In a few hours I jump on a plane and head to the UK.
This trip is a World Cup-infused football pilgrimage, brought about by the fact I made a big mistake in not going to Brazil a few ago. A trip back to the motherland, particularly at this time of year, is always good as there’s a game on pretty much every night. And we’ll be doing a lot of that.
During my travels around the Northern region during 2013 I was joined quite regularly by my eldest son, Nathan. He’s coming with me this time too, so it’s kind of an extension of what we did before, along with an opportunity to ramp up my football brainwashing and imprinting programme. As any good father would do.
We arrive in London on Friday afternoon and have a match to look forward to the next day, when we catch up with Jean’s best friend whose partner is a Middlesbrough fan. As luck would have it, Boro are in town to play Charlton Athletic, so after a couple of touristy things in the morning we’ll be on the train and out to the Valley.
Our itinerary is pretty much guided by the games we’re going to watch. Tuesday night sees us at Vicarage Road for Watford v Brentford, then on Thursday evening we’ll be at White Hart Lane for the first match in a Spurs double-header. Besiktas are in town for their Europa League group game and there’s something about European nights at the Lane… I can’t wait. Then on Sunday we’re back at Tottenham for their Premier League game against Southampton.
I’ve seen Spurs play live three times for three wins, so hopefully I can keep that run going. With the way the season’s started, they seem to need all the help they can get so I’ll be pleased to help out. It’s been nearly seven years since I’ve been to the Lane, so it’s really pleasing the way the fixture list turned out.
We’ve also got tickets to England’s Euro qualifier, against the might of San Marino, at Wembley on October 9. I’ve never been to Wembley (new or old) so it’ll be another one to tick of the list. Two days later we’ll be up in Scotland to watch Andy McNeil, who played for WaiBOP United last summer, as Airdrieonians host Brechin City.
And I’m sure there will be another match or two to get to in between what little tourist stuff we have time for.
As I said above, it’s only a few hours before I jump on the plane so I’d better, er, fly. The next time you hear from me will hopefully be in a couple of days when I report back on the Charlton v Boro game. Hopefully it will be loaded with goals and a win for the good guys.