The 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea wasn't the greatest tournament I remember but it did encapsulate what the World Cup means to me.

I had no holidays planned that year so I decided to take time off for every day there was a game on.

It only cost me about two weeks of my yearly entitlement but with many of the games early in the morning, it meant I could get up to see them and then kip in the afternoon if I needed to.

That year's tournament also brought up one of my most-fondest memories - and one of the dafter days out.

England's quarter-final against Brazil kicked off at 7.30am in the UK and meant an early morning outing to the Mill Tavern in Hebburn.

And while the match ultimately proved upsetting (still can't listen to Oasis' Stop Crying Your Heart Out without being sent hurtling back to that crushing moment as the BBC's coverage ended), the day was fantastic.

We stayed in that pub until 8pm before moving onto the next one and the whole day summed the excitement I had. We lived it, breathed it, planned our life around it.

Fast forward 20 years and it couldn't be any different.

The Qatar 2022 edition just does not excite me and there's a very good chance that I don't bother watching a vast chunk of it.

And I'd like to say this is because of some high moral fibre, or a political and social ideology, but the truth of the matter is it boils down to a simply football-based opinion.

A World Cup in November and December just has no interest to me.

Think of the Champions League or the Europa League or any other tournament held at this time of year that utilises group matches. Thinking of them? Now think of the ones you have been totally enthralled by. Still thinking aren't you?

Most are as dull as ditchwater and I can't see this being any different. Players are still in that mindset, hell, most only played a Premier League game seven days ago.

I'll admit, my enjoyment of top-flight football has been diluted in recent years. Whether that's the job or my age, maybe, or maybe it is down to the fact that the gap between clubs, authorities and players down to us fans has widened.

We've always known that any praise of fans is merely lip service, platitudes designed to placate and distract. Now though, clubs, authorities and players seemed to have stop trying, openly doing things that don't even consider the average supporter.

That's where this World Cup comes in. The decision to give it to Qatar was all down to money, we all know it. I appreciate the movement in the calendar is down to the weather but that should have been considered in the whole bidding process, not drowned out by cha-ching noises.

My other gripe about the timing is the fact League Two and non-league clubs will still be playing and therefore, because those have become my passion, as well as my job, I'm going to be concentrating on them before I think about the permutations of qualification from groups in the Middle East.

I would have loved the Premier League to stick two fingers up and say they were continuing with fixtures through November and December but there was never a hope of that.

And the timing actually works to their benefit.

They have always wanted to move to a fixture list where there was a game every single day, able to be broadcast round the world for all the money that generates.

By the time the league gets back to action, they'll get close to that scenario as they look to play catch-up. A mid-season break next season has already been ushered in as well, just to keep the opportunity alive.

Another slap in the face to supporters.

And I've had enough of dancing to the beat of their drum. No wallcharts for me this year, no planning the pubs we'll be in, no excitement levels at all.

I'm sure the younger generation will lap it up, this is what they've become accustomed to but for me, this is all wrong.

The photo at the top of this column is of a pub back home. Norman did this every tournament for years, his previous tenancy at the Clock in Hebburn was even more lavish but unfortunately I can't find the photo I took of that.

I watched the 2006 World Cup there (and the 2004 Euros), and it was brilliant. All the football songs played before, daft plastic hats by the bucketload, and just a wonderful atmosphere and memories.

But there'll be none of that this year and that is very sad.

(For all of the above, and just for balance of course, I've still just done a very quick prediction and have Argentina beating France in the final.)