Football’s Grand Return equals Goodbye having Football to look forward to
So, where were we? Right, it was in March. Alvaro Morata had knelt at the Anfield Road end in celebration as he and Atletico Madrid came to Merseyside and sent the European champions crashing out of Europe. Meanwhile, Paris St. Germain had finally done the seemingly impossible and reached a European quarter-final after four years, and RB Leipzig had schooled Tottenham so hard, Jose Mourinho wanted the German’s team bench.
Liverpool, though, had their sights set on a first league title in 30 years, and one more game would basically seal that. Elsewhere, Lazio and Inter tasked themselves with denying Juventus a ninth Serie A title in a row, Real Madrid and Barcelona were tight in Spain, while Leipzig had basically tripped over themselves in the Bundesliga and made it a race between just Borussia Dortmund and German’s football First Order, Bayern Munich.
Well, Bayern Munich seem set for an eighth league title on the bounce, as they have been imperious since the Bundesliga returned last month, and with four games left, they’re seven points ahead of nearest ‘challengers’ Dortmund. Yes. You might not have noticed – there have only being graphs of who to support and people choosing their Bundesliga teams, since German football didn’t exist until now – football has been back.
The return of football has been something many have craved about since about a week into the hiatus, the thrilling sport of (capitalist) escapism not being around left something of a gap. Throughout that period, many have raved on about how they missed football and they’ll never take it for granted. Well, newsflash, you don’t have to take it for granted, the administrators definitely will, as always.
The Bundesliga has been back for a while now, but there has been a gap between match days, obviously. But it looks very much like that will be over. By the time you read this, the Spanish leagues may already be back, then the Coppa Italia follows suit. By this time next week, we’d have had the Premier League returning as well. Which means between now and who knows when, live football will be available virtually every day.
This was the case before the pandemic took centre stage, for about a month there had been football every night. And while some may not admit, it was a bit much. It seemed endless, limitless, and frankly, to an extent, tiresome. Football is lovely and all, but there’s only so much one can take.
And while it’s probably insensitive to seek a silver lining from a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands, one of the upsides – if you can call it that – of football being away is that we could finally look forward it. Anticipation could build again, real excitement could follow, and not obligatory tired interest. It felt like the time before football got consistently rammed down our throats, like the time when the relative rarity made it even more treasured.
So, what happens when it resumes? There will be excitement of course, as well as viewership. The absence of fans in the stadium means it’s all down to television, and surely many will watch. But as great as football is, in the grand scheme, it’s still rather unimportant. What happens after Liverpool inevitably win the Premier League, and Lazio and Inter fall off as Juve march to another Serie A title? What happens once that early enthusiasm inevitably dies off?
Then, we’re left with academic matches between a side in ninth and the one in 13th. Yes, there are relegation battles and fixtures with teams involved in those will also foster excitement. But after we fill our cravings, and thrash our thirsts, how palatable does the rest of buffet really look? Especially if it’s thrown at our faces every day?
So, sit back, anticipate and salivate as the beautiful game is set to make its return in many parts of the world. Then watch the sparkle wear off, as it becomes a relatively tepid sideshow with artificial noises incapable of distracting one from the fact that bigger issues mean it probably shouldn’t have come back so early. Enjoy.
Kunle Ajao126 Posts
Kunle Ajao is a football writer and columnist for spotkick. Having made a toss of himself trying to actually play the game, he knew better and got a pen instead of boots. Spends a bit of his time with the game, and thinks he's a bit like Sid Lowe. He's not