The Second Team Soft Spot


Second team: what do you mean you have a second team that you have a soft spot for? You’re a Liverpool fan, you’re not allowed support a second team and if you do sod off and support them and leave supporting Liverpool to the real fans.


This is an argument I’ve had with several Liverpool fans over past eighteen or so months on Twitter, sorry it’s a synopsis of an argument I have had with Liverpool fans over the past eighteen or so months on Twitter. While I’m proud to call myself a Liverpool fan I’ll gladly shout it from the rooftops all day every day if I could, but there’s teams outside of Liverpool I’ve found myself having a soft spot for over the years. One of those teams was Manchester City before the Arab investment; this was mainly down to the fact that they were Manchester United’s noisy neighbours and as Liverpool fans we all know how much we dislike Manchester United. But my soft spot is now well and truly hardened as Manchester City has more in common with Real Madrid than they do with say Everton.

Then there was Wimbledon Football Club. For those fans reading this and don’t recognise the name Wimbledon Football Club I highly recommend you go and Google them. What a team they had back in the day with Vinny Jones, John Fashanu, Denis Wise, Lawrie Sanchez (even if he did break Liverpool hearts in the FA Cup final of 1988) all playing for them at some stage or another. Back in the day Wimbledon were the team every one feared playing, not because they had skill and would nine times out of ten beat you, no because you never knew if you would make it through the ninety minutes fully intact. And with Joe Kinnear managing them they really were the Crazy Gang. I was disappointed their proposed move to Dublin fell through because it would have been something else seeing Vinny Jones skidding two footed into a challenge live instead of on the TV. Remember when those kind of challenges were allowed or watching Denis Wise, arguably at times the smallest man on the pitch, picking a fight with the likes of Alan Shearer or Neil Ruddock. Also if the move had gone ahead I would have had the opportunity to see Liverpool play live at least once a year.

Currently I have a soft spot for Sunderland. Why? I haven’t a clue. Might be something to do with the Irish involvement in the club for a while a few years back, or the fact that two of their ex-managers were Irish, Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane and for a while Niall Quinn was the chairman. Or maybe it has something to do with it being seen by many in Newcastle as the smaller club, the underdog if you like and I for one love a good underdog story. (And yes I am aware of the fat slob currently in charge at the club.) I can honestly say that when they were relegated from the Premier League a few years ago it upset me, I may even have shed a tear. Just the one mind you. I’m saving my tears up for when Liverpool finally win that elusive Premier League title. But the club has been mishandled for so long and the owners don’t seem to learn that no matter how much money you throw at buying players, unless you have a half decent manager the players want to play for there’s always the risk of the team being relegated. And sadly that’s what’s been happening at Sunderland over the past ten or so years. They’ve earned themselves the nickname the yo-yo club.

For me there’s nothing wrong with supporting or having a soft spot for another club that’s not Liverpool. I’m a regular match goer to games in the League of Ireland  (whatever you do, don’t Google League of Ireland, you’ll thank me again). For some fans the problem of dual support comes to the fore if both of the teams you support meet each other, where does your loyalty stand? For me that’s not a problem because my local team and Liverpool will never meet in any kind of competition and once Liverpool play any team I have a soft spot for its the mighty Reds all the way.


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