Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kolo Toure for Arsenal (v Villareal), 19 April 2006

Congratulations to Arsenal, who despite not turning up last night managed to scrape through to the Champions League final with a 1-0 aggregate win against Spanish side Villareal. A dreadful penalty decision in the 88th minute nearly saw the tie go into extra time, but justice was done with Jens Lehmann's excellent penalty save from Juan Riquelme.

I don't like Arsenal much. At all. However, I found myself hoping that they would qualify for the final last night, much to my mum's disgust. She cheers for foreign teams against the English sides we don't like (Liverpool, Man City, Leeds, Arsenal, Chelsea etc).

Where are you on this issue? Are we generically supporting our own teams in international club competition? Do we cheer for Scotland and Wales in internationals? Or are we specific football fans of our own teams and therefore our prejudices hold even across international lines?


Ben said...

There are certain teams I won't support in Europe: Man Utd and the Smoggies. I'd add the Mackems to that list, but given that (I think I'm right in saying) they've never made it into Europe and are never likely to, it's not much of a worry.

Arsenal are an interesting one for me - I've long looked on them favourably because for a long time they were Man Utd's only realistic challengers in the Premiership, but every time we play them (without fail) they cheat and spawn their way through the match. Ashley Cole is the worst culprit. Oh well. Still good to see them get through to the final.

As for international fixtures, I'm indifferent. The difference between English fans and Scottish fans is staggering - we don't care about their team, but they're all desperate to see us lose. (Living in Cardiff, I've discovered it's the same with English and Welsh rugby fans.)

adem said...

I was so happing that the cheating Spaniards didn't score from the penalty. I am so very happy.

I used to really hate Man Utd because they won everything. Now I hate Chelsea because they win everything. I think it's very English of us to hate success, and always want the underdog to win.

I have supported Arsenal since I was 13 and so obviously look favourably upon them.

In reality I'd probably support any British team that was in Europe as long as they weren't Chelsea, and my team were already out of contention.

Like Ben said, For internationals I don't mind either way, win or lose, how N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland perform.

Anonymous said...

I cheer on all the English sides in Europe. With Man Utd I have the win-win situation of cheering them on but being able to heartily chuckle when they bugger it up.

Like Ben, I'm totally indifferent to the other british nations.

SwissToni said...

I find myself wanting English clubs to win in most situations when they are playing in Europe actually, even if I started the game thinking I would be cheering for the other side.

Internationally I am the classic patronising Englishman (or at least would be viewed as such). I wish success on all the other home nations (and the ROI) when they are playing anyone but England. In rugby, it's more complicated as there are far fewer teams and I have a sort of pecking order.... so after England it's Ireland (my gran was irish), then Scotland, then Wales. But I like watching France too, and will occasionally root for Italy as the underdog (as I did against Wales this year). I will root for any Northern Hemisphere side against a southern hemisphere side, except when the pacific islanders are playing anyone, in which case I will support them.

It's a tricky business.


El Tel said...

Am up for all of the home nations, plus the Republic of Ireland, doing well in international football.

As for supporting English sides in Europe, it's a broad yes to that too - though there is a rank order to this. For example, I didn't feel a thing when Man Utd lost out this year, but with Chelsea (half-hearted interest in them), Liverpool (I like Benitez) and Arsenal (ditto Wenger) still in with shouts of success, it was a relative thing.

And tonight, I will be right behind Middlesbrough, from a seat high up in the East Stand, where I will be allowing myself to see only the positive aspects of Mark Viduka's game, and I'll ignore the fact that Yakubu and Hasselbaink just don't play well off each other... should it come to that.
Prediction: Boro 2-1 S Bucharest (Bucharest through on away goals).

Anonymous said...

Dear God, a new England manager who speaks worse English than Sven. Inspirational.