The world’s a confusing place. My phone just told me it’s three hours since I last drank a glass of water. When I was a kid my phone lived in my parents’ hall and never presumed to tell me anything other than someone was trying to talk to me. But despite all the confusion and change, some things stay unaltered. The oddly unsatisfying nature of the pre-season is one of them.
The period of friendly fire leaves me feeling uneasy. I rein in my excitement when we look good because the match means nothing; I tell myself that defeats to Prestatyn are irrelevant because we’re just concentrating on improving our condition. So basically, my reaction to any friendly once the final whistle goes is to attempt to regain my emotional mean as swiftly as possible.
It has always been thus. We’ve stunk in pre-season and then gone on to enjoy a good campaign, and we’ve looked tasty in friendlies then gone on to endure a stagnant nine months (in evidence, I present to you a three-week period in the Summer of 2009 when Wes Baynes looked like The Future of World Football which was swiftly followed by the dullest season in our history. I’d say that during the course of that campaign Lionel Messi overtook Baynes in the Future of World Football stakes.)
For what it’s worth I think we’ve looked decent in pre-season so far. Louis Moult and Wes Yorke look lively and Andy Bishop has looked pleasingly at ease with himself now he has a partner alongside him. But what is it worth? We looked really good against Swansea’s Under-21s, but what sort of opposition were they? We aren’t going to come up against too many sides composed totally of young lads once the real stuff kicks off.
So I’m not sure how to feel right now, which is how I feel at this time every year. However, I’ve no time to further speculate on the state of the side as I must go: my phone has just told me to brush my teeth.