So we've reached the half way stage in the season and as far as the Premiership is concerned how has it been for you?
We started the season off of England's abysmal performance in South Africa and a World Cup in general that had been....well...ok I guess, a few decent games, the drone of the vuvuzelas and a ball that for some reason meant there were few decent free kicks.
The start of the season saw a few players still carrying injuries they had taken to the World Cup with them, Torres and Rooney had both had, for different reasons quiet ones (we would find out more of Rooney later in the season!).
This was to to be the first season for Man City with Mancini in charge from the off and much had been expected from the blue side of Manchester, some even considered them title contenders, Spurs also were looking to capitalise on breaking into the top four for the first time and had the Champions League to look forward to. We had Ian Holloway's Blackpool too, surely a six pointer for everyone there?
Chelsea were fastest out of the blocks, now even they were in the shadow of City as far as spending went, but they were demolishing teams at the start and looked to be running away with it, Man United still undefeated, have so far not been quite as convincing as some seasons. The same goes with Arsenal where Wenger has brought in some new young blood to varying degrees of success. Man City as some predicted have maybe started to implode, with so many players on so much money it's not difficult to see that ego's would start to get in the way of team selection and now the Tevez saga; is he home sick? If so, he'll go back to Argentina come January obviously.....
What surprises me is that it surprises managers and fans that players with the track record they've had dealing with previous clubs should act in any other way! Gone are the days of loyalty (maybe a few home grown players are an exception) and if a player is going to move to your club for a huge wage packet then you can be damn sure he'll go somewhere else if someone says they'll double or triple it! Why not? Don't tell me you wouldn't be tempted to leave your job if someone else offered you more??
I think to a certain extent with certain players fans just have to except that "we" only have them for a while and to make the most of the time with have with them, yes contracts mean nothing but it's been going on for a while and you're not going to leave your prized asset in the reserves to rot when someone is offering you money for him? I think honesty from the player is more respected than anything.
Okay rant over! Tottenham Hotspur are still there or thereabouts, although some have said that their league form has suffered as a result of some fantastic performances in the Champions League it is still so close at the top that another run-in like they had last season could see them even improve on that historic feat.
Maybe more enjoyment for the neutral has come from those usual mid table teams all now vying for a Europa League spot, with Bolton the pick of the bunch under Owen Coyle playing more attractive football than the supporters at The Reebok were used to under Big Sam and showing that some teams are looking to more than Premiership survival at the start of each season and why not?
And for a breath of fresh air who'd have thought shy and retiring Ian Holloway would have become the star manager in the Premiership, I hope that he and his team are around for a few more seasons at least and that the cynicism and pressure of the top league doesn't spoil it for him, we need more people like Ollie in the game.
We've also had Liverpool, I for one excepted the invitation to the "Liverpool relegation party" on Facebook at the start of the season, but it now look's like I can rip that RSVP up. I think given time Roy will turn it around, but as we've seen at Newcastle & now Blackburn time is something that owners want to spend on their clubs.
And that along with player loyalty and off field affairs has been the theme so far this season, owners buying clubs and tinkering away like it's Championship Manager come alive!
Personally I'm still waiting for the season to ignite on the pitch, I want to Champions (whoever they are) to finish with a flourish and not creep over the finish line with a whimper!
And one Christmas wish? You see that spherical object that you footballers kick around the pitch? Let's make the game more about that please...