Monday, 26 July 2010

Why do I still love football? By Mr Steve

This past football season I have found myself texting the above phrase to family and friends on more than one occasion.

Now let's face we will always love football but from time to time we can't help but question why? I'll start my rant at Man United. This is a team I have no great feeling for or against, however when they snapped Michael Owen up on a free contract, I took note. I've always been a big fan of his and took no time in telling everyone what a wonderfully signing this was and that he was not too injury prone and would have a great season.

Things started ok, average performance but at least he was playing. Then came the League Cup Final, again he started and I was full of it, already saying he will be a good shout for the World Cup. Then, of course, he gets injured. Out for the season and makes me look like, well, a fool really.

My next disappointment of the season (and there were many) came strangely enough from Man United again. As I have already said I have no great feelings for the club at all but as they were playing Bayern Munich, or the dirty Germans as they will now be referred as, I really wanted them to win!

They lost.

Largely thanks to a man I find myself hating and I'm really not sure why. Although he is French which might explain it. I am of course talking about Frank Ribery.

As the season drew to a close the disappointment had really started to kick in.

Portsmouth. My dad's team. I've always had a soft spot for them. They not only got relegated but let's face it they did it in style. Docked 10 points and, at the last count, £110 million pounds in the red. Good work.

Sheffield Wednesday. My team as a junior. Relegated. And, let's face it, have had no money for at least 12 years now.

Not to be out done, my place of work, home town and therefore chosen team of adulthood, Hull City had a less than great season. Relegated. Not just relegated though. Didn't win an away game all season (in fact since February the season before) and, trying to follow Portsmouth's lovely example but falling short, announced that they themselves will be going back to the championship £35 million in debt.

My brother is a big fan of Sheffield United, to be honest I have no idea what they did but I'm guessing their season was over by Christmas. Stuck in mid table. Not very exciting so that's that.

So just a quick recap.

Tip for player of the season. Rubbish.

Follow a different team just to beat the Germans/French. Lose.

Childhood team. Relegated again. No money.

Adult team. Relegated. Less than no money.

Dad's team. Relegated. Even less than no money.

Brother's team. Rubbish.

And so onto the World Cup!

Now before I start on this I need to say again: I do love football especially England. I hate it when people slag off our country, I refuse to read the paper when England lose.

My biggest hate in the world is when so called celebrities do those stupid shows "football nightmares" or whatever they are called. They sit there, slag off their country and think it's funny.

It's not.

We need more pride as a country, every time England play I think they are going to win. I think we have the best players in the world and I can't understand why any Englishman would not agree with me.

I even go out of my way to defend all players when the so called media get bored and decided to attack them.

John Terry really didn't help my case, I'll admit that.

The point is, never have I thought there is a problem with the 'beautiful game', I don't hate the global billion pound business it has become.

Would I change it slightly? Maybe.

But really I just want to see my team win.

So the World Cup, to be honest I don't think I will go on too much, like I said, I hate negative talk about England so I may find it hard to say much. It goes without saying the World Cup is the Mecca of football; the excitement had been building for months really and I was sure this was our time to do well. We had the shirts, jackets, bunting, flags, mugs, cups.... it looked like St George himself had thrown up in my flat.

As a side note, Beckham injured before the start was probably the biggest disappointment for me. The man is a FOOTBALL LEGEND and I think we needed him. So, as with the season before, I'll break it down.

England were poor but after the game I kept saying it will be ok.

After the last group stage I got into a reasonably heated debate with a friend. I, of course, stood on the side of we-didn't-play-well-but-we-qualified-that's-all-that-matters. He, of course, like most people, was on the side of we-are-crap.

He won in the end.

Yes, Lampard scored but really, unfortunately, we were crap.

Now I don't normally do second teams but apart from England, I was enjoying football being on all the time so I decided to follow Ghana, for the atmosphere around them as much as anything.

This was going well till Uruguay cheated and they went out on penalties.
So a final recap:

Best player I've ever seen, injured before the start of the World Cup.

The biggest passion in my life England. Rubbish.

My second team out on penalties, a great feeling of injustice but very upsetting.

But, you know what? Come 7th of August and the start of the new season I will be there full of hope and optimism.

And in two years time, England will win the European cup. You heard it here first.


Peridot said...

AND if you could harness the static electricity from them all running around in polyester, you could power a small town, FACT!

Okay, maybe not....

Becca said...

LOL @Peridot!

I must warn that I am not a football person, so if I just completely miss the mark with my comments, I'm truly sorry...

I think that the problem with football in general is that they take a group of young boys and heap the weight of the world on their shoulders - all while thinking that a big ol' truck of cash is going to make it ok.

Anyone placed in that position would be likely to struggle with their role and the pressure. You only have to look at those who claim winning the lottery ruined their life to see that just one part of the package is a bit of a head-messer.

It manifests in different ways - alcohol and drug abuse; excessive gambling; destructive promiscuity (a single lad earning some notches in his belt is fair enough, but playing away when you've got a wife at home is a sign of a pretty troubled person); and massive, clunking underperformance on the field.

Until there exists a significantly better support network for sports professionals who live strange lives far from their homes and families, I think it's going to continue to be a really heartbreaking sport to follow.

Keep the faith, Steve!

Peridot said...

Although, where would the fake tan industry be without football? In a pretty poor state, I tell you... They're doing good out there - them and their WAGs. Ronaldo alone must use hundreds of pounds worth a year.