Even as an Arsenal fan, I can appreciate this view.
I’m in Manchester this weekend for BlogOnXmas. The conference is taking place at Hotel Football, which is literally a stone’s throw from Manchester United’s ground Old Trafford.
Now when I travel for work I’m used to staying in soulless chain hotels, frequently in the middle of large industrial parks. If you’re lucky, the view out of the window might include a few trees. More often than not, it’s an endless expanse of concrete and tarmac.
Upon arrival, I was offered the choice of a stadium or city view. Naturally, I accepted the former. From the comfort of my (very well-appointed) room I was able to gaze out over the tourists milling in front of the stadium’s imposing façade. Even as a fan of a rival team, I have to admit it’s a great view.
It brought back memories of previous visits to the ground as an Arsenal supporter: one a thrilling FA Cup win over United, the other a turgid FA Cup semi-final victory against Middlesbrough.
Over the past year, we have started to take the boys to live sporting events. Isaac watched his first live football match at Reading last November. We went to two Twenty20 games at Lord’s and the Oval this summer. And I will be taking Isaac to his first NFL match at Twickenham next month. Maybe one day this is a view I will share with one or both of the boys as they prepare for their first visit to Old Trafford. Any view is great – but it’s better shared.