It’s the big kick-off today. Football fans world are bracing for what promises to be another spectacular football season in the different leagues around the world. In the popular English Premier League, the season start could not come better with the thrilling curtain raiser; the Community Shield that saw Champions Manchester United put their nouveau riche ‘noisy’ neighbours Manchester City in their right place.
Back home, the English Premier League continues to be the most popular Football League. The French Ligue 1 and the German Bundesliga kicked off last weekend largely unnoticed. The intensity of the English Premier league has made it a darling of many which makes today’s season start remarkable. It is not uncommon to find the young and old alike engrossed in a ‘serious’ debate on what the new season holds for their teams.
The build up to the start of the season has greatly heightened the excitement. There have been a number of coming-ins and exits at different clubs. While many clubs have been active on the transfer market, some especially in the ‘big’ four have been conspicuously silent to the chagrin of many a fan.
The expectations are high for the fans no matter the level of activity on the transfer market. Manchester United signed off last season on a high note. Fans watched spellbound as the little Mexican, Javier Hernandez took the league by storm. With 20 goals in his debut season, the expectation is that he will top the charts come May.
It was a nervy off season for Arsenal fans. The looming exodus of the club’s top guns have left worried. The in ‘Wenger we trust’ brigade is slowly disintegrating as top players threaten to jump ship. The question that lingers on many an Arsenal fan’s mind is if it is going to be another trophy-less season. Arsene Wenger promised ‘one big buy’ and in came 18 year old Alex Oxlade Chamberlin!
Chelsea has continued to fire and hire coaches while Liverpool is working on reinventing its self after being knocked off the ‘perch’. Money bugs Manchester City have brought in goal machine Sergio Aguero. I shudder at the prospect of a Tevez, Aguero partnership. The League also welcomes the new boys; Swansea, Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City. The team will hit the ground running not with the constant reminder of the short life span in the league of teams of their ilk.
On the local scene, the start of the football season has always attracts mixed reactions. Owners of Sports Bars and other public football screening venues will be going for the kill. The start of the season means the return of the long lost patrons who will be a regular fixture for the next 10 months. Sports wear dealers will also be cashing in. Fans will want to be identified with the teams they root for. This will require them to buy the latest replica jerseys of the teams they support.
Football has also provided a cheap escape for many. Long boring weekends have a financial implication. Many football fanatics concur that they spend less during the football season. Movements are restricted and naturally one would want to keep a sober head during a thrilling football encounter. In so doing, a few quid is saved.
Non-football lovers are the big losers of the football season. The craze that comes with the game will surely infuriate many who cannot decipher why ‘twenty-two grown up men would run behind a piece of inflated rubber.’ Tension will reign high as football loving spouses prefer a nearby sports bar for a late evening kick-off other than viewing the game in the comfort of their living rooms.
What ever your situation is, have a ‘footballistic’ season!