Opinion: Football's back... with boredom, dereliction of duty and a feeling that the FA 'blazers' are beneath contempt

The first Premier League match for 100 days added a new dimension to the word ‘anti-climax’ as Aston Villa and Sheffield United ground out a predictable goalless draw.

Columnist Geoff Thornton is not overly impressed with the return of Premier League football
Columnist Geoff Thornton is not overly impressed with the return of Premier League football

Improbably, officialdom saved the day with the ‘was it a goal?’ farce that cost the Blades two points. The unprecedented failure of goalline technology was followed by the unsurprising dereliction of VAR.

For the administrators worse was to come. The nadir of the history of the Football Association was undoubtedly their decision to declare the past season null and void for clubs at steps three to nine. The matter went to court with the inevitable result of a home win for the FA.

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South Shields fronted the appeal on behalf of a large number of clubs and have been left to pick up the tab which is expected to be around £200,000. The ‘blazers’ are beneath contempt.

The standard of football hardly improved as more clubs returned to action. My first choice to watch throughout was Bournemouth against Crystal Palace. The dreary nature of the play was doubtless due to the training ground atmosphere. I tried viewing the first half with no artificial crowd noise and the experience was dismal.

The Eagles looked a class apart, especially in defence, and coasted home despite Wilfried Zaha showing great lassitude and barely contributing. I fear for Eddie Howe as he is a Premier League manager struggling to cope with only a Championship squad to work with.

Crawley Town’s squad for the resumption may have a feel of consistency about it which would be welcome. Lewis Young is another who has been offered and has accepted a two-year extension to his contract. Stability is obviously high on John Yems’ list of requirements.

Midfielder Sam Matthews has joined us from League One Bristol Rovers but the rumour mill has it that Jamie Sendles-White will be leaving. That would be a great shame as the improvement in his form as the campaign progressed was such that he was not over-shadowed by the impressive form of Jordan Tunnicliffe.

Rumours are always rife in this social media age and I think that the club should be more ready to confirm or deny or whatever. At the end of the day the club will buy, sell or retain players as the manager chooses and not as the supporters think so it wouldn’t do any harm to let those of us who really care know the direction in which the club is heading.

It has now been confirmed that Crawley Town will be travelling a long way when they face Barrow. The trip is another 40-odd miles further than Morecambe and not far short of the distance to Carlisle. In such circumstances there will be no happier supporters than those in Plymouth since Argyle have gained promotion. No doubt they will also be hoping that Exeter City win the play-offs.