You may not have heard of Armando Christian Perez, but you may possibly know him by his stage name – Pitbull. This gentleman is a popular musician, some even go as far to honour him with the title of “rapper”, who has generated a certain amount of success making and selling songs. The key ingredients to a hit Pitbull song appear to be as follows: 1. Sample a previously successful song 2. Insert a suitable chorus 3. Rap during the verses using entirely unoriginal material. 4. Rinse and repeat. Is it easy to tell that I’m not a fan?
In a similar manner to the predictability of a Pitbull song, football fans and supporters the world over seem to suffer from short term memories and act in unsurprisingly similar manner every season. Arsenal and Liverpool supporters, in particular, have enjoyed the first 17 (or 16) games of the season thus far and with good reason.
Arsenal pulled off a major coup with the arrival of Mesut Ozil during the summer transfer window and with the resurgent form of Aaron Ramsey, they do not appear to be suffering by only having Olivier Giroud as their main striking threat. Until the Manchester City debacle, the Gunners also boasted the best defensive record in the division. Liverpool have had a flying start to the season partly due to the in-form strike partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. The supporting cast at Liverpool have also played their part in providing midfield strength and defensive solidity for the team.
Some sections of Liverpool’s fan base are already celebrating (as if they have already won the league title) and throwing about the “this is our year” mantra with glee and wilful abandon as they revel in the team’s early season fortunes. What makes their celebrations even sweeter is the slow start made by hated rivals Manchester United, as the team adjusts to its first season without Alex Ferguson. Similarly, certain Arsenal supporters are crowing about the team being top of the table and are happy to remind all and sundry of this after every game. The refrain of “Wenger Out” (particularly by celebrity Arsenal “fan” Piers Morgan) have been replaced by the “In Wenger we Trust” brigade.
However, a word of caution for all fans and supporters. The season is only just reaching the halfway stage and there is a lot more football yet to be played. Last weekend’s heavy defeat by Arsenal at Manchester City should serve as a warning that the 2013/14 league title is still wide open and there for the taking. As of Saturday 21 December 2013, the number of points between Liverpool in first place and Manchester United in eighth position was a mere 8 points. A lot can, and will, change between now and the end of January. Arsenal fans, especially, should be wary of feeling too smug at this point as they are all too familiar with being in promising positions at this time of the year only to fade towards the end of the season.
The Christmas period in the Premier League is the busiest time for all of the teams. Whilst most of their European counterparts shut down and take a break, the English prefer to take a different route and participate in an orgiastic ritual of over indulgence of football. I guess it is a carbon copy of what happens for in most households during Christmas lunch – eating so much food that one feels almost uncomfortable by the end of the day.
I guess I have seen this film one too many times to get too caught up in the early season hype. I am reminded of the words of President Snow in The Hunger Games “…..a little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. This fact is fine, as long as it’s contained”.