An evening where football was completely nothing to do with anything I was involved with and ended up being the heart of every conversation. Why?
Is it because all I talk about is football? Ok I talk about football quite a lot but I'm pretty much sure I didn't instigate any of the football conversations. I think it goes back to the common language that is spoken globally no matter where you go, football. I leave for a business event and read about the rumours over whether Samir Nasri is going to Manchester City, as I write this it is not yet confirmed but from what I'm hearing it looks set to be City rather than United that capture Nasri's services up in Manchester. Then I arrive at the event, sit down, make myself sort of comfortable getting ready for a speech and the gentleman next to me starts telling me he's from Manchester and supports the United side of the City and that is his daughter supports City. So as you can imagine the Nasri conversation crops up and then pretty much the whole table is talking about football. We move on to Chelsea and the common dislike the table had for them which was actually quite funny. Of course I'm not including myself in this as a Premier League neutral and a now League One resident (for those of you who don't already know, Sheffield United).
Olympic football was next and a person on my table had gotten tickets for the football at 2012 at Wembley which despite the fact that they were a football fan were less than enthusiastic about. Actually it is quite contradictory to say that football is the dominant sport in the UK and the one sport that crosses all barriers globally, yet nobody is bothered about watching it in the Olympics. It was the one 2012 discipline that had the most tickets left. However it might be the one time we actually win something in football as a nation. Am I wishful thinking again? Quite possibly.
Obviously I'm quite happy chatting away about football at the First Women Awards and it sort of emphasizes why I love football and everything it hopefully still stands for despite the overtaking factor of money and the industry it has become. Next stop is a taxi home, literally within 2 minutes of jumping in the taxi and sitting down, the taxi driver was chatting away about football. To be fair he asked me what the best sporting event I'd been to was. I sort of was leaning towards F1 in Monaco and then straight away I blurted out it's got to be the 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul. My 45 minute taxi ride home then went into why Sheffield United sacked Micky Adams, thoughts on Andre Villas-Boas and the hype surrounding his move and the fact that the taxi driver was a West Ham fan. As you can imagine that struck a familiar conversation with a certain players name mentioned, Tevez.We did though come to a mutual agreement that English football needs more characters like Neil Warnock and Ian Holloway. What came next? Well it started with the phrase 'the problem nowadays' is that nobody says 'no' to the young players anymore instead people pussyfoot around them from such a young age with their agents in tow at 15 years old. Is that part of the problem why the England team always seem to under perform? Is that why the England U21s under performed most recently? A good point was brought to my attention by a former player who I was chatting to about the youth development in English football. He said 'you can't have the best domestic league in the world and a successful national squad.' Maybe true. But surely our flawed youth system can be stripped down and built from the bottom up using a long term strategy toward the development of the national game with our globally reaching Premier League still in tact? Food for thought after an evening without football.