No sooner have we settled back into the routine of Premier League football than it all comes to a grinding halt due to the international break. Like most football fans, I am very much a club before country sort of man so I refuse to get excited about whether John Terry will be donning his football boots for England or his jackboots for knocking about with his mates next weekend.
On a selfish note, with Sunderland carrying more injuries than the BBC’s 30th Anniversary edition of Casualty, the break is probably worthwhile. We’ve gone from having a team that was 100% fit at the end of the season to a club full of Jack Wilshires at the beginning of this one.
Our threadbare squad leads us nicely into the media frenzy that is the transfer window. I now have access to Sky Sports News again and it’s amazing how many hours can be wasted watching nothing. Twitter rumours started by bored lads on internet forums, stats from Football Manager being presented as fact, female presenters in revealing clothing, all we need now are some sticky tissues on the floor and I’ll be convinced that it’s a live feed into a teenager’s bedroom. (And there’s a fair chance that Jim White has provided them considering how excited he gets.)
I’ll be glad when it’s all over and we know what we have to play with. Will Kone go to Everton? Will Hart make an unlikely move to Sunderland? Will Rafa Benitez ask around for Gareth Hall’s phone number so he can add to his list of Sunderland cast offs?
With all this ‘excitement’ it’s easy to forget that there was some football at the weekend. It all started at White Hart Lane with what is traditionally a high scoring thriller, Spurs v Liverpool. In truth it was a bit of a dull affair with Klop Klopping about as he does on the touchline and 90% of England’s failures from the Euros gracing the pitch to remind us just why they failed.
The 3pm kick offs brought more late heartbreak for Sunderland fans at St Marys after an unfortunate mistake by young keeper Jordan Pickford. Such is the life of a young keeper that he went from being hailed as better than Joe Hart in the morning to ‘shite’ by teatime. That might say more of the life of you average social media user than it does about Pickford.
Defoe scored yet again. Not quite enough for an England recall but Big Sam has probably done us a favour in letting him have a rest.
My delight at having added Hazard to my Fantasy Footy team was tempered somewhat with Willian, the man who he replaced, also scoring. Quite an uneventful match for Chelsea with Costa not biting anybody’s ear off or gouging any eyes out. An easy 3-0 win against Burnley.
The rest of the 3pm matches brought little of note apart from a surprise win on our accumulator. £43 into the lads’ kitty for next year’s holiday, a few more of them and our pink sparkly purse will be bursting at the seams.
The teatime match on Saturday was a turgid affair between Hull and Man Utd. Can Hull do a Leicester ask the commentators? No is the simple answer. Do they really get paid for this shit?
Not a lot happened apart from someone slid into a goalpost for the comedy injury of the season so far. Rashford came on and scored an injury time winner allowing the commentators to get Jim White’s tissues out and get over excited about the young man. ‘He should be in the England squad’ they all cry, conveniently forgetting that the man they all think should be booted out of the squad, Wayne Rooney, was the man who put it on a plate for him.
On Sunday West Brom and Boro played out a nil nil bore draw. Who could have predicted that?
The weekend was rounded off with Man City thumping West Ham 3-1 with the lads having a Sterling 4-1 bet on. Aguero felt our frustration and clocked Winston Reid with an elbow Giant Haystacks would have been proud of. He is likely to escape a ban due to the online petition being set up by Fantasy Footy managers across the country.
With no Premier League footy for a couple of weeks, there’s nothing to get excited about apart from the transfer window. Now where did I leave those tissues?