take 'The Flood' as a subtle metaphor for Cheryl's 'floods of tears' at recent hardships, then we think she needs a good cuddle. And a decent plumber.

Cheryl's happy-go-lucky image is a thing of the past. Cheers, Ashley Cole

Watching the video ourselves, we began welling up, rueful of the day when Cheryl happily sang away to mindless teeny bop. Now she's spanned the full spectrum of emotion, we actually hope she comes full circle and returns to the bopper days of yore. Yes, the music may be better now, but we die a little inside everytime we see the contortions of angst on her face, or heartache in those eyes.

Anyway, the single is released on January 3, because if you remember, Take That also released a single called 'The Flood' last month, so this should avoid any general confusion and coolen the ire of the more ardent of Take That fans who think that Cheryl is trying to capitalize on their resurgent fame. Right, everybody's got to be nice to Cheryl from now on, because the little sparrow is wounded. And who would torture a defenceless animal?

We're emotionally drained from this whole thing, so excuse us while we go and have a little cry. And no, it's not our time of the month. We're the new breed of man who can sob without shame before going and putting up a shelf, using our forehead as hammer and teeth as screwdriver.