Tag Archives: Arsenal

Wembley half full, half empty after the Carling Cup Final 2011

Ten years ago

The photo at the top of this post is the one that I used on my very first post on this blog. I had been listening to the 2013 League Cup Final as I set up my website and I wrote that I hoped Bradford fans had stayed to applaud their team, who had lost to Swansea. When Arsenal lost to us, most of their fans left quickly and Birmingham City fans found ourselves in a stadium of two halves. One half filled with Blues fans and the other half almost empty. I hoped that, if we had lost, we would have stayed to thank our team for the effort they had made.

I think that supporting a team means supporting them when they lose as well as when they win.That is why I stayed to the end of our 0-8 loss to Bournemouth in October 2014.  And I was more upset by the many Blues fans who left before the end than I was by the way the team collapsed.

I’m hoping for a decent performance this afternoon and will be delighted if Blues win.  It would be a good way to mark the tenth anniversary of winning the League Cup.

Read more

The curse of constantly winning

As a Birmingham City fan, I don’t need to worry about the curse of constantly winning but I’ve been thinking about it since reading an article with the heading “Manchester City fans left unhappy by curse of constantly winning trophies”.  The article says that fans of the top clubs expect victory and “anything else comes to seem like failure.” It also says, “The greatest triumphs, the ones that are longest remembered and most enjoyed, are those that are unexpected”.

That’s certainly true in my experience.  Scoring a last gasp goal when time and hope has almost gone is much more exciting than an easy win.  And it was what made Birmingham’s Carling Cup win in 2011 such a wonderful experience. Nobody expected us to win and we won with a goal right at the end. I have very fond memories of that day. I took a child to the game and on our way there I tried to tell him that we were probably going to lose. On our way back through London, fans from other London clubs saw his Blues shirt and came to congratulate us; it was like a triumphal procession.

Villa didn’t get a last gasp goal yesterday but went down fighting and weren’t disgraced. My impression from the radio commentary was that their fans applauded them at the end and didn’t exit from the stadium as quickly as the Arsenal fans did in 2011. I’m sure the Manchester City fans appreciated the result but probably not as much as the Villa fans would have enjoyed a win.

Read more

Abiding memories

It was the thought of standing on the Wembley pitch that made me want to be part of the Fans Choir for the FA Cup Final.  And it was an amazing experience to stand on that turf but not the best part. For me, the most enjoyable and memorable experience was meeting the other fans and the way so many strangers quickly became friends. Continue reading

A day in London

Tower poppiesI went to London yesterday so that I could take part in the fans march.  But I went early to do a little sightseeing as well. I walked over the Millennium Bridge and along the river to the Tower of London, to look at the poppies in the moat. By Armistice Day, November 11, there will be 888,246 ceramic poppies surrounding the Tower, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War and a reminder of the colossal scale of the carnage. It’s an impressive and thought-provoking display. Continue reading