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: June 2008

News flash: The NEW Silly Season!!!

24/06/08

Oh yes, The Silly Season can exclusively reveal that it will be here for another season!

I have smashed The Silly Season’s transfer record by signing East Midlands correspondent Adam Buss on a permanent deal worth in excess of £25 for the 08/09 season.


Adam yesterday: “I’m really happy to sign for a blog with such passionate supporters”

Now, as a pair of football punks, we’re going to attack the game and its stayed traditions head-on next season.

A lot of different things will be happening in the new season, rather than us just trying to write a lot about one subject and just talking shit. There will be more exclusive pictures (or drawings on Post-it notes), more videos and… other stuff!

There may even be some sort of reverse Silly Season thing going on with Adam, who is a Liverpool fan - although we haven’t discussed this yet… I just thought of it then.

Anyway, stick around because hopefully two brains are better than one - and we’ll make it good.

We may even make some special Silly Season T-shirts that no one will buy!

———-

Score prediction:

Shocker! Germany 0-3 Turkey

23/06/08

Adam’s post below is absolutely right.

Or…

you could support Turkey!

Which is what I’m going to.

Knew I should have chosen them in the first place…

————

Plus, keep you’re peeled for an *new* announcement soon about what’s coming up on The Silly Season

Matt, London correspondant

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They think it's all over it is...not yet

21/06/08

The joy of football

How bad are we at picking teams? It’s like The Silly Season is cursed because of our crimes against fandom. Croatia still entertained and it was a pleasure being a pseudo supporter of the mighty Hrvatska for one night. Modric will light up the premiership next season and someone has to put a bid in for Rakitic. But they are out, and so are we.

So what do we do now? In all honesty it feels like being an England fan again. It’s quarter/semi final time and the team we are supporting is out, so no change there then! It’s usually at this point where the unadulterated joy of football can come to the fore and this morning I found myself getting very excited about Mehmet Topal’s strike from the edge of the area whilst watching the highlights on BBC interactive. It’s quite simple I (we) LOVE FOOTBALL and no matter who is playing there are always moment of shear joy.

As far as I’m concerned I’m not supporting or favouring anyone from now on and I think London feels the same.

Bring on the football, bring on the joy.

Silly Season East Midlands

Croatia: Brazil of the Balkans!

20/06/08

Never doubted it for a second…

It was always Croatia that we really wanted to support, me and Adam (The Silly Season’s new recuit).

We we’re forced into supporting Romania against our will, by a cruel character known as False Hope.

But this is Croatia’s time. I can feel the momentum and the destiny of a team winning against the odds.

Even without Eduardo they look like a very good team. Modric, Srna, Pranjic, Olic… all the household names are there.

They’d better not bloody lose…

Score prediction: Croatia 3-1 Turkey

Matt, The Silly Season London correspondent

In a Mootu

18/06/08

What do we do now?

After last night’s very sad but rather uninspiring attempt of Romania to beat Holland The Silly Season is at sea.

I did really want Romania to win, and last night felt… different. It felt like I was going to watch the team I support. But, that said, my support for the team, quite understandably, was/is wafer-thin. I’m already looking around to see who else I can support now.

But is that allowed, or should there be some rule to this - like support the team who put Romania out. Or not support anybody?

Me and Adam’s football-supporting relationship has hit a rocky patch too. He wants us to go for Italy now. I want to go for anyone but Italy…

Maybe I should relent – that would be a proper test, turning a hatred for a particular team into full-blown support. Don’t get wrong, I love Italian football, it’s just all the moaning and skriking the Azzuri do in major tournaments… Make the biggest noise and you get your own way syndrome, it call it.

Or maybe we should support different teams now - rival it up…

Or maybe you lot should decide.

Matt, The Silly Season, London correspondant

No expectation = more excitement

17/06/08

Banel Nicolita on holiday

It’s crunch time and I am excited, elated and a little nervous but I don’t expect to win. I think that’s the major difference between supporting England and supporting Romania, I don’t expect to win but I am hopeful, with England the expectation inevitably leads to disappointment.

But that’s enough surmising, what about tonight? Teams are just in and Silly Season favourite Banel Nicolita (PICTURED) starts in midfield with Sorin Ghionea coming in at centre back for suspended man mountain Goian.

Nicolita grew up in a house made of straw and mud with seven brothers and sisters, basically he is as far removed from the world of the overpaid and unaware superstars we have in the Premier league as you can get and so is officially (whether he likes it or not) a Silly Season hero.

