The Neverending Season

by Adam Peacock on Jul 08, 2011

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That was one way to cure the off-season blues — go to the place where there is no off-season.

While the A League enters its fourth month of its winter slumber, it seems England’s off-season lasted as long as it took Manchester United to walk off Old Trafford following reception of their nineteenth English championship trophy.

Thanks to the other sport Fox Sports let me gibber about —tennis — I walked straight into the silly season.

The Giggs family fued, Luka Modric into the waiting arms of mini-Mourinho at Chelsea, the 176,546th quote from Cesc Fabregas about maybe going to Barca, Alex McLeish unifying Birmingham and Villa fans in disgust… and that’s just HALF of one day of news, some of which was perhaps legally obtained.

It truly is astonishing, and about the only day football was off the back page was when they were laying into Andy Murray about being a Scot, not a Brit, because he lost a tennis match.

There was even the obligatory inquisition into another England national team summer failure – when the Stuart Pearce’s side of young Premier League “stars” failed to get out of their group at the Euro under 21s.

Oh how they like eating their own, even their young, when it all goes to pot.

But this ain’t the Three Lions Army website, so back to more relevant matters - how do we get to this level of interest in the off-season?

Not in my lifetime.

But think about it – this never-ending post/pre season has thrown up a host of worthwhile storylines, many of which have centred around a steady flow of comings and goings at A-League clubs (not just Exhibit A: Kewell, H), a couple of Socceroos friendlies (for those who survived the Apocalypse at Etihad), national junior teams trying to prove that the system is or isn’t working, and of course, the Matildas in Germany.

It’s all news. It’s all awareness.

The projected anguish of empty months on the football calendar hogged by NRL and AFL isn’t quite as horrible as first thought.

Football in this country is not as bad as it thinks it is sometimes.

On the way to the UK, we bumped into the Matildas, en route to Germany for the Women’s World Cup.

The main memory I have of the encounter is seeing assistant coach Spencer Prior walking through Singapore’s Changi Airport with shorts and skins on. All that was missing was sandals. Frightening stuff.

But big Spence wasn’t moving too freely - with good reason. He, and the entire team (save for a couple of staff members), flew economy.

I don’t recall Lucas Neill licking his kneecaps post-Germany 2006.

Now Qantas – I know you’re doing it a bit tough – but given the performances so far, with hopefully more to come – any danger of giving them all the comfy seats on the way home? It’s the least they deserve.