The new Premier League season starts on Saturday and I’m fed up already.
What? You try supporting Villa.
Now that the only stress-free time of my year is over, it's back to the madness.
Here are the 20 teams competing for this year’s title and which famous film they best represent as the new season dawns.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen some of these movies and intend on watching them one day, there may be a spoiler or two in this article. Sorry I'm not sorry.
Dead Poets Society
Wonderfully hopeful at the beginning, thoughts of complete and utter grandeur, that anything is possible and, by God, a mouthwatering journey of sheer poetry. Beautiful, inspirational, and enjoyable but, ultimately, the lead goes and kills himself out of nowhere at the end and leaves nothing but a trail of shock and heartbreak for the viewers.
Arsenal, the great pretenders, are familiar with that sentiment.
A crowd of misfits coming together for what is supposed to be the greater good. Names like Joe Cole, Aly Cissokho, Kieron Richardson and Philipe Senderos haven’t inspired a lot of confidence. It’s genuinely like a group of Jamaican sprinters are being asked to walk on ice for the first time and try out a different sport.
With no funding, an already questionable team is supposed to be held together by a rickety old sleigh.
We’ll all get some laughs out of Villa along the way, we might even fall in love with their mishap tendencies and, who knows, they might even shock us with a performance or two.
In the end though, they’re just going to flip upside down, crash horrendously, and get applauded for walking in last.
You know, the world ending, doom inching nearer by the millisecond, and not even a Bruce Willis in sight. Just imagine Armageddon ended with Liv Tyler crying as she says goodbye to her dad on screen and he didn’t have the stones to push the button and save the earth.
That’s basically what lies ahead for Burnley this season.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
A second film, a second terminator. This time, the T-1000 – an upgraded model, an unbreakable piece of perfection - is sent back to destroy any last hope for humanity. This time, even old Arnold himself admits that he can’t compete with this one-track killing machine.
Chelsea, under Mourinho, were already impressive enough last season. But just like the T-800 had its imperfections, they have bolstered frighteningly.
Bringing in Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Felipe Luis wasn’t even their best bit of business this summer, getting David Luiz off the books for a handsome profit was even better.
Chelsea are more suitably designed this season and they should go on and win the league.
Against the odds, stubbornness can get you far. Only so far though.
Tony Pulis’ Gerard Butler-esque rallying of a Crystal Palace side that looked down and out was inspiring. He sorted them right out, made sure there wasn’t one weak point in their defence and took them farther than anyone could ever have imagined with limited supplies.
Ultimately, their voyage is doomed but people will still tell stories about their resistance.
Do you know what actually, without Tony Pulis leading them anymore, this might as well be 300 without the Spartans. I know...
The loss of Mickey was tough on old Rocky.
Remember David Moyes used to be rated as a manager? Everton entered into the relative unknown last season having parted ways with a regime that lasted over a decade.
Just like Balboa had to pick himself up, ignore the grief and join forces with Apollo Creed, Everton found themselves in the hands of the equally as slick, modern and more stylish Roberto Martinez.
Apollo had Rocky faster and more fluid, boxing to a much higher standard than his pure guts offered under Mick, ultimately though, the end result was the same when he simply won back a belt he had already dominated.
Everton played much better last year. They still finished fifth.
Step Up 5: All In
Because no-one really gives a crap.
Leicester City never seem to progress, they just keep repeating the same cycle of promotions and relegations. They’ve been away for longer this time, they’ve sank lower like Bill Murray growing more and more fed up that he resorted to suicide to see if it would break the pattern.
The comic genius eventually spent his time wisely though. He used it to learn more life skills, take time to actually get to know people, and basically create a better version of himself until he got the day just right. Perfect.
Leicester are coming back after a decade better equipped for the task. But there were plenty of false dawns along the way for Murray as well.
“All I wanna do is go the distance.”
That was Rocky’s ambition when he was plucked from nowhere and given a lottery shot at the heavyweight championship. He wanted to prove he could go the distance with the best in the world and show that he wasn’t just another bum from the neighbourhood.
He did it. He didn’t win, but he did it. He went the distance. Out of nowhere.
At the start of the second film, he wheels into Apollo’s hospital room in the middle of the night and asks, “did you give me your best?” And, in a moment of rare humility, Creed couldn’t deny this warrior his dues.
Then, Rocky was finally taken seriously. There would be no more half-measures taken preparing for a face off with the Italian Stallion. Creed knew this guy was dangerous, so too did his trainer Duke who warned, “We don’t need that kind of man in our lives.”
No-one will underestimate Liverpool this time round. They are genuine contenders but, without Rocky’s body shots, what would he be? Without Suarez, what will become of Liverpool?
This does have the feel of Rocky II alright. But perhaps with the ending of Million Dollar Baby.
No-one likes a spoilt, rich kid. That is, of course, until you start benefitting from it yourself.
What was the moral of Richie Rich? Give people money and they’ll be your friends?
I bloody hate Man City. I remember when they were below Villa. Then, from nothing, they are one of the biggest powers in world football. It’s not fair.
Would I like it to happen to us? Of course I bloody would.
City are the champs, they’re still riding on the pig’s back and they are free to spend as sparingly as they wish for as long as they like.
It won’t buy them any friends though. Even Macaulay Culkin learned that fortune can bring loneliness. It could buy him whatever the hell he wanted though.
It will buy City more success, too.
