Next week you need to know about . . . the return of the Premiership
The past fortnight has showcased all that is great about sport: the Olympics have been full of supremely disciplined athletes pushing the boundaries of what the human body can do, providing an excess of pure drama and capturing hearts everywhere.
However, after feasting on the performances of likeable athletes who mostly toil in anonymity for a brief chance at glory, it’s back to the regular sporting diet as the English Premiership returns next Saturday.
The inevitably unedifying antics of overpaid football stars with terrible tattoos and badly spelled Twitter accounts will compare poorly with the self-effacing charm of your Katie Taylors and Michael Phelpses, but the Olympics don’t have a monopoly on sporting drama. After all, football fans were treated to a climax of unscriptable drama as Manchester City scored two injury-time goals in the dying minutes of last season to snatch the title away from Manchester United.
All eyes will be back on Manchester to see if Alex Ferguson can reclaim United’s traditional Premiership dominance or if City’s vast resources, thanks to the ownership of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, will ensure continued success. In London, Chelsea will hope to build on their shock Champions League success with a clutch of new players, while Arsenal and Liverpool focus on rebuilding their squads.