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Thank God for that… Welcome Back Football

For a while there, I imagined with real pain that this summer would never end. The nightmare that Wimbledon would be the highlight of it. Not an AFC in sight but that of strawberries and clichés, heroic yet yielding Brit(s) failing to hurdle the might of the top three and the grand spectacle of bloody centre court.

The Women’s World Cup provided little respite, like attempting FIFA without knowing my red button from my L1. The under 21’s only succeeded where the men had failed in providing fight and ye olde English spirit. Perhaps that can be bottled and spoon fed at major tournaments to Rio, Frank and Wayne and the Italian, for what little else do we have to cling to these days if not the emergence of Jack, Josh and Tom?

With some relief and token downtrodden resistance from wives and partners around the countries, August finally rears it’s beautiful head and the sunshine doth bathe us in glorious football. Never before or again will Hull vs Blackpool be welcomed so warmly into our lives. Glorious tediousness is with us again. And Cesc remains at Arsenal.

Those of a Premier League persuasion are jealous for the first and perhaps only time of the footballing year. We, the 72, have it, and you, the elite, the creme de la creme, the Scudamore’s and the Hansen’s, the Dalglish and the Drogba’s, you don’t. And what do we do with it whilst you skulk about your exotic beaches, cobwebbed sheds and ESPN friendlies? We despair and we rejoice, we sympathise, appathise and patronise and wish we began next week too.

The Community Shield serves up a reminder of what we all forget to remember. Manchester City don’t have what it takes to be champions of England. Manchester United never give up. The blue half all too close to familiar disappointment and hurt whilst the delirious devils dance on the open grave of City’s short lived beliefs that they’ve broken into the elite. The Premier League will cost considerably more than the FA Cup.

But what would I know? A lowly Nottingham Forest supporter who can’t quite shake off the halfway line goal that created the ghost of season past? Ludicrous team selections in darkest Wales by the dear departed Davies seeps into every pore and kills off the fresh feel. A gradual frost that chills to the bone despite the tailored shirts and hooped socks as our Reds labour. Thanks Billy and goodbye, for here comes the circus to go with the Smile.

It appears the Smile has substance. The board has finally been booted off it’s stubborn arse and pulled it’s finger out. The fiery Scotsman didn’t manage it, almost the only thing the fiery Scotsman didn’t achieve. Just don’t mention the P word. Either of them.

These Yorkshire men are stubborn. That Derby lad looked good. How can he not be a good enough replacement for Savage? Agent Clough, you are going to blow your cover. Well thought out decision to defeat Birmingham City though. Covered your tracks well with that one Nigel, you crafty so and so. Take it easy this year, let the decline creep up on them, like there’s no danger until the danger is all to prevelant. Keep it steady until September…

What’s that old bugger Jewell up to? Chopra? Stockdale? Ingimarsson? Seems someone has been doing their homework under the radar of the rest of us. Saints beating up Leeds, Brighton getting the betting off to a belter, Cardiff welcoming West Ham back to life in the second tier, slippery Sven leading the Leicester revolution with three points and Forest failing to score on the opening day for the 104th season running.

With binary code reading like a league table, our lovable County’s are in ecstasy. Derby in 4th? Notts in 2nd? Forest only in 16th? Tuesday brings with it the air of history in the making. Nottingham derbies are a rarity, one it seems that only the barcoded half of Nottingham wants to embrace. I want to embrace the bookmakers offering on the underdog, but the damn loyalties deny it. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Does anyone want to embrace England vs Holland? How Arsene and Sir Alex will warm to that. A friendly? Already?

Silly season has returned.

Thank God for that.

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