Can we win? YES

Will we win? MAYBE

Here’s hoping

Silly Season East Midlands Correspondent

Go Romania!

17/06/08

How do you say “come on Romania” in Romanian?

Please write in and let us know.

It should have been the first thing we learned really…

I know it’s “Hup Holland” for the dutch - I went to a world cup match in ‘98 against Yugoslavia (Davids was imperious). Then the car broke down outside the ground in Toulouse.

Anyway, all this major tournament reminicing is giving me the fever – tonight will be MASSIVE. Surely, Van Basten will go under-strength - he’d love to wind up Italy and France in that way, wouldn’t he?

I know it’s not a very confident way of urging Romania through. We should believe in their ability – but hey, I’m a Norwich fan…

Anyway, until we know what Romania’s rallying cry is, let’s just say:

Come on Romania – Brazil of the Balkans!!!!!!

Score prediction: Holland 2-2 Romania

Italy 1-1 France

The Silly Season London correspondant

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The Italian job

13/06/08

Alfredo Cramerotti

My heart has stopped racing, I never thought I would say that after a 1-1 draw between two countries I have no direct association with. Romania did themselves and The Silly Season proud (I’m fairly sure they don’t care)and even though Mutu missed a crucial penalty there was no disgrace on what was a fluid and highly entertaining game.

I watched it with an Italian friend of mine (pictured) and I was looking forward to testing his patience with some cheap jibes when Romania stuffed them but it wasn’t to be and to be honest I would have felt too guilty to do it, I suppose that proves I am not a real fan.

That said, I am hoping that Holland can hang on (they are 1-0 up as I write this)and give us the best chance of an easy ride and a safe passage through in the last game.

Sorry Alfredo but this was one for the mighty Yellows.

P.S If anyone knows a Romanian or is a Romanian please send us a message, your embassy doesn’t seem interested in us. Can’t imagine why…

Romania send world champions crashing out... maybe

13/06/08

Obviously, in football, any team has to earn there place in history by stepping up to the plate and claiming a major honour. It come from team work, belief, skill, blah blah winning mental attitude blah.

So why is it that the Italian squad always seem to approch major tournaments as if they’ve already won the damn thing before it started, and if they don’t win it’s because of some terrible injustice against them. Like Holland scoring an not-offside goal. There were two other goals as well…

Anyway it’s Romania’s, and The Silly Season’s, chance to put the over-inflated Italians to the death tonight.

Can’t wait…

Score prediction: Italy 0-0 Romania

—————–

It’s 16:23 as I write this and the team news is just in. After speculation that Marica may come in Niculae retains his place and Siena midfielder Paul Codrea starts in midfield (click here for a player profile)… oh and some bloke called Del Piero is playing for Italy. Never heard of him to be honest, but he’s got shoulders like a bodybuilder – wonder how he got those….

I couldn’t find a Romanian to watch the game with so have got an Italian instead who I will ridicule mercilessly if we win. Sorry Alfredo.

Hopefully today’s game will not incense the pundits as much as the last game. Actually, sod that I can’t wait to see Robbie Earle and Andy Townesend raving about the mighty yellow wall of steel in front of Bogdan Lobont!

Watch this space for a match report later.

Adam (Silly Season East Midlands correspondent)

Yellow army

09/06/08

Just writing this at exactly 76minutes 23seconds in the Romania-France match.

Very exciting… They’re passing the ball around really well and Mutu looks good.

Starting to feel genuinely excited now. There is something fresh and new to supporting someone you have no history with. A blank canvas.

Don’t want to speak too soon, but this could be the first underdog triumph, even if it’s only a 0-0. Plus I’m a few minutes away from my first correct score.

So, me and Adam have been doing some research on our new team as announced on Friday (see, Romania: the Brazil of the Balkans)

This is him by the way…

Thought I’d introduce my Silly Season: Euro 2008 Special comrade properly. I think (I hope) he was in a play in this picture, which is why he’s covered in blood.

So, he emailed the Romanian Embassy (not covered in blood) to try to get linked up with some supporters groups in England. We think there might be quite a few groups, so hopefully they’ll get in contact.

Also, we can exclusively reveal that our first celebrity Romania fan (for Euro 2008) is: Lembit Opik, who has chosen Romania becuase of his Romanian fianceé Gabriela of The Cheeky Girls. In real footballing life he’s a Leicester fan. Unlucky mate.

