Draw a line under it and move on

PUBLISHED: 16:33 25 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 14 September 2010

It's not been the most memorable of weeks: last Sunday's disaster, Luke Chadwick's unfortunate injury on his City debut and a blank in the end of year loan market.

It's not been the most memorable of weeks: last Sunday's disaster, Luke Chadwick's unfortunate injury on his City debut and a blank in the end of year loan market.

As our dear friends from down the A140 celebrate what is almost certainly going to be their only highlight this season, I think for us we can do no more but draw a long bold line under the last few days and push on.

For those of us living in and around the capital, the opportunity to watch football is never very far away. Just 48 hours after the derby match, I swapped the traditional English football experience for a 21st century stadium and good old fashioned 'dog' burgers for classy, if barely affordable, prawn sandwiches. For the first time, I was invited to the new home of Arsenal, the Emirates Stadium.

The exclusive Champions League ground, with its controlled advertising, fancy classical music and top dollar rewards, is light years away from a home fixture with Hull City. Welcome to the world of highly-paid international stars, elite corporate hospitality and global-scale media exposure; a shock to the system.

Did I enjoy it? Yes, I loved it. A few too many prima donnas on the pitch perhaps and an atmosphere that didn't nearly befit the almost 60,000 attendance, but I loved it.

These are rapidly changing times in the history of our game. If we stop to look around, many of the great football theatres of yesteryear are no more and they have been replaced by venues which are beginning to shape the future of how and where we watch our beloved teams.

Perhaps more pertinent is the ever-widening and frighteningly obvious gap between the giants and the rest of us. Believe me, I've never felt this more than on Tuesday evening. But our own Mr Grant has spent some of his own time touring the great and the good of the English top flight, so he for sure is only too aware of just what the challenge for us is. Seems an awful steep climb at the moment, but I guess the Readings, Wigans and Watfords of this world give hope to us all.

After all, West Ham were where we are now only two short seasons ago. Following a turbulent couple of months, they now find themselves on the brink of joining the country's high-rollers and their manager is even talking about European qualification.

What is the saying? “Every long journey starts with a tiny step.” Whatever happens, I think I'll stick to my dog burgers.

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