The Premier League IS dead, It has been for a very long time.
So, when the next ‘upsetting’ moment occurs this season, please don’t say that football is NOW dead.
If I’m honest, it has died on more than one occasion, have a look below:
- Des Lynam jumping ship to ITV
- ITV Digital
- Graeme Souness shaving his delicious tache
- Prem Plus
- The Football Association of Ireland selling the exclusive rights of the Republic Of Ireland football team to British Sky Broadcasting in 2002
- £199m for Neymar paid to Barcelona by PSG, in full might I add!
- Ronald McDonald leading out Manchester United and Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly.
Pick one of the above and get over it.
There will be twists and turns on the pitch this season, no doubt. However, I wish to give a little preview of the more off the field dramas.
Strap yourselves in!
The Battle for Top 4
A handy one for the TV companies, a league within a league. This little beauty becomes useful when the actual title race becomes prematurely redundant. We will have vignettes, we will have music, we will no doubt have overly dramatic voice overs making this sound like ‘life and death’.
Even if the league leaders were a million points clear, SKY would try to convince you its ‘still possible’.
This used to be good, I mean, REALLY good. It was a natural occurrence, with a hint of novelty and excitement. I can remember sitting down in a pub in Dublin, watching it by chance in 2006 with the Ashley Cole drama unfolding before our very eyes. Then SKY got wind of it and of course, they do what SKY do and ruined it. They made it a ‘thing’. Contrived, forced, Jim White’s tie, an event, a spectacle, Jim White’s tie…. Harry Redknapp’s car window?
For our very own convenience, SKY have installed a countdown clock to the end of the current window, just so we ‘re reminded of how many seconds our clubs have, to pay ridiculously over the odds for some average player. We know how it will end up, it will finish with the unveiling of Stoke City’s latest big club reject.
Do not be surprised if, by 2023, you are watching this nonsense on SKY Box Office.
I am betting, that we’ll have some homophobic taunts launched in EPL’s new comers Brighton and Hove Albion’s direction. I’m looking at you Chelsea fans… Also, a pound to a penny, we’ll have some moron make an arse of himself on social media, unfortunately, the list grow’s each year on that one. Shisha Pipe anyone? Perhaps hippie crack will be back on the menu for our younger ‘stars’? I will be shocked if there isn’t one footballer caught with their trousers down, there is all that creatine to burn off…
Not to mention, a player being caught pissed drunk, giving honest opinions about how awful the club is, then have it filmed and broadcast all over social media by the very supporters that will moan about a divide between the players and the fans.
Ah yes, a favourite of Sky Sports News, let’s compare today’s crop with a team from 5 years ago. No doubt if this season at Old Trafford is as equally disappointing, we will have the question asked: “Is Jose better than Moyes?” I can answer that; a speaking weight machine would have been more useful than the dour Scotsman.
They probably would have found the training sessions some-what interesting at least.
Klopp can expect a good grinding through the stats machine, comparing him to Brendan if it goes wrong. No doubt if Pep hasn’t cracked it this time around, Pellegrino will be championed and my mate Frank will be making his way to SKY studios with a shotgun.
No Frank won’t go to SKY studios in London, he’s still sore over Brexit!
With England’s marvelous win at the Under 20’s World Cup this Summer, questions will be asked about the current state of homegrown talent in Premier League. The problem there is, that out of the 20 teams in England’s top flight, only 4 teams have English managers. Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis of Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion (respectively) are both from Wales and Chris Hughton of Brighton and Hove Albion is Irish, so they don’t count!
Not to mention, with the money that’s at stake in Premier League and the sheer importance of staying up, not just for the club, but also for the local community, no manager can really risk trying out youngsters. Manchester United aside, in England, you don’t (normally) win things with kids.
The irony of this being debated (no doubt) on Sky Sports is not lost on your writer, as they are the catalyst for the outrageous and obscene amounts of money being thrown around the Premier League!
I’m sure Jim White’s tie won’t be mentioning that!
We just know that whoever (BT or SKY) gets their grubby little paws on this ‘titanic’ battle of the also-rans first, will set the hype machine up to the max for the ‘Prodigal Son’s return (works at either fixture really). Speaking of Rooney, I’ve no doubt he will make a glittering start to his Everton career. Unfortunately, I expect it to fizzle out. Just like him really…
Last, but not least, an absolute dead cert.
What feels like an eternity at this stage, Arsenal fans have been divided on their fearless leader Arsene Wenger. Some feel he is the right man for the job, others (like myself) feel he needs to let someone else come in with fresh eyes and have a crack. This will NOT change at all this season, as the Arsenal board have rewarded the Frenchman with a new 2-year contract. Still, at least Arsenal TV will have something to report. Brace yourselves neutrals, for another laborious season of debates with the obligatory great start, crap middle and great finish to this year’s season.
Hopefully, we get to see a decent bit of football too!