THE WONDERER: The 10 commandments of opening weekend

THE WONDERER: The 10 commandments of opening weekend

THE WONDERER: The 10 commandments of opening weekend

First published in Sport

SO, the Football League is up and running – all we need now is the glory boys from the Premier League to join in and we’re cooking on gas.

No matter what era of football you scrutinise, or which division, the footballing deities have declared that a very specific number of things will happen on the first day of the season.

Here, for your delight and delectation, are the 10 commandments of the opening weekend.

Thou shalt have an early contender for goal of the season.

Someone will score a good goal, and some bright spark in the commentary box will suggest we will remember it eight or nine months later. But unless you are a BBC researcher creating a montage, or it’s David Beckham from the halfway line, you will have long forgotten it.

Thou shalt have nice sunny weather.

It has never, in the history of organised football, rained on the opening day of the season. It is a meteorological phenomenon that is currently unexplained in modern science.

Someone shalt spring a surprise.

A recently-promoted club will score four or five against an established mid-table outfit, giving everyone hope that a fairytale is about to unfold. The illusion will last precisely three days, until said club is pummelled in a midweek game at Stoke.

A new signing shalt score a hat-trick.

For one brief moment, the £7million you shelled out on that previously untested French striker looks a snip as he takes home the matchball with a sublime opening day display. Concerns to the contrary are sparked in September when the same striker is wearing cycling shorts and gloves in the warm-up.

Match of the Day/The Football League Show shalt be a welcoming sight.

After a long, lonely summer, hearing the theme tune to your chosen football programme can be a quite emotional experience. Yes, we have had the World Cup this year but it will still be nice to see Manish on his balcony, looking down on Steve Claridge and Leroy Rosenior.

A new fooball shalt divide opinion.

The ruling bodies have to tinker with the official football over the summer and one goal will always be attributed to its new flight or weight. Personally, I think every league and tournament in the world should be forced to play with an Adidas Tango from now until eternity.

Thou shalt sport a new haircut and tanned legs.

Those long summer days by the beach are bound to have given some players a nice orange hue as they stroll on to the pitch in August. One scene-stealer always returns with a crazy haircut, although this has happened less often since David Beckham hung up his fashionable boots.

Referees shalt impose a new ruling to leave people scratching their head.

Those cheeky rule-makers have had a few months to decide how to make the officials’ jobs even tougher, and usually give us at least one daft regulation change to create a talking point. This summer seems to be the apparently thorny issue of using sprays to mark out free-kicks.

A new kit shalt offend thine eyes.

Someone, somewhere created a fashion disaster that will be rolled out on the opening day of the season and never seen again. People are apparently paid a lot of money to design these things, so how did Coventry City get away with a brown kit?

Furious wrath shalt be poured down on an unfortunate manager.

After a few months of not having a mindless idiot shout abuse at the back of his head, one manager will bear the brunt of the fans’ scorn when his side under-perform on the first day of the season.

All that preparation, all that training, and then you go and spoil it in the first 90 minutes... Just ask Peter Taylor when he was in charge at Leicester City.

Comments (2)

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1:30pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Ernagy2 says...

As for the last one just ask Dougie Freedman.

How about number 11 thou shall get the sack on the first day - Mark Robins
As for the last one just ask Dougie Freedman. How about number 11 thou shall get the sack on the first day - Mark Robins Ernagy2
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Beyond News Forum says...

This is a most unfortunate situation indeed.

40-Odd comments on the MATCHDAY LIVE report targeting DF, PG and ED... I would say one game in and the showing at home in pre-season against Vitesse, actually the whole pre-season debacle cannot hide what the team has become. On paper we have a half decent squad but something is drastically wrong in that dressing room. BWFC look and play like a reserve team in the lower leagues right now - there is no hiding the demeanor of the players out on the pitch... they know they are fighting a lost cause without the resources to help them up front. Feeney and co from the midfield right to the defence can ping the ball around and cross balls as much as they want, but with out-of-form strikers who are not in a position to be wearing the BWFC shirt at the moment the confidence and determination must be being sapped out of their bodies... we do not sit in the dressing room with the lads as fans... we need Spearing to step up to the plate and talk to the fans, discuss what is being said in the changing rooms and among players when they are socializing... we need to hear it from the players, why, who, what and how they are feeling, what they need... are they truly feeling the pain of the fans?

I'm sick of hearing about Financial Fair Play Rules - It seems to me that these rules are not fair play in the slightest and are crippling the structure of not just our football club, but others up and down the country. We cannot progress as a football club with the restriction in place... as for the business side of football, I completely understand that FFP is supposed to be about protecting clubs from going into administration but for a club like BWFC and many others FFP is actually working in the opposite of what FFP is supposed to be protecting us from. Business is about risk, FFP is creating more risk, less productiveness and a huge divide between clubs who can spend and those who cannot. FFP is sucking the life out of many clubs not just BWFC... and it is seemingly being used as an excuse not to progress the club.

