Fans are a fickle bunch. Nevertheless, they can also be an optimistic lot, at times hopelessly so. With the start of each new season brings the chance for their side to 'start again', to open up a 'new leaf'. Perhaps it is the acquisition of a new striker. Maybe a 'young, energetic'-or, perhaps, an 'experienced, respected-in-the-game'-manager has arrived with fresh ideas and a promise to bring up 'team spirit' and get the players 'playing for the manager' again. Or, as is frequently the case, some bored billionaire has decided to invest/squander an obscene sum of money on a new toy, and has chosen their club as a recipient of his wealth.
But there are a few sets of fans whose bubble seems set to burst, even at this cruelly early stage. Here are today's power rankings.
1. Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn slumped to a 3-0 loss to newly-promoted Wigan Athletic, which followed on from a 4-1 defeat to Norwich the week before. The Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy scored an own goal and, to make things worse for Rovers fans, Will Grigg scored for Wigan, so they probably had to listen to that bloody song being sung for the seven millionth time this summer. And it is safe to say that Blackburn fans aren't totally enamoured with the job that the former Houston Dynamo, Wigan (inevitably caused stirrings) and Bolton boss is currently doing.
Owen Coyle, causing more devastation to the North West than Margret Thatcher.
— Elias (@EliasBrfc_) August 13, 2016
Owen Coyle - relegating Lancashire one club at a time since 2010
— Simon Dixon (@DickosClarets) August 6, 2016
Chanting for your manager too be sacked 2 games into the season
The Owen Coyle factor
— Danny Bam (@WigansDannyB) August 13, 2016
Nice one to Owen Coyle for finally getting 3 points for Wigan. #WAFC
— Louis | LE96z (@LE96_z) August 13, 2016
2. Crystal Palace
Last season, Palace went on an heroic run to the FA Cup final, which gave us the rather haunting spectacle of Alan Pardew trying to dance.[Watch Video]
However, they were also only five points from the relegation zone when the season finished, a bit too close for comfort and a point behind West Bromwich Albion in 14th. They definitely took a step backwards in League form since Tony Pulis left the club after not being backed by the club's board regarding transfers; this will make their loss to West Brom in their opening game of the season all the more sweet for Pulis but even harder to take for Eagles fans. Some analysts are blaming Pardew's loss of bodily function for the recent 'slump', one keen observer noting that since Pardew's dance, their league record has been a 100% losing one (a shocking one from one). Losing to a goal from Salomon Rondon in a game that was a damp-nay, sodden-squib will make for a grouchy Eagle getting the Underground home from Selhurst. They'll be even worse if Yannick Bolasie ends up moving to Everton next week. Maybe this result will help Christian Benteke make his mind up about where he wants to spend the next stage of his career.
Crystal Palace still goalless at home against West Brom. sounds like someone needs a Benteke. get going, Ian Ayre.
— nate (@natefc) August 13, 2016
Newcastle fans have been through more highs and lows in the last ten years than a one-winged pigeon (or rather, magpie), and last season was undoubtedly one of the lower points, with the Magpies waiting until the last game of the season to start playing any football. Geordie fans are undoubtedly desperate to see any form of fight or aggression from their side-even if towards each other. At least it would give them something to talk about, rather than how useless their team is.
And their current misfortune-now continuing under Rafa Benitez, with a loss away to Fulham last time out and an embarrassing defeat to Huddersfield today-will not lift the spirits of those around St James' Park, and has sparked doubt about the 'Rafalution'.
— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) August 13, 2016
— Ryan Honour (@RyanHonour) August 13, 2016
— John (@Ramma_____) August 13, 2016
It was a neat finish from Huddersfield's Jack Payne that has threatened to catalyse a Newcastle revolt.
Every EFL goal: 9pm. Channel 5 https://t.co/aIie07H25h
— Football On 5 (@FootballOn5) August 13, 2016
4. Leeds United
Under new manager Garry Monk, Leeds would have been hoping to set down a marker at the start of the season. Each year, Leeds fans dust down the old DVD footage of Robbie Keane, Rio Ferdinand et al and climb up to the attic to retrieve old videotapes of Johnny Giles. It's all they can do to keep themselves sane. Leeds have been remarkable in their averageness over the past few years-finishing 14th, 13th (twice) and 15th (twice) in their past five seasons. Perhaps this is what has led to what can perhaps be termed a type of psychosis, the 'Leeds delusion', as psychiatrists are starting to term it-a constant belief that things will improve despite overwhelming evidence suggesting the opposite. Further evidence has been provided in the opening two games of this year's Championship-losing 3-0 at QPR and then falling 2-1 at home to Birmingham.
It is a far cry from this famous occasion, which has no doubt provoked many a wistful gaze at Elland Road when played over the past few years. The full match highlights in all their glory can be watched here.
Who knows? Maybe the fans of these clubs will end the year skipping merrily down to the pub after a successful season. But such is the beauty of the Premier League. One week, the apocalypse is imminent. The next, life makes perfect sense. And all because of how successfully some 20-something boots a pig's bladder.
Brilliant, isn't it?