Monday, 13 August 2007

The Kick-Off

The Greatest Show on Earth, or so it itself believes, rolled back into town this weekend and provided us football junkies with a much needed fix. Premiership football is back! Rejoice! Here is what was learnt last weekend:

Arsenal has a soft centre and won't win anything this season. Chelsea is a kind of football juggernaut, demolishing all smaller vehicles but maybe struggling with those of a similar size (we'll see soon when they play Liverpool). Tottenham are bottlers. A top class team needs a top class striker. Man United take note. Liverpool can look promising at times but will ultimately disappoint. The same four teams as last season will share the top four spots this season.

In other words, everything was the same as last year. Sure, there'll be an occasional foray into the higher echelons of the league by some spunky usurper but they'll be banished the very next year. We had managers bemoaning the quality of referees. Commentators doing the same. Players diving in order to gain free kicks or penalties. Nothing changes. And we'll all still keep watching, no matter how distasteful we find the behaviour of all those just mentioned, plus those who run the game.

It used to be the fans that let themselves and the game down. Football was really ugly then and the crowds stayed away. Now it's everyone else letting the fans down. And as long as we continue to demean ourselves by swallowing it all up then nothing will change and the beautiful game will eventually disappear up its own arse forever.

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