Hi there, so, I’ve been thinking about writing a football blog for a while now and here we are, the truth is that there is usually a massive difference between what I think about and what I actually do. Even now, as I am writing I have a couple of issues with the whole process to be honest.
The first being whether anybody would want to hear my opinions at all…seems the internet is awash with people who already think that the FA is full of retarded monkeys shitting into fax machines, or that John Terry is the biggest cunt to walk the earth since Genghis Khan (yes, worse than Hitler). I guess time will tell if anybody wants to read but maybe a few minutes a day of writing will help me get my thoughts straight in my own head. In the increasingly murky moral realm of professional football with players given massively inflated contracts whilst at the same time clubs batter their own fans like they were little Mo from Eastenders with overpriced tickets. In the bubble where the situation exists were that fucking square headed Chelsea captain is still just walking around without anybody punching him in the face in public ever. In that kind of a place it can be easy to lose perspective as to what we love about the game and what we should enjoy so I guess that is part of what I will try to do here. Of course there will be plenty to say about what I hate too, because there is plenty to hate and without people venting their unsolicited opinions on the internet nothing will ever change so…no, wait, scratch that, nothing will change regardless but it will be fun for me to moan and that’s enough for me…
Another issue that has been bugging me is the time it will take to get all this down. I have no doubt you will all know the story already, you spend 250 days a year selling your youth to some soulless fucktard with a suit and a middle management title so why would you spend the precious time you have not drinking Tequila from the bottle in the centre of town with your pants around your ankles or whatever it is that you do for fun (and if it isn’t that then what’s wrong with you?). I have overcome that obstacle by writing this at work, that’s right your correspondent is taking full advantage of our totally fucked economy and his own probable impending unemployment by pretending to be a diligent and hard-working individual whilst, in fact, typing up this drivel. I am writing to you on a template for a letter my employer sent to one Mrs. Lomas earlier this year, thus appearing to be pro-actively responding to a valued customer’s legitimate concerns whilst actually dragging us all further down into the deep, dank, dark recession hole we allowed ourselves to slip into by abandoning our work ethic and not limiting the internet access of low wage employees. I realise my actions are not great for stimulating economic growth, but if I’m going to write this and also put myself in the way of an indecent exposure/ drunk and disorderly charge then I really see no other option.
Which is all apropos of nothing really, except to give you some idea of where I’m coming from- if you want some football background then I suppose I am duty bound to give you some- My formative tournament as a football fan was Euro 96 and I still remember vividly the rising sense of hope as an 11 year old in a treasured replica shirt, hope that I was about to witness something glorious. It seemed impossible that we could lose, we had strength in all departments, rock solid defensive reliability in the strong jawed rugged determination of Seamen, Adams and Southgate (ok, maybe not all strong jawed) tricky and impudent skill in midfield from the elf-like Mcmanaman and mercurial Gascoigne and a lethal strike force, incapable of missing, the real SAS: Shearer and Sheringham (even my 11 year old self was suspicious of the charlatan Chris Sutton). I remember watching England games, seeing the veins bulge on Stuart Pearce’s neck and being convinced we could not lose. Then, of course, we lost…that tournament shaped me as a football fan and come to think of it as a person. The night we went out on penalties to Germany I realized that the world is a cold and unforgiving place and that the good guys always lose (this was before I knew about the various problems of England as a footballing nation, but I guess with the Euros coming I will keep my powder dry on that for a while yet.)
I followed football after that and then became an Arsenal fan without a real geographical link (though I do have a tangential link through my Nan, and if that’s good enough to get Andy Townsend [ANDY FUCKING TOWNSEND] to the world cup then it is good enough for me). Many people have strong opinions on who is allowed to support who, bourn largely out of the ‘Plastic Manc’* phenomenon I suppose, I have my own opinions on that too which I will save for another day, but suffice to say they are more nuanced than ‘You aren’t from here so stay the fuck away from my team’. Some of us have parents who aren’t football fans (and spent our childhoods in phone boxes trying to convince social services that this was neglect), we came across the game on our own and made a rational decision as to who we would support based on the quality of the players, history of the club and, yes, the fact there is a big gun on the badge. I think that’s ok, how about you?.
That’s about it for me today, hope that as an introduction this serves to give you an idea of what I’m about. I’m English so I’m going to write mostly about the Premier league but I try to keep up with La liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A as well so you will find some of that creeping in here too. I am completely aware of the ridiculousness of starting a football blog with 3 or 4 games left of the season but…er…well…the Euros are coming soon so you will get my self-loathing Anglo perspective on that mess when it comes around. We are coming to the business end of the season so there is plenty to talk about in the days to come. I’m going to try to write every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, in case anybody didn’t hear me earlier our economy has been flushed into the darkest, shittiest corner of the sewer by a succession of privileged arseholes with no regard for the common man or even common decency so chances are I won’t be too busy to manage that.
*Plastic Manc- Term to describe Manchester United fans who have never set foot in Manchester and support the team on the basis of the trophies they have won.