I could have sworn I'd set my DVR last night before falling asleep, and I was quite thankful of that fact when my alarm went off at 6:45 AM this morning. It's been a rough week and those few extra hours of shut-eye were quite welcome. Imagine my surprise when, upon waking for good, the Manchester City-Aston Villa game was nowhere to be found. Apparently, my DVR has my best interests at heart.
Reading about a game that you haven't yet had the chance to watch but will see eventually is always a bit of a surreal experience; in a situation such as this it borders on hilarious. When I realized I'd have to wait until tomorrow to watch the game in full I saw the score and had effectively no reaction. Not anger, disappointment, shock or even a sense of curiosity. 4-1? Yeah, that seems about right. Had I watched the game without knowing how it turned out I'm sure it would have been a far different story, but thankfully I was spared having to deal with it. When I get around to sitting down and firing up the replay, mild annoyance is likely to be the only real emotional response it elicits.Most of the time I'm irritated by having the result spoiled and the prospect of a passionless re-watching of the game. Watching Villa is a weekend ritual, the only game in a day of watching football in which I have any real emotional investment (at least until the Sounders kick off.) But today I just honestly cannot be assed to care. I have so much distaste for the big Premier League clubs at the moment (Arsenal aside because it's hard to rile up anything approaching jealousy at the moment) that watching them play my club is immensely unpleasant. I can deal with losing, but when you know the cards are so thoroughly stacked against you for reasons it's hard to admire it makes it seem pointless. Playing top-table sides should be something that makes me more excited to watch. The fact that I'm way more interested in watching Villa play Wigan than I am in watching them play the big clubs is indicative of a pretty serious problem.
And I'd like to think that it's a problem that's going to get better, but I just don't see a lot of evidence of that being the case. Some will point to the Financial Fair Play rules as being a solution, but they aren't; United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool make a lot more money than clubs like Villa, so they'll continue spending way more money than clubs like Villa and my greatest fear is they'll be more aggressive about buying talented young players as early as possible to keep their expenditures down, taking away the opportunity for a Borussia Dortmund like model of developing young talent, selling players after they've established themselves as stars and managing to stay relevant (and occasionally making a run at winning the league) in perpetuity.
Anyways, this turned out to be a lot more depressing than I'd intended. Actual analysis to follow at some point, assuming there was anything interesting enough on which to offer comment. Needless to say, I'm very glad we have West Brom next weekend.