Only 3 Days To The Opening Day At Palace ! But It Doesn't Feel Like It !
Wednesday, 9th Sep 2020 09:50
This summer has been a strange one and this coming season has crept up on us almost unnoticed, but here we are only 3 days away from the start of the season and it doesn't feel like it !
Perhaps it is the fact that with games being played behind closed doors, perhaps it is the fact that we appear to have had only one first team friendly, perhaps it is the fact that our one New new signing Mohammed Salisu has been kept completely under raps with no official unveiling or perhaps it is the fact that because of the sponsorship issue very vew replica shirts were sold so even if we go out we don't see them around, but it doesn't feel like like the football season is only 3 days away !
It is almost like we are watching from afar, as if we are looking at the fortunes of say Feyenoord as a second team, there is no interraction, we haven't had the chance to see a match and many of haven't had the chance to discuss the forthcoming season in person with friends, work colleagues or just the man on the bus, train or down the pub or the fact that we can't put down in our calendars exactly were we will be for most weekends between September and May.
We have had to live much of the last 6 months in isolation in differing levels and footbal now just seems an extension of that, as if we are living in some futurist society in the 23rd century, we are detached from what used to be normal life and that includes Southampton Football Club
But the fact still remains that we are about to start the 2020/21 Premier League season at Crystal Palace on Saturday and ironically due to the fact that all games will be shown live in September, more Saints fans will watch this game live and indeed any of the first three than would have if times were normal and 2,500 or so of us would have packed out the away section at Selhurst Park.
Personally I have never been so apathetic about the start of a football season , there has been no build up no excitement, normally there would have been hone calls galore about what train we were getting to Selhurst Park, who was meeting up where and what pub we were going to, now nothing.
Likewise for the Spurs game, plans would be being made for pre and after match drinks and we would all be buzzing.
But this year there is non of that, the club has made a couple of signings, the first Kyle Walker-Peters doesn't feel new even though his total game time for the club in front of fans is 73 minutes on his debut against Burnley, so most of our fanbase have not seen him play, we have all watched him on TV.
Strangely aside from an initial announcement that he has signed, there has been no big unveiling of Mohammed Salisu, no pictures of him holding the shirt and no news of him returning from his quarantine and joining his team mates at training, there has been a picture on twitter of him at Staplewood so presumably he is doing just that, but the club are not creating any excitement or a buzz.
Al the news is about when fans might return to the stadium, nothing is about the now, drumming up enthusiasm, I know it is hard for the club to do that as they are unable to sell shirts as we mentioned and they are unable to trot out members of the squad for various signing sessions or for that matter even let the fans in for a pre season friendly.
But the fact is Saints themselves or at least their PR department seem to be drifting into the start of the season rather than trying to build up enthusiasm in the supporter base.
My first ever start to the season was in 1972, a year earlier I had never been to the Dell, but in 71/72 season I was converted and i therefore looked forward to the game against Brian Clough's then League Champions Derby County with real enthusiasm, it has been something that has never left me, at least until now.
I know that many supporters of all clubs feel the same, I often joke that the happiest 3 hours of any year have always been the ones before kick off on the opening day, in that time you are optimistic and hopeful, you sit in the pub with your mates and talk of top 10 finishes and a cup final being achievable, it is a happy time, Ok usually 45 minutes after kick off you are stood in the toilet at whatever ground we have been playing at ,surrounded by former fellow optimists all saying the same thing " It's going to be a hard year" or words to that effect.
But this year there will be none of that, perhaps as Saturday draws near the excitement will build, but where will the buzz start from, maybe I am a little more detached than most because I have worked from home since lockdown, I don't interact with many other Saints fans face to face, i have to rely on the Dog to discuss Saints with, that is depressing in itself in that if you ask him what the season will be like for Saints, he always says "Rough"
So how does everyone else feel, not about what sort of season Saints will have, for once there is plenty of cause for optimism there, but how your pre season is going, do you feel a sense of detachment and will it be permanent or will you get that buzz once we can get back into St Mary's
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #27 by wessex_exile
Welcome to 2021, and hopefully a vaccine-driven start to a much better year for everyone – which as you can guess was going to be my introduction two weeks ago. From a selfish perspective, hopefully an improved year for the U’s as well that sees us cement at the very least a play-off spot, but why stop there – don’t mess around with the lottery of play-offs, go straight for it with automatic promotion (who am I kidding). First up in that quest is a tough match against Tranmere Rovers Cambridge United, and no longer with Chuck to help us out. Still, set up for Jevani to put one over on his former club.
Letters from Wiltshire #26 by wessex_exile
Well, after a piss-poor Xmas period so far for the U’s, culminating in the Roots Hall horror show on Boxing Day, let’s hope the U’s have burned off those festive calories and are raring to go. They’ll certainly have to be at their best against a Cheltenham side aiming to force their way into the automatic promotion places. In other news, we now finally have confirmation that there will be a trade deal in place with the EU once Brexit arrives in 2021. It remains to be seen whether it’s a good deal or not, and more to the point, who for, but at least it’s not the economic uncertainty of no-deal.
Letters from Wiltshire #25 by wessex_exile
A little earlier than usual, but as we approach the end of what has been a most difficult year for everyone, I’ll keep the introductory editorial brief, as I’m sure you will all be very busy in the coming days rescuing what you can from this pandemic-ravaged festive period. I simply wish you all peace on earth, goodwill to all (yes, even our South Essex cousins), and here’s to a happy, prosperous and most importantly healthy 2021 for us all.
Letters from Wiltshire #24 by wessex_exile
Welcome to our last match before Christmas. With South Essex going into Tier 3, by the time we take to the pitch at Roots Hall, it’ll be another behind-closed-doors match. With the Tier 3 boundary creeping inexorably closer, one wonders how long the JobServe will hold out and still be able to allow fans to attend. Robbie is doing all he can to make it possible for supporters to attend, and I confess I’m seriously considering our January 2nd match against Tranmere. In other news, I’m relieved to read that the FA will not take disciplinary action against Colchester United after a shameful minority chose to boo players and officials taking the knee, in the words of the EFL “as they highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black Community”. I noticed a tiny minority chose to boo at our mid-week match at the Abbey Stadium, but I was pleased to hear they were immediately drowned out by the remainder of the 2,000 cheering and applauding. I admit I’m a little anxious about today…
Letters from Wiltshire #23 by wessex_exile
As I’ve been providing updates on the ongoing US presidential election, it is worth mentioning that the Electoral College votes have now been cast, which formally confirms Biden as the new President-elect. Normally a formality, as the losing candidate has usually long-since conceded defeat, but these are far from normal times, and America has far from a normal lame-duck President. Still, at least the threat of members of the Electoral College ignoring the popular vote in favour of an outcome demanded by Trump has failed to materialise. In the UK, new Covid tiers were announced this week, with London going into Tier 3. Colchester stays in Tier 2, but only just, with as far north east as Maldon, Braintree and Chelmsford also moving into Tier 3 – and as if you need reminding, Tier 3 means no supporters at matches.
[ Vote here ]