After a whole, *checks watch*, 9 minutes without regular football, the Premier League is nearly back again.
Here are 14 reasons to get damn excited.
1. City Slickers...
There was nothing boring about the way City tore up the League last season, smashing more records than Bruce Banner during his short-lived DJ career
To recap, Pep’s boys now hold most points (100), most away points (50), most points ahead of 2nd (19), most wins (32), most away wins (16), most goals (106), best goal difference (+79), most consecutive victories (18), most opponents beaten in a season (19), and most consecutive away wins (11). Signing Riyad Mahrez, one of the easiest-on-the-eye players in the Prem, shows Pep’s determination to make it look even classier this time around.
Remind yourself of how handy he is.
2. Mourinho Meltdown?
The stage is set for possibly his most explosive triannual car crash yet. At the time of writing, here’s what’s going wrong for the surly swine:
I give him til November before he snaps, attempts to bottle Geoff Shreeves and barricades himself inside the team bus using Matteo Darmian as a human shield.
3. Serious Scousers
Whereas Mahrez might look like a depraved luxury buy, over at Anfield Jurgen Klopp has been strengthening his overachieving team all over the park. Keita, Fabinho and especially Alisson are hefty upgrades on last season’s Champions League finalists, and in Klopp they have one of the only gaffers to outfox Pep on the regs. Will they win it? Nope. Will they be a blast to watch? You're damn straight.
4. Wenger Out
For years now Arsene Wenger has been the kind but useless boyfriend your mum’s too nice to cut loose, and it’s been awkward as hell to watch. Now she’s finally plucked up the courage to move in with the Spanish fella she met in Paris, and he looks to be laying down the law.
He’s already given the kids, Jack and Santi, their marching orders - but the man in the mealworm gilet still looms large over the Emirates. If Emery can maintain the form that has seen him win major trophies for the past five seasons, expect the club to change its name to Unaial. If not, Wenger will be waiting in the wings with Abou Diaby on speed dial.
5. Sarri Redknapp
If Wenger was the husband that couldn’t let go, Tony Conte was the boyfriend who was blatantly swiping Tinder at the dinner table.
In his eagerness to get rid of the non-committal bastard, Roman Abramovich has made the uncharacteristic decision to snap up a former banker who’s never won anything so far.
But Maurizio Sarri arrives at Chelsea with a reputation for sexy attacking football, having built the best Napoli side since Maradona’s heyday.
Here's an entirely typical Sarri goal from last year.
6. Watch More, Win More
Enjoy our Big Bud Giveaway during the World Cup?
Great, because normal service has resumed. This season you can play Watch More, Win More via our app to win pints and sweet footy prizes in the pub. You’re damn welcome guys.
Sorry, shameless plug over.
7. They’ve Come Home
If there’s one thing England did win at the World Cup, it’s your right to watch Match of the Day. So many young lads burst into the national consciousness this summer, simply by staying in the World Cup for more than six minutes, and their stories just have to be followed.
What if Harry Maguire learns to shoot from range, like a DK mode Frank Lampard, thus becoming the most dangerous footballer the world has ever known?
What if Jordan Pickford saves a penalty and gives a Cool Runnings style post-match interview: “I see pride, I see power, I see a bad ass mutha who don’t take no crap from nobody!”
What if someone’s nice about Raheem? What? If? Welbeck? Scores? A goal?
The remote is yours every Saturday night, my friend, Gareth’s brave boys have earned it for you. Enjoy those rich and nuanced narrative arcs.
8. West Ham Are Making…Sensible Choices?
Having picked up the world’s most unflappable man to lead their basket case of a club out if the mire, the Dildo Brothers have only gone and backed him in the transfer market.
Felipe Anderson, Yarmolenko and Diop are hugely exciting signings whilst Fabianksi looks a shrewd capture by a manager who, lest we forget, did great things with modest sides at Malaga and Villarreal before heading to Man City.
Let’s just hope it’s all enough positivity to stop their fans punching each other in the stands eh?
9. Hollywood Signing
In an age where it’s getting harder and harder to shock, Wolves’ capture of George Clooney was a real head turner.
113 Portugal Caps, a European Championship, 2 Academy Awards, 5 Golden Globes and a BAFTA, all for just £5M. Remarkable.
10. A Wet Tuesday Night In Stoke...
...is no longer the acid test of your flashy new winger’s attitude, according to every jobbing pundit ever. He can now look forward to having his shinpads caved in on a parky Wednesday in Wolverhampton, a sodden day in Southampton, or a Thursday that can’t make its mind up in Cardiff.
11. Spurs’ Shark Tank
Spurs’ new stadium has a giant glass aquarium for a players’ tunnel, which will be worth the entry fee alone for the tantalising chance you’ll be there on the day Eric Dier goes apeshit and decides to nut his way out.
Alarmingly, this isn’t the feature of their new stadium most likely to give Roy Keane a life threatening aneurysm. That award goes to the excruciating half-time ‘cheese lounge’.
12. No VAR
Crock o’ sh*te, wunnit? That Lurch lookalike watching 10 different angles and still making an appalling call on the Perisic handball vs France was the final straw for me.
I like my refereeing ineptitude sharp and snappy, thank you very much.
13. Warnock's Back
Looks like a dinner lady, has a terrifying lack of eyebrows and is consistently the most petty bloke in football - Warnock's a hoot. Once you've got on board with the idea, watching him hysterically sh*t his pants for attention each and every week is one of football's rare joys.
14. Bring A Tank...
Unless you support Burnley or one of the Top Five, last season was a proper nail biter.
Once Darren ‘Houdini’ Moore had ousted Pardiola from the dugout at The Albion, there were zero easy games in the relegation battle. Such is the intensity of the Premier League that to survive, it is no longer enough to bring a dog to the dogfight. These days you need a velociraptor.
With that in mind, Fulham have bagged Ligue 1’s best passer from Nice in Jean Michel Seri, Huddersfield snapped up a 26 year old World Cup winner from Dortmund whilst Brighton have signed this lad from Deportivo:
...and Rob Green’s gone to Chelsea.
Seriously though, what happened to the days of prepping for a relegation slog by parachuting Nigel Quashie and David Nugent from whichever teams they’d taken down the year before?
In conclusion - buckle up. This season will be the beltiest belter since the invention of belts.