Last weekend, fans, managers and players headed to stadiums up and down the country full of excitement and anticipation about what the forthcoming season has to offer.
You can’t beat that opening day mix of sunshine and optimism.
It’s always hard to seriously judge where you are as a player and a team from pre-season friendlies.
Ipswich are a prime example of that, having lost to League One Charlton 6-1 in a friendly and a week later they beat promotion favourites Middlesbrough 1-0! It’s always nice to start the season with a victory but Blackpool needn’t worry too much as fewer than 50 per cent of the sides to get promoted from the last few years have won their opening game.
Bradford was always going to be a tough fixture for the Seasiders, and despite being under pressure for large parts of the game Backpool managed to push them right to the end.
Perhaps more important was the excellent reaction from Kyle Vassell and Will Aimson to put Bradford’s Adam Chicksen in the recovery position after his sickening head collision with Oliver Turton left him unconscious and struggling to breathe.
Thankfully, Chicksen is recovering well but it can be a horrible moment when you witness a fellow professional suffer an injury.
After being on the receiving end of a few serious knee injuries, I find it extremely hard to even look at them on TV.
The loss to Bradford and the subsequent defeat to Wigan in the Carabao Cup gave Gary Bowyer the chance to rotate his squad and give plenty of players game-time.
The one player Bowyer would have liked to have seen on the pitch was Brad Potts. Having been one of the stars of last season, which culminated in his Wembley play-off goal, Potts was sold to Barnsley just two days before the opening game!
I’m sure Bowyer was very frustrated at the timing of the move.
That frustration would have doubled when Harry Pell of Cheltenham Town rejected a £200,000 move to Bloomfield Road after spending a day in talks.
Predictably, if any of those talks were based at the training ground, then we can all understand Pell’s reluctance to move!
In all seriousness, this is another worrying incident for Bowyer that the club can’t tempt a player from League Two.
One player who succumbed to temptation was Neymar! £200m for a human being! Football has gone crazy.
In fact, Neymar only scored 13 league goals for Barcelona last season – even I beat that on a couple of occasions. Makes you think how much free-scoring legend ‘Super Brett Ormerod’ would be worth in today’s market!
Football at the top level continues to extend the disenfranchisement from the real world and real people.
Just 12 months ago, the £90m Manchester United shelled out for Paul Pogba seemed obscene – now it looks like a snip.
Prices for players rise faster than property prices in London.
It would actually make sense to buy a complete new team now because the players will double in price by next year. Probably the most frustrating aspect of the whole Neymar saga is not that his dad is demanding a £25m ‘loyalty’ bonus from Barcelona or that Neymar Snr has earned more than most of us could ever dream of, or even that the player will be earning £45m per annum.
The real issue is that while the rest of us have had to spend hours and hours in border control at airports this summer, Neymar was breezed through at Paris Charles De Gaulle like some sort of ‘celebrity’.
I hope his dad got searched!