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: April 2008

Never doubted it for a second

29/04/08

Well done to Arsenal for twisting the knife into poor old Derby.

But especially well done to Norwich City, for not twisting the knife into The Silly Season buy avoiding relegation by beating QPR 3-0. They may well have saved my life.

However, I was heavily distracted from ‘being an Arsenal fan’ today after Norwich City released their new strip and sponsor for next season - always an exciting event.

Plus the book I ordered off eBay when I was drunk has arrived…

Don’t tell anyone - I might read it tonight…

Come on Barcelona!

The Family: "It was better when winning wasn't the norm"

25/04/08

THE SILLY SEASON FEATURE

Never mind what The Silly Season thinks of what it’s like to support a Big Four club, I wanted to find out how The Family feel about supporting what I’ve discovered over this season to be something of a ‘business’.

To be honest, what surprised me the most was what one of the lads said about winning trophies…

“It was better when winning wasn’t the norm. They seemed harder earned and more deserved somehow.”

So there you have it: Even some Big Four fans understand the nature of true, fair competition. Not every fan is gorging glutenously on an annual silverware haul, laughing at the small fry below.


A Family member yesterday

This is what one of the lads said after a heart-to-heart I had in the pub with them last week…

“My fundamental feeling for the club in terms of the football hasn’t changed much, but I do think that the club has changed way it views me. Where once the supporter was the core to what the club was, we are now another captive segment that the marketing people target. Season ticket holders are probably described as ‘guaranteed consumers’ or some other tosh.”

Here’s his kind of pro and cons list of comparisons from the (fairly recent) past to now…

Now
“Great football; great stadium, but we’ve all seen mega domes; it costs a ridiculous amount to watch a game; there’s overzealous stewarding; you can’t stand; ID cards via the back door; me being seen as a marketing opportunity; poor atmosphere except for a few games; not winning things is seen as an exceptional thing; Jocasta and Barnaby [the upper-middle classes]; the club is a business first and a club second”

Then
“Defensive football; great atmosphere the norm; standing; deciding to watch a game on the day and pay on the door; not winning things the norm – and therefore better; the stadium is totally unique and feels like home; Stan and George; Club was a club first and a business second. Happy days.”

So there you go… As a Norwich fan, I may have been denied the hope of winning trophies, but perhaps the Arsenal fans are losing their own club.

Maybe we’re a generation of fans who have transcended with football… We’ve gone from inclusive, atmospheric shacks to this sanitised and americanised sport. Inevitably, we’ve seen both sides of it, so we’d probably suffer the most.

Some kid tomorrow will go to his first ever football match, and he’ll absolutely love it. He won’t know any better…

————————

Inevitable perhaps, but considering Arsenal are playing Derby, my attention has turned to an obvious place, as Norwich’s relegation struggle beckons…

Score prediction: Norwich 2-2 QPR

1 commentPermalink

Another Silly Season?

23/04/08

Even The Family were saying the match against Reading was like a training excercise…

They didn’t kill me in king’s Cross by the way. But only because everyone was too drunk to get there - that’s what happens when you go straight to the pub after watching a match that kicked off at 12.45 I suppose.

During said pub visit, The Family threw a real curve ball by suggesting I spend another Silly Season supporting Arsenal. That way I’d have a whole other season to see if I would ever witness ‘my’ team lift silverware.

I have to say though, after Norwich City’s loss to West Brom on Saturday it’s looking very dodgy on the survival front. What if I’m not there for my club if they are relegated? I don’t think I could ever forgive myself.

And League One. Christ… Not league One! League Two’s better than League One. At least there’s no hope in League Two…

Reading too much into it…

18/04/08

Reading at home is The Silly Season’s next Arsenal match…

But is it my last?

The Family have invited me to “a mate’s party” after the match in King’s Cross. I believe King’s Cross is mainly an area with disused warehouses behind the railway station.


King’s Cross yesterday

I hope this ‘party’ isn’t their way of thanking me for jinxing the club with dishonourable support, which led to a season of crocked star players and cruel, last-minute losses.

I’m also intending to ask them how they feel about Arsenal these days – whether the domination of the Big Four have taken any of the pleasure away for them. I guess I’ve got nothing to lose if they do want to kill me.


Will this be my last match in an Arsenal shirt?

Am I looking forward to the Reading match? Yes and no really. Will it be the moment I decide – through all the adversity, bad penality decisions, and cruel luck – that I love Arsenal forever? Or will I be concentrating more on Norwich’s nail-biting relegation-avoiding attempts at home to West Brom?

Yes, I have noticed that Norwich have somehow slipped back into ‘it’.

———-

In other news, I’ve made contact with the bloke who turned from Arsenal to Shrewsbury – he sold his support on eBay – and he’s happy to talk! When he comes off his holiday on Tuesday though.

So, don’t go away just yet, readers. I may be posting by means of a séance by Monday - and who wouldn’t want to hear about what it’s like in the afterlife?