The Empire Strikes Back
Did anyone really think that the destruction of the Death Star would see The Empire slide quietly into the dark never to raise its head again?
A once fearsome and mammoth kingdom has been brought to its knees, beat out of sight and the rest of the universe has done nothing but laugh and marvel in the pleasure of its sudden demise.
It’s not the end though. It never is.
The rest of the Premier League could do well to take notice of the accidental example set by the Rebels when they dared celebrate a victory after their audacious overthrowing of the status quo. Immediately, revenge struck.
No-one’s saying that Louis van Gaal will restore the old supremacy straight away. But if he gets to have a last-scene stand-off with Luke Skywalker, he’ll surely be considered a huge success in his first season.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
The Cockney mafia is the evil hand keeping a tight fist over the mental institution that isn’t even allowing for the escape of Alan Pardew and all his oh so sackable offences.
Like Jack Nicholson, people roll into Newcastle thinking they’re in for an all-expenses-paid holiday when they soon find they’re trapped in a prison of lobotomies and manipulative medicines.
The only way out? Throwing the club vending machine through the windows and making a run for it.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Without the glamour of a Leonardo di Caprio, of course, we’re talking 1987, Charlie-Sheen-Is-The-Best-You’re-Getting type films.
'Greed is good' - an adequate motto.
QPR have money to burn again, they’re handing out generous wage packets like there's no tomorrow, and Harry Redknapp – although he’d deny it – is up for another wheeling and dealing stint.
Even the help they’re hiring isn’t coming cheap or humble in the form of Glenn Hoddle who will fit right in to the Boys Club down at Loftus Road.
Unfortunately for Rangers, this is the old-fashioned, now played-out version that nobody really wants to watch again.
Sure wasn’t it lovely while it lasted?
Wasn’t it all dancing and dining and basking in the riches of luxury and life? Wasn’t it beautiful? A love found in the most unexpected of places.
One by one though, its revelers began jumping from the sinking ship, a doomed voyage. It was nearly the exact same with the Titanic…
And poor Ronald Koeman is just like Jack grabbing a last-ditch ticket aboard what was once a coveted trip. It’s just going to end with Rose – in this case, chairperson Katharina Liebherr - ultimately refusing to share the float and selfishly letting him freeze to death in the Atlantic.
Remember when Mark Hughes was likeable? Remember when he was a player that thousands looked up to? Remember when he transformed Blackburn?
Then he joined the City bandwagon, began throwing grenades to the other side of Manchester and never looked back.
He hooked up with QPR and managed to keep them up after a last-day defeat and exclaimed that they’ll never be in that position again. “Not under my watch.” Fat chance.
He’s just a manager that has an innate tendency to rub people up the wrong way.
Funnily, he has Stoke playing some better football than they were used to but sure even Jackass has more thrills than what the Britannia has seen in recent history.
The Great Escape
Escaping a fascist dictatorship, a group of men perform an unlikely surge to freedom.
But Paolo di Canio wasn’t the only obstacle that Sunderland faced last year.
Gus Poyet produced a miracle to keep the Mackems afloat in the top flight but they’re as bold and as boisterous as ever, splashing the cash on average players.
Last season was definitely The Great Escape, but remember that most of those were caught on down the road.
I have a feeling that Poyet could be back in that cell bouncing a baseball against the wall soon enough.
Mike Bassett: England Manager
A sudden, unexpected departure. A plethora of rejection letters from decent candidates with the right mind to say ‘no thank you’. Garry Monk, it’s over to you.
It must’ve been somewhat of a culture shock for Swansea to go from Roberto Martinez to Brendan Rodgers, from Michael Laudrup to Garry Monk. His methods must surely be chipping a bit more at the old English-style block and I can just imagine the mishaps and mess-ups going around the training ground these days – it’s reflected on the pitch and in the results.
Swansea probably won’t go down again but, just like Mike Bassett, that success – if you want to call it that – won’t be anything to do with him.
Never Ending Story
I feel bad for Daniel Levy, really. He probably should just accept that it’s never going to happen no matter how much time or money he invests.
Every year is going to be Spurs’ year but it never comes.
I admire their spunk for demanding a rightful place amongst the English big boys but they don’t belong there. My mammy used to tell me I was the most beautiful boy in school but it didn’t make it any more true.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Who’s even in charge of West Brom today?
Alan Irvine is now the man tasked with the job with no description, Pepe Mel given a full five months to turn the ship around and keep them up. He succeeded, so of course he is gone.
Steve Clarke’s sacking was bizarre. Apparently a club like West Brom are unhappy with the mid-table dreaming he created at the place so God only knows what Irvine is being asked to do.
They’re one sacking shy of calling on Alicia Silverstone herself to act as the brains of the operation.
WEST HAM UNITED
The Human Centipede
Disgusting. Grotesque. Vomit-inducing.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the film before, heed this warning: before you watch it, don’t watch it. The plot – if you want to call it that – revolves solely around a demented psychopath kidnapping three people and literally creating a human centipede with them. He cuts out their knee ligaments so they are forced to crawl and somehow surgically attaches the three in a chain – anus to mouth – so they work as one.
Basically, it’s vile and unworthy for television. A bit like West Ham.
The Hammers have a great club, a proud tradition and admittedly some nice footballers. None of it is shown off under Sam Allardyce’s cosmic philosophy.
Andy Carroll is injured so he goes straight in for Peter Crouch. Hilarious really. But still horrendous.
Just like The Human Centipede.
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