Beware the summer vibes. In the season's warmth, it is easy to let your head start to spin with a definite dose of transfer market heatstroke. Before you know it, you will be making outlandish predictions of shock Scudetti and a newly-promoted team challenging for European honours.
It takes the cold splash of some actual competitive football to bring you to your senses.
I should know, I have been there before. Looking at the Calciomercato-predicted starting XIs is something of an addiction I suffer. And trying to extrapolate how each team might then perform is a natural extension of that. Invariably, I get it wrong.
That's why I am always cautious about getting too carried away about who is having a "great" or "disastrous" transfer campaign. Firstly, there is still a lot of time for deals to be done. And, secondly, what looks impressive on paper can crumple like a bin-bound biscuit wrapper in the actual heat of battle.
Of course, fans are entitled to dream and that is part of the beauty of this time of year. Juventus, with Carlitos Tevez and the previously-secured Fernando Llorente, reckon they are building a genuine Champions League challenge. In Florence, with season-ticket sales already flying, they hope that Mario Gomez - and Giuseppe Rossi's return from injury - might make them title contenders. And Antonio Cassano-mania is starting to make its presence felt in the genteel surrounds of Parma.
The flipside to those feelings of elation is, of course, a sense of frustration at a perceived lack of activity by your club. No matter whether it comes on the back of a brilliant or blundering season, there is always the thought that they should be doing more. Football fans are an impatient bunch.
However, that is exactly the commodity which is required at times like these. By all means punch the air in delight or throw your hands up in despair - but don't do it with too much conviction. The season ahead is as likely to prove you wrong as it is to show you were right.
I have lost count of the number of bold predictions I have made on the back of an impressive or depressing transfer campaign. Sometimes I get it right but, just as often, I am well wide of the mark. It is hard not to let passion, prejudice or peer pressure cloud your vision.
So, I'm trying to take a more relaxed approach to my analysis this summer. I won't be getting carried away in my praise or criticism of any particular club until I actually get the chance to see them in action. History has taught me that is far and away the best approach to take.
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