As fun as summer supposedly is, deep down everyone really knows it’s actually just a painful, humid slog you have to endure whilst waiting for football to return. For three whole months, consoling yourself with burnt cheeseburgers and lukewarm beers around the BBQ is about as good as it gets.
But finally, 89 long days after last season’s final day drama, the Premier League returned in style at the weekend.
Norwich brought a blunt knife to a gunfight at Anfield; VAR City (or Man City as they used to be called) dismantled the Hammers; Jack Grealish’s Peaky Blinders haircut couldn’t keep Spurs at bay; and Ole’s Reds revved their engines as Chelsea were dispatched at Old Trafford.
Oh, and Brendan Rodgers got to see 22 beautiful human beings with great character play out at a drab 0-0 draw.
As you’d expect, all the opening weekend’s action has been pored over intently. And, unsurprisingly, many people have already got very carried away despite the fact that quite a lot can happen in the next 37 games.
Here are five of our favourite blown-out-of-all-proportion fan reactions from the weekend.
1 – #LampardOut
The overreaction: Frank Lampard is a fraud who must be sacked, otherwise Chelsea will be playing alongside Derby in the Championship before you know it.
4-0!!! This is worse than I predicted!!! GET OUT NOW YOU FRAUD!!! #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #LampardOut #MUNCHE
— #LampardOut (@LampardOutCFC) August 11, 2019
He's still trying to accumulate possession while 3-0 back…
He's not the ideal coach for us.
He will never, ever…….!! I'm Angry, I'm seriously Angry #LampardOut
— BOSS DADDY #CFC (@Maduchi18) August 11, 2019
— Sheila Kimani (@mssheilakimani) August 11, 2019
The reality: Lampard’s Premier League managerial career is just 90 minutes old. True, he got tonked 4-0 in his baptism of fire in Manchester, but his side hardly disgraced themselves: the Blues had more possession, more corners, and more shots on target than United, plus struck the woodwork twice. On another day, the score line could’ve been reversed.
There is a long way to go and plenty of opportunities for the Chelsea legend to prove he can cut it at this level. Although it fairness it wouldn’t surprise us if Roman Abramovich’s index finger was already hovering over the speed dial button for Guus Hiddink.
2 – Daniel James = GOAT
The overreaction: Man Utd’s £15m winger is at worst the new Cristiano Ronaldo and at the best the greatest footballer in history.
Daniel James…the greatest player of all time and im not exaggerating🙏🏾
— Bakkz🇬🇲🇬🇲 (@Bakkz007) August 11, 2019
Daniel James is the greatest human to ever touch a ball of any kind.
— • (@IshidiII) August 11, 2019
The reality: Let’s all just take a moment and calm ourselves, shall we? James only entered the fray for a 16-minute cameo in place of forgotten man Andreas Pereira. Granted, his blistering pace was on display and he grabbed a dream debut goal, but a scuffed deflected effort that trickled past the keeper is hardly going to be up for the Puskas award, is it?
The Welshman is going to have to do a fair bit more to justify the insane new level of expectations around him. The coveted No7 shirt is a long way off yet.
3 – Brighton are champions elect
The overreaction: After seeing off Watford away from home, Brighton fans are convinced they’re going to walk the league under new manager Graham Potter.
— Jon Robards (@JonRobards) August 10, 2019
Brighton are gonna win the league
— Robert Mudd (@muddy1985) August 11, 2019
The reality: OK, we know the chants were tongue-in-cheek, but after what happened with Leicester in 2016 there are bound to be some Seagulls supporters who believe they can actually do it. The parallels with the Foxes are all there, enjoying a winning start under a new manager having almost been relegated in the previous campaign.
Let’s be brutally honest, though. By the winning-on-the-opening-day logic, Spurs have the same chance of becoming champions and everyone knows that’s never gonna happen. So what chance do Brighton have?
4 – VAR is the death of football
The overreaction: The VAR hub at Stockley Park simultaneously became the centre of the universe and also the place that English football dies after the technology’s introduction to the Premier League.
Unpopular Opinion : VAR will be the reason football dies a horrible death
— freddy. (@weimersboyy) August 12, 2019
Actually considering going to watch non-league now. VAR will be the death of the game we know and love.
— Rob (@RobBob_14) August 12, 2019
VAR will be the death of football. Spontaneity is gone, 5 minutes waiting for a linesman’s decision is football now. Enjoy your goal celebration on your debut.. oh standby!
— Stephen Hoole (@stanleyhoops) August 11, 2019
VAR today showed that we are now looking for reasons to remove goals from the game. That is scary. The day fans stop celebrating goals in case they are chalked off is close and that genuinely will be the death of football. What would be the point in attending matches? #wwfc
— James Batham (@JMTB_86) August 11, 2019
The reality: The implementation of VAR was always going to be controversial, but slow down on the furious tweeting, folks. It’s sod’s law that the game it saw the most use in, West Ham vs Man City, was televised and had two major overturned decisions. To put that into context, VAR only overturned one decision in the other nine games and was virtually anonymous otherwise.
Can a system that actually implements the laws of the game ironically prove to be football’s downfall? Hmm, we suspect those preaching that now will still be renewing their season tickets and Sky Sports subscriptions a few years down the line.
5 – Liverpool will win the quadruple (at least)
The overreaction: Liverpool beat a newly promoted side and are now inevitably set for world domination.
— Talha Altaf (@talhaaltaf97) August 9, 2019
Liverpool could’ve scored 8 today lmao. Sextuple incoming.
— EyeSack (@ibeltran_7) August 10, 2019
The reality: Doctor! Are there any doctors here? We’ve got some people coming down with severe cases of LDS – Liverpool Delusional Syndrome.
The truth is the Reds picked up where they left off in a season where they didn’t win the league. Indeed, sloppy defending throughout meant a team more clinical than the Canaries may well have snatched a point or three.
There remains six possible competitions that Klopp’s men could lift this year – the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup. No club has ever completed such a haul before. And while there’s every chance Liverpool could blunder their way to another cup this season, there’s simply no way they will lift the lot.
Why? Well, they’d have to learn how to win a Premier League title first. And we all know that’s not happening any time soon.