———–

Score prediction: I’ve just got a feeling - not about dying! about Reading: Arsenal 0-1 Reading

Operation Re-Canaryise

14/04/08

Phase 1 of Operation Re-Canaryise has begun it seems…

My Norwich supporting mate (who I’ve shunned during my season of ‘protest’ with The Big Four) and his girfriend invited The Silly Season around to his flat for dinner on Friday night…

After a lovely risotto from Mrs Mate, he plyed me with real ale and then insisted on watching the 2003/2004 promotion season DVD.

Then, while drunk, we went on eBay and looked for old Norwich shirts – and he pressed ‘buy’ on a book about Norwich’s 92/93 UEFA Cup qualifying season.

I even bid for a 92/93 away shirt – the one that was mostly white with a blackcurrent ‘splash’ across the top. (As is always the case with Norwich away kits, it was probably worn once by the team on a pre-season tour of Iceland or something – anyway, its that rare I can’t find a picture of it.)

Stupid drunken football reminiscence… I tried to resist it, but it was brilliant.

And, as my football support runs dangerously along parallel lines, so do the fortunes of Norwich City and Arsenal.

Both were trying to upset their main rival’s bid for The Premiership title/Play-offs; both took the lead; both lost 2-1…

Ludicrously typical of The Silly Season experience then…

Agony and beer stains

09/04/08

I couldn’t look The Family in the eye after that result.

Mainly because I was blind drunk, but also because it felt wrong to try to share their pain. I’ve been there all season, through good and bad, but I didn’t feel qualified somehow. I felt like I could walk away from it all.

The Family couldn’t…

The Silly Season watched the match at (north London gig venue) the Islington Academy. There was a giant screen and about 400 hundred screeching Arsenal fans in there.

Considering the season Arsenal have had, it was all a bit much to take. One minute I’m being flung around the place, covered in Carling - the next, the beer’s being hurled toward the screen, followed by blood-curdling shouts containing the ususal expletives.

Arsenal didn’t deserve to lose like that – not to a bad penalty decision just after scoring a likely winner. What a way to blow the season apart… and cover your glasses in Guinness.

—————-

In other news, I’m still trying to get hold of the Arsenal-turned-Shrewsbury fan. Plus, I now have to re-evalute my position as silverware-hunting scum, and I’ll ask The Family about them feeling detached from Arsenal.

There’s plenty more to come from this Silly Season yet…

—————-

Score prediction: Man Utd 8-0 Arsenal

The Liverpool Trilogy concludes

07/04/08

So, unless Arsenal beat Man U an Saturday, anything other than a victory tonight is as good as the end of the season.

I really want Arsenal to win - but that could be because I don’t want to see The Silly Season turn into a farce… OK - even more of one.

That said, I think I’ve made a breakthrough with my not-very-scientific study of the psychology of a football fan. Well, this football fan anyway. Although I think I’ll wait to see if Arsenal are still in a chance of winning anything before revealing it.

I guess it won’t be long…

—————-

What I need tonight is a heady, sunny European evening. When the players are coming on to the pitch and it’s still a bit light - but the floodlights are blaring out, and the flags are flying high.

There’s no better place for that than Anfield - so let’s be ‘aving you Arsenal.

————

Score prediction: only a fool would bet against Liverpool… Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal AET

Losing your right to vote

04/04/08

Hmm, another bad result in the Champions League on Wednesday then.

Still it’s only Liverpool. Arsenal will win in the second leg to keep the trophy dream alive - it’s not like Liverpool always mysteriously punch above their weight in Europe or anything is it.

I went on Norwich’s website the other day to look at Dion Dublin’s amazing goal against Colchester. I know that’s technically breaking the rules, but I couldn’t stop myself.

While there, I noticed it’s time to vote for player of the season. And this time, of course, I can’t do it… sniff.

http://www.canaries.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetails/0,,10355~1264095,00.html

Do you think I’m missing the Canaries by any chance?

More on that to come. Plus, I’ve started to try to get into contact with that Arsenal fan who defected to Shrewsbury by selling himself on eBay, so hopefully he’ll be in touch soon.

———–

Score prediction: Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool

The Big Bore

01/04/08

I went for ‘a breath of fresh air’ at half time during the Bolton match on Saturday when Arsenal were 2-0 down.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I got back in. Told you I was having an effect on Arsenal’s fortunes. I’ve also elected to stay away from the Emirates for the Liverpool Trilogy - mainly to save the European Cup funds for the semis or final.

Great idea… that’s not tempting fate at all is it.

Last Friday was a big day for Big Four hating…

Found this in the Daily Star

“An incredible two-thirds of football fans questioned in a survey believe that following the sport is a complete waste of money and are considering switching to rugby instead. Eight out of 10 fans feel players’ wages are “offensive", while 67% are bored of the Big Four clubs dominating the Premier League.”

Then I went to the pub and chatted to a bloke who’s also sick of it all, and is vowing to “try out rugby instead". Small wonder, perhaps – he’s a Newcastle fan. The cost and The Big Four were his main reasons though.

So, I’m not the only one then. Anyone else? Please comment on what you’ve had enough of.

————-

Score prediction: Pleeeaaassee don’t screw this one up. Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool

The Silly Season

April 2008
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 << < Current> >>
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

XML Feeds

What is RSS?