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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Hellie's Premier Team Hopes

It’s part of the job title of Girlfriend to find out her mans passions and to somehow find her own interest in them. We work hard to do that. In my case it was easier said than done. I had to dig really deep into myself and find, manufacture an interest in sports. Ha!
I watched him enjoy the highs and lows of sporting events, wondering what the point was, never understanding why one person could care so much about one result and one team. I struggled to understand it. I tried asking him but it still made no sense. So I tried what I thought was the impossible and sat through a full Rugby match. The match made and impact on me I never expected. Not in a million years. Next thing I knew I was asking to see more rugby. Suddenly I found myself agreeing to go to Dublin to see Bernard Dunne in the O2. Since then my interest in sport has escalated, ten fold. I found myself agreeing to take part in a Fantasy League to get into the Premier League.

It’s working.

It’s week 9 now and I’m looking into the prospect of picking a Premier League Team. We all know the choices by now. But I have set myself goals on how to pick a team, a decent team.

Goal 1: I want a team with a history. A team I can say proudly “Ya I like them, I support them”

Goal 2: I want a team in which I don’t end up jumping on a bandwagon because someone else likes them. I want a team for me, a team that I’ve chosen and not one that has been forced on me.

Goal 3: I want a team that I can look forward to watching each week

Goal 4: (rather selfishly) I want a team that will earn my Fantasy League points as well.

Manchester United: One of the chosen four, the golden balls. It’s almost a given that as a young boy you should support Man Utd, being a girl I don’t care so much. Still though they are the most popular club and a founding club of the Premier league.....that’s a history to be proud of, I guess. It’s also def a bonus that Utd have a local Cork “hero” Roy Keane as a former player, being a cork woman I have to say that. Final point? Gavin likes them.

They don’t make the cut.

Aston Villa: Another founding club of the premier league, an ancient team founded in 1874, old timers have great history. Natural rivals to Birmingham, always like a good bit of rivilery to keep a side going. Their kit is an odd collection of colours though, not sure I like them. 5th in the All Time FA League means they’ve done well but like my report cards always said “can do better”

I don’t think so......

Liverpool: Won more trophies than any other team. That’s good. Another oldie in the club stakes. Golden Balls and one of the four.... Liverpool has a great history with the Beatles, I like the Beatles. Teams kit colours are better than Vilas but that wouldn’t be hard. Good history with the stadium, Anfield looks great and it’s definitely I could see myself going to see, I like Liverpool.

They are possible as a team.

Chelsea: Frank Lampard is a good start, I call him Lampy, he gets me points for my fantasy league team. Colours are ok.....I don’t understand why they were called The Pensioners? The last decade has been their best so far, the golden balls and one of the four. Located in London is a good thing, great excuse to go over, see a match and take in a show and some shopping.

Possible, very much so.

Fulham: Another oldie, founded in 1879 and still going strong. Ish. They don’t have the best reputation right now. Former player George Best gets them Kudos though. Nice normal not too obvious coloured kit helps Nice long eventful history. Only debuted in the Premier League in 2001-2003, not very long to gain experience.

I don’t think so no.....

West Ham: Highest finish in the Premier League was in 98-99, ages ago. Too long. Geoff Hurst of the infamous hat trick of 1966 is a former player for West Ham. Started well this year. Well known over the years for Hooliganism and football related violence. Rivals? Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur....Long History, goes on forever.

I don’t think so, not with the violence, I’d be squeeshed.

Stoke City: Wow the oldest club in the premier league, 1863 thats ages ago!! Oldie indeed. Their nickname however doesn’t help them at all, The Potters? As in Harry Potter? Hmmmm I hope not. Another team with a hooligan filled history, and ID cards to try and stop this at away games? No idea how this helped but I don’t fancy it.

Eh no.......

Everton: I like Liverpool and this lot are based in Liverpool as well.....They were even founding members as well, although at this stage it doesn’t seem so impressive. Although they do generally have great attendance at games with roughly 95% of all seats filled. Rivals you ask? But of course, Liverpool! I won’t even pretend to like their colours or kits!

All in all? Maybe......

Blackburn: Played well this season against Arsenal, decent start. Another founder but this time of the Football and Premier League, nice history! A run of 11 losses in 2008 doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence though. Plenty of Irish players on the team though, always good for us here however the games are the least attended in the league.

