Now, the clock has been reset. Every team is back to the drawing board. Everything is back to zero. Players are on holiday, albeit in a different month that they – and everyone else – are used to. Teams are trying to bring in players that can make them better and help them forget the disappointment of the last season or give them more a successful previous season, depending on where the team you support falls under.
And there it is, the one thing that makes every football fan giddy with excitement and huge anticipation during every off-season: transfers.
You see, as sport-lovers, the only thing you have before and after every game – and every window – is hope. Let us take Bayern Munich for instance: treble winners, current Champions League holders, they still had Leroy Sane signed some months back. Then there is Chelsea: finished fourth place in the English Premier League, level on points with third place, signed (so far) Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell (today) and it still seems that other signings would come through. There is also Manchester United: finished third, Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup semi-finalists; signed no players. Then there is Barcelona, a club where new signings have not quite cut the mustard.
Now, signing players does not necessarily equate to an improved season, but the anticipation of the new season with new signings and the potential of things that can be fuels an anticipation before and during the season that cannot be matched.
You see, sports – football included- is nothing without its viewers, without its fans. The hype, the excitement, the joy, the cheers, the roars, the disappointments, the near-misses, the euphoria, the despair, the anticipation, the uncertainty and the hope are the things everybody – players inclusive- live for. This is why fans check websites, purchase paraphernalia, go to stadiums, go to bars (sometimes), listen to podcasts, live in certain communities and so on. The list is endless.
Every fan always looks forward to the start of the new season. The period of new beginnings. All is forgiven, everything is reset. The hope of new positive things to come. The hope that the new – and old- signings can deliver as we go to the stadiums to watch them or sit in bars or our houses to watch on prepaid TV. All we have is hope. Let us pray that it does not ‘kill us’.