No doubt plenty of you will have been at this game, ferrets in your overcoats, drinking real ale, adorned with flat caps, scarves and rattles.
Sadly, I was in my early teens and sniffing solvents in Churchyards was more appealing to me at the time than most things, including football. No more though.
These days, I prefer the crack of dawn and waking up dreaming of how we could be top of the League by the end of today, if we win by 3 clear goals.
Imagine that. Tottenham Hotspur FC, perennial slow starters who historically have virtually surrendered the league title by the time September is done, have actually started like they mean pwopa business this season. Win 0-3 today lads and the Premier League Cup is in our hands!
In a winning season, every team has a wobble (City last season not so much). We seem to have started each of our CL qualifying seasons under Poch with poor draws and losses during the first quarter or third of the campaign followed by a fantastic run of form throughout the winter that has propelled us to 2nd or 3rd place, but still some way short of actually winning the blimmin’ thing.
We all know the reasons why: Lesta’s dubious fairytale; Chelski’s season out of Europe; Citeh’s 100 point haul. On paper, this season should be even more difficult. Liverpooh strengthened by the pricey keeper with the fancy footwork; Citeh imperious with a winning mentality; Chelski and Ars53nal with renewed energy, new managers and a good pre-season; Yanited with Mourin…oh, wait that doesn’t quite work.
So what about poor old Spurs who DIDN’T SIGN ANYONE?
What we have got is a bunch of fierce, loyal, battle-hardened soldiers. We’ve got a load of players coming back from the World Cup, buzzing at having gone deep into the competition (if not a little disappointed int the Belgian lads’ case). We’ve got familiarity, which in our case seems to breed respect. And we’ve got Lucas Moura, who was bought with this season in mind, whatever anyone says about his ‘slow start’.
Citeh will be fully focussed on the CL, the Holy Grail for them. I can see that affecting their PL results, and with a few slip-ups that veneer of camaraderie could begin to slip away. We’ve seen with Chelski what a bunch of expensive superstars can look like when they’re not playing like a team. Not saying anything as drastic will happen to Citeh, but they could drop off.
As Noel Gallagher beautifully put it: “Liverpool fans are deluded…it’s great watching the meltdowns around about March…”. Again, they have a big shot at the title this year, but will their doubts creep in again when they get close to the summit? They’ve almost become as practised as us at not winning stuff in recent years.
Chelski and the Arse are not going to enjoy those long trips on Thursdays at all. Will the new manager bounce carry either of these far enough? Sarri, maybe. Dick? Not for me fanks…not that there’s anything wrong with it.
In summary, I’m saying we’ve got a good shot at it this year, even if it might look as though it could be tougher than last time out.
But first, let’s do Elton’s lot.