Call me confused or not serious with football supporting or loyalty, but I no longer have an exact English Premier League team that I support right now.
For a long time since mid 1990s and until around 2006, I was a big supporter of Arsenal. On persuasion of my younger brother who is a big fan of Chelsea, and impressed by Didier Drogbaâ€™s performance, I switched to Chelsea for a few years. When Drogba left the club mid this year, I lost interest in the club. I wanted to shift to Man City, but I find that my heart is not genuinely there. So, I remained a supporter of three teams: Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City and the fourth is any team that is playing against Manchester United at any moment. I know that now I am making many enemies with this confession! But that is the beauty of football: We are able to disagree and yet remain united and friends.
Last week, two of my three teams played extremely well and they gave the best example that fighting to the end always pays. First was the exciting game between Arsenal and Reading in a league cup contest on Tuesday, October 30. As we all know, Reading is not a club with big history or a major record of big wins at high levels of football competitions unlike Arsenal. With this background, it came as a shock to many when within 35 minutes, Reading was leading with four goals to Arsenalâ€™s zero.
Through determination beyond doubt, Arsenal managed to score one goal before half time making it 4-1. After half time, they scored three more goals, ending the game at full time with equal number of goals (4) either side. This forced the referee to extend the game into extra time. Arsenal fully utilised this opportunity which they had created for themselves by scoring three more goals, while Reading scored only oneÂ more goal, ending the game at seven goals to five with Arsenal as the eventual winner. This game turn-around was a clear demonstration of the power of resolute determination, power of belief that nothing is complete until it is finished and no competition is over until the last whistle. We have to fight to the end.
A similar lesson was learnt in the game between Chelsea and Manchester United played the following day, on Wednesday, October 31. Manchester United was leading for the most part of the game and Chelsea kept following behind in the scores. With just a minute to go before the end of the injury time, Manchester United team was leading by three goals to two. Chelsea were not giving up and they were not frightened by the diminishing play time. Instead, they kept playing hard and pressurising more for an equalising goal. As a result of the pressure and panic that they exerted on Manchester United, the latter made a major mistake in the box and conceded a penalty. Chelsea accurately converted the penalty, turning the score to three goals each. This forced the referee to extend the game by another 30 minutes.
In extra time, Chelsea scored two more goals while Manchester scored only one more goal, making the game end at five goals to four in favour of Chelsea who booked their place in the next round of the league cup competition.
As you can see from these two amazing stories of Arsenalâ€™s 7-5 and Chelseaâ€™s 5-4 wins over Reading and Manchester United respectively, fighting to the end bears fruits. We should never give up until the very end in a competition. In our career, we get to compete and to fight for goals we set for ourselves. We must fight all the way and we must fight until we win, even when the win looks impossible, as was the case for Arsenal and Chelsea. Good luck!