Will I? Won’t I? I won’t no....

Arsenal: Most successful of the league teams with the most wins, nice, awful nickname though “The Gunners” sounds as hooligan ish as you can get but I’ll assume it has something to do with the picture of a gun on the crest. The ladies team is the basically the best in the league and I really like that. Even their kit seems ok, ish.

The Verdict? Maybe yeah I could deal with that.

Tottenham Hotspur: Same name as Shakespeare’s Hotspur, great link! In the season of 60/61 they won the league and the FA, the only team to win the double. Pity it was so long ago but still a decent enough history. All their well played seasons were ages ago. I don’t like their kits, none of them look good.

Nope. No chance.

Sunderland: Haven’t won a title since 1936, what’s that all about? Not sure I wanna know any more after finding that bit out. I don’t get the nickname The Blackcats, it’s weird and I think it has something to do with the cats on their crests? Either way I hate cats. Andy Reed plays for them, an Irish man who doesn’t and didn’t play for Ireland lately, seems awfully silly.

Silly isn’t for me.

Portsmouth: Nicknamed Pompey this team have a reasonably ok history of winning the FA cup, better than other no hope teams. Mainly owned by a Saudi Arbian family the teams main rivals are Southampton and are 2 divisions below, perhaps the lack of rivals in the Premier league is cause for concern? Or am I just looking for a reason to say no other than I don’t fancy trips to Portsmouth in the near future?


Wolves: Probably the only team with a understandable nickname, their own Wolverhampton Wanderers is far too long. 2006 saw a clearout of players and Mick McCarthy take over the club. The last few years have seen a lot of changes in the club, can this be good for the team to have so many upsets and changes? Probably not. And their colours are shockingly bad.


Wigan: Their only ever spot in the Premier League is this one, rough. 1995-2005 saw the impossible and Wigan made it to the Premier League, an idea that was laughed at way back then. The hunger they have to stay there must be helpful. Oddly the clubs rivals aren’t a football team but a rugby team, I like quirky this is very quirky. Kevin Kilbane used to play for them, not bad points wise but he left for a reason.

Possible choice? Maybe?

Hull City: A Yorkshire based team, they have browny points already. Least season they were too close to comfort to falling down to the next league, they narrowly avoided it by one point. But they did stay in the premier league, Kudos for that. Two irish players, including Kilbane, again think of the points.

Yeah I’ll shortlist them. Yorkshire is home sure....

Bolton: They’ve spent the longest time in the league without winning a title. Eh how? That’s not good. Two Irish players as well but I haven’t heard of either of them. Not good. Varied History but nothing worth writing home for.

Not a chance.

Burnley: The Clarets, named for their colours, have spent most of their life in the top two divisions but from 76 to 09 they failed to reach the top and have only just returned. OK fair enough everyone has bad weeks, but that’s a lot of bad.......I love that they have their own song “Dare to Dream” written by a teacher (lol) and a 8 year old pupil. I love the quirkiness!

A slim chance but better than others.

Birmingham : This year is only their 6th year in the premier league, but the club won other titles donkeys years ago under various other names such as The Heath....I’m glad they changed their names. The Umbro kit they have this year is kinda pretty, the colours are ok. Main rivals are Aston Villa, perhaps a pipe dream to beat them but I guess at the very least it gives the club a focus.

Yes? No? Maybe? Eh no.

It’s taken a few days to get to know each of the teams and clubs in the premier league but after all the reading I’ve done the last week or so I feel like I know the clubs better. Can I choose a team to follow?

Probably not based on what I’ve read and learned but I think from paying attention to the league this year I can. It may be based on a total biased point of view, on points and on daft names but I think I can manage it.

It’s been narrowed down to just two clubs for the season. It’s down to.....(this is where a TV ad break cuts in to the huge announcement) either Liverpool or Chelsea. However I’m expected to narrow it down now I’ve no idea but its thanks to Lampy (Lampard) and Bully (Torres) that I’ve gotten this far. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll come out and have a definite answer to the question, “How do you Pick a Premier League Team?” and which team is best suited for Hellie.

Maybe I’ll have caught on to a team by the end of the season but til then I’m guessing I’ll have to base all my fantasy league hopes on Lampy and Torres and hope that I can choose at the end.


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