About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Blinded By The Light

Much discontent in N5 today as a disciplined Newcastle team conducted a smash and grab raid from the Arsenal.
Always seemed like it was going to be one of those days from the moment I sat down on the tube next to a couple of men, one of whom was taking the other to the game although he confessed to his friend that he didn't really like football and would be giving up his season ticket at the end of the season. This was compounded when I took my seat in the stadium next to a woman who put her head in her hands for the entire game, moaning from the first whistle about the quality of the Gunners' performance. This was in stark contrast to the atmosphere in Shepherds Bush pub The Green the previous evening when I found myself surrounded by a group of Swedish and Norwegian QPR fans sporting beatific smiles fuelled by alcohol and a win which maintained the Rs top spot.
Although Newcastle's accomplishment is to be admired, their win came at the expense of killing the game as an entertainment spectacle. The attritional nature of their play with concomitant timewasting tactics was justifiable in the context of Arsenal's league position but scarcely helps the Premiership's lofty claims for excitement.
The Magpies' win came as a result of their only chance of note at the end of a first half which hitherto had only seen the Gunners look like scoring.
A free kick was launched high into the box and was headed in by Andy Carroll whose run was not only unchecked by the Arsenal defenders but also met by the inferior physical presence of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski who also had sun to deal with.
After the break Arsenal briefly threatened to equalise before Newcastle's strategy of compacting their defensive unit to allow the Gunners width safe in the knowledge that they could deal with the inevitably aerial crosses that resulted, led to a clean sheet for the Toon and more fully deserved acclaim for manager Chris Hughton.

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