At last! Tomorrow sees the start of the Premiership season 2009/2010. Weekends have a purpose other than just shopping again! I did start writing a post about how football is being ruined by the excessive money being bandied about by the rich clubs, but I deleted it, because I still love the game, and I can't wait for the footie to start.
The club I've supported since I was swimmimg around in my dad's ballbag, Aston Villa, has had a funny old pre-season. Gareth Barry, our club captain, left to join moneybags Manchester City, which was weird, because he always said he wanted to play in the Champions League, and if Villa didn't get there, he'd join a club that did. Before last season, Liverpool kept trying to sign him, but our manager, Martin O'Neill quite rightly told them to fuck off. This season, however, he's gone and joined Man City, who aren't in any European competitions at all. He gave some bollocks excuse about becoming stale at Villa, but we all know the hundred and twenty grand a week he's now getting in wages is the real reason he went there. I'd love it if Manchester City win absolutely fuck-all this season and finish nowhere near the Champions League, but then, I'm childish like that.
We have also lost our talismanic centre-half Martin Laursen, who retired through injury, and we've not replaced him. We've signed three new players in the close season, Fabian Delph, from Leeds, who, by all accounts, is going to be a star one day, but he's untried at the top level, Habib Beye, a defender from Newcastle, who got relegated, so he can't be that good, and Stewart Downing, a winger from Middlesbrough who is a decent player, but won't play until at least December, because he's broken his leg. O'Neill keeps moaning about how small our squad is, yet he never seems to buy any players. Put up or shut up, Martin. You'd think it was his money he's afraid of spending.
Villa won the Peace Cup in Spain, beating Champions League teams Porto and Juventus along the way. I know you can't read anything into these two-bob pre-season tournaments, but it shows how far we've come since O'Neill joined Villa. What was weird was seeing Villa get the cup from the Reverend Moon when we won. Strange.
As we've got next to no chance of winning anything this year, what I'm really looking forward to are the the derbies. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are both back in the Premiership this year, and it's good that the Midlands has a decent showing in the Premiership this year. The Wolves games I'm not that bothered about, although I hope we beat them, of course, but the priority is Birmingham City. We have to beat them. We will beat them. The 5-1 beating we give them the season before last was a fantastic result that will live long in the memory. It's almost up there with the birth of my kids as a great day in my life. The bluenoses (that's what City supporters are called up here) have been too gobby since they got promoted, and I'd love it if we shut them up.
So, basically, I'd love us to win something, but we probably won't. I'm just glad football is back after a boring summer watching shite like cricket, tennis and athletics. If we start doing badly, maybe I'll publish that post about how football is rubbish these days.