I’m not going to lie; I fell asleep during the Final. It kicked off at 4AM here. It finished 10 minutes before my normal alarm was due to wake me up to get ready for work. I don’t hold this lack of sleep against the World Cup though. For the most part, it’s most definitely been worth getting up in the small hours to watch: Spain’s hammering from Holland, France destroying Switzerland and the Germans humiliating Germany have been highlights – I would say ‘personal highlights,’ but I’m sure they were a lot of other peoples’ highlights as well.
This World Cup has had everything: fantastic goals, end to end games, controversy and, fortunately for me, some frankly awful games that I didn’t feel bad about missing thereby managing to get some sleep and so I’m sorry to see it finish but thoughts now, grudgingly, must turn to the upcoming Premier League season. Maybe it’s because I’m not in the country, but I can’t muster up any great excitement for this ‘term,’ as pundits like to call it (‘term’ being used as a term for a ‘Premier League season’ really annoys me; schools have terms, three of them, the Premier League season is continuous from the moment it kicks off to the moment it finishes. Some things the Premier League season is also not include: ‘a year,’ – it lasts 10 months, ‘a campaign’ – nobody gets elected for winning it and ‘particularly interesting anymore,’ – who seriously believes that any club outside the so-called ‘Big 6,’ has a chance to break into that group or, to look at our own team, even the desire to do so?
Still, this won’t stop me reading match reports, opinion columns and chatting about it to my Dad when I skype (yes, it’s a verb now) home. To weigh in with my own view: I’m currently having something of an argument with myself. On the one hand, I feel like I should be pleased the club is signing players (at the time of writing we’d signed Perez, Colback, De Jong and Cabella) which is what we’ve all been advocating for some time. I believe we need to sign more players (two strikers, a centre back and a right back for a kick off), but we haven’t even hit August yet and three out of the four players we’ve signed should be ready for the first team. I might be wrong, but I can’t remember that happening over too many previous summers? The optimist in me doesn’t want to write these lads off before they’ve even kicked a ball in black and white.
However, there is also a large, and very cynical, part of me that harks back to Andy Carroll, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and, as is looking increasingly likely, Mathieu Debuchy. These were (‘are’ in Debuchy’s case) all players who were in (relatively) great form for us only to be sold on, leaving the team immensely lacking in certain areas of the pitch. The cynic in me worries that players now see NUFC as a shop window; be a star performer in a mediocre Premier League side to showcase your talent and secure a move to a bigger club in a couple of years. Only time will tell.
To bring you up to speed with goings-on in Korea: the excitement and interest in the World Cup waned somewhat after South Korea’s exit at the group stage. The Korean football season too is on its summer break so from a sporting perspective things are quite quiet around here. Fortunately though, the start of the new season comes just before my summer holiday from work begins; one of Seoul FC’s opening home games is on the very first day of my break in fact and so I intend to be there. Keep your eyes peeled for another update to the blog after that.
Til then, blog on!
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