And so we’re back. And after an eventful summer of rioting ruffians, dying divas and hack happy hacks it all boils down to one thing. Gary Neville has a big new pencil.
Having spent the best part of my summer attempting to write a sitcom pilot about a deviously immoral tabloid editor, but finding a dead eyed flame haired devil woman who beats up Grant Mitchell too hard to top, I’d resigned myself to superimposing Simpsons’ characters onto the heads of former News of The World Editors and making funny videos of David Starkey rapping.
The football transfer window had failed to interest me this year, perhaps partly due to my earnest focus on other pursuits or perhaps simply because of my endlessly dwindling respect for journalism, but as far as I could make out Wesley Sneijder signed for Manchester United 13 times, and once for Manchester City, but decided to stay in Milan 14 times, rendering the match a draw. Transfer muppetry has never interested me. It’s why I prefer PES to Football Manager.
Just as the summer looked like it had nothing more to offer, that joyous moment in the year arrived, when those long, painful weeks of pretending to be interested in Tennis and the news are brought to an end by the resumption of spoiled millionaires kicking an imitation pig bladder around grass for an hour and a half on Saturdays.
Except, not really, as the quaint and iconic notion of an exciting football Saturday has long been a relic of the past, and when it isn’t, it’s almost certainly not worth it unless you can wrench yourself out of bed before noon. And lets be honest, who can really be bothered to do that? (Ok, some of you. But I’ll bet you aren’t the cool ones.)
No, football is, and has increasingly been for sometime, a Sunday game. A Super Sunday game in fact. Or a Monday night game. Or a Tuesday and Wednesday game when the high-end, haute couture business of the Champions League rolls round. Or a Thursday game if your team is in the Europa Super Dooper Disco League. Or a Friday game if you’re glamour team in the Championship. In fact, if you’re not a loyal match going fan of a mid-to-lower-table club it’s pretty safe to say that watching football from an armchair of a week is pretty much an “every day but Saturday” pursuit (unless ESPN have a decent game on at tea time, but then they also have Kevin Keegan.) So as the richest and most watched league in the world geared up for lift off, it didn’t do so with it’s usual whoosh bang hullabaloo, and the Saturday passed without much fuss, the main talking points being the amount of diving and Joey Barton’s bizarre choice of hair.
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