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

Alone with Arsenal

Alone with Arsenal

18/10/07

One thing I didn’t consider when entering into this was that I would be totally alone. My mate from my old Middling Championship Club I left is just about talking to me again, but he’s off watching the old club with the others, and I’m left out in the cold. I don’t really know any Arsenal fans, so what do I do?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily go to a match on my own and enjoy it. I’ve done it in the past plenty of times. But if I’m going to find out what it’s like to support one of The Big Four, I need to throw myself into it. I have to go and find an Arsenal clan, and try to charm my way in.

But how? Join a forum and put up messages? Nah. Hang around in pubs surrounding the ground? No way. Leave your number with the supporters’ club along with other lonely Arsenal fans? I doesn’t feel right somehow, and it’s not going to give me a taste of the club culture necessarily - I’ll just end up going to the matches with another version of me.

How do people watch football these days ayway? Do big groups of supporters still get pissed, then amble down to the ground for the game before going back to the pub until Match Of The Day’s finished? Or do the majority of fans drive to and from the match, generally keeping themselves to themselves?

This is going to be like the first day at school or university or something. Except everyone else is already settled, and made their friends and enemies. And I’ve done a really bad thing (by switching clubs) and I have to explain that to everyone. Christ, this is going to be like a first day in prison.

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Comment from: Chelmsford Yella [Visitor] Email
So, you've found your club and you've sold your soul. It might be difficult to buy it back when you realise that you've done a preposterous thing.

You will find that to 'support' another Club is impossible if you truly supported the original one in the first place. To support a Club fully doesn't just involve looking out for the results on a Saturday and searching for news on the latest big money signing. It involves something much more fundamental than that. Emotion.

When Fabregas plays that sublime ball through the middle for Adebayor to slot past the ailing Van Der Sar, you won't feel the same degree of joy you felt when Iwan scored a brace in his last game away at Crewe to take us up.

Equally, when Lehmann scoops the ball into his own net to hand the FA Cup to Chelsea in May you won't experience the same low as seeing City capitulate at Craven Cottage by six goals to plummet back to the Championship.

Some time ago, I tried to follow my local side Chelmsford City. But to no avail. I couldn't share a terrace with supporters that had turned up week in, week out for years and hold my hand on my heart and say I was a Chelmsford supporter.

I would rather gouge my eyes out with lollysticks than support a so-called Big Four club or any other Club for that matter. I chose my Club when I was 6 years old. I was living nearby at the time, but wasn't born there. My family were West Ham fans, but my mates were Canaries. I've since moved away yet, my heart remains at Carrow Road.

Good luck with your experiment, it's almost admirable. But it's destined to fail! To be a true football supporter you need to experience the lows and the highs in different measure.

Jumping bandwagons at the slightest hint of trouble to a 'Big' Club, is not supportive, but merely reflects a shallow desire to increase your own personal standing by latching onto the success of others.
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