There was something about yesterday’s FA Cup final that irked me.
At full-time, minutes after bagging one of potentially four trophies, Liverpool’s players started bouncing up and down to the sound of Dua Lipa.
Now, I’ve got nothing against Dua. She’s released some pretty catchy tunes.
But is this what football has become? Just another vapid pop culture experience for us to post on our Instagram or TikTok feeds?
It used to mean so much more. The working man’s game. A form of escapism after a long and dreary week at work. An opportunity to have a laugh with people that you otherwise wouldn’t see.
I suppose it still is all of those things, but something is definitely missing.
When we were all confined to our homes at the height of the pandemic, we were desperate to have the match day experience back.
But cast your eyes to today’s game and you wonder if it was ever worth missing.
Yet again, Wolves went through the motions.
All of the pre-match talk was of this being a chance to right the wrongs of recent weeks and end the season on a high.
Spare me. We never got going and managed to make one of the most ordinary sides to ever grace the league look half decent.
It was another sorry performance from a group of players that are dining out on the goodwill of a loyal support base.
If some of this lot played in front of more fickle fans, they’d be hounded out.
I’ve seen some bad tribute acts in my time but this Willy Boly one tops the pile. What on Earth has happened to him? Cart horse doesn’t cut it.
Coady wasn’t much better and his hooking at half-time suggests that he may not be as bulletproof as he previously has been.
I’d like to see Moutinho get a new deal but one cannot argue that a more ambitious club would have upgraded some time ago.
Up top, it was another anonymous showing from Hwang (who is well and truly pulling an O’Hara on us) and Raul, who continues to look a shadow of the majestic player he once was.
If I was going to find a positive, it’d be in the performances of Toti, Ait Nouri and Chiquinho. You’d only expect them to improve with further exposure to first-team football.
But there can be no doubt that the time has come for this team to have a serious face-lift. The question is – will Fosun sanction it?
It’s hard to imagine them doing so without cashing in on our crown jewel, whose face was adorned with tears at full-time as the adoring Molineux crowd serenaded him.
The thought of this current team without Neves is enough to make you shudder, but that may be the future we’ve all got to prepare ourselves for.
But, with the beautiful game increasingly dominated by a handful of super-rich clubs, maybe we just have to accept that it is after all just a game.