Let’s all sit back and think of the most stressful situations we have been in? What is it for you? Being chased around by a huge dog? Something more stereotypical such as exams and the pressure which come with them? Or are you like me and the thing that gets to you the most is sports. It doesn’t matter whether I am watching it, playing it or even talking about it sport is something that stresses me out no end. My team plays in Claret and Blue and kicks the original (and better all round so sorry to my American cousins) football around the pitch every Saturday at 3pm. You may have picked up on the fact that I am a fan of a team in the English Premier League and with this comes some rather unique stresses and strains. If I had to create a website to describe what watching the Irons is like every week it would probably be something along the lines of www.pressurecookersportal.com because, as you can probably guess, watching every week is akin to being in a pressure cooker!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the premier league let me fill you in on a little bit of the history associated with the worlds greatest competition. Over the last ten or so years there were four teams that dominated the League and on occasion made it rather boring. This isn’t to say that there wasn’t the odd disruption of the big boys and their dominance (see Blackburn in 1997) but this was the general consensus. Every year one of them would win the league. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea were the names at the top of the sheet each and every year and this became very boring very quickly. Thankfully things changed and they seem to have changed forever. First Manchester City got investment from what is rumoured to be the wealthiest family in the world, the one that rules over Dubai. This investment changed them overnight, and back in 2009 they made a bid on the last day of the transfer window in excess of £32 million pounds for, at the time one of the world’s best players, Robinho. They haven’t looked back since and at the time of writing they have one of the most expensively assembled teams in world football. This isn’t the end of the changes the league has experienced by a long way! This season a team who were nailed on for relegation have been flying at the top of the league, Manchester United, once the biggest club in the world, have continued treading water and occupying a league position way below that of which a club of their stature is used to. The whole thing has gone tipsy turvy and even those of us who have been watching football for years are clueless as to what is going to happen next.

This is what makes watching football in the Premier League so stressful. It’s the unpredictability. Normally if you had asked me the position in which the 20 teams in the league would finish I would have been able to present you with a league table where everyone would be within one or two places from where they would end up finishing when the curtain closed. Over the last two years I haven’t been able to do that so its a good job I am not inclined to gamble! Normally I know who West Ham will beat and who I don’t even need to bother turning the TV on for as I know we will be on the receiving end of a beating, but now I am clueless and I couldn’t be enjoying it more! The whole league is becoming a pressure cooker, ready to explode into life and showering us all in a new era of change. If you have any techniques which will help me to predict what is going to happen then please do tell me, but only if the end results are good for my team….. Stress affects us all in different ways and now you know what sets me off! If anyone is the same then I can only offer you m sincerest sympathies….