One life, one game, one team, one invincibles

One life, one game, one team, one Invincibles (So far)

Monday, 21 May 2012

My footballing soul - by Mark

Before I begin, let me clarify one thing; I hate Spurs. Always have, always will, but I have found that the level of hate can vary, often just something simple like playing them, especially at their place will be enough to recharge me. Another is during those brief periods where they may actually have been something of a competitive threat, rather than just the knuckle draggers from up the road. Thankfully these have been very few and far between sightings, I probably can think of only the early eighties, 1987 when for a time they looked like title challengers (yes I know, settle down at the back!), early 90's and then of course 06 when we had the lasagne chef to thank and last week when Agent Fulop gave us a hand. 17 seasons since they last finished above us tells it's own tale and their bitterness and spite only helps to remind us of what they are. God knows what it must have been like for any Gooners old enough to remember 61!

However, I am an exiled Gooner, leaving the safe environs of NW6 when a teenager for the hostile plains of South West London where there was another team more prominent; Chelsea. They had been up and down for a while and I never considered them more of a threat to our Kings of London crown then say West Ham, capable of providing the odd upset but nothing more than that. Unfortunately the break up of the USSR spoil that and when a man who had earnt billions, obviously through the sweat off his own brow, went shopping in England he found himself buying Chelsea. After experimenting for a while with various puppet masters he started to get the formula right and it became apparent to us and the mancs that there was a new kid in town!

Stamford Bridge Dog Track

Ask my West Ham mental colleague about Chelsea and he will provide you with a vitriolic history, mostly based on how many fans they had when they were in the 2nd tier of football, which was as recent as 1989, when the Bridge would see reasonably low crowds. Yet move forward to the era of Forrest Gump and his band of mercenaries and the amount of blue shirted neanderthals seems to have increased heavily, most of whom would not know Kerry Dixon from Micky Droy. Anyway, I am just trying to get an understanding here for what it is like to be a Gooner out here in the wastelands, where as our star has waned, theirs has risen. And on Saturday night to what height did it rise! Most Gooners will have an inbuilt hatred of Cole, for obvious reasons. Most humans will for similar reasons feel the same for Terry. Live in the land where he is king and believe me you would feel the same as I did last night!

Having watched the game unfurl, with Twitter for company, it is hard to explain why the footballing Gods felt so inclined. Bayern Munich seemingly did all they could to not appear the team who knocked Madrid out. Gomes, with at least a dozen goals in ECL this season appeared somewhat Chamakh. Robben, least said! Then of course the final insult. If you had to put your house on a penalty taker, it would go on a German. Then, who better than the symbol of modern powerhaus Germanic football himself, Schweinsteigger. Cue him missing. No doubt should England progress from the group in the Euros to play Germany, we will go out on pens and I know who will unnervingly slot the winner! The distance in time, between Drogba's pen rippling the net and my finger hitting the TV off button must have been nanoseconds. Suffice to say, I am now in full Mugabe media lockdown! I will not be going anywhere there may be a newspaper. I will not be watching any news programmes. I may even possibly kill any chavs who approach me at work to discuss football.

The interesting thing for me was the reaction on Twitter after the game, as the Gooner nation seemed split once more, but not in an AKB/AMG divide, but a well done Chelsea v Kill Me Now scenario. I will say now that I can find no comfort whatsoever in the fact it means spurs go into the Channel 5 Thursday night cup. They were in it this year, their players did not leave because of it and it did not stop them from taking us to the wire. It would have been much sweeter for them to be in the ECL qualifying round in mid August, only to be knocked out by Udinese or Malaga. This would leave them without the group stage money, struggling to get players in who only want ECL football and with disaffected players who may then want to leave and with only a week or so to deal with it. That coupled with a Bayern win would have been so sweet and would also have meant we could still have been the first London club to win the big trophy. Now that chance has gone. Forever.

It did seem though, that the opportunity to feel joy at spurs having lost out on the ECL was just too good for some Gooners to pass up, no matter who it was that provided that blow. When they wake up this morning and see Cole and Terry on every paper and news show, grinning with the trophy and their medals round their necks, I am convinced there will be more than a few who suddenly get that 'Oh shit!' moment as the penny lands! Don't get me wrong, I would have cheered on any other English team last night to win if it meant knocking spurs out, except the chavs. Citeh, Utd, Liverpool, even Stoke (not sure which of the last 2 is most ridiculous) would have got my full support and gritted teeth thanks for dooming the scummers, but to want the chavs to win, or worse still to say well done would have left me feeling too dirty!

Not just the fans seemed divided. Jack Wilshere tweeted lol at spurs, which is fine, but he followed this up with congrats to Chelsea and even stated that Terry deserved it! I seriously had a little bit of sick in my mouth at that point and through that comment has JW14 eroded a bit of my feeling for him. Then I see that Ian WWWright tweeted something about Ashley Cole proving some 'mugs' wrong. Feet of clay indeed! There were some bitter words flying around between fans who felt not wanting spurs out of the ECL as opposed to wanting the chavs to lose was in some way an act of betrayal. I guess each of us has to make up our own minds on that, but whilst Adebayor may be considered by some as treacherous as Cole, I certainly do not feel they have anyone as odious as a man who would suddenly put on his full Chelsea kit, including shinpads I heard, to join in the trophy presentation.

In 7 days where we have seen Citeh win the league and Chelsea the European Cup, what does it tell us? That the beautiful game has sold it's soul to anyone with enough money to pay the going rate. When Chelsea can win the biggest cup in club football by playing like a glorified Stoke, then I don't know what the future holds for a club that has the money but won't spend it and a manager with an ethos about how the game should be played.

Last night, another little piece of my footballing soul was eaten away.
See Ya - Mark @mzk90 on Twitter

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