The fixture list for the 2017/18 season were released this morning (Wednesday) and it seems all the bugs in the Premier League’s system have not been ironed out.
Naturally it goes without saying that the fixtures listed below are subject to change and you should always check with the club to see if any changes have been made.
The Premier League maintain that the fixture list is produced by a computer, so as to absolve anyone of responsibility for the cock ups that get produced. It has to be noted that computers only do what humans program them to do so any computer error is, in fact, a human error.
I’ve always been of the opinion that teams should have either their first OR last match at home but not both. While next season’t fixture list has given us home games at the start and end of the season I feel this is something that needs to sorted out. This isn’t a cock up but it is an abnormality that should have been rectified by now.
Something that does really ‘boil my spuds’ is a fixture list pile up like we saw last season during April when we had 7 games in the month. Well, guess what? Next season we have 7 games in December!
I don’t understand why need need to have such congestion when we have two months, October and February, that feature just 3 games. There is one game in December, a midweek home game, that could be moved elsewhere.
I guess we should be thankful that this congestion isn’t in the arse end of the season like last season.
Another thing I think should be eradicated from the fixture list is two away games in a row. I know, sometimes it can’t be helped but a pre-planned fixture list should be able to remove these double away games.
In fact we have four back-to-back away games. Two of them are horrendous while the other two are done the correct way.
First up is the double away day to Manchester. First we play Manchester City then a week later we go to Manchester United. My first thought was that the team might as well stay up there for the week because with travelling and recover, there isn’t much game preparation time.
Next is another horrendous back-to-back featuring Leicester away followed by Swansea a week later.
A better example of back-to-back away games is Arsenal followed by West Ham 3 days later. Of course being able to have two local away games is something of a rarity for most teams outside of London.
Finally, our final back-to-back away games are Chelsea followed by Huddersfield a week later.
Given that the Premier League is the biggest league in the world I am amazed that they can’t get their ducks in a row and sort out the fixture list so it is correct when published. Anything that happens after that is down to the teams.
A team should either have their first or last game at home, not both. They should then have alternative games home and away throughout the calendar.
Finally, a team should be able to identify 5 or 6 important games that they consider should be on a Saturday or Sunday. In particular I am making reference to the game away at Brighton on a Tuesday evening in November.
Everyone knows the game against Brighton is our local derby, named the M23 Derby by someone. With that in mind, derby or local rival games should be given special treatment and reserved for when attendance can be maximised and policing can be at it’s optimal.
Generally speaking I don’t really care who or when we play teams but there are basic rules which should be adhered to in order to provide fairness across the Premier League.
Maybe we should take a leaf out of other leagues and play all 19 teams once then play them again in the same order?
Be Careful What We Wish For
That aside it was interesting to see quite a few people noting our game at home to Brighton on 14th April. The speculation was that maybe that would be the fixture that could see Brighton relegated back to the Championship.
It would indeed be amusing to be the team that seals their fete but before we get too excited I would like to point out we play West Brom in the final game of the season at Selhurst Park. I am all too aware how Tony Pulis might be wishing we need 3 points from that game for survival having recently cost him a few million quid.
Be careful what we wish for because what goes around…