I went to watch the first home match of our local league one club tonight. I haven’t been following football for that long (approximately eight months) and I don’t really understand all the rules and the tactics that are involved. I have watched a couple of the friendlies pre-season too. I am enjoying this experience but I find that my experience is sometimes tempered by the attitude of those around me.
I went to watch them on Saturday as well. They played away at Portsmouth. The atmosphere was amazing, and although we only drew against Portsmouth the crowd seemed quite happy, although there were some mutterings about level playing fields (something to do with deducting points, short signings and administration rather than the pitch they play on).
Fast forward to tonight. Everyone on twitter was looking forward to the match, I was looking forward to it. We went along and there was a large queue for tickets. As we made our way in I spotted a couple of people I knew and said hello – all very friendly. The normal banter on the way in about how much season tickets were worth and if the next away game was worth going to.
This isn’t going to be a blow by blow account of the match, more about the reactions of those around me. I was sitting surrounded by older people, they all had their opinions of what was going on. It was fascinating to listen to. They were all instant experts, instant managers, pundits who knew better than the commentators and manager who should be played, how they should be played and when they should be played. If it was that easy then surely everyone would be managing Manchester City or Manchester United ? A substitution at half time was met with interest, with much speculation as to the reasons for it.
The match itself was a cracker as far as I was concerned. Remember I am new to football. The ball went from end to end. One of the opposition was sent off (lots of opportunity to boo), we had lots of shot on goal (lots of opportunity to cheer and clap), I thoroughly enjoyed it. BUT the attitude of those around me was amazing. Apparently we had the better of the first half and people around me were talking positively about the team, our chances in the league, and going to the next away game, also the home game on Saturday. Playing against 10 men we should have sown it up before half time apparently, but we didn’t, so once the second half started all the negative comments started, especially once the equalizer went in, the opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own. This is mine. The conversation in the car was interesting on the way home. My darling hubby and youngest son were in different parts of the ground and it seemed they were watching two different games!
As I say, I enjoyed it. It was entertainment, it was thrilling. It wasn’t the result people wanted, but I don’t mind. I wonder if I will ever understand the game, but I do enjoy it. I am looking forward to Saturday, and hopefully our first win of the season. I wonder how long we will have to wait!