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Roker Ramble: The Premier League is back! Are you excited? No? Thought not

It’s another season, and yet nothing will have changed. Also this week: Richard Keys scores a Ramble brace, and Southend don’t quite think through their latest sponsorship deal...

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Premier League returns!

Because this is the only league that matters, right? It’s nothing - nothing - to do with the fact that Sunderland no longer have a place at the top table that I couldn’t be any less enthused.

What’s it going to be this year? Manchester United fans demanding the removal of Ten Hag after garnering five points from their first three games? What about Arsenal fans, 86% of whom have Youtube channels, screaming for the head of Arteta after amassing... five points from their first three games?

And Spurs? Top in September. Tenth in December.

How about Liverpool? In which month will Jurgen Klopp make a shirty, passive-aggressive comment about fixture congestion and fairness, that is rooted in complete bullshit?

When too, you might wonder, will David Moyes assault a ball boy as his team fights back from 1-0 down?

Perhaps Fulham, fresh from the upwards bounce on their yo-yo back up the divisions, will realise that despite signing 473 players, Marco Silva is unable to fashion them into a functioning unit and finds himself short of fully fit wingers? Or perhaps Mitrovic will manage to score more than six goals this campaign?

How long will it be before a male football pundit makes a crass and ill-conceived mansplainy comment to one of England’s Lionesses, who are making their debut in the Super Sunday studio?

Then we have Everton, whose fans should have precisely zero hope ahead of the new season. A transfer policy that is like watching a Yorkshire terrier neck a bunch of skittles and get strapped into a rollercoaster, you just know it will end badly.

We all know that Frank - the man only known by his first name - will be the first manager to place his head on the dreaded managerial chopping block (or will he walk the plank?).

Everton v Dynamo Kyiv - Pre-Season Friendly
Looking a bit too happy there, Frank
Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

And who will be first to be hit by a projectile from the crowd? My money is on the aforementioned Klopp - the man whose face looks like it is approaching terminal velocity - will be the one to “kop” it as his nonsensical affectations on the touchline reach a ridiculous crescendo.

How have I got this far without mentioning Newcastle? Well, I think we all know this is the season the cracks will start to appear in the disgusting three-way currently in process between PIF, Staveley and the Cartoon Army.

The love-in is something you would absolutely put in the “fetish” category. God... every time I have to look at their club I need to go into incognito mode on Google Chrome.

Nevertheless, I have a premonition that fully grown baldy Geordie blokes will be attending the match in March with black gaffa tape on the back of their shirts to hide the name “STAVELEY”, such is the way things have soured.

Richard Keys takes credit for Lionesses’ success

Of course he does.

In a scarcely believable blog post (who blogs these days, seriously? Or am I just out of touch? Don’t we all just get increasingly irate on Twitter or something, before being forced into an embarrassing climbdown?) Keys suggested that his comments about Sian Massey were the catalyst for change in football.

In reality, Keys taking credit for England’s Euros triumph is like Harvey Weinstein taking credit for the #metoo movement.

Surely Ricky, mate, when you are the problem then you cannot take any credit for fixing it? Maybe you should just have a gander at last week’s Ramble?

Despite him trying to make it appear he was congratulating the team on their success, Keys took precisely eight words to say “my”. Maybe he was trying to pretend he wasn’t going to make it all about him.

Well, he did.

“Lionesses - you’ve changed everything” puked the title. Yet a handful of paragraphs later he was ranting about how he’d been silent on their success until now because some nasty people on the internet had been sharing memes of him.

A collection of ridiculous words

So what Keys is saying is that his disgraceful behaviour all those years ago was the watershed for women’s football. Does that not actually just highlight the manner in which you behaved, perhaps? What an absolute martyr. Pray for Richard.

Of course, I don’t actually subscribe to his blogs or anything like that - I simply see it on social media; I don’t click on anything he has to say because I’m genuinely interested. Just like everyone else I’m only there for the comments... which mainly centred around his “did you smash it” snafu; however, they remain suspiciously absent from the blog in question.

His ramblings are available to read here at What does the AJ stand for Rich? Absolute Joke?

The best thing about his blog is at the bottom it says the blog itself is “Designed by Great Online Reputation”... which given the contents of said blog, is gloriously ironic.

Calm down Richard. It. Was. Just. Banter.

Soccer - England Umbro Kit Launch
Wait... the mic was live?
Photo by Tony Marshall/EMPICS via Getty Images


Someone at Southend really should have just taken a minute to have a think about this one.

It’s difficult to make too much hilarious capital from one of the country’s most notorious and prolific mass murderers but I’ll have a bash.

Ahead of the new season, the Shrimpers agreed to sell the naming rights of part of their ground to local estate agents Gilbert and Rose.

If only it was the east stand. If only. Sadly, as we have probably all seen, it was the west stand - which was to become the Gilbert and Rose West stand.

And here we sure have the worst PR decision since Susan Boyle’s management announced details of her new album with the hashtag #susanalbumparty.

Perhaps in many ways this was great marketing by Gilbert and Rose - knowing that their business would be put into the national spotlight. A genuine error with no bad intent and no comeback. It’s not like they employed West to do their admin or do house viewings.

The stand was previously called the Paul Robinson West Stand which is far better, in my opinion. Naming it after now-defunct Australian soap Neighbour’s premiere villain is a far better choice.

However, the fact no one realised really is astonishing.

Also, the solution is simple - why not just call it the Gilbert and Rose stand?

News In Brief

  • Following England’s triumph at Wembley this weekend, demand for tickets to WSL matches have skyrocketed. Brighton for example have sold more season tickets since Saturday compared to the whole of last season. On the international front, England’s friendly against the USA in October has sold out within 24 hours.
  • In terrible news for the morons who boo the knee before matches (for reasons they don’t understand, have lived experience of, or the intellect to have any independent thought into the matter), the Premier League has announced the practice will be restricted to certain times in the season. This includes the opening games, Boxing Day and the FA Cup final.
  • The circus is already in full swing at Old Trafford, as the world’s most expensive millstone Cristiano Ronaldo left his side’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano at half time. “I certainly don’t condone this. This is unacceptable. For everyone. We are a team and you have to stay until the end” said Erik Ten Hag, who no doubt is becoming increasingly worried at the north west’s second biggest clown car club (behind Everton).

Will Mike Dodds persist with Sunderland’s experiment with a back five?


Sunderland’s final fixture run-in looks tough, but can they build some consistency?


Editorial: Just another week in the history of Sunderland AFC

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