Winter Blunder Land: Premier League Soccer Enters 2011

January 4, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

PLAYING IN THE SNOW: West Ham's Carlton Cole tries to make the best of a trying time for players in the English Premier League. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)
PLAYING IN THE SNOW: West Ham's Carlton Cole tries to make the best of a trying time for players in the English Premier League. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)
Lost in the hustle and tussle of the wheeler-dealers, the Premiership roars on into 2011 with the shuddering uncertainty of a runaway train.

Snowed under with a deluge of fixtures, the December winter cruel and unrelenting further compound the disarray at the top and bottom of the table littering it with postponements.

Many say, “Never seen anything like this before.” The big league busters play chess at the top of the table, king for a day or even for a few hours, but still cling onto the monotonous top rankings in a league of their own.

The leaders don’t know with any certainty if the Blackpool minnows or the Wolves of Wolverhampton will take them down to the feared lower reaches as the Chelsea slump confirms.

Another example: Wolves beat Liverpool on their home soil Anfield for the first time in 27 years, and other tales of the shivering unexpected abound among the unwanted Christmas presents of fixtures.

Sometimes playing four matches within 10 days cause managers complaints at the fixtures list being unacceptable and harmful to the players. In some cases, they complain about giving unfair advantage to their opponents gaining longer rest periods between matches.

The fans turn out, it can only be assumed, in part to relieve the excesses of the festive season, to brave the snow encased in cold plastic seats enveloped in the chilling twilight of the stands.

They are tempered with the warmth of raucous humor and an unexplained loyalty that runs hot and cold hoping to witness a touch of genius and goals. No consideration is given for their comfort during the winter months yet seemingly unaware or unable to organize the power they possess for change.

Calls are made year upon year to follow the example of the European leagues who stay sensibly at rest to avoid the debilitating effect of the midwinter months, resuming refreshed to enter the latter end of the season.

The Premiership, bound in tradition and expected to be off the sporting calendar by the end of May to make way for the cricketing season, always has a fixture crisis. Absent is the European clear thinking to avoid the winter extremes.

Presently English football has lost some of its appeal and the fans complain at the spiraling cost of entrance fees and season tickets.

The disastrous and shameful World Cup exit, coupled with the out of touch presumptuous failed bid to host the World Cup in 2018 has taken some of the swagger out of the so called best league in the world.

The constant turnover of managers losing their posts keeps accelerating as the consequences of relegation from the Premiership can have disastrous consequences for speculators.

The Manchester United Wayne Rooney saga also reflected the money-orientated loss of loyalty to club and the fans.

Experience and its lesson appear to carry no measure of the general law of deduction for the leading lights of the Premiership, and last year’s snow and fixture congestion will soon melt with the promise of spring.