The English Premier League won't be the same without ESPN STAR Sports presenter John Dykes for Hong Kong viewers. But all is not lost - the Post will be bringing you the face of English football in Asia, exclusively every Saturday. John will tease us with the tittle-tattle, shock us with the scandal, and enthral us with his expert analysis. It's time for kick-off ... It wasn't just the deplorable state of Heathrow's depressing Terminal Three that had me craving a shower as we rose into the skies over Middlesex this week. It was more a need to slough away a layer of grime, or should I say sleaze, accumulated by three weeks in England. It needn't have been that way. The sun had shone more often than could be reasonably expected, and the country's cricketers couldn't stop winning, but the tabloid papers stashed away in my suitcase were dominated by football and sleaze, or was it sleaze and football. The two seem to go hand in hand these days. 'My Sex With Sven' offered The Sun. 'Screwed!' barked the now-notorious front page of last Sunday's News of the World. Both featured the England coach and a woman who now endures the nickname 'Fire Alarm' at the FA's headquarters in Soho Square. Even if ESPN STAR Sports wasn't about to launch a 30-minute Friday night show based around newspapers and their treatment of football, I would have had those papers in my possession. It is a fact of British life today that editorial content that would previously have been categorised as 'tabloid' is now a staple of every paper, no matter how noble its lineage. The FA might argue that without the tabloids - and tabloid culture - it wouldn't have found itself in this mess. But the tabloid in question shouldn't be faulted for exposing the latest in a sorry line of authority figures to ignore the first golden rule of scandals: never get your cover-up wrong. No, what's depressing about all this is its inevitability. Football, we are constantly reminded, is the heartbeat of Cool Britannia. More than that even, it is the great British dream. You haven't really arrived until you're on ?100,000 a week and you're all over the tabloids. By the way, the pages not occupied by Sven-Gate reported the following: new statistics describing a boom in 'binge drinking' by females, a startling rise in sexually transmitted diseases among the young, and the news that a curfew will be imposed on teenagers to stop them getting into trouble in Central London (perhaps they should do something similar to middle-aged football administrators). So against this backdrop, why expect football to be any different. As a result, you can expect to see a whole load of tabloid tittle-tattle as Sky Sports' Richard Keys (and other guests) pop up on First Edition each Friday. But rest assured, there will be some football. Talking of which, has this pre-season taught us anything new about the title contenders in the Premiership this season? What about Arsenal and Manchester United, who'll kick off tomorrow in Cardiff with the Community Shield? Well, yes and no. Arsenal, understrength and undermotivated, went through the motions in Amsterdam. They looked inventive but cannot afford to be without Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell for long. United huffed and puffed home and abroad, Roy Keane cajoled, and the suspicion remains that a gentle decline could continue until the return of Rio Ferdinand. I'll be banging on about this at greater length next time, but if both teams make a slow start, expect Chelsea (and possibly Liverpool) to take advantage. A slow-tempo affair at the Millennium Stadium could be on the cards, but if they want success this season, both teams need to kick things off with a bang.