The are so many wrongs at BWFC at the moment, something needs to be done financially and structurally within the club... but that also means we as fans need to stick together, we need to fight for our club and pull out all stops to support the players we have and turn up to that football stadium. We have a beautiful football ground, we have a relatively large family of BWFC fans... no matter what the feelings are outside of the stadium we need to be turning up in our numbers to financially develop the club further if we are not to see our club fall further down the leagues. We fans are the extra legs, the extra push from the stands... we are the ones that can inspire that team to perform with our voices and passion for the club.

We need to fill that stadium and vocally support the players, not sit there quietly moaning... there is NO atmosphere in the football stadium, no support, no noise, no support from the stands... we ALL need to pull together, stop the moaning and support DF and protest what is happening above and not what is happening from the touchline and within the team... abusing the team and the manager is not helping anyone... those at the top are to blame, DF and the players are limited, they know it, we know it... but without our support they are just going to drop their heads further... they are a talented bunch of players, they will continue to receive my support and they should continue to get your support (fans). We are every bit a part of BWFC as anyone that works within the clubs walls... we can move that club forward, but the fact remains that with a half empty atmosphere-less stadium the club will continue to struggle. GET OUT THERE AND SUPPORT BWFC... LET US STOP THE MOANING FOR A FEW MONTHS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS... let us fans bring the confidence and the good days back to BWFC with our SUPPORT... COYWM COYWM...

Let's bring the BWFC Barmy Army back to the stadium and fight for our football club and team... I beg you all...

Thank you x
This is a most unfortunate situation indeed. 40-Odd comments on the MATCHDAY LIVE report targeting DF, PG and ED... I would say one game in and the showing at home in pre-season against Vitesse, actually the whole pre-season debacle cannot hide what the team has become. On paper we have a half decent squad but something is drastically wrong in that dressing room. BWFC look and play like a reserve team in the lower leagues right now - there is no hiding the demeanor of the players out on the pitch... they know they are fighting a lost cause without the resources to help them up front. Feeney and co from the midfield right to the defence can ping the ball around and cross balls as much as they want, but with out-of-form strikers who are not in a position to be wearing the BWFC shirt at the moment the confidence and determination must be being sapped out of their bodies... we do not sit in the dressing room with the lads as fans... we need Spearing to step up to the plate and talk to the fans, discuss what is being said in the changing rooms and among players when they are socializing... we need to hear it from the players, why, who, what and how they are feeling, what they need... are they truly feeling the pain of the fans? I'm sick of hearing about Financial Fair Play Rules - It seems to me that these rules are not fair play in the slightest and are crippling the structure of not just our football club, but others up and down the country. We cannot progress as a football club with the restriction in place... as for the business side of football, I completely understand that FFP is supposed to be about protecting clubs from going into administration but for a club like BWFC and many others FFP is actually working in the opposite of what FFP is supposed to be protecting us from. Business is about risk, FFP is creating more risk, less productiveness and a huge divide between clubs who can spend and those who cannot. FFP is sucking the life out of many clubs not just BWFC... and it is seemingly being used as an excuse not to progress the club. The are so many wrongs at BWFC at the moment, something needs to be done financially and structurally within the club... but that also means we as fans need to stick together, we need to fight for our club and pull out all stops to support the players we have and turn up to that football stadium. We have a beautiful football ground, we have a relatively large family of BWFC fans... no matter what the feelings are outside of the stadium we need to be turning up in our numbers to financially develop the club further if we are not to see our club fall further down the leagues. We fans are the extra legs, the extra push from the stands... we are the ones that can inspire that team to perform with our voices and passion for the club. We need to fill that stadium and vocally support the players, not sit there quietly moaning... there is NO atmosphere in the football stadium, no support, no noise, no support from the stands... we ALL need to pull together, stop the moaning and support DF and protest what is happening above and not what is happening from the touchline and within the team... abusing the team and the manager is not helping anyone... those at the top are to blame, DF and the players are limited, they know it, we know it... but without our support they are just going to drop their heads further... they are a talented bunch of players, they will continue to receive my support and they should continue to get your support (fans). We are every bit a part of BWFC as anyone that works within the clubs walls... we can move that club forward, but the fact remains that with a half empty atmosphere-less stadium the club will continue to struggle. GET OUT THERE AND SUPPORT BWFC... LET US STOP THE MOANING FOR A FEW MONTHS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS... let us fans bring the confidence and the good days back to BWFC with our SUPPORT... COYWM COYWM... Let's bring the BWFC Barmy Army back to the stadium and fight for our football club and team... I beg you all... Thank you x Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 1

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