Why I support Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic

I like to propose a toast with my glass of J2O to my team, Charlton Athletic Football Club, who were founded 110 years ago on this very day.

When it comes to answering questions you would think that my most asked question would revolve around my autism and how I cope, etc, etc. However, my most asked question, since I was young has actually been, “why do you support Charlton?”

People are often baffled by the fact that I support Charlton, as I live in the North of England and Charlton is a London based club.

As it’s one of my most asked questions I will take this opportunity to explain why I support them. =)

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I started off as a Manchester United supporter. My reason for supporting Man Utd is rather silly but true. Back then, my Dad had big curly hair, the exact replica of Bryan May. I thought wild bushy hair was masculine and cool. At that time I came across a player called Karel Poborsky, he’s a Czech Republican international who played for Manchester United. It was at that moment that I became a Man Utd supporter… all because of Karel Poborsky and his hair. XD

Inevitably, I stopped supporting the Red Devils as soon as Poborsky left them. Haha.

For a good while I never had an interest in any particular club but one name did stand out, “Charlton Athletic.” I first learned that name in my brother’s Subbuteo set. For some reason, I was really taken by that name. I remember seeing them on the Gillette Soccer Saturday updates when they lost to Ipswich and I was surprisingly disappointed. I didn’t know how but I memorised the badge, the name, and the kit colour.

The Play-Offs Semi-Finals were on and Charlton managed to win their match and progressed to the Play-Offs Final. I found myself beaming that they won their match, but it never really registered why. All of my strange feelings and affection towards Charlton came to fruition when they played against Sunderland in the Play-Offs Final 1998.

During that match I found myself cheering for Charlton all the way. I would cry and run upstairs to my room every time Sunderland scored and would run back down if Charlton equalised. I cheered for Charlton much louder than I ever did for Man Utd. They were genuine and honest cheers too. I cheered loudest when Sasa Ilic saved that Penalty from that Penalty Shoot-out.

It was at that moment that I realised that I was a Charlton supporter.

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I suppose I haven’t really answered my own question. Why do I support Charlton? I’m not sure why, I just do. However, when I had my epiphany and discovered the Charlton fan in myself I learned that my Mum supported Charlton, my Uncle supported Charlton and my Granddad supported Charlton. So, if I were to give an answer I would say that it’s in the family blood. =)

One of the best moments of my life did involve Charlton Athletic as I was actually their mascot in one of their away games. Their company as a whole is friendly and I can vouch for their greatness as I have been involved with their players and staff personally, if only for a brief spell. I was slightly gutted that I never got to meet Alan Curbishley and Clive Mendonca, but I was still pleased that I got to meet all the players and staff like Chrissy Powell, Keith Peacock and Mark Kinsella.

Being a Charlton mascot was definitely a supreme moment and it’s a moment that will never go away. =D

THANKS FOR READING

Super Clive Mendonca Day

There’s no doubt in my mind that I will still get asked this question time and time again, but I don’t mind as the answer is daft but humorous. =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Episode Nine Thoughts

Erina Endcard

I really do like Hinako, she’s very cute. Even though she has a fearsome reputation she acts very relaxed and sweet. I do think her moral dropped after Soma took away her Kaki-no-Tane. It was all for a good cause though as he served her that very same tea snack as part of a dish. I can’t describe it but he sort of coated the fish with the Kaki-no-Tane chips. I also really like the fact how Hinako is voiced by Mamiko Noto. I just know when a character is being voiced by Mamiko as she has that distinctive voice about her. I get drawn into her voice and characters every time. =)

Hinako summed up Soma perfectly in that he’s very creative despite time running against him. She looked pretty as a mermaid but I did crack up laughing when the man behind her had a meat-type head. I’m not really sure how else to describe it except that I thought it was funny. XD

I unexpectedly started to like Takumi in this episode. I pictured him to be an arrogant lad but I think he’s probably more awkward then arrogant. It was especially funny when he made that dramatic speech about next time he sees Soma it will be in a Shokugeki battle… only to find out that they would sit next to each other on the bus!  I guess all the long he just needed a rival and a friend who he can relate with. One thing for sure, Takumi and Soma will definitely respect each other from now on.

