5 things every football fan does during pre-season... 6 years ago

5 things every football fan does during pre-season...

Pre-season can be a dull time for football fans, especially when there's no World Cup or European Championship to keep things ticking along.

As the dying embers of the previous campaign drift further away, we tend to fall into the same patterns to while away those long summer days.

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Here are just a few of the things we've all done...

1. Become a hipster

In the same way you cherish the last pot noodle at the back of the kitchen cupboard when you're hungover and unable to leave the house, there's a tendency to cling to any football you can find over the summer.

While some will watch their club friendlies to keep the buzz going, the rest of us will turn into hipsters - brushing up on a fringe league like MLS that doesn't stick to the August-May calendar.

At times it can be a treasure trove of former Premier League stars - Liam Ridgewell and Giles Barnes? Sign us up! Even if there are a few phenomenal goals on show, there's a reason we stop watching when the European leagues kick off again...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Vfdx7LEh4

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2. Over-analyse friendlies

Let's be realistic for a second - any competition where Yaya Sanogo can score four goals against a Champions League side isn't a great guide to anything.

That doesn't stop us though. We'll talk of debut goals and unquantifiable "positive signs" from games that are organised simply to stop players getting their new team-mates' names wrong when the new campaign starts.

Top-scorer honours in the International Champions Cup means about as much as first place in your school egg-and-spoon race back in the day.

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3. Check transfer rumours religiously

So enormous is the transfer window hype these days that it's almost as big an event as the season itself.

Whether it's the morning papers or the JOE transfer blog, many of us will wake up and check the gossip before breakfast.

For some, it's worth being wrong 10 times when discussing the latest rumours with our mates, as long as the 11th time you can show yourself to be #ITK.

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Alexandre Pato to Bournemouth? Yeah, I saw that coming weeks ago...

Pato

4. Obsess about fantasy football

It doesn't matter if you always end up ignoring your fantasy team between September and May, those three or four weeks before the season starts will get your full attention.

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Regardless of which type of fantasy football player you are, you'll spend those long summer nights indoors perfecting your pun-based team name and redrafting your front three at the drop of a hat.

This year will be different, though, as you'll be able to join the free JOE fantasy league (entry code 14094-25570) and play to win a PS4. It might be time to do things properly, then.

fpl

5. Play some actual football

We've all been down the park on a hungover Sunday morning, sweating out our bodyweight in the July heat after a late-night booze-filled barbecue.

With no proper football on TV, you'll play for two or three hours until you can barely move, before spending the rest of the afternoon in a beer garden arguing about who United will sign and whether Arsenal can win the league.

You'll pledge to keep it going throughout the season, making your long-awaited 11-a-side return. Then 7-a-side, you decide. Actually 5-a-side. How about three of you playing headers and volleys because everyone else wants to stay in for Super Sunday? Hey, there's always next year.

Jumpers For Goalposts