Following claims that the big clubs in England are considering joining the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, FC Midtjylland and Metallist Kharkiv in forming a break-away Super League, the onus has been on smaller Premier League clubs to prove they are able to make up for the kind of excitement promised by regular meetings between the likes of PSG, Borussia Dortmund and SC Freiburg.
In a game set up for the purists among the footballing public, step forward Newcastle and Watford. The scene; a blustery St James’s Park. 52,000 baying, drunken, Geordies, star talent on the field in the likes of Paul Dummett and Craig Cathcart, as well as off it in the personification of charm and grace, Michael ‘six pints’ Ashley.
The game was a tantalising, elegant dance between two sides with the combined firepower of San Marino and all the attacking intent of an IKEA bathroom cabinet. It yielded three shots on target and the following comments from Watford boss Javi Gracia, “Today was a tough game. You come to Newcastle, you know what you’re going to get – it’s a sh*t-hole, my hotel room was disgusting, the streets are so rank the pigeons won’t even crap on them – the game wasn’t much better either. But still, we can always improve and come back strong next time” – let’s hope they never get the chance.
With games and talent of this calibre, the new Super League is sure to be laden with high quality English teams enticing viewers and sponsors to part with sacks of cash.