De-icing the SEASON Crystal Ball for 2018
Sian: Do you miss Costa at all?
Felicia: Yep. Every time Morata falls over after a nothing challenge…
A WhatsApp conversation between me and SEASON editor Felicia on WhatsApp last week.
Like Carrie Bradshaw, only wearing Adidas Joggers and some sensible dad trainers rather than Louboutins and a tutu, It got me to thinking about our issue four predictions - scribbled in late July when we were all full of hope and in hot pursuit of the Costa on a jet ski story. He was gone from the London club before we went to print.
But, as the gutsy game between Manchester Utd vs Arsenal showed, we got some things right. The battle for the top 6 in the Premier League is still alive, even if City literally got the Champions confetti out early following the derby last week. Liverpool feel dangerous thanks to the league’s top scorer Salah and (whisper it) even the XXXX. Despite losing to West Ham, a convincing win for Chelsea against Huddersfield with goals from Willian and Pedro hint they’ve got the depth to combat fixture pile up and keep pressing on second.
Clubs we predicted could be in the mix - Leicester, Everton and Southampton - have had PLOT TWIST style seasons which include brushes with bottom table struggles and glimmers of beautiful resurgences before the year is out. Could a 2018 Roonaissance (as we also predicted) still be on? Burnley in the CL places is one of the year’s biggest surprises. Dyche’s team have turned Turf Moor into a bogey ground - despite the fact they have under a goal per match, a 27% cross accuracy and shooting accuracy of 31%. Ordinarily a team playing this style would get stick, but the element of surprise has captured our hearts. Spurs look out.
Pour one out for two of our potential style icons for the season. Bilic (dreams of seeing him in an oversized hoodie, dashed) has been replaced by the watery eyed glare of Moyes at West Ham and the Vetementian look of Pulis have been swapped the dance moves and PE-teacher-covering-RE lessons spectacles of Alan Pardew. Could we conclude “recycling” is one of the big trends of the season as these clubs seem very happy with cast-offs. The biggest coats of big Sam are also back at Everton, who deserves his pint of wine as team morale (if not improved performances just yet) are heading in the right direction . One last note on style - can Pep PLEASE take a note from that Drake meme and buy a powder pink Stone Island puffer. I was fooled.
Talking about the year in memes, our prediction that this season will be powered by them is ringing very true, sometimes with controversial results. Whoever runs the Arsenal Twitter account came under fire for sending a picture of Ozil sipping tea to Daily Mail journalist Adam Crafton (leading to Crafton recieving online abuse) while on the lighter side there have been jokes about Pope and Jesus, Fellaini winning the Ballon D’or and a hammering for poor Romelu Lukaku - pictured in City’s colours after losing his touch infront of goal and creating chances at the wrong end. Meme-lord Wenger was last spotted being mocked by their upcoming Europa League opponents Ostersunds FK for not being able to do up his jacket.
In the Championship, SEASON predicted that Wolves would be top but generally fans seem untroubled by their spend. Villa are also in the promotion places so with West Brom currently candidates for the drop it could be all change in the West Midlands - the must watch region for 2018.
The last thing we’re taking into the new year? An increased familiarity with women’s competitions and the WSL. We cheered on the spotlight-shy England forward Jodie Taylor, who’s one of Issue 04’s stickers, live as she walked up to accept BT’s Action Woman of the Year Award on December 4th. That was the night before she departed for Seattle Reign FC and became yet another star England player to leave our shores, following Toni Duggan’s move to Barcelona. Issue 04’s final page goes into more detail about exactly how our Editor-in-Chief feels about Taylor’s rise and disappointing stall.
Words Sian Rowe
Illustration Charlotte Ager