The City Ground on match days – oh what a joy!

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With the international break it has been a quiet week in and around the City Ground. The fans were told that the club would be using the gap to strengthen the squad and add ‘experience’.

Unfortunately, at around 10pm on Tuesday evening this will end and we, as yet, are still to see the result of the promise. But we’ve been here plenty of times before. 

In the absence of a game to go to I have been reflecting on the match day experience at our beloved stadium. I am sure I am not the only one who sits amidst people who know everything about football and scream useful advice to the players, managers and referees. 

I am privileged to sit in front of one such ‘knowledgeable’ fan and am grateful for his incisive views. Repetitive screams of “Come on!”, “Can’t Head A Ball!”, “Get It In The Box” and “Hoof It!” fill the Nottingham air most weekends. I never learned that on my coaching courses and I can’t see that anywhere in my Level 3/UEFA B paperwork. Is that where British coaches are going wrong? 

Then there are the people who visit the toilet four or time times per game, disturbing their row, the row behind, then the row behind! Thinking about it could that be the origins of the Mexican wave? 

Our half time entertainment allows us to enjoy the latest scores from around the Championship, Premier League, League One (the Magpies score) and the Blue Square Bet Premier (a Stags update). We then try and see which of the subs warming up will get soaked by the return of the sprinklers. 

The pre-match entertainment is a real joy however. We have a past legend introduced to the crowd, we match the teams warm up and then we watch the sprinklers (but has it not been raining day and night for the last week?). 

I noticed recently that the concourse and the stadium was relatively quiet with 30 minutes to go before kick-off, which is particularly unusual! With a few minutes to go before the players entered the arena things suddenly livened up. Then I realised, talking to those who just arrived, that many people had been in the local hostelries watching the latest Sky offering (on this occasion the clash between Man City and Chelsea). 

We have TVs in our concourse! When there are live games on why do they not show them and therefore encourage those requiring amber refreshment to spend there money on the overpriced offerings we have available (there is no truth in the rumours the Trent level drops each time a pint is pulled!).  

Asking the stewards they say we don’t have Sky but then we can watch Sky Sports News and they have Sky in the executive boxes. Still - Barnsley on Saturday and normality resumes. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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