There's only four teams involved in football's top honours these days, so what's it like to win silverware every season? This is the blog of one football fan who decided to, fully and unconditionally, do the unthinkable and change the football team he supported to spend one season at the top... AND NOW HE'S DOING A SIMILAR THING FOR EURO 2008 WITH A MATE BECAUSE THE SEASON'S FINISHED AND THEY'RE BOTH BORED

Archives for: December 2007, 12

Trophy life


“When I was a shepherd, I was killing the old sheep for meat and I was selling the lame sheep to replace them with new, young sheep able to produce healthy lambs.” - Steaua Bucharest owner Gigi Becali.

Ah yes, that sounds like the eccentric metaphor of a continental club owner… The oak-smoked aroma of the tabac; the sugary stench of glazed fruits… Europe – God, I’ve missed you. After being given a taster of the glorious UEFA Cup as a teenager, I’ve pined for years to follow my team to the dusty, smoke-filled stadiums of Italy or snow-covered, Eastern Bloc concrete bowls of power.

OK, so I’ll be watching this match at the nice’n'clean, (no filming here, and don’t breathe our air please) Emirates Stadium for tonight’s visit of the worst team in the Champions League this season, but it’s a start. And it’s very, very exciting. I know any neutral can go to a European match and enjoy it, but I’m in the zone. I’m supporting Arsenal, and ‘we’ need to win tonight to hopefully take first place in the group to make it easier in the knock-out stage.

It’s my first ever Champions League match and, if I’m honest, this is the one I want to win more than anything. Why? Well, the silverware I’m chasing this season… It’s a once in a lifetime chance for me, isn’t it. If I end up returning to Norwich next season it’ll never happen again at this level. I wish they hadn’t abolished the Anglo-Italian Cup… I probably would never have needed to embark on this crusade if they hadn’t. Actually, that’s bollocks.

The Anglo-Italian Cup
(thanks to Notts County FC)

I feel very guilty about what I’m doing… but is it a crime to lust after silverware? Just for one season at least? I accept this whole experiment could be a pointless exercise if Arsenal don’t win anything, but it’s so exciting to know the team you support could actually win something. Honestly, until you’re in this position, you don’t know how exciting it is. Supporting any football club has it’s elements of excitement and surprise, but knowing you’ve got a real chance to win rally helps.

Maybe it’s just the novelty of this season supporting Arsenal. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t felt like this for years. Either way, it’s becoming apparent that there are major benefits to being part of The Big Four.

The Silly Season

December 2007
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