In nine months' time, we'll totter off for a short break before the next interminable round of football. The well of hyperbole will have been drained dry and we'll struggle to recall the genuinely uplifting moments. Football's like that, though.

You stick with it, convinced it'll get better. Invariably it doesn't, but this won't stop us looking forward to that compelling mix of drama and dross.

Some statistics are more meaningful than others. Like the fact that Jose Mourinho hasn't yet stayed at a club for longer than two years, as he enters his third season at Chelsea. And one for Blues and Baggies' fans: just 20 per cent of those relegated to the Premiership win promotion at the first attempt.

And why do goalkeepers cost so little to buy? West Ham have signed Rob Green, a recent member of the England squad for just £2 million. He's only 26. David James has gone to Portsmouth for a million quid. Is Ashley Cole 19 times more valuable?

All those who fear that the players are now running the game should wish Fulham's manager Chris Coleman well in his attempt to flush Steed Malbranque out of a prolonged sulk. Coleman has done everything to accommodate Malbranque who appears willing to sit out the remaining year of his contract. Now he's content to let him stew in the reserves.

Portsmouth could be a surprise side this season. Harry Redknapp won't be short of money to spend and already Sol Campbell, James and Kanu look sound purchases. And Fratton Park remains an inhospitable place for visiting teams.

There could be an end to all those 'Fergie Fury' stories if Manchester U nited continue to under-achieve. Another season without winning the Premiership would lead the Glazer family having to make a cold-eyed decision. American billionaires aren't known for sentimental attitudes.

Among the young players to watch, there's Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor (below), Micah Richards of Manchester City, Giuseppe Rossi of Manchester United, Middlesbrough's Lee Cattermole, Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky and Reading's Dave Kitson.

It would be reassuring to think we'll see an end to tantrums from play-ers who have been substituted and those who have joined new clubs kissing the badge after scoring a goal.

But Damien Johnson of Birmingham and Everton's Andy Johnson revisited those depressing watering holes at the weekend. Just do what you're paid for, guys, and forget the histrionics.