After what feels like no time at all, it’s time for football to take full control of the sporting agenda once again.
After what feels like no time at all, it’s time for football to take full control of the sporting agenda once again as the Football League kicks off this weekend. So, here’s why you should be excited about its’ return!
New Players – Unless you’re an Everton fan, you know what I’m talking about. What’s not exciting about seeing the new signing who’s supposedly going to tear up the opposition? That’s until he either gets injured or turns out to be shi....not very good.
Young Prospects – Last season, Jack Wilshere was the young player to really make an impact at the top, whilst Connor Wickham was the man in the Championship getting people talking. So which starlets will kick on and improve? Josh McEachran is hotly tipped to succeed at Chelsea whilst Marc Albrighton at Aston Villa is also set for a breakthrough season with the departure of Downing and Young.
Old Timers – Whilst seeing the next generation coming through is great, it is good to see the likes of Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and Danny Murphy still plying their trade at the very top. Every young player can benefit from playing alongside experienced professionals, so it is important to keep a few knocking about.
Fantasy Football – No season is complete without Fantasy Football. Who to include? Who not to include? Will he be picked every week? Can Fernando Torres actually play football? Big questions. One thing’s certain. You will be left ruing at least one decision two weeks into the season, when that player you had serious thoughts about including in your side, you know the one with the dodgy knee, listed as doubtful for the beginning of the season, goes and bags a hat trick. Nice one.
Renewed Hope – We’ve got the squad and the manager. This year is the year. When we win the Premier League/ FA Cup/ Carling Cup/ Champions League/ Europa League/Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (Delete as applicable – Delete all if you’re a Wigan fan). Forget the relegation scrap last year, an anomaly. Keep telling yourself this on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke when you’re 2-0 down with 4 hour journey back to look forward to.
The Championship Is Back! – Yes, the Premier League, wow how exciting, Manchester United won the league again! Yawn. Move down to the Football League for a bit more entertainment, where anyone can beat anyone on any given day. The league though which is the scourge of all punters because of its unpredictable nature is the Championship. With plenty of teams backing themselves for promotion, the second tier will be more competitive than ever.
Pundits Old and New Return – Let’s face it, new Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville won’t exactly mince his words whilst Ray “#stayonyourfeet” Wilkins already provides great entertainment, not that its’ necessarily unbiased. Then there’s Chris “Unbelievable Jeff” Kamara. Words don’t do the man justice.
More Talk About The Game, Less About Transfer Sagas – If you haven’t managed to get out of the country since the end of the last season, then the never ending transfer sagas of Cesc Fabregas and Luka Modric will be lulling you to sleep. Finally, we might have a bit more focus on what’s happening on the pitch.
Less Reports on Twitter – Don’t get me wrong. Twitter’s great. Something’s awry though when the press are printing Joey Barton quoting Nietzsche and George Washington.
The Pub Debate – Footballing issues need a platform for discussion outside the stadium. Where else can Goal Line Technology, Referees or what chant your side has prepared for Ryan Giggs this season be discussed?
So ensure you enjoy this season, win, lose or draw, just remember what Bill Shankly once said.
'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.'