IT’S BACK – the Premier League returns to make idiots of us all.
You want hard-working families to pay £50 for a three-year-old’s replica kit that will last one year so we can pay our players £200,000 not £100,000 a WEEK, sure!
Yes you already pay BT for your phone and internet but if you want to watch all of your team’s matches live then hand it over sunshine.
Going to a game? Good luck with that – getting in unless you’re a season-ticket holder will cost you and arm and a leg.
Even clubs themselves are taken for a ride. You’re a multi-millionaire footballer, why should YOU pay the agent YOU employ, let us do it for you. Here you go Mr Raiola, here’s £20million for basically being a gofer.
Now predictions are for fools but I’m a fool for love and I still love football (only just, cheers Neymar!). So here goes nothing and remember my musings are about as legit as a £9 note!
Champions will be Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. They have spent massively on their problematic defensive areas and their attacking options are sweeter than gypsy tart dipped in honey.
I think United will either finish second thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s knack of scoring against sides like West Ham, Stoke and Watford – thus turning last season’s shock defeats and draws into victories. Or they will be the shock side that fails to nab a Champions League slot.
We have talked before about Lukaku’s poor record against the big boys and with Jose Mourinho’s side picking up just two wins from 10 games against the five sides who finished above them last season, it could be this that stops the Portuguese winning his customary title during his second season at a new club.
If Liverpool keep Philippe Coutinho and their main men fit, which hasn’t started well with news that Barcelona are set to bid £120m for the midfielder and Adam Lallana’s already out with a thigh injury for two months, then they could push City all the way, especially if they can buy Virgil van Dijk and get Dejan Lovren out their first XI.
Lose their Little Magician and fail to bring in any new stars then their squad looks too thin to compete on four fronts, although the frightening pace of Sadio Mane and new boy Mo Salah will be fun to watch – unless you’re a Premier League defender!
Arsenal are similar in that they have to be firm in their stance that superstar Alexis Sanchez is going nowhere.
It’s hard to win back-to-back titles and Chelsea’s is not a happy camp despite Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko being upgrades on the aging John Terry and Nemanja Matic. Alvaro Morata over the outcast Diego Costa, hmmmm not so much.
It’s all about Wembley for Tottenham. They have the league’s best striker in Harry Kane, arguably the most competent defence, powerful players like Dele Alli and Victor Wanyama in midfield and a great manager in Mauricio Pochettino.
But playing under the Arches, while White Hart Lane is redeveloped, could not only derail their title hopes but a top four finish.
Spurs made Wembley their home for European nights last campaign – it did not go well. In fact since the national stadium re-opened in 2007 they have won only twice in 12 games – beating CSKA Moscow in December’s dead rubber and a League Cup triumph in 2008.
Experiencing the dreaded drop will be Huddersfield, Burnley and one from Swansea, Brighton or Newcastle if Rafa Benitez walks.
MOEEN ALI was once again the toast of the country.
After his historic first Oval hat-trick lit up the Third Test, he outdid that impressive achievement at Old Trafford.
With a five-wicket burst the spinner became just the second England cricketer after Ian Botham to take 25 wickets and score more than 250-runs in a series.
What is even more impressive is 30-year-old Ali did it in a four-match series compared to Beefy’s six back in 1881 and again in 1985.
His shining smile above the bushiest of beards has become an enduring image of summer 2017 in good old Blighty.
The 3-1 series win over South Africa – the first at home in 19 years – means the feel-good factor is flowing ahead of the Ashes Down Under.
Before that is a three-test series against the West Indies, starting at Edgbaston next week, but we look good to go.
Our middle order is the envy of the world. Just when opposing bowlers think they have done the hard bit in come Ben Stoke, Jonny Bairstow and Ali – all talented enough to put in a match-winning innings.
England’s victory over the Proteus lifts them to third in the Test ranking, about Australia.
The Aussies won’t like that, but who cares, we should aim for the stars and embarrass them in their own back yard. Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’.
JUSTIN GATLIN spoilt the Bolt Party and won the 100m World Championships final in London on Sunday.
The two-time American drug cheat, 35, was roundly booed, prompting his father to ludicrously claim the British public had disrespected the sport.
No disrespecting athletics would be to pump yourself full of amphetamine and more damningly testosterone to give yourself an advantage over your competitors then whine like a baby when you get caught.
Muscle memory is a thing, so here’s a tissue Mr Gatlin Snr, you have a little bulls*** on your lip.
AND finally Jose Mourinho became the first manager to lose three European Super Cup matches as a manager, following defeats in 2013 with Chelsea and in 2003 with FC Porto.
Well he did always say he was Special but I’m confused Jose, didn’t you call Arsene Wenger the specialist in failure?
Mourinho has never beaten Real Madrid in a competitive match, drawing one and losing four of five matches and Tuesday’s 2-1 scoreline flattered Manchester United.
The gulf in class was embarrassing, especially when you consider the Red Devils spent £352m on their starting XI compared to Reals’ £248m.
**Babs is away next week, taking her acid tongue and going head to head with the heatwave they are calling Lucifer. Expect hellfire