All attention on English Premiership


JOHANNESBURG – I thought long and hard about avoiding talking about the English Premiership when it is on recess and at a time when a number of off-season soccer tournaments have been taking place across the globe.

But the English Premiership is the lifeblood of soccer in the world and there is nothing bigger or greater than this massively-marketed league.

Note the World Cup comes only once in four years and so are some of the highly-anticipated tournaments, making soccer fans across this universe wait with great anticipation the start of every English Premiership season.

The Confederations Cup has just concluded and dished out some spectacular football and so was the Under 21 tournament in Israel.

The Under 20 tournament in Turkey also witnessed some fantastic football and closer home, not in many years have soccer fans witnessed exhilarating football during the Cosafa Cup tournament like the ongoing one presently taking place in Zambia.

But such is our undying obsession with the English game that most people cannot wait for next month of August when another edition of the most popular league in the world gets underway.

Yes, there are many football fans that are not animated by what they call poor standard of football in the EPL as opposed to that in Spain or Germany, yet we all cannot resist the arrival of the high tempo matches which have left many households divided in allegiances.

The amount of praise which greeted the retirement of Alex Ferguson and that of David Beckham left one with little doubt who captures global attention when it comes to football matters on the field of play.

Yes, Ferguson was one of a kind but television also contributed in making him the living legend people made him to be.

As for Beckham, I am not sure whether he will qualify among the best 50 players of all time.

He might have been flamboyant and earned probably the highest amount of money than any footballer but this surely had little to do with his exploits on the field of play.

Yet, the bottom line is England is where all our eyes are glued on. We all have our respective teams we support despite some saying bad things about the league itself.

In some parts of the world like East Africa and bigger parts of Asia, especially in the Far East, people there support English clubs as if it is a cult and are prepared to kill for their respective clubs.

People bet big monies and most of the betting syndicates in Asia have benefitted from the dynamic of the English game; hence I say, love or hate the league, the fact is we are all slaves of the masters’ invention.

And this coming season promises even more fireworks. There have been massive movement of coaching personnel which has really ignited more anticipation and excitement.

The retirement of Ferguson has left everyone wondering whether Manchester United will be the same side without the all conquering king.

Yes, for some of us who are not United fans, Ferguson’s retirement was long overdue and a welcome relief.

Will David Moyes maintain the lofty standards set by the retired legend and maintain the Old Trafford side’s monotonous dominance?

The answer is not far off; few games into next month will provide a tone of what to expect.

Remember, Chelsea are also chasing the same supremacy hence the arrival of the Special One (Jose Mourinho) at Stamford Bridge.

And don’t forget Manchester City are also eager to claim a stake as a dominant power in the world’s most lucrative league.

In Manuel Pellegrini, they have one of the shrewdest campaigners of the game.

Arsenal has made some massive investment in personnel and should have a big say on who wins the league this coming season. And don’t discount Liverpool either.

The 2013/2014 should be some soccer season. We are in for a treat.

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