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View from The Cemetery July 2021

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 31 July 2021

Been a good long while, hasn’t it? Anyway welcome back, and as usual we play the lads from the CW very early on. Why? Nobody knows, but it's just about always the case, and anyway it's a good start and a decent football attraction, something which most of us have been really looking forward to. All change at LGV Park, with lots of old stalwarts leaving the club over the summer, and we wish them all well wherever they go and whatever they do, and a new managerial team in place bringing in a lot of new lads. Pre season has been disrupted, with some mediocre results, and one outstanding performance in the win against a pretty full strength Shildon team, which promised much for the season ahead. Not that friendlies count for much, and are rarely much of a guide. So fingers crossed we can start on the front foot over the first few fixtures.

And what has been happening this summer? The Euros were eventually a failure with Gareth Southgate’s ultra cautious approach letting him down at the final hurdle. Hard to criticise, he has done better so far than any England manager since Sir H’Alf, but hoping to defend with six, seven and occasionally eight men, pinch the odd goal, and if all else fails win on pens is rarely enough, and so it proved. A simple question Gareth might very well ask himself is this, if Jack Grealish goes to Man City, Man Utd or Chelsea, who will be Man City, Man Utd or Chelsea’s best player?

Still, always the Qatar World Cup to look forward to, which is not something you will hear very often, and certainly not from any of the players, it could easily be far too hot even in the winter. And any of the daft lads who disgraced themselves at Wembley might be wise to give Qatar a miss, with likely very little in the way of drink to be had, and the security will not be in the hands of spotty youths in Hi Viz jackets two sizes too big, more like big blokes with guns and itchy fingers. On second thoughts, on you go lads…

The Olympics so far has been the usual mix of the heroic, the magical and the comical, although to be fair the second week is usually the best. So far though some superb performances in gymnastics, the martial arts, the triathlon and the pool; while the Brazilian gadgie who won in the surfing seemed to have the board nailed to his feet and a small outboard motor hidden on the back, he was absolutely astonishing; on the other hand the women's softball was about the most pathetic impersonation of sport I have ever, ever seen ...

All seems well over at the SoL. Hang on, did I say that? To be fair, they have got rid of a good few, which is difficult to argue with, and they have brought in one or two, but no doubt half a dozen more will be needed if they are going to do anything this term. Don’t hold your breath.

Back to the Ebac Northern League and predictions time I guess. Hopefully our little local triangle of ourselves, the CW and Red Star will all do well, and maybe have a run or two in the Cup or the Vase. I fancy most people will think that Consett will be right in the mix for the title, and no doubt North Shields and Benfield will be up there too. Maybe Guisborough will make a bit of a charge, certainly getting Deano in goal will be a big help, and West and Whitley Bay will be keen to do well. But there maybe room for a little one ...