I really should be enjoying this Premier League season. However, I’m finding it harder to keep up, keep interested and truly stay excited. But why?
I guess the easiest answer would be my own team, Liverpool. Yet another year of promise and expectation has been dashed. They have put in good performances (against Manchester United, Everton), but have put in far more bad ones (too many to mention).
But that would be too easy an explanation. There is still so much to potentially enjoy about this season. There are three teams still realistically in contention to win the thing. At least four sides are battling for the last Champions League spot. Relegation is not a foregone conclusion for anyone, yet. This season, every single game has had the potential to be competitive. On their day, any team can beat any other. Burnley beat Manchester United, Portsmouth beat Liverpool. This is surely progress, and sign of a season to savour, at least from a neutral’s perspective?
Then why my apathy?
I think it’s down to the scheduling of the modern game. It’s not a new argument, but I think it is still a valid one.
No longer do all games kick off at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. Last week, only a minority did, while several games were played on Sunday. Match of the Day is no longer the complete record of the league’s progress that week. It’s merely a snapshot. With games strewn across the week, it’s hard to get a true feeling of the chase developing, especially with a multitude of games in hand to take into account.
In a broader sense, modern football is pretty disorienting now. 6pm? Thursday? Well, that must be Europa League time. 5.30? Sunday? FA Cup, of course! There may now be a game to watch every day of the week, but that, for me, dilutes the impact of football.
The many international breaks we have seems to stall the momentum further. It can seem like the season is restarting every six to eight weeks. The story of the season is continually being put on ‘pause’.
Well, enough of my moaning (for now). Do you find the modern schedule baffling? Do you yearn for everyone playing at 3pm on a Saturday? Or do you love being able to watch game after game, day-after day?