It’s another football blog.

Alex Smith
Mar 19 · 3 min read

It seems I’ve arrived at the period in my life where I want to start a blog. I’ve actually reached this point before when I was 17 and my idea was to fill it with poems but I packed that in after three efforts because two of them were two lines or fewer and all three were rubbish. Now 6 years and an English Literature and Creative Writing degree later it’s time to try again but this time it’s going to be all about something far more beautiful than poetry. Football.

What has William Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” from his famous “Sonnet 18" got on Martin Keown’s “It’s almost like an arm wrestle in there, Chelsea finding it difficult to find space” from Chelsea’s February Monday night FA Cup defeat to Manchester United? Sure I can see what Shakespeare is getting at and don’t get me wrong it’s pretty good; whoever he sent it to probably loved it. However what Keown is saying there is that not only were Chelsea struggling to cope with the physicality of Nemanja Matic, the technique and power of Paul Pogba and the bastard-ness of Ander Herrera but also that he, a 52 year-old man, has no idea what an arm wrestle is. That’s got to be just as good as anything Shakespeare’s ever done hasn’t it?

Martin Keown classics aside, football is beautiful and we all know that, but what’s this blog going to tell you that you don’t already know? Probably absolutely nothing. It’ll likely just be my thoughts on something that’s gone on in the week, something that went on ages ago or how Jorginho is overrated — I’l tell anyone that will listen that he broke the record for most passes by one player in a Premier League match in a 0–0 draw against West Ham. Good stat, that. The kind that will come up in a pub quiz one day and you can impress your mates with (it won’t and you can’t). I love a good stat so there will probably be a few cropping up here and there in these blog posts as well, look forward to that.

For a bit of an insight on the man behind these words and my authority to comment on the world of football: the highest level I have played at was playing in a tournament between local schools in Year 6 as a striker and in doing so scoring two goals in the six games we played on the road to eventual victory. One right footed and one left footed. One header away from the rare accolade of a perfect hat-trick across six games. I also once scored two goals in the same game in PE, the only two goals I ever scored in PE I might add, both from outside the box. Everyone called me Michael Owen after that. Famous fox in the box Michael Owen.

Now I really am getting side tracked and I should probably wrap this up with a little bit more about me. Maybe slightly more useful stuff; stuff that might shape what I write in this blog, the key football-related things you need to know. First off I’m an Arsenal fan, though there is one picture of me as a kid in a Liverpool shirt. I was a big Michael Owen fan (little did I know I would go on to have a career so closely resembling his own) primarily because of Michael Owen’s Total Action Football (look it up). However my mum soon nipped my love for Michael in the bud by informing me that my Arsenal-mad grandfather would have killed me if I didn’t follow his beloved club and so it had to be the Gunners. Watching Bergkamp and Henry work their magic also put forward a pretty convincing case but anything was better than saying I chose my club because of knock-off Subbuteo.

Arsenal’s my team but what else do you need to know? Nowadays the biggest football question after your club preference is of course the ever-present Twitter argument of who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Simple one for me: it’s Messi. More on that another time. That’ll do for answering important football questions.

There you have it. I support Arsenal and I’m a Messi man. Writing all this has been good fun so I’ll do it again. If anyone managed to get this far you might even read another one, that’ll be cool.