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

Half-time

Half-time

01/01/08

Gael Clichy says Arsenal are tired. Well, so am I.

My mate, who I used to watch Norwich City with, isn’t talking to me and my head’s in bits as we hit the The Silly Season’s halfway stage.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a great season to be a trophy-seeking turncoat, but I’m just surprised I’m in two minds. I honestly don’t know where I stand with my support for either Norwich or Arsenal.

At first I thought there was no way I could change clubs: I’d chosen Arsenal for this season, and I’d started watching the matches and hanging around with The Family (seven Arsenal season ticket holders who I’ve befriended for the season), but the club annoyed me – I felt detached, ignored by such a huge business.

Plus, I couldn’t not look at Norwich’s results – I care too much about the club. It’s been with me all my life, so it felt like I was walking out on someone. And it’s not just the betrayal… I miss the club; the unique colours; the constant Delia Smith pie jokes no matter who I’m talking to (colleagues, taxi drivers, my mum…). No one’s said “Let’s be avin’ you” to me for months.

Psychology
There have definitely been changes… I’m beginning to condition myself. You can’t focus on Arsenal and go the matches with die-hard fans and not expect something to happen.

Watching Arsenal is exciting, and knowing they could win anything this season is thrilling (having that belief is something I’ve not felt since the mid-’90s). In recent weeks, I feel like I’m beginning to care. But I’m still singing Norwich’s famous terrace chant On The Ball City in my head when I walk away from The Emirates…

God, I miss it. Here it is…

THE SILLY SEASON TV

So I reckon there’s perhaps one key thing in all this: my psychological approach to football. I’ve been a Norwich fan for 25 years and, as a result, I’ve developed an underdog mentality. I hate big clubs and love it when an underdog wins. I mean, doesn’t everybody?

One thing though, I’m beginning to enjoy the fact that Arsenal are becoming villains in the eyes of fans who “don’t think they should be top”. I’m beginning to feel the ‘us and them’ element of supporting a club this size…

Could that replace the ‘underdog’ feeling of being a Norwich fan that I’ve been unable to shake since starting this? After all, no Arsenal fan feels like an underdog…

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Anyway, happy New Year from The Silly Season… there’s far more to come on this adventure, not least the fact that I still haven’t told my girlfriend that I’m probably going to Milan with The Family for the next round of the Champions League (unless she’s reading this, in which case I just have).

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New Year’s Day match prediction: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham

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The Silly Season

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