A Mid-Summer Mini Season

This might sound dumb but I really didn’t think I would be this excited. The Premier League is back on Wednesday night and even though I spent most of the lockdown convincing myself I didn’t really miss football that much I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas morning.

Sure, football has been back now for a few weeks but with the greatest respect to the Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, the main course kicks off this week. And lets just ignore the fact that in Ireland we’re making an absolute shambles of getting the Greatest League in the World back on the road. That’s a pain too hard to deal with right now.

The Premier League is back and I thought I would compile a list of thing I’m excited about along with some things I’m not excited about. You can already guess what’s number one on the list of things I’m not looking forward to. I’ll get to that. But first…

Bruno Fernandes

No pressure Bruno. For someone who came into the team in January his impact has been obscene. From January until the lockdown he looked like he was the missing piece that pulled all the other pieces at Old Trafford together. He has everything that Utd fans have been crying out for and he’s everything we wanted Paul Pogba to be. Now he just has to keep it up!

Odion Ighalo

No this list isn’t going to be all Man Utd players but I am going to put two more in. I don’t know if it was Ighalo’s back story, I don’t know if it was the ridicule with which his signing was greeted with, I don’t know if it’s because he himself is a Man Utd fan but I was so pleased for him each time he scored in a red shirt that I can’t wait to see him do it again. And he will do it again and it will be clumsy, awkward and brilliant

Marcus Rashford

Footballers get a bad wrap and a lot of the time it’s completely justified. But if you haven’t seen the list of charitable work that Marcus Rashford has done over the break or if you haven’t read his open letter to MPs about providing meals to children in the UK then you should go and look that up. Wait. Hold on, I’ll get it for you. Marcus is one of the good ones. There are plenty of them around and any initiative and desire to help and make a difference by them should be applauded.

In a team that struggled for a lot of the first half of the season Rashford performed well and carrying the team literally broke his back. Now with Ighalo, Fernandes and maybe even Pogba back in the mix I’m looking forward to seeing how good he can be.

Paddy Casey

I once went to see Pearl Jam in the Point Depot in Dublin. It was the first time they had played in Ireland in a really long time. Paddy Casey was chosen to open for them that night. Paddy wasn’t exactly booed off stage but he wasn’t greeted with much patience or understanding either. Everyone knew there was going to be a support act and the formalities had to be played out. No one wanted to see Paddy Casey that night, everyone had to just bottle up their excitement and get through it. Aston Villa v Sheffield United is Paddy Casey. Man City v Arsenal is Pearl Jam. Only this time I’m even excited for the support act.

Jack Grealish

I know he’s a bollox. I know he’s a turncoat and he’s a bollox. I know he’s a turncoat, a bollox and he always dives but I’ve been really impressed with Jack and his big calves. Aston Villa are in a tough spot and if they’re going to get out of it it’s going to be down to Jack and I’m excited to see how he does.

The Dyche Bellows

I’m all for TV companies adding in artificial crowd noise. As long as it’s not too overpowering. It makes it feel a little less alien, a little less surreal, a little less like you’re watching an under 21s match. I would like the option to turn down the crowd noise when I’m watching Burnley matches though because Sean Dyche was loud even when there was 40 thousand in the stadium. Can you imagine how loud he’ll be with no one there? We’re talking Mick McCarthy away to Gibraltar loud.

Someone is going to win the Premier League

So this counts as something I’m not looking forward to. I don’t think I have to say too much about it. Let’s move on.

Steve McManaman

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke. There was so much to be excited about. Finally some live football to help lift the spirits of football fans the whole world over. Sure it was weird, everyone was wearing masks, there were no fans, it was surreal. But it was football! I was giddily awaiting kick off when James Richardson uttered the words “And we go to our match commentators Steve McMananman…..

Fuck sake.

Jose and his bullshit

It says a lot about the man that you knew exactly what I was talking about when you read that header. Yes, Jose was having a miserable time of it at Tottenham (yeah, it’s still weird) but now that Harry Kane is back and so is Son Heung Min he will have to come up with all new excuses for why things aren’t going well.

Paul Pogba playing football

It often feels like people forget how good Paul Pogba can be. Who knows if he will play for United this season but if he does, hopefully he can remind people what a talent he is. The haircuts, the agent, the ‘injuries’, the Souness memes, lets hope we can put it all behind us.

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