Premier League Dummies – What you need to know!

My name is Jen and I used to like football. I'm not really sure how this came about other than being exposed to it by virtue of growing up surrounded by men and realising, at an early age, that as a girl you could astound people just by knowing who Dion Dublin was. And I liked being astounding.

My interest and subsequent knowledge grew over the years, peaking in 2006 when it’s alleged that I boldly claimed England would’ve won the World Cup with me at the managerial helm, instead of Sven Goran Eriksson. But it was 2006 when my world was turned upside down by the departure of long term manager, Alan Curbishley, from my beloved Charlton Athletic after 15 years. As the team slid hopelessly from mid-table Premiership obscurity to Championship relegation, to finally languish in League One despair, so too did my inclination to know anything about football.

After Alan Curbishley left the Charlton, the club were relegated the following season.

After Alan Curbishley left Charlton in 2006, the club were relegated the following season.

Back in the present day, I’ve recently developed something of an interest in sport and find myself daring to believe that football might be interesting to me again, one day (there’s a World Cup on the horizon, after all). Also, I’m surrounded, again, by people wanging on about football INCESSANTLY,  and desperately trying to get a word in edgeways in the hope that I might be astounding once more. Since my “fact” about Clive Mendonca’s 1998 Wembley hat trick proved to be completely inaccurate (one of only three men to have scored a hat trick in the old Wembley Stadium – don’t repeat this, it’s just not true), I realise I’m going to have to reacquaint myself with top-flight football.

Naturally, my first instinct was to ask someone else “what’s happening in the Premier this week?”, which is exactly what I did – except now apparently it’s called the Premier League. I was to be duly told that this week is all about the FA Cup Sixth Round. I should’ve known that, inexplicably, Charlton Athletic have made it this far. Anyway, according to my mate Jon, here’s what you need to know:

Suarez and Sturridge have scored loads of goals for Liverpool. 42 to be precise in the league. Sturridge even managed to score one against Denmark the other day for England, in what looks to have been the kind of precursor to World Cup misery that we’ve all come to know and love, over the years.

Sturridge and Suarez combined have scored just one goal fewer than Manchester United alone this league campaign

Sturridge and Suarez combined have scored just one goal fewer than Manchester United’s whole side in the league this season

In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, don’t be confused by the pictures, he’s not snuggling with him, in fact, Newcastle and one-time Charlton Athletic manager, Alan Pardew, was possessed by the spirit of Begbie last weekend and duly nutted Hull midfielder, David Meyler. He’s been charged by the FA and fined £100,000 by the club, but with the FA Cup underway this weekend, we’ll have to wait until Newcastle’s match against Fulham on March 15 to see whether or not the club owners bought that line about him “pushing him away with his head”. We’ve all been there, right?

A man who I used to know something about, Sol Campbell, accused the FA of institutional racism. Apparently he could’ve been the captain of my winning team back in 2006 and for some time before that, had this not been the case. Paul Ince says “No, Sol, you wouldn’t have been captain for 10 years”. We might have to read between the lines for interpretive purposes.

Finally, Tim Sherwood (who’s the head coach at Spurs, and yes, I had to Google him) continues to wear a quilted gilet on the touchline, a look I associate strongly with my years working at Morrisons. You can watch out for him in a not insignificant game between Spurs, who will presumably be chasing a place in whatever we’re calling the Intertoto Cup these days, and Chelsea, who’ll be looking to widen the gap between them and Liverpool at the top of the league.

Under Tim Sherwood, Spurs have maintained their challenge for a top four finish.

Under Tim Sherwood, Spurs have maintained their challenge for a top four finish.

Elsewhere, at the bottom of the table, Crystal Palace might lose their match against Southampton (much to the delight of Charlton fans who are hoping to beat Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Sunday) which could see Palace back in a spot of bother. Meanwhile, Cardiff and Fulham will be scrapping with utter futility to see if either of them can take home three points that wouldn’t actually lift either of them out of the relegation zone. Between this and the removal of that Michael Jackson statue at Craven Cottage, it’s been a tough year for Fulham.

And there you have it fellow Premier League dummies. Cut it out and keep for an evening with the lads in the pub or for Uncle Tony who only switches off the mute button for top-flight footie. More Premier League dummies coming soon…

 Follow Jen Offord @inspireajen

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