There are few times in life when you can feel superior to professional footballers. Okay, intelligence-wise most of us can feel like three-time Mastermind champions when we compare ourselves to doornails like Lee Bowyer or David Beckham. Morally too, some of us will claim sainthood when compared to John Terry or any other of the spit roast brigade (should I hyphen ‘spit roast’?). But, here at Okeydokefootball we operate in a moral vacuum.
We may laugh at John Terry pissing in a cup at Shaun Wright Philips’ birthday party, but deep down we know that overall, the night must’ve still been a quality affair; besides for Ian Wright being there obviously.
As for intelligence, well for those of you who regularly listen to the podcast, you’ll be aware of the fact that week-in week-out we kill copious amounts of brain cells with cheap booze (so much so I don’t even know if ‘spit roast’ should have a hyphen, a sad day for journalism). So anyway, back to my original point about times that can leave you feeling like you’re a little bit better off than those well paid men of the Premier League and Christmas is one of those moments.
Four games over ten days, no Christmas dinner, not a bit of mulled wine, not a drop of decent stout, or even a nice nip of whiskey. While those of us in the great wide world are gorging on food, booze, Scrooged and a ridiculous amount of sport, those across the water have to train and travel to wonderful places like Wigan, Middlesbrough and Birmingham to play mud-sodden games. Further down the leagues people actually have to spend St Stephen’s Day in Scunthorpe or Luton. Scunthorpe… horrific, truly horrific.
At this time of the year, more than any other, we can feel like an audience at the Coliseum. Bring out the fools to fight for our meagre entertainment! Insert an evil laugh, chomp on a leg of turkey and you could practically feel like you’re watching Spartacus play for Man United.
The TV schedule over the festive season sees Sky and Setanta showing possible hum-dingers like Arsenal v Spurs, Pool v Pompey, Man United v Everton, Arsenal v Everton, Villa v Spurs, City v Blackburn, City v Pool, West Ham v Reading and Spanish football this weekend to boot. Not a grand slam Sunday in sight (thank god), but plenty of good games that mean you don’t have to talk to your family that much and have an alternative to Only Fools and Horses repeats (we all love them but jaysus, every night during the festive season is a bit much).
It all kicks off tonight as well with Arsenal and Blackburn squaring up for what could prove to be an excellent League Cup quarter final. Arsenal’s youth versus a Mark Hughes side that have been absolutely piss poor of late. City face Spurs too with Sven continuing his top four methods by dropping a raft of first-teamers.
Then tomorrow we have Xabi Alonso returning to the Liverpool first team down at Stamford Bridge, where the Scousers have never had much luck. I’ll go for Blackburn and Chelsea to go through and Spurs to scrape it into the semi finals as well. Certainly worth a bet so I’m heading to the bookies in a while. Of course I’ll win nothing but that won’t stop me throwing away more cash in the next two weeks. Rejoice and feel no sympathy for the players who entertain and infuriate us.
Oh and let’s not have that argument over whether or not there should be a Christmas break; or hear anyone bring it up as another reason why England are a horrible international side. The England team already ruin international tournaments whenever they qualify, for god sake leave Christmas to us, the poor punter.
Okey Doke Football Podcast is available every Friday morning, subscribe here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/OkeyDokeFootball