A Very Personal Fixture List

Wednesday 17th June 2015

Summer time is not normally a period where I add my latest blog. But, just like the season’s opening day or the FA Cup 3rd Round draw, the fixtures coming out is one of ‘those’ days where I feel like a little kid. And it is lunchtime. And I need a break from my day to day working routine….mainly because 4 days at the Isle of Wight Festival has seriously taken it out of me yet again!

Like many of us I treat the fixtures very personally. Especially as I am an Arsenal addict so not attending a fixture doesn’t ever come into any initial equation!

Saying that however, although my choices are relatively flexible, you’ve probably guessed by now I do have a life outside football. When it comes to my passion however, I’m very selfish too. I don’t like doing things I don’t want to. No pretending from me I’m afraid. If there is something I would prefer to be doing that’s pretty much the direction I head. And yep, as I sit here in my mid-forties I have lost relationships, jobs and worse as a result.

Norwich away for a league cup replay when on holiday north of Inverness was one such choice. Scarborough away in the fog when I was supposedly at a meeting in Crawley another. But do these (and many other) occasions make me a bad person? Inconsiderate? Maybe. Unable to compromise? Probably. Stubborn? On occasion. But fixtures like this were not on an initial ‘list’. So I had made other arrangements. Now, quite simply, other than the odd gig ticket I could sell if it clashes, I don’t. It’s easier you see.

On the other hand am I truthful and honest to myself? Definitely. Love and respect my family and friends? 100%.

And I don’t smash up telephone boxes, be abusive to others, get physically violent, push drugs, steal, be racist, stitch people up etc etc etc.

So as an overall package, I am extremely happy in my life choices, despite like each and every one of us, making many mistakes along the way.

All of the above mean however, that when I look at the fixture list announcement my brain works something like this;

Who we got first game? Could do with a London fixture as wedding reception Saturday evening. West Ham at home. That’s a good start. Even better if its moved to Saturday lunchtime or Sunday. Saturday evening would cause an issue. One I’d deal with of course. But one it would be handy to avoid.

Weekend of the 22nd is the next I need to look at. Got tickets for The Ashes cricket at The Oval for the Saturday. So could do with a game that can be moved to Sunday. Liverpool at home. Definitely TV possibilities there. Promising stuff. Again if it doesn’t get moved the Arsenal come first. I’ll sell the cricket tickets if that happens.

The following week I have music festival tickets for both days. So it was always highly likely I would miss one of the 2 days. Something Saturday in London would be good. Moved to Saturday lunchtime would be perfect. Newcastle away. Shit. Not very helpful that one. I can fly up and back to that one though. So I will still get to one day of the festival. And its bank holiday weekend. No Champions League Fixtures to follow. So I’ll cling on to the fact it could be moved to the Monday night! You never know.

Bestival is on the weekend of the 12th/13th September. And I have tickets of course. Why wouldn’t I. It’s awesome and just down the road. Knew I would be missing a little bit of it for football but a London game would be very handy. Stoke at home. That’ll do. Make it Saturday or Sunday lunchtime please TV companies. No hang on. Won’t be moved to Sunday. We have our first Champions League Group match that week! Go for Saturday lunchtime please TV people. That would be just perfect.

The following week and I do have a potential problem. One of my very best mates is getting married. The idiot! ;-). Not for getting married of course. But for doing it in the football season. He should know the rules. June is the month for weddings. Need a fixture that not only could be moved for TV but one that is the biggest fixture of the weekend. Surely then there is a massive chance it could be Sunday at 4pm. Chelsea away. Probably couldn’t have handpicked that any better. Especially as both clubs will be playing in the Champions League the previous midweek. Fingers crossed on that one.

Etc. etc. etc.

Mid July we normally find out TV’s full selections. Then and only then can I start to put together my totally selfish and personal diary. Only until the end of November though of course.

December 2015 and onwards will have to wait for the next TV announcement.

I should have one or two days free in June 2016 though.




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