It looks like everyone in the Polar Star gang managed to survive by one day… for now. Now all the students have to serve 50 servings each to the muscular athletes. I felt sorry for Yuuki as she was looking forward to relax but now she can’t. The way she mellowed in despair was pretty funny to watch. It does seem rather unfair on all the students that they have to prepare all those dishes straightaway when they came back from a stern test. It’s amazing how quickly Soma prepared those 50 dishes. I hope Ikumi and Megumi and the rest of the Polar Star Gang manage to make those 50 dishes just in time.

Soma and Erina humming to the ending song was pretty fun to watch. Soma’s humming and dancing was really funny watch whilst Erina’s humming was relaxing to watch. I didn’t think they would bump into each other any time soon. I wonder what’s going to happen next. I’d imagine Erina is just going to give Soma a lot of verbal abuse. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

FA Cup Trophy

It’s the FA Cup Final today and I’m really looking forward to it. As I understand it if Villa win the cup, they play in the Europa League next season, if Arsenal win, Southampton play in the Europa League next season.

Either way I do feel sorry for the English teams who play in the Europa League as it must be gruelling for them to play on a Thursday and a Sunday. Look what happened to Everton. They finished at the bottom half of the table. I get the feeling that the same could happen with Southampton. They had a fantastic season last season but if they play in the Europa League next season then I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t do as well as they did this season. Having said all that, they played above expectations this season and just ran out of steam near the end. I’m very pleased for them. =)

Anyway- my FA Cup prediction.

It’s going to be Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa. I think Arsenal will just nudge Villa out but I don’t think they’ll keep a clean sheet. Let the fun times roll. =)

Thanks for reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

Familiarity and the World Cup England Match

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Footy Tidings.^^/

 

Like most people with Autism I like familiarity, especially when I go out to badminton and yoga. It’s not just about familiarity with the same people; it involves a number of factors. What clothes I will be wearing, what time I will be going, for how long, what I will need to take with me, who is it to pay and what shuttlecocks we will be using. It may surprise you but with us Autistic folks, the smallest of things can actually be the biggest.

 

With yoga last night, I was out of my comfort zone. A new yogi instructor was present in place of Callie. This did put me out as I wasn’t expecting a new yoga instructor at all. I also didn’t expect so many people turning up, since the sun has been shining beautifully in the sky as of late. So, I felt squashed by the huge crowd and there was a new yoga instructor to accustom myself to. I did my best to try and remain positive although being caught off guard and being out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t easy.

 

I was able to cope in the end but unfortunately I wasn’t able to relax, I was rather too intense to be able to chill out. It partly made me weary and initially I told myself that I’m not going to go next week. What if Callie isn’t there again? What if the room is going to be crowded again? But then, I listened to some Non Non Biyori music, had a bath, watched football, spoke to my family members and now I’m able to think rationally…

 

I was basically thinking too much. It’s that thing of when my imagination play tricks with me. What’s the point of anticipating situations that may or may not happen? One of the teachings of yoga, which I adhere too very passionately, is living in the moment. Don’t think about situations that may happen in the future. How do you know what will happen? Instead of anticipating moments, just handle those moments if they happen. And that philosophy is the kind of philosophy I’m trying to achieve with a smile on my face. =)

 

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I’m really enjoying the World Cup. This is probably the best World cup in years, at least in my opinion.

 

I mentioned in my previous blog that I fear for England’s chances of advancing to the knockout stage. In their previous match they lost 2-1 to Italy.

 

It was certainly a valiant effort on their parts. Raheem Sterling looked very positive going forward, when he fired that shot in the third minute I honestly thought he had scored. XD We played decent Football, we had some good tempo going on and we closed Italy down at appropriate times. However, I felt that we fell short on the technical and mental aspects of the match. We lost focus at crucial times and perhaps got a little careless when giving the ball away. Perhaps fatigue came into play? When it came to passing I felt that Italy outplayed us in that regard. They’re all about technique and passing the ball around. Hopefully England would have learned from this and will do their very best against Uruguay tonight. =)

 

I’ve been invited to my sister’s house to watch the Football there. At this moment in time I feel like watching at home, but, instead of making a rash decision now I’m just going to see how I feel tomorrow. =)

 

COME ON ENGLAND! =D

Ryan

World Cup 2014

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Summer Tidings.^^/

 

I’m having a very good summer so far. There are number of stories that I would like to share with you about the shenanigans I got up to. Like my thoughts on Mario Kart 8, going to Applewood Farm Pub Quiz (World Cup special), my illustrations, potential new ways for me to socialise and completing the anime Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. I really enjoyed that anime and I will be looking to pick up Magi: The Kingdom of Magic.

