Never has the Premiership started with so little fanfare. All eyes are on Bejing - but not mine. The sheer gaudiness of the Olympics, and the blatant use of sport for political purposes has devalued the whole circus for me. I'm just trying to enjoy some of the wonderful individual sporting achievements that are flowering inside the 'tarty' tent. I really enjoyed reading David Tang's Diary piece in this week's Spectator. Just about the only bit of honest reporting about the Opening Ceremony I've read.
So who's going to be top and bottom dogs this season. I predicted Chelsea for Champions last year, and they took it to the wire, despite having a manager who knew he was going to be sacked at the season's end. I reckon Scolari will deliver the title, with Man Utd and Liverpool fighting it out for the runners up spot. The Arsenal, Villa, Spurs and Everton will battle it out for European slots. Cannot see Portsmouth, West Ham (Sorry Iain) or Man City threatening.
Stoke and Hull will go straight back down, though I expect Stoke to make a half decent start. But who will join them. I reckon that West Brom will just about do a Sunderland and survive. So its pick one from Wigan, Bolton, Middlesborough, the Black Cats again and (in my opinion) the Bentleyless Blackburn - with my money on Wigan.
First managerial casualty will be at Newscastle, where a tearful Keegan will blast the club for lacking ambition, and declare that he's leaving management for ever - and appearing on Big Brother instead.