Well I tuned in at half past two to watch the first ‘live’ game I’ve seen since March. For memories sake I can’t remember the last live game I watched on TV.
I do remember the last one I saw in person was the West Yorkshire derby between Leeds and Huddersfield Town at Elland Road.
That trip to ‘church’ I went with my friend Shane Chambers and met my son and his Huddersfield Town supporting mate Luke Waite, they had done the LeedsFanzone in the gantry but little did we know that would be the last time we’d do it for a considerable time.
In Beckets Bank’s pub with Luke after the 2-0 win over Town back in March.
Back to the matter at hand. Seeing the substitutes and managerial staff wearing face masks was the first unreal sight of what was to become a really strange experience. The captains came together to speak to the referee, no handshakes of course just a nod of the head from the threesome and off they went, the first game of football was ongoing.
It’s surreal to be honest, every kicked ball could be heard, the twack a boot against the ball echoing around the near empty stadium. Players took the first 15 minutes trying their best to involve a little physical contact but were not flying into tackles they probably would have before football was stopped.
Ex-Leeds midfielder ‘Alfie’ Haaland’s son made it 10 goals in under 10 goals to open the scoring for Dortmund and doing so the game got a little of the physical back into it. Both teams without doubt have players of quality but it just missed the encouragement of the fans to make it a spectacle instead of feeling like a pre season training game.
First goal for Erling Haaland
The game ended 4-0 to Borussia Dortmund. To the watching, desperate football fan it was football .. just. The game just isn’t the same without partisan support, the songs, the boos, everything that you remember that made you fall in love with the game in the first place.
We wait for the governing bodies to decide if the Premiership and Championship follow the same path as the Bundesliga have started and whether they can keep this dreadful virus away from it’s footballers.
There without doubt a hell of a lot of people desperate from some kind of ‘live’ sport but I have real reservations if this is the way forward for the game. I do realise though that it may be the only way to go until it’s safe for fans to be allowed back in grounds to support their team.
It’s football ... but not as we know it.
By Keith Ingham