Round one came and went, and what a blessed relief it was all round. Yes, the Premier League kicked off in all its diving, referee-baiting, unacceptably offensive chanting, wanker players with a sense of entitlement-ing and Ashley Cole-based glory. You can take your Olympics crowds with their positivity and polite deference to socially acceptable norms of behaviour and shove it up your arse, you faackin’ etc etc.
Of course proper League football with proper football fans who are properly bigoted is where it’s at, but you can’t watch Liverpool lose 3-0 to West Brom in League One.
Some people have suggested that the Olympics experience has much to teach our national game, particularly in terms of that whole respecting people ‘ting. Said people more usually hold up rugby as a shining example of what football should try and emulate. That’s as maybe, but all I’ll say in response is that your average rugby fan is no less bigoted than your average football fan; he simply chooses to apply his bigotry to real life instead of at the match. BOOM.
But I digress…Football’s back, and how sorely it was missed from our TV schedules. And wherever there’s professional football on the telly, there’s crap punditry.
So here are my predictions for the coming season on MOTD:
More terrible shirts all round. Fashion tells me that denim shirts are ‘back’ this season for the boys who care about fashion, so expect to see yet more shiny polyfibre atrocities of a Saturday/Sunday night.
Mark Lawrenson to make even less effort than he did at the Euros or in previous seasons and still make more money than you or I on the back of it. Mark Lawrenson not to get punched in the face, inexplicably.
Alan Hansen: Poor. Shocking.
Harry Redknapp to offer opinions of truly scintillating vacuity even by the standards of MOTD pundits: “Nah, he’s cracking, a top, top lad.”
Mick Mcarthy. You love him or you don’t. I do. I imagine that our Mick will probably start to at least try and offer some genuine insight but then stop because he has to defer to Alan Shearer’s periodic empty, wheezy-breezy noises that sound like words if you don’t listen too closely. They can’t be words he’s using because words have meanings.
Joey Barton: won’t be a pundit, probably should be, but will continue to confuse Guardian journalist types who don’t know whether to applaud him for his ability to do a Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V combo – copy and paste, yo – on Twatter, or condemn him for his ability to start a brawl with himself if no one else is around. To be fair, that reflection in the mirror was looking at him funny.
I actually have quite a soft spot for Barton. He might have borderline-psychotic behavioural issues at times, but on the other hand he’s publicly reading things that snobs like me assume he would be incapable of reading. Or indeed reading at all. And if there’s one thing the world genuinely does benefit from, it’s pissing off snobs like me.
Finally, Gary Lineker to do some puns.
Oh, yeah. And some football highlights, but we don’t really understand what that fitba malarkey’s all about unless we get someone like Lee Dixon to explain in monosyllables what we’ve just seen on the screen and then proffer up something along the lines of “Oh he’ll be really disappointed with that.” like he works for Sky Sports ITV or something.