The beautiful game

African cup of Nations is here and I can’t deny that there is something special about watching 22 (red cards permitting) men kicking a ball around. But football fans are their own breed. I’ve never dated anyone who wasn’t a footie fan and I’m cautious of men who don’t like football. That probably means that he either likes rugby or games consuls. These are not what strong relationships will be built on. But a love of the beautiful game…that’s a foundation.

I have met a disproportionate number of men who played for youth teams before injury or loving parents made them stop. I suspect this is a London thing. I love my team I really do but that doesn’t mean I want to be subjected to the misery of listening to 90 minutes biased replay of a 90 minute match after the game. Most men, bless, think that they too could coach a premiership team to victory.

I also have a no Sunday league, work league or amateur football attendance rule. My reasons are simple. This is England where the weather is not great, most of the games are painful to watch and I don’t want to endure that uncomfortable drive home whilst they critique the performance of all of their team mates. That’s what the drink in the pub with the lads afterwards is for ok?

So before we start I want it to be known that these are my observations and any similarities to people you know is purely coincidental. Also there is a difference between those men who follow a team because of birth or area and those that chose a team as a young boy or in some cases a few seasons ago. Oh and sadly I haven’t managed to date supporters from every premiership team. That my precious is a whole different column and perhaps a challenge for 2012. So here goes!

Arsenal –My secret soft spot. Loyal and more introverted than the other big team fans. Temperamental but when he is on form he’s unbeatable and beautiful to watch. Get the mirror on that ceiling girl. You’re going to want to watch.

Chelsea – Nouveau darling so tread with caution. They’re not the best to watch but consistent form means you won’t be too miserable. Ambitious, yes but will he ditch you for a good boob job and oligarch opportunities?  I don’t trust them. 30 years ago they were like Millwall.

Crystal Palace – A cynical optimist. He’s just happy to be in the playoffs. Loves the roller coaster of relegation and promotion but nothing steady about this Eddie. Maybe it’s all those hills? Hmmm. Don’t ask him for premiership quality loving. He won’t know what this means. He’s never in it long enough.

Liverpool. – If he’s black British chances are he or an older sibling swore allegiance in the 80s when John Barnes joined Liverpool. If he’s not then please note that the cultural part of Liverpool exists for about 3 square miles of the city. The rest is rough cheeky chappy talking about the former glory years territory. He’ll steal anything for you though. (I kid!…a little).

Man city – This season aside you will have to endure the misery of hearing how REAL fans support the underdogs. He’s a whinger. So generally a more miserable lot I’ve never met. Don’t commit too early as his recent form isn’t consistent. But a gamble for those who like to date potential.

Man Utd – Can get complacent as they are too used to winning but don’t ever discount him until the final whistle. Give him space to mope when they exit early as they’re just not able to cope with bad performances of any kind. Ginseng anyone?

Millwall. – Run. Don’t’ ask questions. Get out of there.

Newcastle – Apparently it’s hard to get a win at St James Park cos the fans are so passionate. So you’ve got yourself a fan who doesn’t think wearing a coat in winter is necessary. A human furnace burning passionately for his team. He’s the perfect winter warmer.

Queens Park Rangers – mediocrity is all this man will ever know. Pack your bags if you’ve got ambition to hang with the big boys.

Swansea – Probably from Wales and doesn’t support the other team. Fun loving and a trier. Love their spirit.

Tottenham Hotspurs. – The long walk to success and from White Hart Lane to Seven Sisters is one of the most depressing walks a fan can take. A loyal guy he’ll stick by you through loss after loss but he’s not a winner. He’s just happy to get a sniff of Europe ……and you.

West Ham – if his name is Paolo then I’ll accept that there were glory years but it’s outside the 45 minute dating zone and they love the relegation zone. But know that the Bluewater West Ham shop is usually empty so you’ll always be able to get him a gift without queuing.

I’m off to check the fixtures list and see if I have to be conveniently busy this weekend. He shoots, he scores? One can only pray to the football gods that vuvuzelas will be blown in celebration.

©Chelsea Black.


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