For most, summer is a time of happiness. But for fans of the beautiful game, summer is a dark and dismal void, an arid sporting wasteland. From the time a ref blows the whistle on the Champions League final to the Community Shield kicks-off, lonely football fans have to trudge through family BBQs, Saturday shopping trips and, at worse, visits from the in-laws, without so much as a score notification on their smartphones.
As fellow football devotees, we feel your pain and share those football thoughts.
1. “When does the transfer window open?”
Nobody seems to know. It’s time to dust off your old copy of FIFA 08 and sim to the start of the new season to check.
2. “That new FIFA trailer looks amazing!!!”
Last year’s kits. Last year’s star players. Same old Alex Hunter. You don’t care. It’s a morsel of the beautiful game. And what’s this? You’re salivating? Calm it down. Quick. Before the other half realises and drags you to IKEA.
3. “U21 games are… Enjoyable?!?”
Your friends have woefully misinformed you of the state of the youth game. It’s actually fairly high-quality stuff. Like the Bud Light of the beautiful game. Not full strength, but enough to keep you topped up.
4. “Next season’s kit is… Absolute rubbish”
Kit launches are a 50/50 scenario. Yours is no different. Except it is different. Because every other team’s is the stuff of sportswear brilliance and yours looks as if it was tailored for “Terry and the Gang” from your Sunday pub league. What were they thinking?!?
5. “Yeah, [insert foreign player’s name here] has always looked class!”
Good news. Your club has made a new signing. Bad news. You’ve got no clue who he is, what position he plays or where he’s come from. Cue the mad dash to YouTube to check out last year’s highlights and form some kind of opinion before you’re asked about it.
6. “Everybody’s on holiday… Again”
You make the mistake of checking in on your favourite player’s Instagram profiles. Bali. Dubai. Las Vegas. Marbella. All while you’re stuck in an office in Woking. Time to tweet about #heatwaveuk again.
7. “Why did I have to make a football friend?”
Football friends can be the very best of companions. Someone who truly understands you. But in the summer it can be a bit ‘awks’ when you realise the only thing you have in common is the beautiful game. And without it, your latest bromance is… Broken.
8. “I’m more of a tennis man really”
Denial. It’s the natural phase of every football fan’s summer whether we admit it or not. Chief among the sporting temptresses is the annual furore of Wimbledon. An obsession we’d recommend going cold turkey on before all you overload on Robinson’s fruit squash and get driven mad by grunting.
9. “KICK OFF!”
You’ve made it. It took 3 months to ween yourself off your weekly league addiction but by god, you’ve made it. Pour yourself a congratulatory pint and look forward to another 10 months of footballing action. You’ve earned it!