My Birmingham Mail column-Weds Aug 7th 2018

Starting the season with high hopes, dreams and wishes are the staple pre-season diet of most football fans and rightly so. After reviewing and dissecting the season that has just finished the close season long drawn out weeks, days and hours are spent looking forward to the new season.

I know that within a couple of weeks of the season ending I start missing the games, the weekly emotional roller coaster ride and all the drama that goes with being a local football supporter almost to the point of masochism.

The wait for the fixture list to come out, checking the dates of the local ding dong derby games and the daily check to see who our team has bought in the summer transfer window is all part of the multi-colour tapestry of being a fan.

The conversation in the pubs, clubs, offices and factories usually revolves around who our team needs to buy and where they will finish in the league in the forth-coming season. Sometimes, sadly, it’s also about how long the manager will have before he is sacked.

I would love our three teams to win promotion and compete with the best teams and get the profile the Premier League offers, I am fed up with this are being a football wasteland. Having said that the championship is a fantastic competition with half the teams at least fancying their chances of winning automatic promotion with 75% of the teams in the division believing that the playoffs are a realistic goal. First step is for all our teams to be competitive this season and be in the mix come May.

However what can be in short supply is realism when it comes to expectations for the new season.

There is no problem with wanting, hoping and wishing your team will win a game a cup or promotion is what we all do and rightly so. However expecting it can lead to disappointment and as a consequence of that anger can take over as the over-riding emotion.

The reaction to the opening games of the new season from some fans beggars belief. If you lose it you are not certs for relegation if you win you are not guaranteed promotion. It’s the same as publishing the Championship league table after one, two, three or four games; absolute nonsense that will have no bearing on the way it will look on the final day of the season.

Over the 46 games there will be highs and lows and ups and downs for all our teams and that is part of being a supporter. The secret is not to get to carried away by the highs and not to get to down with the lows

Thankfully most supporters around these parts are wise enough to set realistic expectations.

If you take away hopes, dreams and wishes what do you have left? Oh yes I know, the Premier League.