Archive for April, 2008

Liverpool 3 – Blackburn 1

14 April 2008

Gah! I only went and missed the match. I thought yesterday was Saturday and several times during the day thought to myself, Looking forward to the footy tomorrow”. But I got a surprise though when I spoke to my Dad last night:

“Your team won today.”

“What?”

“Liverpool, 3-1”

“What? What  – oh, it’s Sunday! Shit.”

So unfortunately I can’t bring you my usual insightful match commentary. However, I did read this over at the BBC:

“but their achievements on the pitch this season are in danger of being overshadowed by the ongoing boardroom wrangling at Anfield.”

What wrangling? Whatever it is, I’m sure they can work it out over a nice cup of tea or coffee. Come on lads, don’t be bickering.

Can’t wait until Sunday’s match

11 April 2008

We’re playing Blackburn Rovers on Sunday and we’re going to thrash them. I have half a mind to go over there and tell them.

Hang on …

(5 minutes later)

… Yeh, that told ’em.

Liverpool Songs

9 April 2008

I’ve joined the Red and White Kop Liverpool FC fan site and have been perusing the extensive catalogue of Liverpool FC terrace chants and songs. There’s a really impressive back catalogue there.

So far, my favourites are:

Doo Dah

It’s ten past nine and stabbing time,
Doo Dah Doo Dah….

and

Anny Road End

We’re all mad, we’re all round the bend,
We are the Anny road end,
We’re not fucking Kopite Gobshites,
We’re going down the Road end for the big fight, Na na na …..

I’m going to try and learn them off-by-heart to sing at our next match.

I’m now a Liverpool fan

9 April 2008

After Arsenal’s loss last night, I have little choice but to support Liverpool. They looked the better side to be honest and I’ve even see Liverpool at Anfield once, so maybe I have a more of a legitimate claim to be a Liverpool supporter anyway.

I announced my emotional departure as an Arsenal fan on BBC’s 606 sports forums. Here’s my post: “Can’t Believe What Happened Last Night

To the future, then. And as long as Liverpool keep winning, they have my undying loyalty.

Arsenal 2 – Liverpool 4

8 April 2008

After all the worrying about where to watch the game, it was on ITV. So I watched this one from the comfort of my own lounge. Problem is, I was feeling pretty sleepy; it had been a long day.

But the kick-off was very exciting.

“Come on the reds!” , I yelled at the TV – and then realised Arsenal were in white. Good job I wasn’t in a crowded pub.

It was looking good for Arsenal. We got an early corner and appeared to have more of the possession. Then suddenly DIaby scored just 13 minutes in. Go, my team! OK!

After that, it was pretty action-packed. There was lots of running around. But Liverpool levelled – and then pulled ahead with another goal.

Two more people almost scored for us, but I forget their names. I’m not sure how, but I drifted off around this point. My wife woke me. There was cheering on the TV.

‘Did you score?’, she asked

‘Umm. Yes, yes we scored. Woo!’

Just 8 minutes to go and we equalised! My celebrations were hardly begun when Liverpool got given a penalty, which they scored. 3-2. Then Liverpool scored another in the last minute, the sneaky scousers.

So, farewell Arsenal. It was good while it lasted and you put up a good fight, but I’m following Liverpool now.

On the upside, I made 4 quid off my bet earlier. Get in!

Hedging my bets

8 April 2008

Just thinking … Betfair has Liverpool at 3-2 whereas Arsenal are 5-2, so maybe the experts don’t think my team will win after all. It’s going to be pretty gutting if Arsenal lose their first full match with me as a supporter, so I’ve decided to place a bet on them to lose. That way, if they win, I’m happy and if they lose, I’m slightly happier. It’s win-win.

All football fans should do this. It would make a lot of sense and would soften the blow of your team losing.

If you support a really rubbish team, you might even make a bit of money by the end of the season.

Banter

8 April 2008

My good friend, Dave, knows a lot about football, so I asked him:

“who do you think is going to win tonight? My team or the other team?”

He replied:

“Well… as an avid supporter you are no doubt aware that “your” team drew the first leg 1-1 at home.. so with the away goal rule they will need to score a goal to stay in the competition i.e. a 0-0 score will do them no good at all. It should therefore be an attacking game with a few goals. “Your” team are playing at the “other” team’s ground, however I think “your team” may just be up to the task… so.. to summarise i think “your team” is probably going to win – probably will be around 2-1 the final score. I will keep my fingers crossed for “your” team, as I’m sure, as any supporter would be, you will be just devastated if they lose”

So there you have it, even experts think my team will win.

Going to the gym to watch the match

8 April 2008

I’m not sure which pubs have Sky Sports or which ones are showing the game, but then I remembered that our gym has sky sports, so I’ll watch the game there and have a bit of a cycle and a bit of a run at the same time.

