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

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery


So, I was having doubts about my choice of team because of the ticket situation. I can’t get one. At all. It’s annoying, and it looks like I’ll have to become a ‘Red Member’. But I guess I’ve only got myself to blame for this… I ’sold out…’ I chose to support a Top Four club, and now I can’t get to see my team. It just feels like, with all the commercial fine-tuning of the Premier League, I - Mr normal footie fan - don’t get a look-in just because it’s so popular. Milan? You can get a ticket five minutes before kick-off. Barcelona? The Nou Camp’s only really full on derby days and the really big games…

But… something happened the other day that told me I’d made the right decision supporting Arsenal. First of all, a home game against lesser opposition showed sides to my new team that every football fan is happy to see. During the 3-2 win over Sunderland they were briliant: going 2-0 up early on in emphatic fashion, having the almost charming complacency to screw it up just minutes later and then showing the spirit to come back with Van Persie’s winner with 10 minutes left. Non-stop entertainment with bright, enlightening football.

Perhaps more telling though, was when I bought a new football to take up to Nottingham to see my mates. It was a real retro cracker - a Mitre Ultimatch, which cost me £12 (thought I’d splash out). But, as I was loading the car with beer, crisps, sleeping bags etc, I simply placed the ball next to my foot in what I thought was a small hole. When I turned around to pick it up it’d gone. Sadly, I’d obviously forgotten I live on a very steep hill… And at the bottom of the hill, about a mile down the road? The Emirates…

Furious and incredulous, I jumped in the car to chase the BRAND NEW BALL, which HADN’T EVEN BEEN KICKED, down to see if I could catch it up. I didn’t get as far as the Emirates. It was a lost cause, and I was late, but I’d love to know where the shitting thing went. Hopefully into the arms of some needy young street urchin (this is north London after all), but probably a crackhead who turned it into an ashtray or something.

Anyway, so it was meant to be, and Arsenal are top of the league playing beautiful football. So far, so good. My old team? They haven’t scored for hours and I reckon the manager’s about to be sacked. Guilty? Do I feel guilty? No chance… I had to put up with it for more than 20 years. Leave me alone, I’m enjoying myself. Supporting Arsenal is easy. Unless you want to get a ticket that is… Then it’s impossible.

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The Silly Season

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