Happy Friday the 13th everyone! I hope that your day goes well :-) I wouldn’t be quite so spooked by the date if I didn’t also (yet again) have 666 followers on my Twitter account (@BritBoy)!! I will be avoiding walking under any ladders, spilling salt or going anywhere near any mirrors for the rest of the day. Not that I’m at all superstitious you understand!
Anyway, that is not what this post is meant to be about. Tomorrow, when Friday the 13th will be safely behind us all, will see the start of the new English Premier League season. Another 9-month campaign will begin again to see which super-rich, but heavily indebted, club can secure the Premiership title. I would like to say that the field is wide open, but if the eventual champions aren’t either Manchester United or Chelsea then it would be a major surprise. In fact, those two teams plus Arsenal are the only ones to have won the Premiership since 1995, and they all occupied the top three positions in last season’s competition. Despite a miserable showing by the English players at this summer’s World Cup, every team will be hoping that this is “their year”. The start of a new season brings fresh hope to every fan, player and manager alike and optimism is rife. For some that optimism will be fulfilled, whilst for the majority it will be a season of struggle and ups and downs.
Away from the Premier League, the rest of the professional teams kicked off their seasons last weekend. Swindon Town, fresh from reaching the play-off final at Wembley last season, have started this campaign rather badly. They have so far played two matches, and lost them both, going out of one of the cup competitions in the process. Of course, last season started with a 5-0 drubbing on the opening day, so it is worth remembering that you can’t predict the outcome in May based on a few games in August! It is, however, a disconcerting start and some of that optimism that I was just talking about has already dissipated!
But the life of a football fan (and a Swindon Town fan in particular!) is often harrowing and filled with disappointment, but it is those very same hard times that make the good times, when they do eventually come round, all the better and more satisfying. If you are a Chelsea or Man Utd supporter, then second place at the end of this season will be a disappointment, and first place is just “job done”. But as a Town fan, another season like last year, with the excitement of the play-off matches and a day out at Wembley Stadium, would be a very exhilarating experience. I guess it just comes down to your perspective :-)
Anyway, as the season gets into full swing this weekend, I wish every football supporter a great 9 months ahead – unless your team is playing against Swindon, or you happen to be an Oxford United fan!! Let the games begin!