Chris Lee puts on his Mystic Meg wig, polishes his crystal ball, and looks to the season ahead….
As the start of the 2011/12 season draws ever nearer, anticipation among fans rises to a ‘slightly bothered but more interested in the transfer window’ stage. And as ever, there are a number of questions begging to be answered. How will Villas Boas fare in his debut season? Can Manchester City adapt to life without Carlos Tevez? Will Alex McLeish be able to turn those sceptical Villa fans around? And, most importantly, just how will European teams cope on a rainy Thursday night at the Britannia Stadium?
We at the Daisy Cutter are here to offer some slightly curved ball predictions for what promises to be one of the most exciting seasons ever………especially now QPR and the madness of Warnock are back! Yaaay!
Five Clichés From Last Season Sure to Make a Reappearance in 11/12
1) “For a big man, he has great feet.” Most likely to be applied when Andy Carroll makes a successful 5 yard lay off but will also be used when Peter Crouch is playing, despite zero evidence to back the statement up. In fact, I would suggest Crouch has the ball skills you would come to expect from a 6ft 7 player- complete rubbish!
2) “Owen Coyle really has got Bolton playing some great football.” Really? Because every time I watch them it seems to consist of getting the ball up to Kevin Davies as quickly as possible. Still, the eternal word of Sky Sports must be correct. I don’t know what I am watching half the time.
3) “They are a breath of fresh air.” Will inevitably be down on last year’s average of 21 utterances every weekend now Blackpool have exited the division, but apply to any of Norwich, QPR or Swansea.
4) “All doesn’t seem right in that Manchester City dressing room.” Sure, sure. How will they ever win a trop…..oh wait. They did.
5) “They are hardworking, in your face and are completely within their rights to use it.” Referring to Rory Delaps long throw. No no no no no, no. I don’t care if Stoke don’t have very many good ball players. Please do not justify this brand of football. It is horrible to watch and it is not the way the sport should be played. It is everything that is wrong with the English footballing mentality. And breathe……..
Five Things Certain To Happen In The 11/12 Season
1) We will hear the name Shefki Kuqi again. Does this guy not know how to retire?
2) Villas Boas will be compared to Mourinho in some way in every one of Chelsea’s games this season.
3) The TV repair business will boom as about 3 million sets are handed in. Each with the explanation that seeing Gary Neville’s face on Sky Sports led to an uncontrollable punching fit. The increase in trade will help solve the economic crisis and Gary Neville will undoubtedly receive a knighthood for getting the country back on its feet.
See, God has a plan for everything.
4) David Silva will consistently make 10 yard passes so beautiful to watch that this little playmaker will become the benchmark for works of art. The Tate Modern will be turned on its head.
5) Fulham will finish mid-table.
Someone with an IQ higher than 80 will call in to Talk Sport.
Five Things That Definitely Will Not Happen
1) Tony Hibbert will look to be Premier League standard.
2) Gary Neville will produce sound, deep, theoretical tactical analysis.
3) Gary Neville will grow a fully formed moustache.
4) A journalist will write a bad word against Tottenham Hotspur.
5) Someone with an IQ higher than 80 will call in to Talk Sport.
Four More Miscellaneous Predictions
1) We will reach the 14th Match Of The Day of the season before one of Shearers/ Hansens/ Lawro’s ridiculously tight trousers finally forms a fully fledged ‘percentage sign’ around the crotch area.
2) 99%- the percentage of the Manchester United contingent who will get confused and celebrate Norwich City scoring a winner at Old Trafford. The 1% not fooled being Wayne Rooney who is too busy colouring in a sketch pad.
3) One cameraman in the 38(plus) games Everton will play this season will confuse mathematicians and scientists alike and finally find that previously undiscovered angle where Jermaine Beckfords arms look in proportion to the rest of his body.
4) At one point this season, each blade of grass will be perfectly aligned, each shoe lace will be tied with precision, air resistance will be suitably measured, atoms will collide, and the world will stand still when Christian Poulsen of Liverpool finally makes a successful pass to a fellow red shirt.
All joking aside however, the 2011/12 season does have to the potential to be a truly great one. With the annoyingly good strengthening of Manchester United’s squad, and Manchester City’s growth as a huge force, as well as Chelsea claiming an excellent manager in Villas Boas, the battle at the top looks to be tighter than ever.
The same can be said for the bottom of the Premier League table as three very decent sides have just been promoted. The ongoing soap opera at Villa Park means every fan will be keeping a close eye on the Midlands club. Can Alex McLeish perform a minor miracle?
As we have become accustomed to now, the lower leagues will be similarly as tight and as exciting as ever, with West Ham vying to make it back to the Premier League.
As well as a number of English sides debuting in various forms of European football, Real Madrid and Barcelona continue to break away from other club sides. This coupled with a Qatar based company taking over at Paris St Germain, and the re-emergence of Juventus as a force means football will remain as intriguing as ever across the channel.
All that is left to say is good luck to the fans of each and every club for the season ahead.