Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Thursday May 28 2009
1) 'Premier League' on Sky Sports - It occurred to me more than ever last night, whilst watching last night's Champions League Final and suffering The Hairy Hand Man's Gang incessantly hyping up the game, that Sky Sports really are the scum of football.
From lingering around grounds with their wagon, cameras and propensity to target the biggest no-toothed, slack-jawed mongrel they can find in a replica shirt, through to coining the self-love fest that is 'Grand Slam Sunday' they've become so detached from the match going fan that it really is beyond insufferable. They are almost American in their desire for the razmatazz.
In a 20 team league where 16 clubs are barely worth a mention, their employment of some of the most f*ckwitted presenters around, namely Keys, Gray, Redknapp and Souness (not to mention Martin bloody Tyler) is a further gripe. And don't get me started on Phil Thompson. The things I could do to the Scouse gimp with a pair of garden shears goes beyond the unmentionable.
After 16 years of the soulless satellite sods, it's fantastic to see the back of the gang. Whether it's ITV or BBC who hold the rights to the highlights, it'll be far better than 'Keysie' and co.
2) New Grounds - Of the 19 away grounds in the Premier League, we potentially get maybe two new away trips a season (less if the clubs coming up are 'bounce backs'). Whilst the media (Keys and Co again) love the hype of the Anfield atmosphere on a European night, it's hardly a cauldron on a Sunday at 1:30 when they are performing their now routine howking of us.
So many trips have lost that edge, atmosphere and excitement that used to exist. Only Stoke this season was really worth a visit, with the presence of the knuckle-draggers from the Potteries a much livelier affair than the moribund regulation trips to half-empty and half-arsed Blackburn, Wigan and Bolton.
Of the grounds in the Championship, there will be the likes of WBA, Boro, Coventry, Reading and Sheffield United who we've visited recently. However that still leaves a whole host of new trips to have a gander at.
3) Points win prizes - Once again we come back to the point of the league which only three clubs can win. Whilst Arsenal are a permanent fixture in the top four, they're not really in with any shout of winning it. That leaves three teams that can win the trophy. Much like the supermarket business being dominated by a big four, so is the PL.
Scrapping for the leftovers off their top table doesn't really make for a lot of enthusiasm, no matter how much the race for a Europa League place is hyped up.
The Championship remains one of the most open leagues around. It'll be nice to be actively competing for a trophy again, rather than being cannon fodder.
4) Away day winnability - Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, Anfield and Arsenal. All grounds where we've just routinely gone to be sacrificial lambs. No win at Anfield since 94, since 73 at Old Trafford, since the 80s at Stamford Bridge. Highbury was a slightly happier hunting ground but the succession of 3-0 hidings at the Emirates means that getting a point at any of those four gets celebrated like a win. Desperate.
We now drop into a league where every game at every ground is winnable. It'll be a refreshing change to see sides set up to go and win rather than shoving 5 into defence and 5 into midfield.
5) Pricing - £50 for Chelsea, £46 for Spurs, bloody £40 quid for a trip to the sh*t tip that is the Reebok. Obscene.
With the recession showing no signs of abating, a season of £20-£30 tickets is a welcome change for the scheisters who charge corporate prices for everyday fans.
6) Blooding the youngsters - Half the criticism of the existing crop of crap was that they didn't care. The chance to see some prospects come through who have that unbridled energy so sadly missing from the cloggers like Nolan and Butt is going to be a real bonus. So what if they make a few mistakes along the way - at least they care!
7) Seaside Trips - Blackpool and Plymouth make a canny change from our current runs out to Fratton Park and Kosovo upon Wear. The carnage on an away weekend to Bloomfield Road doesn't bear thinking about.
8) Back into Europe - Tackling the Taffs means trips across the border to Cardiff and Swansea. Despite running the gauntlet of the Soul Crew and Jack Army, we can at least peddle the myth of two trips to Europe. After all - the mackems managed it with Cardiff for years.
9) JCLs out - Hopefully some of the first casualties of the relegation will be the braying JCL corporate whores that fester in our ground. The same people who used 'going to the footy' as some sort of statement akin to turning out at try hard bars like Tup Tup Palace or The Apartment with their money shot haircuts and bright pink shirts. Hopefully the cull of these to**ers will lead to the lost generation starting to get to see the team.
10) 46 games - Equals more home games and away trips - result!
Date:Thursday May 28 2009
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Audio - McClaren Bemoans Newcastle Attitude (Saturday November 28 2015)
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