Ready for the big kick-off
Bonjour comrades. It's been a while but the season is upon us so I thought it was high time I got back on the blog.
Where on earth did the summer disappear to? I came back from the World Cup in South Africa, went straight to the Open Championship at St Andrews and then all of a sudden it's time to dust off the boots again!
We kicked things off last Saturday at Elland Road with the first of what will hopefully be about 12 on-the-road programmes this season. The last time I was there, six or seven years ago, I was a last-minute stand-in for the guy on the public address system. I asked for a big wave from those sitting in what was then the Lurpak Stand and a few thousand people told me they didn't really want to! I feel we bonded.
This time around it was a much more friendly affair and we kicked off the season without too much fuss. I know people have very strong opinions about Robbie Savage but - whatever you think of the man - giving him a camera for a few days turned out to be a tidy decision and I thought that was probably the stand-out piece from show number one.
The Kaiser Chiefs - drummer Nick Hodgson and bassist Simon Rix - were spectacularly laid back but good fun. Those boys really know their football but it is very much from a 'Leeds is the centre of the universe' perspective. After the programme, we thought we would try to get their views on a couple of topics that did not involve their beloved club.
Hopefully there will be plenty more behind-the-scenes stuff for you this season. There are a number of pieces in the pipeline but if you have any other ideas then let me know and we shall try to sort something out.
Actually, one of the other things we are trying this season is a direct result of comments and requests on this blog. Loads of people asked for Football Focus to be available on the iPlayer. We have not been able to do it because of rights issues concerning Premier League matches but this season we are making a few edits here and there and producing an online version each week.
It will not be on the iPlayer because that device is only allowed to show programmes exactly as they what went out on air but it will be available each week on the BBC Sport website from early evening Saturday onwards. So I am now able to say: "If you missed last week's programme, you can watch it here."
While we are talking changes, the other new thing is the Focus Forum. Friday Focus will continue as ever - normally with Captain Lawrenson - but every Tuesday we will film a little something extra for the website after we have had our planning meeting. We thought we would kick it off this week with Admiral Motson.
So all the new stuff seems to be going well and we had everything ready for the first Premier League show of the season until Martin O'Neill decided he had had enough at Villa Park on Monday. That was understandably the main talking point in our Tuesday meeting, with several opinions being heartily voiced.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Villa this season but a lot of that depends on who they get to replace O'Neill and how many players will still be there by the time he takes over. As for who the rest of the league, I did a little piece for Newsround this week and made a few outlandish predictions.
Chelsea to win the title by 10 points;
Adam Johnson to win player of the season;
Darren Bent to finish with the Golden Boot;
Blackpool to finish in the top half;
And the Fruit Salad to make a comeback as the nation's favourite sweet!
When I showed them to Lawro he genuinely laughed out loud. That may be because he is a Refreshers man but I do not see the point of making predictions if you are not going to extend the neck a little. Feel free to send yours through to see if you can do any better. By the way, is anyone else missing the sound of the vuvuzela?
As ever you can follow the show throughout the season by following me on twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc