8 Things We Would Simply, Simply Love to See in Football in 2020

Everyone’s back in the office/college/school, aye? Everyone’s had the ‘oh yeah, not bad, ate too much but it’s Christmas!’ conversation half a dozen times? Cracking. 

It’s time to look forward, not back. Time to look to 2020, not the year – or decade – that came before. With that in mind, here’s some things to look forward to (or hope for) in the next 12 months. 


Juventus Not Winning Serie A 

FBL-ITA-AC MILAN-SCUDETTO

Sick of it. Sick of ?Juve, year after year, rolling to the ?Serie A title as if the actually-pretty-good challengers don’t exist. Remember that really good Napoli team under Sarri? When Mertens was unplayable? Lovely. Wonderful. Batted aside by the Juve juggernaut. 

Antonio Conte’s Inter, though, might be their best-equipped challenger since the start of the current run – since Milan in 2011. Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are electric, Diego Godin is obviously great, Stefano Sensi is electric and…none of that really matters, a Tony Pulis Stoke side could knock Juve off their perch and they’d be hailed as saviours of Italian football at the moment. Just do it. Do it. 


The Sacking of Disgraced Fraud Pep Guardiola

Josep Guardiola

It’s a very hard line to walk, being a football aesthete but also railing almost compulsively against the prevailing narrative of the day. Pep Guardiola makes very good players play fantastic football and that’s probably a good thing overall – but he’s got very clear and defined flaws as a manager, and there are some things (making the best of a half-formed squad, buying defenders, heading a dynasty) that he’s shown no evidence of being able to do. 

It’s an awkward in-betweeny kind of thing to hold both of these views at once, what with nuance having no place in the football discourse, so a massive and hilarious collapse for ?Man City followed by Guardiola’s sacking would be incredibly useful. Gives us a ‘right’ answer, y’know?


Mister Wenger’s Vision of Football Future

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger’s new role at FIFA, ‘chief of global football development’, is pretty unclear. It’s probably a fairly broad remit, so we’re choosing to believe that Mister Wenger is now in charge of football. All of it. 

2020 is the year that all clubs must, by rule, claim to have ‘nearly’ signed a famous player who’s doing well somewhere else. 2020 is the year that French teenagers rule the world. 2020 is the year where nobody sees controversial moments. 

It’s Mister Wenger’s game, we’re just playing it. 


The Inevitable Entropic Heat Death of the Universe

FBL-EUR-C1-NAPOLI-GENK

Scientists will tell you that this is ‘trillions of years away’ and ‘not necessarily inevitable’, but Liverpool are going to win the Premier League in April and if the world doesn’t end immediately after that happens, we’re going to have to deal with an entire internet full of…that. 

Also, a quick primer for those of you on the social medias. Joking about World War III: silly, trivialises a conflict which is going to end with the deaths of lots of civilians and very few consequences for the perpetrators, all played out anyway. Willing the inevitable entropic heat death of the universe to move up a few trillion years: funny, clever, handsome, will treat everybody equally. 


Football Finally Coming Home

Football Fans Gather To Watch England Play Croatia For A Place In The World Cup Final

We get a Wembley final for a major tournament this summer. One way or another, the European Championship trophy will come to England in July – remember, the tournament that Three Lions was originally written for, even if ’98 is the better version. 

Besides, there are a lot of really flawed teams in Europe. The Netherlands look good, but with Memphis’ ACL injury they may have to rely on the unspeakably bad finishing of Luuk de Jong. France manage to lose games for no apparent reason. Belgium have never been able to put it together and their defenders are old now. Italy are very untested. 

It couldn’t…could it? 


I Dunno, Tim Sherwood?

Tim Sherwood

It’s been a while since we had some Proper Sherwood, man’s been out of football club work for two and a half years. Bring him back, someone. Make him assistant ballboy or something. VAR advisor. Anything. 


The Continued Existence of Irish Football

John Delaney,Emma English

The Irish FA (the FAI, if you will) is on a knife-edge at the moment. The organisation is millions and millions of Euros in the hole, and has admitted that liquidation is a very real possibility. An entire country’s FA, and by extension its national league, and by extension its clubs, and by extension its future development of young players…all at risk. 

That’s a problem. Here’s hoping things are worked out. 


Less of Erling Håland

Erling Braut Haaland

Absolutely no move could’ve been better for the football-consuming public than Erling Håland going to Borussia Dortmund early in the January window. We won’t have to look at his massive gurning face in the Champions League because they’re out, we won’t have him linked to Manchester United until at least the summer (by which time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be gone and we won’t have to pay attention to that narrative) and he’ll be playing against better defenders. 

It’s nothing against him personally, but…actually, yes it is. I hate his smug face, I hate his big farmer body, I hate his hair, I hate his weird “I lie in bed and I feel good with them, I look at them every day, they are my girlfriends” nonsense about his hat-trick balls, I hate that he’s angling himself to be Zlatan 2.0, and I hope he stays at Dortmund on the bench for the next five seasons. 

Oh, and happy New Year everyone. 


For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209!


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