Posted by: Paul | January 12, 2010

Football – sorry

I’ve been trying to resist, and think of more cultural things to write about, but I can ignore football no longer.

I like football a lot. I wouldn’t say I love it – I don’t immerse myself in the game in the way some fans do – but I follow the Premier League in particular quite closely now. I’m not sure what has prompted this in recent years – most likely office discussions on the subject and the desire to keep up and be involved. But I think what has drawn me in most is the endless statistics about the tiniest things – there are whole agencies out there collating data on every single game, down to how many touches of the ball an individual player has in a game!

I’m a Spurs supporter. They are my family team and always have been. In the past few years the team has begun to solidify and progress while still retaining that almost-there-but-not-quite-yet kind of yearning that makes football such an emotional rollercoaster at times. I’m hoping this could be our year… Though what would constitute “our year”? The hope has to be our first entry into the Champions League by attaining 4th place in the league or better, and perhaps a run to the latter stages of the FA Cup. 4th spot seems most likely at the moment though last night we were overtaken by Man City as they won their game in hand. Still, all we have to do is beat them in March then we reclaim it!

Easier said than done. This year has been the closest at the top of the league for many, many seasons. All the “big” teams have stumbled, and arguably only Chelsea have shown the serious consistency necessary to win the title – though even they have not been impregnable. Manchester United are clearly in transition after the sale of Ronaldo. Arsenal are beset by injuries, without a really top-quality striker and their defence is shaky. Man City’s hopes have been damaged by a run of 7 straight draws early on (which led to the sacking of Mark Hughes) though under Roberto Mancini they are strengthening their challenge. Aston Villa have been solid, if lacking sharpness in attack, and Spurs themselves have been scoring goals left right and centre from everywhere in the team but dropping points in games they really should have won. Even Fulham and Birmingham are slowly creeping up behind the top 6…

It’s going to be a very tight, and hopefully very exciting, finish to the season. And of course we also have the World Cup to look forward to in the summer (barring any security concerns like the terrifying attack on the Togo team bus on its way to the Africa Cup of Nations…) So I will continue to post about football throughout the season but will restrict it to one day a week. Or try to!

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