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Time to scrap the Community Shield and have an American style all-star game?

Could a game between the North and South ever happen in the Premier League?

The new season approaches fast and with that comes the traditional curtain raiser; the Community Shield.

This and its previous charitable incarnation are an opportunity for everyone to feast their eyes on the League and Cup winners going at it for 90, 120 or however many minutes until somebody picks up the coveted shield.

It has been running since 1908 in its various differing formats and in its current form since 1974 so this is a competition stepped in tradition so perhaps scrapping it all-in-all might be a touch extreme.

But the idea of an all-star game has to be entertained as potentially a money spinning spectacle.

All-star games are common in America; with the NBA game one of the highlights of the basketball calendar.

Over there they play East v West; but in England we could definitely run a North v South version.

The best players from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Newcastle United taking on the best that Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Swansea can offer.

We can figure out what to do with the likes of West Brom and Aston Villa later.

Sure it might be difficult to get players from some of these great rivals teaming up together but then again in our current foreign blood Premier League not many of the players have deep ties to their clubs; and encompassing resentment towards traditional adversaries.

It could also be light-hearted much like the NBA all-star game with defending at a premium and an emphasis on playing an attractive game of football; full of goals and showboating.

That is until the final few minutes when all hell will likely break loose.

You could even bring in mini competitions for half time as well; much like the dunk contest in the NBA.

A 100m dash contest; who would not want to see Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott going at it over the distance.

Crossbar challenge, trick shot, freestyle dribbling the possibilities are endless.

It would help to break down that current barrier between fan and player to see them all getting along for one day; whilst a competitive game of football between the best our league can offer carries on as the main event.

Who would be in your North and South all-star teams?

image: © rich_w

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