This is a frustrating thread. Mostly because the person who started it doesn’t seem to be listening to the people replying to him, but it’s also interesting how much “lady if you have to ask you’ll never know” stuff comes out when people ask (fairly) innocent questions about football, and how defensive and bristling it sometimes seems. It’s only a bit of analysis – nothing to be scared of!

I think quite a lot about why I like football and what I like about it. This is mostly because liking it isn’t a natural thing for me, it’s something quite new and surprising. Last weekend, for example, I realised that I really enjoy being a ‘neutral’. We were in Spain to celebrate Chris’ stag weekend and went to see an Athletic Bilbao game, and I had a great time. When I’d been to see Exeter last season I felt a bit out of place – surrounded by people who were desperate to see the team perform well I was embarrassed by my own lack of concern and committment. Of course that was the case at Bilbao too, but I’ve become much more comfortable with just joining in.

I’ve accepted I suppose that I don’t have a club and I won’t have one. You can’t graft that kind of attachment onto your personality. (I have a sneaking hope that when I have kids they will adopt a club for me, but that’s a while off.) I have teams I like more than others but for me it’s more like rooting for good and bad guys in a soap – you can switch it off and the disappointment/anger/glee quickly fades. It’s as a soap that I enjoy football, fundamentally – not the corruption or bad behaviour, those things are just exhausting, but the stories. So many stories, of individual players, of teams, of clubs and whole leagues, over a weekend or season or longer – there’s something interesting about every game, everywhere you look really.