Seasonal Anticipation

The Half-time whistle is back, following a short hiatus.  The season, according to continuous Sky Sports ads, is almost upon us.  Almost?  Actually, provided you don’t think the Premier League is the Genesis of football, then it’s already started in the UK.

The Npower leagues kicked off last weekend, providing some thrilling results, such as Millwall’s impressive 3-0 humping of David James, Ipswich reminding Steve Gibson of the hilarity of sacking Gareth Southgate (position at the time: 2nd) for Gordon Strachan (final position: 11th) as they won 3-1 at the Riverside.  Shrewsbury looked the team to beat in League Two while Peterborough got off to a fine start in League One.  Meanwhile, in the Carling Cup, Gillingham kept up their impressive away record, losing 4-1 away to Norwich (they haven’t won away since the 2008/09 season) while Charlton took a 3 goal lead before just giving up and losing 4-3 to Shrewsbury.  Yes folks, football’s back.

And if you follow our friends at The Real FA Cup the season started even earlier with the FA Cup’s Extra Preliminary rounds, featuring teams that mostly people haven’t heard of (but trust me, it’s great).

But none of this matters according to Sky Sports and its OVER SENSATIONALISM of DRAMATIC football MATCH-UPS!!!  The season begins and ends with the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.  Does anything else matter according to Sky Sports?  Hell no.  And, as the HTW correctly predicted on the Real FA Cup podcast, Sky Sports became irrelevant during the World Cup.

But after a summer of watching Alan Hansen take the piss out out of Dixon for actually daring to know the name of a player appearing for one of the teams they were covering, and Edgar Davids rivalling Alan Shearer for the least interesting/insightful pundit, we are actually CRAVING Andy Gray and his magic box of dots, arrows and circles.  Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara will be a welcome sight for sore eyes after Andy Townsend and Adrian Chiles’ terrible renditions on ITV.

They may be evil conglomerate whorish bastards, but Sky Sports do provide great coverage of football when compared to the best of what BBC and ITV could conjure up in their best piss-riddled dreams for the World Cup this summer.  So, with its Sky Sports HD subscription paid for, the Half-Time Whistle looks forward to almost a whole season of the Money Talks league: The Best League In The World, where, inevitably, Man Utd or Chelsea will win it, Man City will finish second, Arsenal will finish fourth, Tottenham or Liverpool will finish fifth, no-one will give a rat’s arse about the remaining positions and West Brom will be relegated for a change.  By about April, the HTW fully expects to be utterly bored of football and will take another hiatus.

The HTW is a different breed of football fan, though.  Taking a healthy look at all the professional leagues in England, and following people like The Real FA Cup, European Football Weekends, and so on, we hope for an interesting season of football to come.  And Alan Hansen and the rest of the Match of the Day Team can fuck off.  We’re sticking with Goals on Sunday, and Komedy Kamara – more entertaining, more insightful.  But as the HTW generally hates football, there should be plenty of material to add to the ever burgeoning “rants” section.

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