 

But- all of that is irrelevant to this blog! 😉 I’m talking about the World Cup 2014! =D I will be watching this as religiously as Thomas the Tank Engine and Non Non Biyori. Haha. =D My first thoughts are ‘COME ON ENGLAND!’ my second thoughts ‘I can’t wait for the first match tonight.’ =D Because of the time zone in England I’ll be watching most of the matches at 9 or 10 in the evening. They’re roughly the times when they kick-off  here in England.

 

I have made initial predictions about who will qualify from each group…

 

GROUP A: Brazil to qualify on top, Mexico runners-up.

GROUP B: Spain to qualify on top, Chile to come runners-up

GROUP C: Ivory Coast to qualify on top, Colombia to come runners-up.

GROUP D: …wishful thinking perhaps but England to qualify on top and Italy to come runners-up. 😉

GROUP E: France to qualify on top, Honduras to come runners-up.

GROUP F: Argentina to qualify on top, Bosnia and Herzegovina to come runners-up.

GROUP G: Germany to qualify on top, United States to come runners-up.

GROUP H: Belgium to qualify on top, Russia to come runners-up.

 

I feel that since the hosts are Brazil, and considering the whole terrain and climates I feel that the South American nations will have a big advantage over the European nations. I’m up in arms about Group B as well. Spain is probably the best nation team in the world, or at least one of them, so there’s no doubt in my mind that they will come out on top. I initially predicted the Netherlands for second place, but then I remembered that it’s based in Brazil so I switched it with Chile.^^

 

I must admit that I’m not very optimistic about England’s chances. Of course I will get behind them 100% but how well will they adapt to the terrain, climate and air before they play Football? I think it was a good idea that they had warm up matches against Ecuador and Honduras before the World Cup event. With the quality in our side we probably should have won comfortably, but to be honest, I think two draws is more than we could have hoped for. I’m especially thankful though that we didn’t come away with any injuries, the tackles by the Honduras lads during that game was horrendous. I’m not sure if they were deliberately trying to rough us up or if they were missed-timed tackles, but regardless, I’m just happy that most of the players are fit for the World cup. =)

 

How do you rate England’s chances? Are you watching the World cup? Are you excited? Roll on Brazil vs Croatia. =)

 

Fare Thee Well for now.^^/

Ryan

PFA Awards 2014 Predictions

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Spring Tidings.^^/

 

This season has been a very good season for Football, especially in the Premier League. The only downer for me in this season is that there were a good number of managers who were sacked, but that’s another story to tell on another day. 😉

 

I never would have thought that Liverpool would be in the hunt for the league title. They’ve generally been consistent through their performances, played some good high-tempo and scored a lot of goals. It’s those goals that are making them firm favourites to win it. It’s been a long time coming too for a big club like Liverpool to not have any league championships on their CV.

 

It’ll be nice for Steven Gerrard too. With Gerrard in the side, Liverpool have won many trophies; FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield, Champion’s League, UEFA Cup (now Europa League) and Super Cup. But the only honour they haven’t won with Gerrard in the team is the league title. A couple of games ago Gerrard was very emotional. If they win it I reckon we’ll see tears of joy.

 

Today’s game between Liverpool and Chelsea was a cracker! Chelsea employed the tactic of slowing down the pace in order to frustrate Liverpool. It appeared to work as Liverpool couldn’t really hit a shot on target in the first half. One can never tell what Jose is thinking or plotting for his next game but he’s very entertaining to watch; whether it’s his antics on the field or during the pre/post match interviews. =)

 

And now, the PFA Awards…

I’m going to give you my personal opinion of who I feel deserves to be player of the year and who I think will win player of the year. To guess correctly I will attempt and look at them from the player’s point of view. Who do I think they will pick?

