Tomorrow Man City will win the Premiership by 10-15 points and if Harry Kane ends up like a Bob Dylan song, is released from the grip of Tottenham and moves there next season, one feels as though it would only be fair if City started every game with ten men. The eleventh could be a member of the public for example, or one of the fans drawn from a lottery. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see ten of City’s best and Monro Bryce lumbering around the park of a Saturday afternoon?
The leagues around Europe come to their finales this weekend.
With Mallorca promoted, the questions are: which of the Madrid teams will win the league; will PSG win the French league for the eighth time in nine years, or will Lille hang on for a famous victory; and will Juventus make the champions league next year? And then next week will City win the Champions League for the first time in their history?
The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, because on Monday it is Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday.
The times may not be a changing much more though as the sporting calendar begins to return to a more familiar pattern. The end of the football season in May in front of fans, the clay court tennis season with its traditional curtain raiser in Monaco last month and the principality hosting the F1 circus this weekend, with the familiar call to change the circuit because it is impossible to overtake.
If you have not yet seen the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive, I recommend it very highly.
It gives a jaw dropping look into the very heart of F1 on and off the track.
The on-track camera work is spectacular and for the first time gives a view of how extraordinarily fast the cars move and the mind-boggling speed the drivers have to think and react.
But the documentary is less about the thrills and spills of F1.
The real revelation is that we are given access to the decision making of the team principals and the constant pressure and conflict within the teams. It is excruciating to watch loyalties divided, hundreds of millions of pounds on the line and relationships strained to the limit.
But the big news from our corner of the island is the success of the swimmers at the European Championships in Budapest that were in Mallorca training with us before heading to the event. Striking gold for the Czech Republic was Barbara Seemanova, so the water in Majorca clearly tasting like what it oughta.
Spain has a fantastic talent in the form of Mallorca-born Hugo Gonzalez, who won gold in the 200IM. Gonzalez is a former world and European junior champion who now trains in the US at the university of Cal Berkeley and adds his name to the list of sporting stars from the island.
The British team, some of whom we hope to welcome back to Mallorca before Tokyo, are in outstanding form, led on the men’s side be Adam Peaty, with his fourth 100m breaststroke title in a row, and on the women’s by Scotland’s Kathleen Dawson.
The strength of a team is not measured by its individuals but by its relay teams and Great Britain have dominated. By the time the championships finish on Sunday they are likely to be the only team to medal in all nine relay events with excellent prospects for the relays in Tokyo, especially in the mixed 4x100m medley relay which will be an Olympic event for the first time.
The British destroyed the field in Budapest winning gold in a time that was just a quarter of a second outside the world record.
To win medals at the Olympics, it is not enough to win medals at the European level. Statistics show clearly that you have to win gold at the Europeans to have any real chance of winning a medal at the Olympics and the British are positioning themselves perfectly to do that in Tokyo this year. Like Dylan, swimming sometimes suffers from the ‘is it genius or is it just a bit boring’? For me it is all genius, but others will disagree.
When 18 swimmers swim down the length in race after race, all exactly the same way and all 18 finish within 0.30 sec of each other and it is impossible to see who finished in front of whom, what’s the point?
The enigmatic answer is that one of them will win and the others won’t. And if blowin’ in the wind doesn’t quite explain it, you can always rely on ‘you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone...