Once upon a time a man took over as manager of a once successful Premiership side, whose glory days were behind them as they sat mid-table. Efforts were made to change the style of play, with new players being brought in, but it still wasn't enough. The fans were left with the final say in picking the team...and made many a wrong choice, resulting in the team plummeting into the relegation zone. Things hit an all-time low last year: the wrong striker was selected and completely misfired, condemning the side to relegation.
One year on, the manager is under attack from all sides. What does he do? Does he stick with the old formation which used to win trophies many years ago, but no-one likes that style of play anymore? Does he try a more modern style which might work in qualifying for Europe at risk of alienating the home fans? Does he bring in that big-name international striker or stick with the home-grown cult figures who would sink without a trace the minute they went abroad to play?
It's tough, yes. Especially when the fans have such a big say in picking the team. Especially when everyone - whether you're a casual fan or a season ticket holder fan, a blogger or a journalist - has an opinion about it. The manager's the one who always gets the criticism. I've never been his biggest fan, but he's tried to drag that team kicking and screaming into the 21st century: he got them playing in huge stadiums in front of massive crowds, and even turned a one-night-only fixture into a six week tournament. He tried to attract big names to his team only for them to be condemned to the subs' bench forever....and most of them would never want to play for that team again.
In two months' time, the team will take to the field to play one, possibly two matches. If they win the first match, they'll win promotion again to the Premiership and will qualify for Europe...whereas if they lose, it's another season in the lower league.
Eurovision may be moving on and modernising, but Sweden is in danger of getting left behind in the same way that the United Kingdom has, due to backward thinking about 'what constitutes a Eurovision song'.
Next Saturday sees the final of Melodifestivalen. Good people of Sweden, take my advice....
Don't send Spring för livet: it's a nice enough song but its main selling point is its lyrics, which would probably be severely watered down if the song was to be translated to English;
Don't send Oh My God!: I played this to my mum and she thought it sounded like a really bad UK Song for Europe entry from any time in the last 30 years;
Don't send 7 Days and 7 Nights: I like Brolle, but this would just get lost, 'Las Vegas'-style;
Don't send E det fel på mej: a song like this would struggle beyond Swedish borders. And it would completely flop in English;
Don't send Leaving Home: rock is popular but this is maybe a little too old-fashioned, and I don't think the jacket-removal moment would go down too well;
Don't send Me and My Drum: if only for the reason it would probably flop because it's mainly rapping, (although with a killer chorus!) and rap doesn't play too well at ESC;
Don't send I'm In Love: it's too old-fashioned and I still can't warm to her, and I don't think the people of Europe would warm to her either;
Don't send The King: remind me what year this is? 1956?;
We are left with two songs: the first in the running order "In The Club" and the last in the running order, "Popular". One is a catchy (if repetitive) and contemporary song, sung by a good singer and dancer, the other is a deeply irritating, old-fashioned, Fredrik Kempe-by-numbers 'here's what a Eurovision song should sound like' song, and that's just the song....don't even start me on the stupid breaking glass gimmick. Don't get me wrong, I like young Eric - he's cute and makes a good boy-pop star, and he's a pretty good performer too. He just deserves a more modern song, rather than a more 'Modern Talking' song. Again, don't get me wrong, I have fond memories of Modern Talking, as should every devoted fan of 80s Europop, but this is 2011 and that sound just isn't working in Europe anymore.
So you know what you have to do....
SEND DANNY SAUCEDO TO DUSSELDORF!
(but that probably won't happen)