 

Football League Championship Team of the Year

My Personal Choice

GK: Tom Heaton (Burnley)

DR: Andre Wisdom (Derby County ON-LOAN)

DC: West Morgan (Leicester City)

DC: Clint Hill (Queen’s Park Rangers)

DL: Daniel Lafferty (Burnley)

MR: Ross Wallace (Burnley)

MC: Will Hughes (Derby County)

MC: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)

ML: Anthony Knockheart (Leicester City)

ST: Chris Martin (Derby County)

ST: Danny Ings (Burnley)

Who I think will get the places

GK: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

DR: Kieran Tripper (Burnley)

DC: Wes Morgan (Leicester City)

DC: Clint Hill (Queen’s Park Rangers)

DL: Daniel Lafferty (Burnley)

MR: Michael Kightly (Burnley)

MC: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)

MC: Will Hughes (Derby County)

ML: Anthony Knockaert (Leicester City)

ST: Ross McCormack (Leeds United)

ST: David Nugent (Leicester City)

 

Premiership Team of the Year

My Personal Choice

GK: David Marshall (Cardiff City)

DR: Seamus Coleman (Everton)

DC: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

DC: Phil Jagielka (Everton)

DL: Leighton Baines (Everton)

MR: Kevin Miralles (Everton)

MC: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

MC: Adam Lallana (Southampton)

ML: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

ST: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

ST: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Who I think will get the places

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

DR: Seamus Coleman (Everton)

DC: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

DC: Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

DL: Leighton Baines (Everton)

MR: Kevin Miralles (Everton)

MC: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

MC: Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

ML: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

ST: Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

ST: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

 

PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year

My Predictions

First: Jordan Nobbs – Arsenal Ladies

Second: Lucy Bronze – Liverpool Ladies

Third: Danielle Carter – Arsenal Ladies

 

PFA Women’s Player of the Year

My Predictions

First: Kim Little – Seattle Reign

Second: Nicole Rosler – Liverpool Ladies

Third: Siobhan Chamberlain – Arsenal Ladies

 

PFA Player’s Young Player of the Year

My Choice

First: Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal

Second: Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool

Third: Luke Shaw – Southampton

My Predictions

First: Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal

Second: Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Third: Ross Barkley – Everton

 

PFA Player’s Young Player of the Year

Nominees

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Steven Gerrard – Liverpool

Yaya Toure – Manchester City

Luis Suarez – Liverpool

Adam Lallana – Southampton

Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool

 

My Choice

First: Luis Suarez

Second: Steven Gerrard

Third: Adam Lallana

 

My Predictions

First: Luis Suarez

Second: Yaya Toure

Third: Daniel Sturridge

 

PFA Merit Award

It’s hard to gauge and guess who will win this award since it’s like a special achievement. Hmm… it tends to go to players who have been world class in their time like Pele or players who have made over 1,000 appearances like Graham Alexander… It’s a mystery. I’ll just tell you who I think deserves the merit award or at least be considered…

  • Ryan Giggs: He has played in every single Premier League season. Up until now he has scored in every season but it doesn’t look like that will continue, since he has become the interim manager of Man Utd. Regardless, I think making an appearance every season, since the Prem started, is quite a feat. So, Giggsy getting this award would not be surprising.
  • There’s this gentleman who I think deserves this award more then any, the only problem is…I forgot his name and I forgot which club he has managed. XD! Basically he was a non-league manager. He has managed a certain non-league team from 1963 until 2013, exactly 50 years. He retired last year when he was in his seventies. Sky Sports News documented this and in his last game all the past players came to pay their respects for his retirement. If I recall right his team lost 6-3. I feel silly for forgetting his name but I feel he truly deserves this award because of his dedication to the game.[1]
  • Chris Powell: Slightly biased perhaps considering I’m a Charlton fan but he has done one heck of a lot off the field. It’s not just Powell, Charlton do a lot of community work and this was actually acknowledged in the House of Commons some time ago. In fact, the leader and founder of the Charlton Community Trust, James Morgan, was rewarded with the MBE recently because of his contribution to the community. =)

 

What do you think of this season’s Football? Have you enjoyed it? Who do you think will win the Premier League? I’m not a betting man but at this very moment I think that its Liverpool’s to lose. I’m going to be glued to my couch for the next couple of weeks; it is an exciting time to be a Football fan. =D

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] The gentleman is called Jimmy Davies and the team that he managed for 50 years is Waterloo Dock AFC, based in the Liverpool County Premier League. I knew it was along the lines of Waterloo. Haha.