In the Land of Nonsense

The crown that everyone out there wants. But their methods are faulty…


Sit, watch and imagine a league where…

1. Clubs spend £1 billion in just two 2015 transfer windows. Couple weeks later, one league’s best player turns out to be a £0.35 million Algerian brought from a Division 2 French team two seasons ago. Along with him goes a £1 million, ex-Fleetwood Town striker, who’s hit the form of his life at a tender age of 28. All this in a team that was nailed in for relegation just six months ago – and now, it’s on 11 wins in the last 18 top-flight games.

2. Reigning champions lose five out of nine first matches at the start of a new season, after which their highly rated manager has an epic meltdown in a post-match interview. Despite all that, the guy doesn’t get sacked anyway because of a ridiculous compensation clause that’s been just recently added to his new contract. Eventually, in a last-ditch attempt, he begins to fix the crisis, but the doubts remain.

3. Supposedly the best footballer of the entire last season produces zero goals and one assist in the first nine games of new season. After that, he’s finally benched and watches his team score the very first convincing victory without his help. At the same time, players’ manager insists that the lad deserves comparisons with two best players on this planet, even though nothing justifies that.

4. Supposedly the second best footballer of the entire last season scores just a single goal in his first seven starts, doesn’t get benched, doesn’t get any criticism since his team keeps winning, but then, out of nowhere, he scores five goals in a single game. Then, as everyone braces for a long finishing frenzy from him, he tears his hamstring in an international game and get sidelined till mid-November.

5. The best right-back of the previous season starts this campaign as a proper winger with noone behind his back to fall back onto. He doesn’t track back, he doesn’t tackle, his crosses are terrible, his team keeps conceding, for which he get awarded with the captain’s armband and more first-eleven football. Eventually, an injury finds him and his team scores the second clean-sheet of the season during his first absence.

6. After acquiring a world-class goalkeeper from their local rivals, a team previously known for notoriously bad defending boasts one of the best clean-sheet record of a new season. At the same time, couple miles from their stadium, their other local rivals, also known for some most extraordinary defensive blunders, show the entire league how to properly defend too – all thanks to a former Southampton centre-back.

7. A club that wins just two out of the last 23 league games doesn’t get relegated. In fact, it keeps a terrible caretaker manager until the end of the disastrous season. Then, the club hires another terrible manager, sees the team score only six goals in their first games of the new campaign, becomes a relegation candidate again… until they score six more goals in a single game and get the first win of the season!

8. A manager who spends three years in a club, splashes a total of £291 million on 31 different players, sees at least twenty of them flop horribly, wins 0 trophies and gets humped 1-6 at Stoke – he’s eventually fired after a drawn derby game, in which his team actually plays quite decently. He then vacates a seat for a young German boss, who’s out to teach his new team how to press the opposition efficiently.

9. It takes no less than 31 shots for one of the league’s brightest stars to finally score his first goal of the new season. After that, he goes on an absolute rampage, his international rivals go as far as to try and put a curse on him, he doesn’t care, scores against the most defensive-oriented team in the entire league and keeps looking deadly prior to upcoming Champions League game against Bayern.

10. The last-season’s Next Big Thing scores only one goal during current campaign. It’s an offside goal. He can’t score more, even though the team around him is considerably stronger than last season. Despite being just 22 years old and still fairly inexperienced, the lad has effectively no squad rival to race with for a lone strikers’ slot; his team has let go of an experienced sniper to reduce the wage bill. Why? We might never know.

11. This season’s Next Big Thing scores 2 goals and gets 3 assists in first five matches this autumn, but then he goes missing for the next four games. The attention shifts to Yet Another Big Thing, which is his teammate and a centre-back. At least this lad doesn’t disappoint (yet): with 89% pass accuracy and 2.3 tackles and interceptions per game, he’s already in his league’s elite of defenders.

12. A French striker responsible for 4 goals in 4 games for his decent, mid-table side goes missing in the next five games. He’s now on a 347-minute goalless streak and his team keeps jumping from a draw to a loss in a serious, rollercoaster-like freefall. The only good news going for them is that their 31-years old centre-back has a season of his life, advancing from EURO 2016 qualifier as well as shining in the league.

…and he’s crazy too.

