It’s that time of the year again when schedules go for a toss, mothballed club jerseys are excavated, television listings memorised and new excuses invented for the boss — it’s all part of the insanity called the English Premier League.
The 18th season kickstarts on Saturday and is expected to be another potboiler.
Do defending champions Manchester United — sans the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo and the mercurial Carlos Tevez— have it in them to make it four-in-a-row?
Will this be a turnaround for yesteryear wonderkid Michael Owen? How will Wayne Rooney take to the increased responsibility? Can Carlo Ancelotti match predecessor Guus Hiddink’s brief stint at Chelsea? Will Liverpool be hit by Xabi Alonso’s departure? And will this be the year when Arsene Wenger’s kids come to the party at Arsenal? Is it time that the big-spending Manchester City be taken seriously?
While the answers to these questions will be revealed come next May, for the next 10-odd months, the world will be glued on to the 20 clubs battling it out in the most talked-about football league in the world.
Let the fun begin.