You can stick your bubbles...
So my chum Rob and I took our kids to Upton Park yesterday to see Man City take on West Ham. It's the first time I've followed City to Upton Park, and as I expected, it's a bit of a grim place, in the wilds of East London. Inside the stadium is OK, but outside is pretty depressing.
The game finished 0-0, but the atmosphere in the City end was lively, and the football was open and attractive for most of the 90 minutes. Hart, the City goalkeeper (England's future no. 1), was immense, as were defenders Richard Dunne and Michael Ball (I reckon he would be worth another go in England's problem left back spot). In the midfield, Hamman and Corluka both impressed, but we missed the invention of Elano, with only Petrov providing real attacking menace.
[There's a really balanced report here.]
The kids were a little taken aback by the volume (and lyrical content) of the singing in the City end. As an example, the West Hammers fans tried to sing their anthem 'We're forever blowing bubbles', the City response was, 'You can shove your ******* bubbles up your ****', just a whole lot louder and more convincingly. Still, the City fans are a lot more upbeat than they used to be - I remember some grim games (o-1 at Wycombe, anyone? 0-3 against Reading at Elm Park?) where the atmosphere was dark and self-destructive.
Anyway, in the evening we got a babysitter and went round to our friend's Rob and Lucy's for some dinner, joined by Emma and David, also good chums. We had nice food, accompanied by couple of wines that Rob had bought from Hampton Hill wine merchant Noble Green - a Loire Sauvignon and Spanish red, the names of which I can't remember, but were good enough that I think I should check this shop out.
We ended the evening playing on Rob's Wii, which is great. Fiona and I stayed long enough to play tennis and Guitar hero, but had to leave before the boxing. It's a great toy.