Tales Black

But you said it was the last one!!! I had consigned Match of the Days to a box under the sink but I’ve been persuaded by a certain editor-in-chief that this column has a future after all. Rumours that his rendition of Avril Lavigne’s When You’re Gone down the phone finally convinced me to carry it on are very much true, and any attempt to deny it should be ignored. We’ve got a new day, Tuesday, seeing as quite often we’ll have a Monday night game to talk about, and what’s more we should have actual football to talk about. Let’s get amongst the schedule

Tuesday 8th August

What better way to kick off our second coming with the European Super Cup. Real Madrid vs Manchester United should be a game to get excited about, so why am I not? Well, some dickhead decided they should meet in a friendly about two weeks ago. That involved a penalty shoot out admittedly, so hopefully this will too. The other thing I can’t get my head around is that it is being played in Skopje, Macedonia. I guess it is nice for Europe’s elite to play in a variety of countries, and I’ve always said Macedonia is a haven of untapped football gold. Always. It’s on BT Sport 2, presumably just to annoy anybody who gets BT Sport 1 only.

If the Champions League winners against the Europa League winners isn’t your bag, there’s a whole array of Carabao Cup games that aren’t televised. That’s tomorrow’s treat. Coventry face Blackburn in the Tony Mowbray derby, or you can have Accrington vs Preston if you’re of a Lancashire persuasion. AFC Wimbledon and Brentford might also be a laugh. There are Conference (none of this National League titling) games too, if you want to support your local team.

Wednesday 9th August

Carabao is an energy drink from Thailand which translates as Red Buffalo. A certain energy drink that gives you wings is contacting their legal team as we speak. Carabao join Coca-Cola, Worthington, Carling and Milk in the long line of drinks that have sponsored what is still probably called the League Cup somewhere but is not the EFL Cup anymore, it’s the Carabao Cup. Yeah we’ve got a game in the Carabao Cup tonight. Doesn’t sound right, does it? Anyway, Sky Sports have very kindly decided to show us Colchester against Aston Villa where I’m hoping the winning manager is presented with a can of this stuff to down in one. As long as it’s Brucey. I happen to think Villa have amassed a very decent Championship team but whether they’ll give two buffalo’s about this cup is very much up for debate. Maybe they’ll hope to save face here and bow out gracefully to a Premier League team in a few rounds time.

If you like variety, you could opt for Dundee vs Dundee United on Bt Sport 1. Yeah, sure, put this on BT Sport 1. It’s the Scottish League Cup last 16, but the real farce is that they met in the group stage on July 30th. For those wondering, it finished 1-1, but Dundee Utd won on pens to get the bonus point. Football eh?

Thursday August 10th

Oh our Carabao Cup doth overflow. Those wily beggars at Sky have rightly realised that without the Europa League we’d be watching nothing on Thursday night, so they’ve scheduled Bury vs Sunderland to keep us entertained. Lee Clark is the Bury manager these days, having played for Sunderland in the 90’s and done pretty well until he decided wearing an anti-Sunderland t-shirt whilst out partying with Newcastle fans whilst still under contract to Sunderland was a good idea. He was sold to Fulham. These two also met in pre-season a few weeks ago but you can’t read anything into that. Sunderland have also signed James Vaughan from Bury over the summer, so no doubt he’ll score. It’s going to be quite the night.

Friday August 11th

The Premier League is back! I absolutely despise that it is on a Friday night, as I’m now going to have to dedicate Thursday night to making fantasy football decisions but the notion of opening the season on a Friday evening just doesn’t sit right with me. It’s Arsenal vs Leicester, we could have waited for Saturday. Or Monday. Monday is good, there’s nothing on Monday. But no, Friday. The night reserved for low quality EFL action. Cheers Sky, you’ve made me hate the opening game of the season. I’ll see past it though, I’ll be the bigger man and enjoy the return of the Premier League. I’ve missed it. Whether Alexis Sanchez feels the same will probably become apparent as the August days tick on.

Saturday August 12th

A proper Saturday, at last. The lunch time kick off is Watford vs Liverpool, I have to say I’m excited to see which PES default players Watford have this season. They do have Will Hughes though, who finally has his move. Liverpool of course have Salah now but are struggling to hold on to Coutinho and still don’t have Van Dijk despite swiping right several months ago. It’ll happen yet I’m sure. That’s Sky’s offering with a 12.30pm kick off.

Over on BT, we’ll see the Premier League debut of Brighton at 5.30pm. They welcome Manchester City to the Amex, and I for one can’t wait to be told how Kyle Walker cost more than the entirety of Brighton or something over and over again. It’s always nice to see a team make their Premier League bow though, and I have oodles of time for Chris Hughton.

Sunday August 13th

SUPER SUNDAY! Two Premier League matches to look forward to, starting with Newcastle vs last season’s nearly men Tottenham Hotspur. A lot has been made of the fact that Tottenham haven’t really made any signings and have sold Kyle Walker, but that instantly improves them. It’s hard for me to talk about Newcastle in neutral terms but even I admit we’ll have our work cut out here, Rafa or no Rafa. It may well be no Rafa soon if he doesn’t get to spend what he was promised. It’ll be intriguing either way, and may I be the first to say howay the lads (translation: I would like it if Newcastle won)

That’s followed up by the 4pm offering, where we’ll see Manchester United host West Ham. All eyes will be on Romelu Lukaku, not only trying to live up to his mighty price tag but trying to fill the boots of Ibrahimovic. No pressure. The Hammers will have Joe Hart in goal, no doubt desperate to please Man City in the hope he doesn’t have to sign for West Ham permanently, whilst Javier Hernandez returns to the Premier League at his old club. You can’t write this stuff.

In the evening you can enjoy Juventus vs Lazio in the Italian Super Cup. It’s on Sky Sports Mix, which will be a nice treat if you don’t shell out for the Sports packages. If you do, the Spanish Super Cup first leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid is at 9pm on Sky Sports Football, you don’t need me to tell you that will be worth watching.

Monday August 14th

It’s awful! There is nothing of note. Chaves vs Benfica in the Portugese Primeira Liga. Go nuts.

Despite that disappointing end, it is a great week to be a football fan, so enjoy it and remember, there’s no such thing as too much football.