This season

Sheffield United kick off their season this afternoon with an away day at Bournemouth. I’m looking forward to it with a certain amount of trepidation, but as a lifelong fan, it is just brilliant to see them back up in the Premier League.

You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to work out that this is going to be a tough season for the Blades. The jump from Championship to Premier League is huge, and while the rewards of being up there are also impressive, there’s no way that  we can compete financially from day one. Our basic aim should be survival, and for that reason, I’m more than ready to accept 17th place or higher if I get offered it anytime soon.

Sadly, I’m pretty sure that’s not how things work.

I’ve made many predictions about football over the years, and been vaguely accurate in at least some of them, so ahead of our big day today, I thought I’d make a couple more.

This season my predictions for United are as follows:

I think that we are capable of giving anyone a difficult time at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane. Sure, I don’t expect us to win all our home games, but I think we will surprise some clubs when they come to S2.

Of course, I recognise that we are going to lose a lot more games than we’ve been used to of late. And we might ship some serious numbers on occasion too. But we’re playing the likes of the  Champions of Europe this season, not the Champions of the Third Division, and so some reality is to be expected in the dreamland that we find ourselves.

As I’ve said above, I’ll more than happily settle for staying up this season. Given where we’ve come from and who we’re up against, just doing that will be another massive achievement. And anything better will be a huge bonus.

I want us to play every game with the spirit that we throw into every FA Cup tie against the big boys, because every game will be that important and will be that intense. I know that the true fans will happily accept any scoreline if the team have played their hearts out: we do understand what we’re up against here.

I’m just so happy to see us back up in the Premier League and I’m hoping against hope that this is the start of a positive new chapter for the mighty Red And White Wizzzzzards!

Abandoned

This was the second week in a row this season that our football match has been abandoned due to a proper Cape Town winter storm.

I can’t really fault the decision of the officials. It was wet and windy when we arrived, but as the games before ours got underway, they actually got underwater. It belted down for a solid half hour and despite our best efforts to get on and get playing, it was clearly a lost cause.

Frustrating stuff. Why must it always rain on Tuesdays?

Cold, wet and irritated, I have now arrived home, had a hot shower and lit the fire. I’m now warm and dry, but I would have liked to have had a game of football this evening.

Next week, perhaps? Has anyone seen the forecast?

Last Night’s Bolivian Football Round up

Things are certainly hotting up at the top of the high altitude Bolivian Primera Division. With just five games to play, any one of four clubs could still take the title (along with that lucrative Copa Libertadores spot).
Last night’s results were great news for the new top two, with leaders Bolivar and The Strongest both recording victories, while there were shock defeats for Blooming (who had two players, including ‘slightly blurry bad boy’ Katuary Leonardo Urapuca, sent off) and Nacional Potosi, who suffered their first defeat to local rivals Real Potosi since about this time last year.

Four goals for ‘the hitman’ William Ferreira meant that Always Ready leapfrogged Guabira into 8th place in an incredibly one-sided game which had been accurately billed as ‘The Battle For 8th Place”.

All of this means that the top four are now split by just 5 points:

Sport Boys Warnes will be hoping that they can get off the bottom this evening as they face a trip away to Corné Wilstermann.

Bolivar have the easiest run-in of the top four, but it’s The Strongest who will likely decide the title, as they still have to face Nacional Potosi, Blooming and Bolivar, before a last game of the season against Always Ready who are… and will always be… always ready.
The say that to be the best, you have to beat the best. Clearly, for Bolivar to be the best, they have to beat The Strongest.
Or at least get a draw.

It’s looking like a thrilling end to the season, and I cannot wait to see who eventually comes out on top. Watch this space.

Apparently Chilled

Like a swan gliding on the water, I look relaxed, competent, graceful: apparently chilled. (Probably not this fluffy, though.)

 

Underneath, I’m a complete mess.
Keeping busy.
Keeping my mind off matters.

Weekend results

I’m not one for chicken counting, and I am most certainly not counting my chickens now, but there’s a line in a song that says:

Come along and share the good times while we can

and a massive effort by United away at Hull City, and an equally huge result for Brentford at home to Leeds means that this evening are exactly those good times they were singing about and I’m sharing them.

A win in either of our last two games means that – incredibly (and I mean that literally, because I really cannot believe it) – Sheffield United will be back in the Premier League.

I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m going to be a nervous wreck for the next 5 days and in complete pieces for the duration of the match on Saturday evening. Apparently, we’re planning to be at a braai that night.

If it happens – IF it happens – expect scenes.