It’s football for the next 9 months!

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

At the start of the summer I decided to enter into a little pact with a friend. It wasn’t some cultish wedding day sect but rather a wager designed to see the light of day around about 1030pm on Saturday 16th August.

It went a little something like this. Mr A (as he shall be known) being a fan of all things Tottenham Hotspur, had decided to spend the summer as far removed from football talk as he could. He would avoid his daily dose of the red tops, the websites, the blogs, the radio and the after work pint. The minute anyone mentioned the ‘F word” he would scream like a nun and head for the hills. I on the other hand agreed to tell him absolutely nothing.

Why? Well, Mr A wanted to see if he could get all the way to Match of the Day, turn on the TV, watch his side and say, gosh is that Ronaldo playing in a Spurs shirt? You see for Mr A, the mystique of football has lost just that. He, like me, had been brought up heavily on a dose of the Non League stuff. Which used to allow you to walk into the first pre-season game with not a diddly squat of an idea as to “who was playing in the number 5 shirt,? and didn’t he? No surely it can’t be?”

Mr A was a firm believer in the old fashioned rules of a summer break. Where cricket would overtake the football talk and where Panini stickers were stuffed to the back of the drawer with your half mud-caked shorts. Now though, it’s wall to wall football 24/7. Did the Ronaldo story ever go away? Did West Ham ever stop buying unfit players?

For me, and I’m sure a healthy number of obsessives (is that an oxy-moron?), we ache to be drip fed football news, who’s going where, rumours of the next big signing and even the age old clamour to be the first with the new shirt. There really is no summer break now, just a sharp intake of breath before we’re up and running all over again, and for me that’s the way it should be.

As for Mr A, he’s just days away from seeing if his experiment worked. What will surprise him the most I wonder? That Tottenham have suddenly sold all their strikers? Or that they’re just as awful as he remembers them. Sadly for him; same old Spurs, different season.

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  • Stevie

    When England played Germany in the Euro 1996 semi my friends and I were on a plane going to Florida while the game was on, we tried to avoid the score so when we arrived we could find a bar, a TV and watch the game once we arrived, naturally we were ready to celebrate a famous England victory. Surely avoiding the score in the US and A would be very easy.

    We arrived at our hotel in Miami, which was like a ghost town, it was hurricane season you see. On our way to our room we were surprised to hear a German bloke talking about the game, he sounded rather miserable. We were all very excited and started to get extremely nervous, he heard us and said are you English? Yes, yes, yes, so come one then what was the score, we couldn’t resist, well, in his moribund tones he gave us a every detail,’ Shearer scored first for you’, yes, yes, yes, 1-0 we danced and thought this was it, ‘we make it vun-vun’, oh right, the dancing stopped, ‘no more goals until penalty’ he then said, at this stage we still actually thought we had won, he told us the final score and who missed the peno without showing any emotion what so ever. We avoided any bar that night and just sulked, as it turned out it rained every day for 1 week, the beach was deserted and my mate slept walked and did a wee wee over our bed.

  • Darren

    I agree, different season, same old Spuds!! I’ll have a wager with any Spud that we finish 10 points above you.

    I do recall going live on Carolines show last season stating that Arsenal will surprise people, everyone had written us off, and look how close we came to winning the title. The same will happen this season, once again everyone is writing us off, we will be more determined, more focused and more deadly now the Pleb has gone.

    Has Ronaldo been in the news? I hadn’t noticed!

  • Martyn

    I’ll take that wager Darren!

  • Darren

    what’s the wager then? Your Bon Jovi Vinyl collection so I can sell it on Ebay for £5.

  • Martyn

    Vinyl?? Now who’s showing their age …… £25 wager that we dont finish 10 points behind you?

  • Dan Church

    its imposssible to ignore football these days. ive been out of work for the last 10 weeks and all day every day while job hunting on the internet ive had sky sports news on, so ive seen every transfer come and go, seen the same interviews and breaking news over and over and over again and aside from the odd bit of cricket news or rugby league its all been football, football, football. its all consuming these days. Eats everything in its path….
    and somehow i still missed Bolton signing that Elmondo geezer…..who ??

    ps, anyone got any jobs going ?? Caroline ?? i can do the weather and travel if you like ??

  • Darren

    you are on Martyn, £25 that we finish 10 points ahead of you!

  • Martyn


  • Danny Brothers

    It is wall to wall football in the summer still on Sky Sports, despite a plucky effort from “Fishomania” trying to steal the headlines. Last season, the “Carlos Tevez saga” was the headline each and every day as far as I can remember and this year’s been no different with Ronaldo being on every day.

    I remember the days of being excited on my paper round to see the back pages and to see who might be signing who and if the deals had gone through yet. With so many 24 hour channels and the internet now the summer has lost its charm. Man I sound old!

  • Matt Quinn

    Totally agree. I seem to be more obsessed with football during the close season than at any other time. The number of times i press refresh on football gossip sights to see who the mighty Villa have been linked with has spiralled out of control.
    On Villa’s official site it keeps track of all transfer links to the club during the transfer window. I think its up to 131 at the moment!!!… and ive taken each link seriously.
    I wish there was a way to hibernate until the season started and bypass all the speculation madness.

  • Danny Brothers

    It would be nice to sleep from May to August…I remember plenty of friendlies wondering who the exciting number 7 is only to never see him again!

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