Bit of gossip before the main post. Rumours are going around that Arsene Wenger has already, or might travel to France in order to tie up a deal for Auxerre youngster Yaya Sanogor who is out of contract at the end of the season. Liverpool are also interested in signing the player.
If this is true it could be good news, not the signing bit but, hopefully he has already flown to France and will stay they for a few days before meeting up with the squad in Germany on Wednesday. This would leave the pre Bayern training to Steve Bould and he could get stuck into the defence for a few days. That could be enough to give us a slight chance.
The Daily Star again suggest that Wenger will step up his attempts to sign Victor Wanyama this summer and Micah Richards is the latest defender linked to us. I’ve always like Richards, big strong, no nonsense defender who can play central or on the right. He’s a bit short though at 5′ 11″ and currently injured. In fact he’s often injured so as good as he is, we should steer clear.
The other two, well wouldn’t they be typical Arsene Wenger signings?
Onto today’s post which is something a little different….
How many of you played or are still playing football?
How many of you remember your first ball, your first team, your first goal or even your first manager?
Is that testing the brain cells?
Many of you will remember when and why you chose your first football club to support. I say your first, as many of my mates changed whenever another team were winning things. They could be so fickle.
How many of you paid subs to play, washed your own kit or all the kit?
Back in my day we even had to put dubbin on the ball, did you?
Many of you younger fans/players will no doubt have been driven to your fixtures, yet I had to walk. Oh, and walk home after the game!
Rain or shine we turned up, many of you, like me, would have helped to put the nets up. We had to pay the refs, pay for the pitch, pay to be in the league and of course, pay for the kit we wore. Boots in those days were a step up on what I started with. Ankle high with wooden studs which were nailed on and I felt the nails as soon as I put the boots on but that didn’t stop me, it didn’t stop us.
Once the boots were on you were a footballer.
I write this dribble just to remind you of the hard times some of us had.
To be able play a sport which would stay with us for all these years is an honour and although I am too old to play today, I still watch the game and still feel that I am kicking/heading every ball.
We played for love, in ice wind, snow or rain.
In the early days my clothes were left on the touch lines, washing facilities were non-existent and if you got hurt you had to get on with and even find your own way home home. I remember twisting an ankle and cadged a lift on my mates bike. Push bike that was and I even got to see a player having to be carried home after breaking his leg. Tough eh?
Just as Arsenal improved their facilities over the years, I too witnessed changes. Ok, nothing would have ever matched what out team gets pampered with but things were better, just.
Both teams had to share one sink and every other week we would have our pockets picked while we were on the field! In the end, whatever possessions we had, we have to leave with the manager, otherwise we would have left the ground broke…
Once I was invited to play against a team at Tooting Broadway at a BBC connected complex. It was a friendly fixture and I was told a coach would be there for our side. I soon agreed to play and went by public transport which seemed first class back then.
We played on a muddy pitch during a rainstorm and we were all filthy and soaked through when the final whistle blew.
As I went back into the changing rooms, a door opened and there was a swimming pool………
That was my first taste of how the other half lived, we had a meal and then back home.
Sadly I was never good enough to play to a high standard, so after 30 years of -playing local football and with bones/joints which were letting me down, I had to admit defeat and quit.
Many of you may of had the same kind of experiences you know what i am talking about. Many of you that still play or you follow your children probably still pay, but I am sure the amenities are so much better.
Why do I bring this to your attention?
Those of us that never made it to the big time had to look after ourselves, we had to pay to play you might say.
Players today who show sign of talent are snapped up very early, they get looked after well and at many clubs, earn more that they could dream of at such a young age.
Many of these youngsters never have to think about what it could be like to pop down the jobcentre to seek employment. They progress through the ranks until one day, they break into the first team, they have no idea just how many supporters who watch them envy them to a certain degree. How some of their antics can infuriate them.
We watch these fortunate players who drive flash cars and live in big houses at so young an age and at times I wonder if they realise how lucky they are, not to have had it tough…
Good luck to them I say but don’t expect them to understand just how passionate we are about the game of football.
Written by Steve Palmer.