Last week (Click Here) I wrote a piece for this website about the lack of love for football at the moment, and how it was hard to muster up the enthusiasm to get excited about this season. I`ve traded in my season ticket for an armchair, and thought it might be interesting to document it and see how long it is until my will breaks and I purchase my first ticket.
I must admit it was nearly over before it began. The HTML flyer sent by the club about the West Ham game had me thinking – but I must be strong – I am still really disappointed about the lack of improvement in the squad and retaining some of the – shall we say – poorer of the players in our squad.
I think had we signed someone half decent by now, and had a better showing in the recent tournament in Portugal – I`d have got a ticket sorted. I watched both games in that tournament – and other than a twenty minute spell in the first game we were slow and found it very hard to pass the ball. The Benfica game really showed the difference between Champions League quality and ourselves.
Don`t get me wrong – I`m looking forward to the season. I`m looking forward to watching Soccer Saturday again. I`m looking forward to having games to talk about rather than the incredibly dull transfer window. I`m looking forward to putting on my weekly bet in the hope of winning a couple of grand only for it to fall down on the first result every week. It`s part of the football culture, and I love it.
Perhaps a decent result tonight against Valencia will help push it along a bit. I`d be lying if I said I wasn`t looking forward to watching it – being on ITV4 is a pretty decent achievement considering it`s a nothing game – even if it does mean I`ll have to tape Coronation Street.
Last year`s home friendly was all about Fabien Delph, if I remember correctly. With no one new to watch, to shine on his debut I wonder who will give us the hope for the forthcoming season? I imagine Albrighton will be given the chance, and it`d be great for him to put some real pressure on Downing for his place in the team. Downing`s signing just hasn`t worked so far, and if Marc shines it can only help the team flourish. And for the team to flourish this year, the reserves will now need to step up.
Valencia are a team I`ve always rather liked. Rather sadly, I think it`s down to the kits as they`ve had a few decent ones over the years, and I`m a bit of a football shirt collector. It`s really important we get a decent result tonight because another poor one after the Benfica game could damage morale – be it pre-season or not.
And then after tonight the fun really starts. One week to get ready. One week to at least try to sign someone. Because whatever has happened over pre-season, we really don`t want to start the season like we did last year. Especially when you realise West Ham did the double over us last year.
Because I bloody hate West Ham. But more on that next week.