No, I mean it. Are you really ready? You’re looking tan there, and fit from a summer of swimming, bike riding, hiking, gardening.
The actual Premier League season starts in a little more than three weeks, August 8 (with Arsenal’s first game on August 9). It’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to get match fit. How you’re going to roll out of bed just in time to use the restroom before the starting line-up is announced. How you’re going to produce that comfy indentation in your couch that’s dissipated since May. How you’re going to get that thumb ready to click the remote the second Rebecca Lowe says the game you care about is starting right now on the other NBC Sports station. How you’ll know what station that is before she says it. How you’ll perfect the ability to get a mug of hot coffee in your hand without missing that first (and probably only) goal. How you’re going to get yourself to the state in which you can ignore virtually everything and everyone around you for 90 minutes.
The game that kicks off the season, the FA Community Shield, is in just a little more than 2 weeks, on Sunday, August 2nd at 10 a.m. ET(Fox Sports 1 in the U.S.). This is the game between the winner of last season’s FA Cup (Arsenal!) and the winner of the Premier League (Chelsea). See my page on Leagues & Cups for more detail on competitions.
Can’t wait that long to start getting into shape? My friend Gavin has reminded us of the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore, played between Everton and Arsenal TOMORROW, aired in the U.S. on NBC Live Extra at 8:20 ET. (NBC Live Extra is an app you can download for free if you have cable through a participating provider.) If we’re lucky, Correspondent Gavin on the ground in Singapore will supply us some photos. Ok, it’s just a friendly match that doesn’t really count for much, but wouldn’t a friendly be just the thing to start working toward match fitness? Rome wasn’t built in a day, my friend.
What have the lads of Arsenal have been doing to get match fit? Training started a few weeks ago for those who weren’t involved late in the Copa America. More recently, they’ve travelled to Singapore on this plane to participate in the Barclays Asia cup, first playing some team called Singapore 11 (winning 4-0), and next playing another Premier League club, Everton (tomorrow). Everton played Stoke to get to the final match. Asia is a top market for football and a place that many of the Premier League clubs travel in the off season, frothing up the fan base.
The players have also had some pool action, not unlike yourself.
And yet, not that much like yourself.