Fixture List Day. The preamble for the new season that pretty much tells us what we all know already. We're going to be playing everyone in the Premier League twice, home and away. I know, I know...it's the same thing every year. 38 games that will no doubt torment and occasionally titillate whilst we work our way through another transitional/heart breaking/disappointing (delete where applicable) season.
Seriously though, I do actually like it when the list is published. It's a gentle reminder that even though we have the summer months to work through, 'next' season isn't really that far off. Trying to analyse one month to the next and frantically calculate how many points we'll collect is a step too far. It's nigh impossible to predict although that won't stop us scratching our chins at say the month of November: Arsenal away followed by West Ham and Chelsea at home. No doubt the Premier League Fixture computer is running a new version of the 'Spurs misery' script.
Manchester United away on the opening day will probably tie in with a tour of the clubs facilities for Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris as they look ahead to their transfer move to Louis van Gaal's squad.
April also looks utterly punishing (on paper, probably in practice too) with games against Liverpool, United and Chelsea. I see a pattern emerging here. Games against the traditionally hard teams will be traditionally hard.
The single point(s) of interest, to be serious for a moment, have to be the fixtures that follow Europa League group matches. On the subject of tradition, these are the games that come in the form of excruciating powder-puff performances. Especially if the game is at White Hart Lane. We like to save our worse for the home support:
Crystal Palace, home
Two massive London derbies in amongst that list. All eyes on Mauricio Pochettino and his hopefully more robust rotational skills (dependent on the transfer activity that plays out between now and August).
Like I said, there's very little to really analyse with the fixtures. It's all out of context until pre-season is finished and we know what our strongest team will line-up as. Add to the mix the momentum that will influence that initial run of results as we aim to claim back some of that long lost identity. I guess I would have preferred a more understated, less glamorous opening game. Then again, this is THFC. The hard way is the only way.