Luke Edwards
David Silva
David Silva walks in front of a wall of fans tuning in virtually Credit: Getty Images Europe 

三级成人视频Football is back, which is certainly better than nothing. That, though, is where the excitement ended for many of us. The season is going to be concluded, the fixtures are going to be fulfilled and outcomes will be decided.

It is a relief more than anything, but it probably will not be much fun. Like so much of our lives as we come out of lockdown, it is a step in the right direction, but nothing like as good as it was. To put it bluntly, the new normal is a rubbish version of the old.

三级成人视频The things I could do at the start of March, I still cannot do in mid-June. Psychologically, that is tough.  The pandemic is being brought under control, but the nation’s mental health continues to deteriorate. In the words of our beleaguered government, football’s return was supposed to provide a national morale boost. For some it will have done, but not really.

For those who go actually to the match, who socialise and join their tribe, who shape an entire day’s entertainment and enjoyment around a 90-minute match, this behind-closed-doors version on television probably left them feeling cold, uninspired, with that all-too-familiar lockdown companion, boredom.

三级成人视频It is like being starved and finally getting something to eat. The problem? You know you will be eating the same meal of bread, cheese and water for the foreseeable future. It is better than nothing, but you would really like to tuck into a roast dinner again at some point.

Chris Basham of Sheffield United is challenged by Matt Targett of Aston Villa Credit: Getty Images Europe 

All football returning behind closed doors三级成人视频 has done is remind me of all the other things I can sort-of do again, while hammering home the point that the things I really enjoy in life, are still denied to me.

I can see friends, but only outside. I cannot have them round for dinner, I cannot drive to Manchester and stay over at my best friend’s house, someone I’ve seen regularly in some way, shape or form since we lived together at university 20 years ago. And I certainly cannot go to the pub or sit down in a restaurant. I cannot even go to the cinema.

三级成人视频At least McDonald’s is open. I’m not ashamed to say, that it was tough to choose who was more excited, my five-year old or me. But the novelty wore off quickly because, let’s face it, it’s burger and fries from a drive thru and the queue was huge.

I can see my parents, but I cannot give my mum a hug. We have had to choose one set of grandparents to bring into our “bubble”, so they can spend time with their grandson and not the other.

A horrible choice based on this - one set of grandparents are classed as vulnerable, the other two caught the virus a few months ago, suffered terribly, but thankfully came through the other side. Their reward… they can see their grandchild properly, while the other makes do with a wave and blown kisses from two metres away.

三级成人视频As for my son, he is back at school, but only two days a week because that is all the school can offer him. They have tried, but it is a small school and social distancing requirements make it impossible for them to return to normal even with only three age groups back.

When he went in last week, full of excitement, he was one of only three children from his class to attend. It was a massive anti-climax. When the school subsequently had someone return a positive test for Covid-19, the arrangements were changed again. He has spent most of this week at his grandparents.

He started school in September, loved it by January, had it taken away in March. In July, he will get one morning or afternoon a week to get him ready for the transition from Reception to Year One and then it will be the summer holidays - without a holiday, no trips to the swimming pool, playgrounds, play-dates with friends, or any of the other things a five-year-old should be doing in those normally magical six weeks.

Which brings us back to the football. I was excited, I had allowed myself that much. Having feared there would be nothing until the new season started in September, the sense of anticipation was there, the hint of excitement and intrigue. And then it began.

A corner flag is disinfected at the Etihad Stadium Credit: AFP

三级成人视频Like the McDonald’s, the idea was better than the reality. The novelty wore off pretty quick. Empty grounds are soulless, the games were, as I feared, training ground paced. It lacked something… hard to put your finger on, but it felt like a pre-season friendly and was played with the same intensity. Maybe it’s just warped perception, because there are no fans. I don’t know, but it will be hard to shift.

Better than nothing but not the real thing. Aston Villa and Sheffield United brought us a memorable technology failure, as Hawk-Eye failed to work三级成人视频, but it was a game that will be swiftly forgotten, a goalless draw. The worst possible start.

Hopes were higher for the second match, but Manchester City cruised to an easy win over a typically flaky Arsenal. Familiar, but not the same. It was not a proper contest.

There were talking points and artificial drama, which felt reassuring. Watching David Luiz’s latest calamity compilation was enough to spark debate about his future and the dropping of Mesut Ozil from the matchday squad, casts fresh doubt on his too.

But I will leave the final word to the comedian Kevin Bridges who tweeted “Back to back live football on a Wednesday in the summer. Like a World Cup. But s---.”

And to think, we should have been engrossed in England’s European Championship campaign now. Instead we are fulfilling domestic fixtures to avoid financial catastrophe for the Premier League. Football is back, sort of.