Whether you’re a Manchester United fan celebrating a historic 19th league championship, a West Ham supporter fuming over relegation or a follower of any of the sides in the Football League, Scottish Premier or amateur divisions – there’s one thing all football fans can agree on… and that’s how dull life can get between the end of May and the middle of August.
There’s not even a World Cup or European Championship to brighten up the summer and all we’ll have to entertain us is hearing about Fulham’s charge towards the Europa League proper as the preliminary rounds begin for that this month.
But, there are plenty of essential bits of technology, apps and websites that can ensure you keep the beautiful game in your
life for those three long months. Just watch out your other half doesn’t show you the red card.
And if you’re thinking of buying a new TV, then here’s our pick of the best televisions to watch football on. Just click here.
Of course, there is some football on over the summer. If you’re into international qualifying games, pre-season friendlies, minor
foreign leagues or legends’ five-a-side matches you can find them on the Sky Sports channels – all in stunning HD. It’s better than nothing and if you’re not signed up yet then there are plenty of deals around, including a free Sky+ HD box and £50 cashback.
Personally during this ‘down’ time, I prefer to play rather than watch football. Loving technology but hating actual physical exercise, when I say ‘playing’ I mean on a console. FIFA 11 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 are both great games available on multiple formats, with most experts
agreeing that the best experience comes on Xbox. You’ll just have to decide which side you’re on in that clash of the soccer simulations.
What better way to get ready for next season than planning the quickest route to all the grounds you’ll be visiting? Who cares if QPR haven’t been in the top division for 15 years, you’ll be able to work out how to get from your home to Loftus Road in 15 seconds with the TomTom’s ‘A to
B’ route planning function. And, since you’ve got the sat nav, why not take the family on a mini-break to pass some time. Alton Towers may not be as fun as Anfield, but at least you won’t now get lost on the way.
Real life football managers don’t rest over the summer, and nor should you. Now is the perfect time to get picking that Fantasy
Football team for next season – learning from this year’s mistakes and pouring over that all-important player price list from the second it comes out pre-season. For me, the original Fantasy game is still the best – I won my friends’ mini-league this season for the fourth time.
Anyone who loves some good old fashioned transfer gossip knows that the tabloids are the place to get it. And the team at the Daily Mirror have gone beyond the back page by creating an entire website and app devoted to footie news and rumours. We can’t promise your club will buy Lionel Messi in the close season, but if they do this will be the first place to read about it. You can download the Mirror Football app by clicking here.
If the Mirror app doesn’t have enough info for you, then check out this one that justifiably claims to have “the most data of any football app in the App Store”. Featuring full stats from more than 600 leagues from around the globe it really is one for those who want to know everything that happened in the last 12 months.
I’ve often raved in my pieces about how the iPad literally does everything you could ever possibly want – acting as a computer, television and VoIP phone. But now you can play table football on it too. Reds v Blues isn’t quite Manchester United v Barcelona, but it will pass the time until the big kick-off finally arrives.