Time to get off my enormous arse than, as the Premierboat is about to get underway. Of course you'll get a full-on Continental Breakfast of a match preview for the Olympique Arsenal match, but in the mean time let me indulge you in what I hope will be the shortest and most unusual Team-by-team preview published this season. As we might well be the most ridiculed team in the league (after, of course, the Geordies), I have decided to look for three points on which WE can ridicule the rest of the League:
1. Officially the second least English thing in London, after the Australian Republic of Shepherd's Bush
2. Couldn't score in a Belgian brothel with mayonnaise dripping from their zippers
3. Emannuel Adebayor was their main striker for most of last season. The other one was Julio Baptista. I've just laughed the buttons of my trousers.
Aston Village Idiots
2. Never win anything
3. Juan Pablo Angel (still).
1. Conduct themselves with all the decorum of a particularly rowdy Viking stag party accidentally triple-booked at Stringfellow's with the Minsk Vodka Appreciation Society and a lost nomad headhunter tribe from Burkina Faso
2. Why's the ventilation at Ewood Park so terrible? ...COS THERE ARE NO FANS!!! (Geddit? Ventilation? Fans? Oh, I'm quite the joker...)
3. Viv Savage. And his haircut.
ZZZZZZZZZZZ... Huh? Oh... Stadium made out of leftover scaffolding, El Hadji 'The Lama' Diouf, Big Sam standing next to little Sam. And Boring as hell. Now if you'll excuse me... ZZZZZZZ
1. Steve Bruce talking about loyalty
2. They're about to sign two Egyptians, who-put together- are about as good at football as Cleopatra (who, of course, has been dead for a good few Millenia) .
3. Their keeper's name is Maik.
Lokomotiv Chelski Abramograd
2. The chocolate smears around Frankie Tankie's mouth whenever he walks onto the pitch
3. Petr Cech's Special Needs look
1. Former Fulham tea boy Dean Leacock is one of their key players
2. Haven't got a prayer of staying up (don't say "Neither do we", I don't want to hear it)
3. Robert Earnshaw's baby face
PS: Isn't it ironic that we use the term 'Derby' for a match between two teams from the same city, whilst Derby itself only has one club in its city and no other in the vicinty? Just a thought.
1. That Gollum lookalike who manages them
2. Andy Johnson falling over grabbing his face due to a grasshopper jumping on his foot
3. "Champion's League, you're having a laugh"
1. Jaime Carragher dealing with his criticasters on live radio (GGGGHUM OVER 'ERE AN' SAY THAT!)
2. Having an unobscured view of the severely deformed, quasi-civilised lifeforms that inhabit the Kop
3. Peter Crouch being mistaken for Stephen Hawking's mutant son
1. SVEN'S BACK!!!
2. Their main strikers for the beginning of last season: Darius Vassell, Paul Dickov, Georgios Samaras and Bernardo Corradi. We did better with Brian McBride alone.
3. Joey Barton's England cap
1. They're owned by that Jewish bloke out of 'Jaws'
2. Alan Smith resembles a hamster running aimlessly up one of those little wheels
3. Wes Brown's England caps
See Bolton, though for Kevin Davies and the Big/Little Sam thing, read Stewart Downing and the direction Gareth Southgate's nose points at.
The Looney Tunes
1. The fact that Souney the Sensible and Roeder the Relegator BOTH granted Shay Given's wish to let him play with his mates from the pub hanging around his goal instead of playing actual defenders
2. The fact that they've replaced their group of under talented and volatile players with... Joey Barton. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!
3. WE pulled a DOUBLE over them (US! Fulham!) last horrible, horrible season. We scored FOUR goals in TWO matches! I saw us win in St. James on the telly (nice bit of an Abu Ghraib torture session re-enactment by Scott Porker on poor little Jimmy's knee) and then from the Ham half a year later... On both occasions, the world suddenly felt a little bit of a warmer place for a few days after
1. David James, for very much the same reasons as Viv Savage.
2. Hearing the muppets at MotD struggle through pronouncing their starting XI
3. Pedro Mendes, pushing Ronnie the Winker and good ol' Luis hard for the much-coveted award of Whingiest Portuguese Footballer
1. A fascinating collection of hairstyles.
3. ...Drawing blanks here
1. Roy Keane, genius manager though he may be, looks like he's just been picked up from a bush shelter and stuck in a suit
2. Their 2005/2006 Prem effort. What I wouldn't give for the video's of that.
3. Unbreakable Football Rule No. 3245E2: If you are determined not to embarrass yourself in World's Biggest League©, do not under ANY condition resign to buying Kieran Richardson for your first team.
5 Vertical: Miss-translated dead ham from Germany, 9 letters
1. Squad's big enough to invade a small country. And Martin Jol looks like someone who just might try something like that...
2. Steed's 'beard' still isn't quite growing as well as it should. Also, he's gone from first team hero at the glorious Cottage to being back-up to a 19-year-old. at Shite Hart Lane. Allow me to express my sincere sympathy.
3. "Anyone fancy some Lasagna?"
1. Our squad torn apart by dressing room fighting and low morale? Wait, I know! Let's bring in half the old Newcastle squad!
2. Did we give Luis a bit of a backhander to play this badly in his new shirt? I saw a fair few of their matches (my mate Fab's an Iron and I have to slag 'em off with informed arguments, obviously) and he looked disabled each time he played. Cheers, Louie.
3. How long before a 'Beauty and the Beast' headline concerning Freddie Ljungberg and Craig Bellamy pops up (possibly in reverse, as we know how Bellamy likes to practice his tee-off on Scandinavian team mates)?
3. Dave Whelan