Living somewhere in the deepest darkest Netherlands for the last 7 years, I have a passion for wordplay and football. Arsenal are my club of choice, although this only stems from having a Scottish father who followed Aberdeen, rather than a geographical affiliation, the two teams having shared similar Red JVC sponsored shirts, back when all this was fields!
Brought up in Crewe in the years where the local team perennially finished bottom of Division 4, football never surfaced as something to watch or play until about I was in my mid teens. The first game I can recall watching is the final game of the 1989 season, Liverpool v Arsenal with that infamous "It's up for grabs now" commentary. I'd seen other games, but this is the one which left an impression. From there on in, it had me!
In the last few years, I've traveled to see Crewe Alexandra play twice at Wembley, both games they won incidentally, Arsenal play (and win) at the Emirates, Newcastle play (and win) at St James' Park, and Ajax in the Champions League in a 1-0 win against Celtic, which helps cements my increasing belief that I could be employed as a lucky charm, having a 100% win record for every game I've attended, including such obscure games as preseason's Den Haag v Swansea, and Arsenal's various Amsterdam Cup games.
Gripped by an urge to insert sardonic and caustic humour as and when I can, football writing is an ideal platform, with its tribal supporters quick to enjoy a laugh at their rivals' expense, and just as quick to defend their own should someone dare to question their current batch of untouchables.
During the World Cup I shall be pointedly wearing one of my many Scotland shirts, and in an effort to remain neutral between my Dutch wife and friends, and my English ex-pat friends, I shall be shouting vociferously for Belgium! If I don't make it out alive... it's been a blast!
If you fancy encountering me in real-time, my twitter is @aliwiseman