Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Friends for life...or at least while I'm here

I always think football is a funny job when it comes to making friends. It is a highly emotional game with ups and downs every week, lots of different characters in the dressing room and plenty of egos, but there is a great bond between teammates throughout your time at a club and for most players they will do anything to help their mates on the pitch. You will spend every day with them training, share your problems, talk about life, share the ups and downs of a team, socialise together and become very close friends with a lot of them. Obviously not everyone can be friends, like everywhere in life their will inevitably be a clash of personalities, but very rarely will teammates have a proper fall out or fight.

However, the day will come when you have to move on to a different club, and it is at this point you find yourself in a new dressing room, with a new set of mates and you find yourself in the exact same situation as you were at your old club. So with your time being taken up training and spending time with new teammates, it becomes harder to keep up with old teammates. You basically go from team to team and make new friends every year or so, depending how long your contract is, and how many new players come into or leave your club. It becomes difficult to keep up with everyone particularly if you have to move city for a new club, and also when people train at different times and have new teammates of their own.

It is always nice to walk into a dressing room and know people who are there before you get started. Obviously the older you get the more players you know, so it is likely you will come across an old teammate somewhere. For me, signing for Stirling for 4months was made easier by knowing 4 or 5 of the boys before I signed. Also it gives you an idea of the standard of the team when you know the players there and how good they will be. I knew I'd be coming to a winning team so that helps!

football friends

After moving to Edinburgh I have realised most of my best mates in football all live in the West, it isn't ideal especially when they are all starting to have babies. I spent 3 years at QOS so I had a great time there with my car mates, Reidy and Bob Harris. Plus I used to love listening to Mckenna moaning and wee Burnsy telling me he always sets up my goals. At Falkirk with the team being full of teenagers I felt properly old, so it was nice to have the Grandad of football Darren Dodds there and Mikey Mcgovern to keep me younger. I went to the races with Blair Alston a few months back and he won a fortune, so I'll be taking him back their for a few tips. The best thing about the football dressing room will always be the banter. I'm sure it is a unique environment from most work places. There is always something going on and I definitely miss it happening daily, I'm sure it is one of the main reason ex pros will miss football. Everyone who I have met in football will be remembered in a different way, good and bad. But one thing is for sure, it is a fun job, but don't let that fool you, because it is very hard work.

Arsene Wenger
I was reading an article about Arsenal the other day, it was by Talksports Adrian Durham telling us what he would have done this Summer as Arsenal manager. So it got me thinking, what would I have done, and what would everyone else have done? Arsene Wenger hasn't done a lot, except promise signings and not deliver. Personally I would have bought 4 players (goalkeeper, central defender, holding midfielder, striker). For me it is obvious Arsenal don't want to break the bank on players or wages, but I think to keep up with the top 3 in the league, they have to start or they will end up as also rans. Here is who I would have bid for:
  1. Julio Cesar or Tim Krul
  2. Pepe or Felipe Santana
  3. Marouane Fellaini or Toni Kroos
  4. Higuain(I'd have paid the extra) or Benteke
 I know it might have cost a lot, but surely they should have signed someone. Obviously I am not a manager for a reason, but I think with some of those players Arsenal could genuinely compete for the title, something they won't be doing this season. It is a shame because they have some fantastic players, a great stadium and a great pitch, but I think it might be time for Wenger to go and for Arsenal to look in a new direction.

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