A manager who used to be a loose cannon in a consistently shambolic, low-table team, goes to another low-table team in a mysterious move that involves a large compensation fee. Few months later, his new reign turns out to be an absolute success with fifteen points out of 9 games, very decent defensive record, his former protégée midfielder having the time of his life – all that while his team keeps playing without a single proper striker!

14. One league side, particularly known for playing a destructive brand of football, slammed by many as absolute buzzkills, appoints new manager, changes tactics, makes some transfers and soon turns out to be the second-best scoring team of the league. They win three away encounters with big-name opponents, survive an onslaught from the league’s leaders and are looking like a team that could win an European qualification spot this season.

15. The flood of new signings washes away a very decent, Spanish midfieler, who’s forced to sit on the bench and watch his team go through a topsy-turvy run of games. Occasionally, he gets a game. Whenever he does, he scores a goal and then, he gets benched again, to watch his £300.000 per-week squad rival playing some mediocre football. Even harder times ahead of the guy – his rival just broke his away goal drought…

16. One team sells their £26 million flop Spanish striker – and he starts performing again. The other team sells their £60 million flop Argentinian winger – and he starts performing again too. The other team sells their £16 million Brazilian left-back to the club he came from – and, guess what? Yeah – he starts performing again. Even the league’s leader loanee at Inter started performing well after moving away from England. What is going on?

17. After six games without a league defeat, a team that slumped through the entire last season seems to be back in business. They host a home game against an opponent known for notoriously losing in this particular fixture, whenever it’s being played at Goodison Park. Yet, in the end, the usual roles are completely reversed and the home team collapses with a 0-3 that could’ve been easily 0-5. Logic? What logic?

18. It takes just one injury of a key centre-back for a leading team to implode and concede six goals in two games – even though they were previously completely unbeatable at the back. Then, even before returning to the full fitness, the lad goes to an international duty and plays a game despite club managers’ request to not field him (this time, everyone ends up happy: no further knocks or problems for the player).

19. Guy previously seen as a pacey winger scores a hat-trick at the end of the last season only to return to his winger duties next season. Soon enough, his French replacement has a string of awkward performances which translate into awkward results for the entire team. The pacey lad gets back to a poachers’ role and performs beautifully again. Nevertheless, he’s still not nailed down for that lone striker spot.

20. A team to concede only 33 goals in 38 games last season this time concedes 12 in nine games. Their main goalkeeper is injured, their right-back was sold and their left-back just recently had his wounds patched – so nothing surprising about the bad defensive record. However, with no transfers, they really do improve going forward; if they keep current pace, they’ll end up with about 10 goals more than in 2014/15 campaign!

21. After investing over £22 million in summer signings, the second-best scorers in 2014/15 second-division season (91 goals in 46 matches), net only six goals in nine first-division matches of the current season. What’s even weirder is that the team is being carried mostly by players brought in on free transfers – including a defender and a goalkeeper, who were both, at one point, totally rejected by much stronger teams.

22. A striker formerly known as a class player flops horribly in one of the major clubs after cashing in one of the most outrageous salaries in the entire league. He’ll soon be 30, he’s been struggling with injuries and his best days are gone – yet, another major club hires him only to make him a second-choice player again. As a result, the only highlight he gets is a diving header scored against one of the weakest domestic rivals.

23. A team that hardly ever scores a goal, a team that isn’t even particularly interested in doing that, spends their record-breaking £12 million fee on a Venezuelan striker – all while their other main forward remains in an conflict with the club’s board and staff. Eventually, the new signing scores one goal in the first eight games while his fellow forward reconciles and scores three. Some serious mess out there.

24. League’s sponsors – or, to be more specific, TV companies – pay much more money for staying up than the there’s money to pick up in continental competitions. Literally every game in the top flight is worth £10 million and even the worst teams make much more cash from just being in the league than foreign clubs earn from winning major European trophies. Everyone seems to be absolutely content with this situation.

25. Despite all the logic glitches mentioned here, noone really seems to care that the league’s representatives are pretty much poised to fail miserably both in the Champions League and the Europa League. In fact, since the money keeps flowing and the revenue remains good due to the foreign viewership – everything looks nice and shiny. At the end of the day, isn’t the game all about money, anyway?

Yeah, imagine all that nonsense.

You did? Good.

Welcome to Barclays Premier League.


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