You’re still reading, well than. If you haven’t had the chance, check out part 1 of the two part search for a team to root for.
If you’re interested in finding a team for yourself (and if you are, this might not be the most educated column you’ll ever read, as part 1 would show), I broke down the rest of the selection.
In reverse order…
5. West Bromwich Albion:
In a Nutshell: Have been the surprise story of the current season, currently tied for 4th in the league, and the fourth spot qualifies for the Champions League. Have had point in 4 out of their last six games, so their in prime form currently. They’ve been lauded for playing an attractive type of football, which for me is a real bonus considering I want to be entertained for the amount of money I’m paying for cable. Their current coach Steve Clark apparently doesn’t show emotion all the time, which I like, and their current roster includes goalie Ben Foster who was part of England’s failing qualification of Euro 2008 so it’s got to mean something.
One reason to root for them:
Their coach, who from the multiple articles I’ve read seems like a coach who isn’t a over-controlling dick like some other coaches (cough cough Alex McLeish, Carlos Quieroz), he seems confident (although most coaches in the premier league are confident), and he actually knows what he’s doing. God, if the NBA teams used that criteria (a criteria that took about 2 minutes to make) to find teams, the league would be in a good place.
One reason not to pick them:Of their current roster, there is no one that the average fan, like me could identify. That doesn’t mean that its a recipe for disaster, and from the form they’ve shown it’s far from it, I would like to at least identify myself with one player. I know it vain and short-sighted, but fuck it, write your own article if you want.
4. Newcastle United:
In a nutshell: One of the oldest franchises in England, They’ve housed one of the most famous manager in Sir Bobby Robsen (UEFA cup winner with Ipswich in 1981, FA cup winner in 1978 ), one of the most recognizable English players in Alan Shearer, one of the more disgraceful moments in EPL history (more on this in a bit) and are currently embarking on improving on their surprise 5th place finish in the EPL last season.
One reason to pick them: Their rivalry list includes Sunderland, Liverpool (on account of the whole Andy Carroll signing), Tottenham and Man U. Now that my friends is a rival list I can be proud of.
One reason not to pick them: During a 2005 game, two Newcastle teammates famously got into a fistfight during a game and both got red-carded. I’m not kidding. They actually both got into a legitimate fight. By the way, the team finished 3rd and 5th in the two seasons before 2004-2005. You where Newcastle finished in 05, 14th. Now THAT, my friends, is a dysfunctional franchise. Here’s the YouTube clip if you don’t believe me.
3. Aston Villa:
In a nutshell: Villa Park, the grounds that Aston Villa currently play, was opened in 1897. That’s over 115 years of puke and crap that’s been merged in Villa Park. You want a word that describes Villa’s history, lets go with unpredictable. At one point in their existence, They were relegated to third tier football in England. They won the 82 European Cup Final (now called the UEFA Champions League), the 81 league tittle, the 82 UEFA Super Cup (don’t ask me what the significance of this trophy was) yet somehow was relegated in 1987. A founding member of the Premier League, unpredictability has clouded the club. The highs: 2 League Cups, finishing 2nd the Premier League in the inaugural season in 1992-1993. The lows: the Alex McLeish era, enough said
One reason to pick them: From everything I read, including twitter, columns, podcasts etc… This Alex Mcleish guy was just shit. Now he’s gone, so it has to be better right?
One reason not to pick them: I’m sorry, but I can’t support a club that might get relegated. it’s superficial, but I am competitive, contrary to everything that’s been said about me (actually, nothing been said about me, nobody even knows about this two parter EPL search).
In a nutshell: On paper, this should be the team. Esteemed history. They’ve done the Double three times (if you don’t know, The Double in England at least consists of winning 2 out of the three major championship tournaments in England/Europe. For now, it’s the FA Cup, Premier League, and the Champions League), their most recent championship came in 2004 when they went undefeated during the season!! Under their current coach Arsene Wenger, the team is known for playing an attacking style of play which to some extent has decreased. The team has housed legendary players in Henry, Bergkamp, Fabregas, Vierra and more. In recent years, the team has been criticized for being more of a profit club side than spend big cash and challenge for titles.
One reason to pick them: Their nickname is the gunners, which I find splendid. Considering the style of play they incorporated from 1996-current, it just fits in splendidly. Plus they had a goalie by the name of David Seaman. Come on, like you don’t find that amusing. Don’t shake your head.
One reason not to pick them: While the team has to some extent declined into a “selling club”, They’re bandwagon is still considerably high. Plus this seemed like it was the perfect club to support, which made me not want to pick them. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it counts as a strike.
In a nutshell: Not the greatest fit considering that this guy named Luis Suarez, while an exceptional talent, had a racial abuse incident with one Patrice Evra. That being said, it’s one of the most recognizable clubs with great history, great uniforms (serious, who can go wrong with it, it’s blood-red) one of the greatest English players in history (Steven Gerrard), staged one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Champions League coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the second half to win the Champions League against AC Milan. On the other hand, the team has declined from their Big four perch in the last couple of years in part because of shitty ownership (although that’s improved recently with the purchasing of the club by the owners of the Boston Red Sox), and not having the greatest of managers (see Dalglish, Kenny). Did I mention that Steven Gerrard is on the team? I think I did.
One reason to pick them: They have this guy named Jay Spearing (who currently is on loan to Bolton) who suffers from the Greg Oden syndrome and legitimately looks like he’s at least 52, maybe 53. Ohh by the way, he’s 23 yrs old.
One reason not to pick them: That Luis Suarez guy seems like a bad apple, OK, he’s a dick! Plus along with Arsenal, it seems like it was the perfect club to root for, so it took some talking through before I eventually gave in.
Bonus reason to pick them: Following Steven Gerrard, who’s been in some sort of a decline in the last few years, would be awesome. His performance in the 05 Champions League Final and the 06 FA Cup Final were as clutch as you can get.
So there you have it, after over 3000 words, YouTube clips, columns, Wikipedia and more, Liverpool have emerged as the winner in the annual “Canadian guy trying to follow a European sport” contest. I have to say, it was a blast finding a team that will be in my conscious every Saturday/Sunday morning for the future. No longer can I say that I’m an atheist of a beautiful game. Now I can proclaim “I am a Liverpool supporter!”
Now, to stomach Luis Suarez on a consistent basis. That’ll be the hard part.
About the Author
Written by Mohamed Mohamed
I'm an 18 yr old avid hockey/basketball fan who currently resides in Edmonton Alberta doing pharmacy courses in university. I look forward to writing some wacky columns with a biased but humorous point of view. I look forward to provide NBA content and interacting with fans across. Follow me on twitter @moesquare or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org