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by Massimo Usai

After a few months, here we are, to talk again about football.

I missed? Let’s say “I thought I would have missed more”.

Instead, like so many other things, I felt relaxed and calm in following almost nothing about football.
I read the news regarding the possible resumption of the Premier League and how it would have been. Still, as soon as I read about “transfers and gossip or useless discussions between fans, I turned around my shoulder and thought of something else.

But now we are there, on June 17th football will start again.

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It would be better to say that “probably” football will restart, since a contagion would be enough to block everything again.

Still, as things are going in the world, I believe that more than one infection will pass “in silence” to make the football world to resume.

“It is not the best time of our lives,” say many, so the resumption of sport could give that boost and courage to get back to life that we no longer have.

I think it is instead an “interesting” period, and I’m lucky enough to be part of this 2020.

This year things are changing, and I don’t want the life back 100% at it was, but I want a “new life” experience. I want to see a new life, a unique experience. I want to see a “revolution” in our society and life.

So, either the resumption of the matches by my football team, I hope will give me different emotions and sensations—a new experience as a fan.

I have been a season ticket holder of Arsenal since 2007 and have only lost a few matches at the stadium in the past two years. For 12 years, I have seen every single game at our stadium. And many trips to England and some to Europe to follow “the best team in the world”.
But in recent years some things have changed. I don’t like the attitude of so many people, looking exasperated to win trophies, and this is a feeling recently followed by too many fans, maybe the consequence of the new “social network” generation.
Without a doubt, it was less fun than before going to see a football match in the last few years.

The concentration on the result of too many “fans” has disappointed me and pushed me away in some way, because this isn’t what sport means to me.

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Mr. Arsene Wenger ©massimousaiphoto

For me, football (and Arsenal) is culture, history, romance, emotions and “episodes”.
During these “episodes” can also be the trophies won. Still, I also consider defeats and boredom to be fundamental in loving a sport and a love for a team.
I would like that the distance that the fans must now have from the stadium for a few months can bring back a lot of love for the “details”, more than for the results at all costs.
My sporting heroes have not always won trophies or a world cup and so similar in some other sport.
They are heroes for various reasons. Sometimes it may have been only a touch of the heel from a guy that put the “Maradona of the moment” on the ground. Been the only one who remembers his name of that episode. Before he disappeared into the darkness of the sporting anonymity.
Now, the forced stop for Covid-19 could give a “new start” in a different way, and if in life we expect a “new normal”, so I expect the same “New normal” from the sport.
Put this way, it seems a simple thing, but every revolution starts by chance and takes time to consolidate, there will always be those who regret the past.
It is a mental condition, which is not linked to the past as is it, but to our history, because we were younger. We take refuge in trivial excuses (The atmosphere in the stadium was better, the music was better, the films, everything.). Still, in reality, we were only younger. We miss our younger age—nothing else.

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So, the football that ended in March 2020 is over. “That” football is over. Some things will be the same, the ball and the stadium for sure, but many things will change. I don’t know exactly what at the moment as if everything was normal. I will sit like everyone in front of the TV next Thursday. Forced by COVID to stay away from the grounds, I will shamelessly Arsenal, or I will support differently. I don’t know yet, I’ll sit down and watch the football and how the sports revolutionising themselves in the coming months.
Football, cycling and Formula 1 will be my summer schedule, instead of the beaches and sand of my native land.
It’s summer 2020, nothing is as we thought it would have been, so no proclamations, desperations or research of the past. There is no time, you just have to observe and know that everything will be different.

Apart from the usual “C’mon Arsenal”, of course.

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