We’re back

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This weekend the Premier League is back. Last weekend saw the opening round of the Football League and the appetiser that is the Community Shield, but this weekend is the first of the season’s full round of fixtures across the country.

And by god do we need this right now.

We’re all (mostly? partially?) intelligent people who think about the game. We know what’s wrong with it; money, corruption, overhyping, overexposure, unsophisticated tactics, lame professional analysis on TV and in the papers.

And we’ve all seen what’s happened this week. The country seems to be falling apart right now. Riots in major cities, neighbourhoods ablaze, property damaged, livelihoods lost, people hurt or killed, communities torn apart and displays of outright thuggery on the streets. People across the country are losing the ability to think rationally and knees are jerking so hard that I’m surprised half the country don’t have bloody noses. The stock markets are falling and the economy is stumbling into a pit of despair for the second time in three years. Wars, famine and scarily idiotic politics abroad. It’s grim.

But now, this weekend, let’s put that behind us.

Let’s keep the grumbles to ‘why haven’t we signed a new centre-back’ or ‘how are we going to accommodate the 17 central midfielders we’ve got on our books’. Football may be a circus, a distraction from other things that are really, really important, but if the world is full of seriousness then it is boring and depressing. There’s room for joy and suffering side by side in your life. Now is the time for some joy.

This weekend, forget about it all for a couple of hours. Revel in the brilliance that is football. Watch some of it on TV. Even better go to your nearest football ground and cheer on your local team. You don’t have to normally support them, just go along for the hell of it. Even if the standard is poor, go. Have fun, take your family and friends, be there.

Just enjoy football and not think about anything else for a bit. It can wait. It will wait. The football won’t.

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