A GROUP of us were discussing the start of the new football season and how early it is and one bloke was pretty confident that in the not too distant future we will be having a July start.
Next year’s European Championships means an earlier finish at the end of this season thus the earlier start now but I wouldn’t bet against a July start one year.
They did it in Scotland this time with a ridiculous opening day of July 23. You can bet the paymasters, TV and sponsors, didn’t mind one bit.
Takes everyone a bit closer to that 12 month game although it isn’t too far off it now even without a major championship in the summer.
This year, England played Switzerland on June 4 and after just six blank Saturdays, they were kicking off in Scotland.
OK, that’s not the Football League but having started on August 6 this time, who is to say that someone might not fancy repeating it next year on the equivalent Saturday which will be August 4?
Anyway, here goes and there may be a bit of gloom knocking about Sheffield’s 2 and 6 with neither lot too enamoured by League One. Well, they know the best thing to do about that!
It’s inevitable that both United and Wednesday have been billed among the favourites. On going through the division, I count off six or seven clubs and can’t see any reason why United or Wednesday should finish below any of the rest.
I’ve no idea which of the city clubs will finish above the other or if one or both (suspect not the latter) will be in the top two. I would not be surprised if one of them gets automatic and certainly expect one of them to finish at least in the play-offs. Maybe both will - which would certainly be interesting.
Both will suffer from the “big club” syndrome and one wonders if United might require a bit of adjustment. Could even be a reality check for one or two players - there were those still talking about a play-off bid last season after the New Year had been tolled in!
I hope Danny Wilson gets some patience from the United fans. No point hammering the bloke the first time they drop a point. And I suspect Gary Megson will need a decent start too.
I suspect both will be ‘up there’ somewhere which will add extra interest to the result of the ‘other lot’ on a weekly basis.
So same goals and same shirt sponsors. How did they decide who would be on the respective home shirts?
They tossed up - and Gilders head man Gary Scotting called correctly so, as a Wednesdayite, he got his company on the home shirt. Westfield Healthcare go on the United home shirt and they swap for the away shirts, Gilders for United and Westfield for Wednesday.
Up in The Championship, Keith Hill’s style and down-to-earth way with words will ensure rarely a dull moment at Oakwell. He has to make his Rochdale success way work at Barnsley. Bottom half.
As for Donny, a second half like last season and they are down. They will, pleasingly, keep playing their way and let’s hope it keeps them up. Could be close.
Chesterfield will consolidate in League One but John Sheridan does need strike-force addition after losing two of last season’s key performers.
Rotherham United are being tipped to break eggs with big sticks. Not sure about the ‘No 1 or nothing’ bit but they must be a challenger although it looks a far tougher division this time. At least they can’t do worse than the second half of last season!
Good luck to all our clubs and enjoy it all right through to the play-offs at the end of May. It then won’t be too long to wait for the start of next season!