Arsenal match tomorrow night

7 April 2008

Arsenal are playing Liverpool (again!) tomorrow night, but in the UEFA Champions League (why can’t they just have one league and be done with it?).

I’m not sure if it’ll be on TV or not. Maybe I’ll have to go to a pub with Sky Sports.

I hope we win.

Edit: I’ve just discovered the handy ‘predict’ feature on Gunners 4 Life, where you can enter what you think the score will be. I’ve predicted we’ll lose 1-0.

Joined my first online fans’ community

6 April 2008

I just signed up for my first Arsenal fan community. I googled “Arsenal FC community” and was instantly confused – although not surprised – to see there were many: Arsenal Times, Aresnal Mania, Arsenal.com … Which one to join? In the end, my attention was caught by one called “Gunners 4 Life“. Their registration process was simple and easy to use and I was posting away within minutes.

Read my first ever fan post: “Yesterday’s result – is it really so bad?

Also, they have a poll on their site – “Should we concentrate on CL and forget about PL?” Again, I was quite chuffed that I actuall knew CL stood for Champions League (which I believe is like the Premiership, but including all European clubs) and PL is for Premier League. I voted “no” because I don’t believe you should ever give up on anything. Why not concentrate on both?

I was comforted to find out that my beliefs are in line with 78% of the other voters. It made me feel as if I have a natural understanding of Arsenal’s CL/PL predicament.

My first disappointment as a football fan

5 April 2008

Initially, I wasn’t all that bothered by Aresnal’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool at home. It could be worse, they could have lost.

But then I read the BBC report and realised that this is a “huge blow”. Apparently, we were lethargic and desperate.

I get the reasoning. There are only so many games left in the season and it’s going to be almost impossible for us to catch up Man Utd. (see, I know the basics). But come on, guys, never say never – nothing’s impossible etc. Why all the doom and gloom?

I for one am even more behind Arsenal than I ever was.

Come on the Gunners!

My first football chat

5 April 2008

“When are my team playing next?”

“Today, right now”

“Who are they playing”

“Liverpool”

“What’s the score?”

“1-1 at the moment”

“Ooh, I hope Aresnal win”


I become an Arsenal fan.

5 April 2008

There are so many esoteric rules surrounding the choice of team. My brother says that ‘choice’ is the wrong way to look at it. I asked him if it was ok to support Arsenal, as I once lived in Holloway for a year. My brother said I’d already transgressed so many rules of football fandom, that there was no longer any point in asking him what was and wasn’t acceptable.

So Arsenal it is. This has the added benefits of:

  1. My (American) wife likes the sound of the name
  2. I know enough to understand that Arsenal are consistently at the top of the Premiership, so this is a good starting point if I’m hoping for glory – and who doesn’t want to back a winner?

I wonder when Arsenal are playing next. I’m looking forward to their first match – our first match – and decide to join the Aresnal fan forum as soon as I return home so I can start chatting with fellow fans.

Welcome to Fairweather Footy Fan

5 April 2008

I love a bit of football. Every two years, I really enjoy getting into the Euro or World cup (whenever England happen to qualify). But I like to watch non-England matches too. In fact, if England get knocked out, I have a mental “next favourite” team to win. In fact, in 2002 I was rooting for Italy as well as England all the way through.

The only problem is, this kind of talk is poisonous to ‘proper’ footy fans, who steer their entire life by their team. I’m left emotionally unscathed by football. It’s fun, but it’s easy to shrug off the losses, disappointing as it is for a few minutes. Similarly, a lovely communal bond develops between strangers when England are on a (rare) winning streak. But again, it wears off pretty quickly.

I know there are thousands like me, so why is it that league football demands such hardcore commitment? Why can’t I just enjoy it as it comes? What’s with the self-torture, the ridiculous empathy with a bunch of permanently injured multi-millionaires, the cod-camaradarie on the terraces, the vicarious living through what is essentially an abstracted war, the wasted Saturdays … it’s for all this that I could never invest time or energy (let alone money) in following league football. That and I wouldn’t know who to support. Seriously, what are the rules, if you’re new to this?

So how about I pick a team, and support that team until it loses? Seems to make a lot of sense to me. A team’s success will earn my unswerving support until they mess up and then I’ll support the victor. Kind of like conkers. Or France in WWII.

My brother, a long-term Ipswich supporter, is sickened by this idea. I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had.

“When does the season end?”, I ask him.

“Around May” he scathingly replied.

Perfect, I’m not doing much for the next few weekends, although I will miss the odd game, but there’s always the internet to catch up.

Now all I have to do is pick a team …