Betting

Adam’s not wasted any time wasting his hard-earned on our adopted club. He had a punt on Betfair, and got 210/1 on Romania to win Euro 2008, with Adrian Mutu as top scorer; 48/1 on Romania to win the tournament; and 50/1 on Mutu as top scorer.

If they come in he stands to win about £2k.

91:21 now, and still no score.

Come on the Romanians!!!

Romania: the Brazil of the Balkans

06/06/08

I think that’s who I’m going with…

It was going to be Turkey because I have a mate who I was going to watch the matches with in the Turkish quarter. But he went back to Istanbul for three weeks today, so I can’t now. Bit selfish of him, but there you go… I’ll have Turkey as a back-up in case Romania are knocked out early doors.

Is that allowed? Having another team if your first choice is knocked out in the group stages? Of course it is! This is The Silly Season: Euro 2008 Special. We make the rules.

I can feel the liberation already. No more penalty shoot-out disappointments, no more drunk England fans fighting, no more Phil Neville! (Sorry Phil).

Ain’t international football brilliant!
If this is your first time on The Silly Season, then welcome. By all means have a look at the Catch-up timeline at the top of the screen to find out what I’ve been up to for the past nine months.

Anyway, here’s the first few reasons for why The Silly Season has chosen Romania, declared by my mate, the east Midlands top football expert and newly crowned Silly Season collaborator Adam Buss:

“Romania always have a good tournament when England don’t qualify (although this is based purely on World Cup 1994!)”
“They have a past of recent legends - Hagi, Popescu, Dan Pet Rescue etc.”
“They have a manager who likes to attack and play attractive football (Vitor Piturca)”
“They are from an impoverished and embattled country that always seems to punch above its weight”
“I genuinely think they can win. Greece did, and they are better than Greece (they qualified above Holland). Just as long as they keep Mutu and Chivu fit…”
“They have a real gypsy in their team (i think) - intriguing”
“They are the Brazilians of the Balkans”


Dan Pet Rescue yesterday

Is Romania a Balkan state? I think it is… I’ve just checked the internet, but it doesn’t seem sure. I’ve also just realised that Romania are in the Group Of Death. I didn’t think that through did I… Well, victory will be all the more sweet.

1 France
2 Netherlands
3 Italy
4 Romania

Anyway, stick around because there’s lots more to discover and discuss about our new teams. We’ll also be looking into how to get more involved; to get the full experience, like. Starting, for me, tomorrow, with a traditional Romanian breakfast of bread, salami, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes and eggs. Nice… I’m on to a winner already then, according Wikipedia’s Traditional Romanian Breakfast page.

Score predictions:

Switzerland 1-2 Czech Republic
Portugal 2-1 Turkey
Austria 0-4 Croatia
Germany 1-1 Poland
Romania 0-0 France
Netherlands 1-1 Italy

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The Silly Conclusions: homeward bound

03/06/08

I did consider spending another season at the top with Arsenal.

Hell, I might even have seen some silverware.

But, you know what, my missing Norwich angst is more intense than my trophy angst after nine months away from Carrow Road.

The things that spring to mind first when you spend so long away from your team is the memory of when you decided to support them in the first place. You know, the eureka moment.

Maybe it’s because it’s like denying yourself oxygen - when your brain thinks you’re going to die, your life flashes before your eyes, or so they say. Well, I keep seeing the City team photo with that amazing Hummel kit from 1986.

Plus all the other memories: the first time you went to your home ground; the first time you bought the shirt; the first time you experienced an away match… all that

No, I can’t shake my love for Norwich, and it’s not because of the guilt I felt at leaving the club for the season. I mean, I must be hated in Norfolk that much by now that it would probably be worth me staying with Arsenal just for a quiet life (and a European cup or two). But I can’t do it. I just can’t.

Doing The Silly Season has made me realise that, depending on certain circumstances, people can stop supporting a club in their heart and mind. It’s totally possible - don’t feel obliged to support a club, or feel ashamed if you don’t want to. Marketing twats rely fans like us to make many from a brand we don’t dare snub.

But the bond is still there for me. It would take a good five years of solid Arsenal watching for me to stop waiting for the Championship results scroll to come on Sky Sports News after the match (which is what I kept finding myself doing throughout the course of this season).

Norwich are the club that still give me that feeling.

In fact, I think football itself is the wider problem for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to watch a Norwich match next season – I missed it a lot. But, I don’t have the expectancy, or the belief… or even the hope that anything is going to happen for my club anymore. These are fundamental feelings a football fan should have - but they’re gone.

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