So that’s it for two weeks then. England’s best players and Wayne Rooney are doing battle to secure a place at a World Cup where Russia’s footballers will be so doped up by 2018 that they will absolutely kill us at the 110m hurdles and the butterfly, if it comes to that.
As for your Premier League team, the likelihood is that the break comes at a terrible time as you were just building up the courage to call into Talk Sport one day to bemoan the presenters biased opinion towards your club. Now the said presenter will be so busy trying to argue the utterly mental case of his good friend Glenn Hoddle for the England job, that your misplaced sense of injustice will have to wait until the next Match of the Day running order is announced.
Anyway, here’s how everyone has got on so far at the all important ONE FIFTH(ish) stage of the season.
Arsenal: Their start to the season reminds me of the scene from The Lord of the Rings when Gandalf ‘falls into darkness.’ There’s the split second when you think he’s defeated the beast, who then has the last laugh. That is where we are with Arsenal. No crisis yet, but if you’ve read the book, you know it’s imminent.
Bournemouth: The current Royal Family visit to Canada strikes me as similar to Jack Wilshire’s loan move to Bournemouth. Like the Royals, who’ve not even sent their best asset across, Arsenal have shifted a mediocre midfielder to visit a place so inane and forgettable that his presence there is the most memorable thing about it.
Burnley: Beating Klopp’s Liverpool was so mental that I have to at least suspect that the Premier League fixed the game to prove that the league is still vaguely competitive.
Chelsea: Give them the league for bantering us all off and resigning David Luis. That performance at Arsenal was a superb attempt at letting Arsenal fans get even closer to the precipice, before the fall. Very shrewd.
Crystal Palace: That come back win at Sunderland was pure Alan Pardew. He’s no idea how he did it, but taking the plaudits nonetheless.
Everton: Only lost once this season but it already feels as if anything achieved by Koeman will pale into insignificance to Klopp’s ludicrously good Liverpool side. Shame.
Hull: For some reason it feels like Hull are only allowed to play the top 6.
Leicester: Trying to work out how much they paid Platini for that Champions League group. Not hiding it very well by playing like relegation fodder and simultaneously taking Europe by storm.
Liverpool: Klopp turning James Milner into Europe’s top scoring left back beats anything Shankly achieved. Really good so far and that win at Chelsea was funny as it was David Luis’ first start.
Man City: Really good so far, apart from when they’ve come up against a side with any sort of quality. Credit to Guardiola for his treatment of Joe Hart.
Man Utd: Not really working yet is it though it still seems miles more interesting than last season under Van Gaal. Nice guy Mourinho having to behave himself is going to end in tears when they’re 9th in January. Let the real shithouse out of the straight jacket and we can finally see what Mourinho can bring to the table.
Middlesborough: Easily win the award for worst camera angle at any ground, in any sport. Can’t see them doing anything other than being relegated with 4 or 5 games to go and still seeing that as a success.
Southampton: This year’s Southampton. Started slowly but they’re getting there and will probably finish between 8th and 5th, with no real chance of top four, before doing it all again next season.
Stoke: I’ll tell you who Man City aren’t missing. Wilfried Bony. Come to think of it they aren’t missing Mark Hughes either.
Sunderland: David Moyes’ post match interviews are my favourite thing of the 16/17 season so far. Speaking as if he’s in the studio, as a neutral pundit with whom the shambles that have just gone on in front of him, is top class. To paraphrase each Moyes interview ‘yes we’re shite, but what can I do with this absolute shower. It has absolutely nothing to do with me. Please sack me.’
Swansea: Rumour has it Guidolin missed each of his sides morning training sessions pre-season to watch the Tour de France on television. If there’s no place for a man like that in the Premier League then lets have done with the whole sorry thing.
Spurs: Great trolling of Arsenal fans by trying to recreate Highbury by removing the corners from your ground. Also playing brilliant football and potentially wining the league is just another copy-cat tactic from Pocchetino’s side. Obsessed or what.
Watford: Signing and playing a lad called Success has been a particular highlight from a club that hired and Alec Baldwin look a like, who can’t speak the language, to manage them. Being so bad that a dreadful West Ham start ripping the piss out you after 34 minutes must have been worrying.
West Brom: Best start to a league season in many years and it’s still been dreadful.
West Ham: Things that gone better than West Ham’s stadium move; Ben Arfa’s move to Hull, the Brexit vote, Chelsea’s first twenty minutes at the Emirates, David Moyes at Sunderland, Michael Owen as a pundit.