Published on November 26th, 2014 | by Ian Cheeseman2
“That’s why I love football” | Ian Cheeseman
Why do I love football, and in particular Manchester City, so much? Perhaps the easiest answer, and most obvious answer as I write this, is “the feeling I got watching City v Bayern”, but there’s so much more to it than that!
Seeing a footballer at the top of his game, the peak of his career, performing under pressure, delivering amazing skills, in front of thousands of people and millions on TV, was very, very special. Sergio Aguero may now be out there on his own as the greatest player to pull on a City shirt.
We all enjoy the experience of watching football in our own way. For some it’s shouting and singing at the top of your voice, surrounded by your mates, for others it’s taking your son or daughter and sharing a passion together, and seeing it through their eyes as well as your own.
There’ll be some who have the resources to enjoy a prematch meal, hosted by a legend, before snuggling into a heated seat with a blanket over your knees, and for others it’s settling in front of the TV, in your favourite chair, with a beer or a brew.
For me it’s arriving early, meeting Uwe Rosler for a chat and an interview, and a lucky fan, Daryl Bone, who’d just flown in from Abu Dhabi, as a result of winning a competition to see the Grand Prix. It was then hosting Blue Tuesday on BBC Radio Manchester alongside former Blues manager Brian Horton and Supporters Club supremo Kevin Parker, before describing every kick, every twist, every dramatic punch and counterpunch of a great game alongside City legend Shaun Goater and knowing that there were some people hanging on our every word as their way of following the game.
As if that’s not enough, what a game! Both teams had quality in every position, and the match was played with great skill and speed. Just over two years ago, City had been behind against QPR and their dramatic late late win, thanks to a goal from Sergio Aguero had been the ultimate adrenaline rush. It wasn’t much different against Bayern, 1-0 up and the opposition down to ten men, then two goals by the opposition and one or two people mouthed “Pellegrini, gone tomorrow”, honestly they did!
An hour later, all anyone could talk about was Sergio Aguero, the goals he scored and the awe felt by fans who’d witnessed it as they sang, cheered with their family, sat in their warmed seat or jumped up from their favourite armchair whilst sat at home listening on the radio or watching on TV.
I got a text from former Wigan Athletic manager Ray Mathias, “Great win, what a player” which shows the impact that game and that player had on those who’re not even supporters. That was a very special game, but made all the more special by the disappointment of losing at home to CSKA, of Stoke’s win at the Etihad and the heart sinking feeling of coming away from West Ham without a point. The highs feel so much more sweet after a couple of set backs. Where would the fun be in watching win after win, week after week?
Watching football, through partisan eyes, is dramatic, emotional and makes you feel alive, and despite devoting my spare time and now my professional life to watching the game I love, it’s still just as special as it ever was.
This weekend I can’t wait to see Rochdale v Oldham (as a fan) and Southampton v City – what a weekend that promises to be. I just feel sorry for those who don’t share my passion for football, you don’t know what you’re missing!